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Serena Casey
12-11-2006, 01:04 AM
Hey all you cat lovers: I have a question. My 3-year-old female cat dislocated her hip a couple of years ago and had to have surgery to put a pin in there. I still don't think it healed right because she has a slight limp, can't jump as well as she used to, and when she lies down, she sticks that leg out behind her instead of curling it under her like a cat usually does.

What I'm wondering is, How do I know if she is in constant pain? The vet did say that she will probably develop arthritis when she gets older because of the injury. But even now, I worry that she is always uncomfortable. Obviously, if it were severe, I'd know by her behavior, but even minor pain can be hard to deal with if it's constant. She acts pretty normal other than the limp and the fact that she isn't quite as active as before. She still puts on a burst of speed on occasion, though, when she needs to be somewhere else RIGHT NOW!

Opinions?

WildScribe
12-11-2006, 01:06 AM
I'm not sure how to answer that, but I'd love to hear what others think. I stepped on my cat's leg last night, and he is gimping all over the place still. I feel horrible, but I don't think it is broken. He's not howling for one thing, and he can move it for another.

Unique
12-11-2006, 01:07 AM
Does she bite you if you pet her on her back or on her hip? If she does, it probably hurts more than a little.

Talk to your vet about pain relief or anti-inflammatories for cats. They have something for dogs but I don't know what they have for cats.

alleycat
12-11-2006, 01:09 AM
I'd be concerned if her sleep habits changed, which might indicate that she was in pain.

MidnightMuse might be able to tell you more. She worked for a vet for a number of years.

Little Red Barn
12-11-2006, 01:15 AM
From what I understand about animals, is; they hide their pain very well. This relates to survival insticts instilled long ago. Holds true for our domestics...
Eating, bathroom habits etc...can also alert you to how they feel.
Hope this helps and kitty feels better, kimmi

Nangleator
12-11-2006, 01:24 AM
I read in Catwatching, by Desmond Morris, that sometimes a cat will purr when in pain, so any signs of inappropriate purring?

Serena Casey
12-11-2006, 03:12 AM
Great responses, and so fast! There haven't been any major changes in her eating or bathroom habits. She purrs, but under normal circumstances. However, she is touchy about that leg when we pet too close. She doesn't bite, but she obviously doesn't like it. I'm not sure whether to chalk that up to her sometimes skittish personality about being petted in general. She's always been kind of a fraidy-cat! I am going to talk to the vet. Hopefully, there's something available that wouldn't require making her swallow pills. That's always fun...

Thanks, guys, for your input.

And Wildscribe, I hope your kitty feels better!

Scarlett_156
12-11-2006, 03:32 AM
It does sound like your cat has some nagging pain. I think they make food for arthritic cats that has supplements in it-- glucosamine chondroitin in the food I give my elderly dog really makes a huge difference. But the first person to check with is, yeah, the vet. I know that there are a lot of human medicines and supplements-- for instance aspirin-- that are ok for dogs but will make a cat very sick, so avoid home remedies in this case until you've talked to the vet!

(edit) P.S., cats will purr even when they are suffering terribly, so that's not a great way to tell if they are hurting.

MidnightMuse
12-11-2006, 04:18 AM
Hi there :)

Okay, first of all it's a little unusual to have a pin in a dislocation - but I don't know what exactly happened in there so a pin isn't completely out of the question.

Now, as to the pain - the cat is a bit uncomfortable, yes. A joint that should flow now has a pin (was it removed?) A plate makes more sense, but then again I wasn't there . . . Regardless, this joint no longer functions the way it was designed, hence the cat's inability to curl it under her like normal.

Is it painful? Yes, most likely. Just like you or I would be with an injured joint that healed. Did it heal properly? Without seeing an x-ray, I couldn't tell you, but my gut says yes. Joints never heal to a back-to-normal state. Once something has broken, it's damaged, regardless.

Does the cat have a limp? Yes, that's normal. This joint is weaker than the other, and especially after play or running around, kitty's gonna limp a bit.

Will she develop arthritis? Most likely yes, eventually. There are medications she could go on if it becomes a serious problem.

Is the pain too much? No, not at this stage, certainly not. She runs around, she plays, she eats, she appears to be happy . . . that's not extreme pain.

