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Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Small Animal Veterinarian.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18898
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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My Cat injured his hind leg by jumping off something. Help!

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My Cat injured his hind leg 2 weeks ago. I assume jumping off something in our house. He is a strictly indoor cat. I took him to emergency on a saturday when he did it and the vet was able to get an xray which looked ok. She thought it was probably a soft tissue injury. It has now been 2 weeks and although he is definitely better he is still limping and favoring the sore hind leg. I am wondering how long I should wait before taking him back to the vet? He is eating and drinking but it is obvious the leg is still bothering him. I just don't want to let something go that should be rechecked.

Thanks for the question.
Do you have other house cats?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I do have one other Maine Coon who is also 2 years old Male

Given this has been going on for two weeks I think it would be wise for you to have your vet take another look.

I regret I cannot precisely diagnose your cat's lameness over the internet for you but I can tell you, if I was presented with such a case. One of the commonest things that a small animal veterinary surgeons sees in his consulting room is lame cats. Luckily most of these lamenesses are trivial and are easily put right. There are two main causes you would initially consider. Infections and trauma. It is good your cat had an x-ray and so you can rule out more severe injuries.

1. Lameness due to infection: If you have more than one cat then cat bite abscesses are the main culprit, some lesions are obvious with puncture marks, redness and swelling of the foot or leg with perhaps pus discharging. Other abscesses are more difficult to spot as they are deep in the tissues and you may see nothing on the surface and the only sign will be lameness.

Cats are not the most sociable of creatures and they are prone to playing and fighting, their canine teeth are long and sharp and covered with pyogenic [pus forming] bacteria. In fact when one cat bites another cat and really sinks its teeth in you can expect an abscess to form. Lameness can be caused by other infections such as penetrating wounds on the pads of the feet but these are more rare and likely to happen to an outside cat but would be obvious on examination. These conditions can be treated with antibiotics. It might be worth running this possibility past your vet as a course of antibiotics can sometimes help lame cats where there is no obvious cause.

2. Lameness due to trauma: Cats are agile creatures and even indoor cats can have a mad half hour or have been strenuously playing with the other cat and this of course could lead to a soft tissue injury such as a strain or sprain or a pulled muscle in the leg. Treatment here would be rest plus perhaps prescribed veterinary anti-inflammatory drugs, usually these injuries would resolve well within a two week period but some tendon and ligament injuries can take longer.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

He has been on Clavimax for 4days now because he got a sinus infection (He is prone to them and stress brings them on). Would that also treat any bite infection as well? My 2 cats do wrestle. However when this happened, he came from our basement and was howling and dragging his leg and for 2 days he stayed under the bed and would shake from the pain. Now he is walking and putting the leg down with a little pressure but it is still obviously sore though he is not shaking or acting at all like he was. So he is definitely improving. He absolutely hates the car so I was trying to avoid another trip to the vet, but don't want to have something not heal right because of that. Do you think it is wise to schedule a recheck as he should have recovered by now, if it was a minor injury?

Hello again,

1. Clavamox would be a first class antibiotic to treat a suspect cat bite abscess with and would be my personal drug of choice in this situation.

2. As your cat is on clavamox I would wait another three days in case this sorts things out, if your cat is just the same after this time that would tend to rule out infectious causes. You have had an x-ray which excluded serious fractures etc. so really all you are then left with is tendon and ligament damage or other more severe soft tissue injuries.

Given the above I think your best plan would be to arrange another check four days from now if there has been no improvement.


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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thank you for answering my questions I appreciate your advice. I will wait until Monday and if he is not better schedule another vet appointment. Thank you again. I feel alot better after talking with you.

Hello again,

Very glad to advise you ...
My experience is with young cats like yours, most cases of lameness will eventually resolve.


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I took him back to the vet today for his annual check up and he has lost 6 ounces. He is still eating and drinking but he is a super picky eater. Won't eat anything but dry cat food and treats. He also scratches at his food with his front paw like he is burying it sometimes and has done that for most of his life. Do you have any suggestions on how I can get him to eat more. I think he has lost the weight because he has been in pain with the back leg/hip and now that it is starting to improve he has been eating more. Just want to make sure I am doing everything I can for him while he is recovering. Thanks again

Hello again,

Glad to hear he is improving.
There is no easy answer to this one. All you can do is to try and supplement his usual diet with things he might really like such as chicken and fish.