A sprain is a joint injury caused by a sudden stretching or tearing of the
ligaments. The signs are pain over the joint, swelling of the tissues, and
temporary lameness. If the cat
refuses to put weight on a leg, have him examined by a veterinarian to rule out
a fracture or dislocation. The same is true for any injury that fails to
improve in four days. X-rays should be taken.
Treatment: The primary treatment is to rest the injured body part. Ice packs
help to reduce pain and swelling. Add crushed ice to a plastic bag. Place the
bag over the injured joint and hold in place with an elastic bandage or your
hand. New commercial cool packs work well, as do bags of frozen vegetables.
Apply the cold pack for 15 minutes every hour for the first three hours. If it
is left too long, it may cause tissue damage.
Cats are supreme tree-climbing hunters, with strongly muscled backs and hindquarters that give them tremendous power to jump-either horizontally or vertically. It’s normal for cats to jump and climb to high places as they explore their environment. They have sharp, protractile (extendable) claws that serve as useful crampons for climbing.
Consult your veterinarian for safe pain and anti-inflammatory medications.
Never give a cat acetaminophen (Tylenol) or any other over-the-counter pain
A tendon may be stretched, partly torn, or completely separated (ruptured).
An irritated or inflamed tendon is tendonitis. Strained tendons follow sudden
wrenching or twisting injuries. The tendons in the front and back paws are the
ones most often strained. Signs of tendonitis include temporary lameness, pain
on bending and straightening the joint, and tenderness and swelling over the
length of the tendon.
Rupture of the Achilles tendon that attaches to the hock joint is caused by
sudden and extreme flexion. This tendon is most often injured in auto accidents
and cat fights.
Treatment: Stretched tendons are treated in the same way as sprains. A
ruptured tendon is an emergency and requires immediate veterinary attention.
Surgery will be performed and the cat may need a splint or cast, as well as
pain medications and follow-up physical therapy.
A cat with a ruptured Achilles tendon walks on his heel instead of the