Can a cat or other animal hide their pain? Definitely - but when it becomes too much, you'll see it. The biggest indicator of pain is refusal to move, refusal to allow you to pet the area, refusal to eat.

Do they purr overly much when ill - - sometimes. Purring is a method of endorphan release in animals.

Bottom line - I think your cat is fine. She's got a bad hip, but it's not debilitating. She'll probably develop arthritis but that's not a signal of the end. You may have to put her on inflammatories later on, but I don't see that needed right now.

And remember - all of you please - NEVER, ever, under any circumstances, give a cat an aspirin.

NEVER.

*we now return you to your regularly scheduled chit chat*

Serena Casey
12-11-2006, 04:34 AM
Thank you so much for that in-depth analysis, MM! I really appreciate it. What you say certainly makes sense. I just read your post to my husband and he said he remembers that it was more a wire than a pin (he said the x-ray showed almost like a twist-tie). Then the vet put a stitch of some sort there to hold the hip in place while it healed; he went back in and took out the stitch later, but I believe the wire is still in there. And as far as we know, it was dislocation, not a break, but he said it would keep popping out of place if he didn't operate.

I will ask the vet about the supplements, too - thanks, Scarlett!

eldragon
12-11-2006, 05:11 AM
What timing.

One of my outside cats - a spayed female who is about 7 months old now - recently had an injury to her hip or leg. She showed up with a bad limp - a bit of a cut on one back leg. She walks strangely - but she does walk. She also goes to the bathroom (both) and eats fine. She wants to be outside during the day - but we make her come in at night and sit on a heating pad. (We just noticed this injury Saturday - of course, but as she wasn't bleeding or anything - we have put off taking her to the vet until he opens tomorrow. I have something mandatory at the college tomorrow therefore making tomorrow a bad day, too...)

Without knowing what happened - perhaps she got ran over, but wouldn't that kill a cat? What would you think the vet will do to her, Midnight Muse? X-rays, and then what?

Serena Casey
12-11-2006, 05:21 AM
Well, eldragon, I'll tell you what happened to mine. A deer scared her into a tree—she'd never seen one before. She was at least 30 feet up, and we're not sure if she jumped or fell because we didn't see it happen, but one minute she was meowing plaintively from three stories up and the next she was running like the wind toward the house, that one leg dragging uselessly. She doesn't know how to get out of a tree, and she doesn't catch mice. (She's pretty much an embarrassment to the feline species - but we love her!) :)

Could yours have fallen from somewhere too?

janetbellinger
12-11-2006, 05:23 AM
Getting hit by a car doesn't always kill an animal. I had a dog that got hit once and it just bruised him really badly. When one of our cats was about nineteen years old, she developed various arthritic type problems and the vet gave her a special vitamin supplement that helped her. We had a dog with arthritis and the vet told us to give him half a baby aspirin a day but I understand aspirins kill cats. My dog keeps getting bronchitis or pneumonia. Any advice about that MM? During the last round I gave her chicken soup which seemed to help along with cortisone. And my daughter's dog has elbow dysplasia. Any advice about that other than surgery?

Serena Casey
12-11-2006, 05:30 AM
Here's gimpy herself, the calico. Her "little sister" is half-Persian. They're both very sweet. They love to watch the birds, of course, from their kitty shelf.
http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h256/serenacasey/cats.jpg

Little Red Barn
12-11-2006, 05:33 AM
Well, eldragon, I'll tell you what happened to mine. A deer scared her into a tree—she'd never seen one before. She was at least 30 feet up, and we're not sure if she jumped or fell because we didn't see it happen, but one minute she was meowing plaintively from three stories up and the next she was running like the wind toward the house, that one leg dragging uselessly. She doesn't know how to get out of a tree, and she doesn't catch mice. (She's pretty much an embarrassment to the feline species - but we love her!) :)

Could yours have fallen from somewhere too?

Serena, this reminded me of the cat that wandered into our back yard only to be chased up the tree my our shepherd. I put our dog up and after 3 hours she refused to come down.she too was about 30 ft up.
Well, I guess it was my stupid day because I called my Fire Dept.(they are just 2 blocks away).
That fireman said, "Lady, I have never seen a dead cat in a tree."
The cat finally came down...
next time I'm going to ask the FD, if they would like to get some practice manuevers in, instead...:Shrug: can't understand why they couldn't come and bring their ladders.

Fern
12-11-2006, 05:37 AM
Also, having any metal at all in there might be uncomfortable in cold weather? I've heard many people with metal pins, etc. make comments about the weather affecting them.

eldragon
12-11-2006, 07:17 AM
Well, eldragon, I'll tell you what happened to mine. A deer scared her into a tree—she'd never seen one before. She was at least 30 feet up, and we're not sure if she jumped or fell because we didn't see it happen, but one minute she was meowing plaintively from three stories up and the next she was running like the wind toward the house, that one leg dragging uselessly. She doesn't know how to get out of a tree, and she doesn't catch mice. (She's pretty much an embarrassment to the feline species - but we love her!) :)

Could yours have fallen from somewhere too?

We have a dog, Cookie, who chases the cats all the time. They all love each other, mind you, but she does chase them. (Then they all lay down together and take a nap.) So, it could have been Cookie that chased her up a tree, or something. But, I have no idea. I mean, we have deer here - and raccoons and possums and things - but our barking dogs keep them away. (unfortunately.) Missisippi allows deer hunters to use packs of dogs to chase deer - so deer do not come around a barking dog.

MidnightMuse
12-11-2006, 07:22 AM
Sorry, I wasn't here - well x-rays first, yes. After a physical, to see if there's anything obviously broken. An x-ray to confirm or deny, then it will depend on the results.

It's very possible there's only soft tissue damage, bruising that will take care of itself. If there are no open wounds, that would be good. I had a cat take on a car and loose not only the fight, but two rear toes - he fared just fine after the surgical repair.

Outdoor cats can suffer bite wounds that cause a limp - if it were a cat bite you won't see blood - a dog or other animal you would more likely see a wound. Could also be a hip or knee injury that isn't necessarily car-related.

A good physical exam and possible x-rays will tell the story. Depending on the outcome there, it's either surgical repair of a bone injury, surgical intervention for a wound, or rest for muscle bruising.

Let us know how it goes tomorrow!

eldragon
12-11-2006, 05:58 PM
Here's a picture of Gigi, the cat with the leg or hip injury - taken last night:


http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g260/eldragon_2006/gigi.jpg

Zonk
12-11-2006, 10:05 PM
You don't want my advice on what to do with an injured cat.

Or any cat, for that matter :tongue

:D:D:D

Serena Casey
12-11-2006, 10:22 PM
Here's a picture of Gigi, the cat with the leg or hip injury - taken last night:
Ooh, she's a beauty! Yes, let us know how it goes, please.

Shadow_Ferret
12-11-2006, 11:12 PM
You don't want my advice on what to do with an injured cat.

Or any cat, for that matter :tongue

:D:D:D

I kept kicking mine but couldn't injure it so we ended up giving it to my mom. Ahhh. Finally, a cat free house after 6 years.

Zonk
12-11-2006, 11:25 PM
I kept kicking mine but couldn't injure it so we ended up giving it to my mom. Ahhh. Finally, a cat free house after 6 years.

I celebrate your freedom from feline infestation :Hug2:

:D:D:D

alleycat
12-11-2006, 11:26 PM
I celebrate your freedom from feline infestation :Hug2:

:D:D:D
All the cat lovers around here are going to attack in mass . . .

Zonk
12-11-2006, 11:32 PM
All the cat lovers around here are going to attack in mass . . .

I will retaliate by describing (in detail) what I used to do in my youth to lower global cat numbers :tongue

:D:D:D

alleycat
12-11-2006, 11:39 PM
I will retaliate by describing (in detail) what I used to do in my youth to lower global cat numbers :tongue

:D:D:D
Can't be any worse than what I used to do to little male baby pigs.

Zonk
12-11-2006, 11:46 PM
Can't be any worse than what I used to do to little male baby pigs.

Maybe we should get together and share notes...;)

:D:D:D

MidnightMuse
12-11-2006, 11:49 PM
I should warn you, I'm licensed to perform surgical castration :D

alleycat
12-12-2006, 12:32 AM
I should warn you, I'm licensed to perform surgical castration :D
I wish you'd quit saying that . . . makes me nervous.

Zonk
12-12-2006, 12:54 AM
I should warn you, I'm licensed to perform surgical castration :D

On cats? How much do you charge? We may be able to do some business here... ;)

:D:D:D