How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question

Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 13633
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 42 years of experience.
55012488
Type Your Cat Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Michael Salkin is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

how can you tell if your cat sprained her leg or broke it?

Customer Question

how can you tell if your cat sprained her leg or broke it?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
The easiest way to differentiate a soft tissue injury such as a sprain or strain from a bony fracture is by examining the leg carefully for swelling. Fractures usually cause profound swelling but sprains and strains may not reveal any swelling at all.

In general, a cat won't place a leg down that has been fractured. Of course, a severe sprain or strain might result in a three-legged cat as well but a cat is likely to begin walking on all four legs within a few days in cases of soft tissue injury; not so with a fracture.

Finally, palpating ("feeling") all the parts of the leg (don't forget the toes!) can be informative. If you can find a painful spot, part Macy's fur and look closely for bite wounds (teeth puncture marks). In my 40+ years of practicing, the great majority of "broken legs" turn out to be painful bite/fight wounds. Let me know what you find, please.

Please respond with further questions and concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

She fell off a bureau and got her leg caught in a drawer for a second on the way down. She walks on it, and puts pressure on it but limps some :( she's not the friendliest cat so its been hard for me to feel it and her leg is white compared to her other legs so it already looks a little bigger than the rest. I had a appointment scheduled for her previously and thats in 4 days, Just not sure if I should try to bring her in or if she will be ok if I wait.?

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Ouch! Thank you for the additional info. The fact that she's walking on it is encouraging. If she's lame on a hind leg we have to also worry about a dislocation (luxation) of her hip. Cats will surprisingly often continue to walk with a hip luxation. If a luxation is present it's best not to wait because the earlier a luxated leg is manually replaced (if possible), the better the prognosis for permanent cure.

Please don't get bit or scratched attempting to palpate her. It's best that she be properly restrained by a vet tech while the vet examines her. If palpating reveals nothing remarkable, the tincture of time may suffice. Her vet might inject her with a pain-relieving nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as robenacoxib. If the vet detects swelling suggestive of fracture or an instability in her hip or elsewhere, X-rays will be suggested in order to clarify just what's ailing Macy.

Please let me know which leg is affected and if you have any further questions or concerns.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


It is her back leg :( But I did get to feel her hip and she didnt seem like it bothered her too much. My vet isn't open until monday and the only other place to bring her in my area hasn't had the best reviews so im not exactly comfortable taking her there. But I by no means want to neglect her in any way. Im just not sure what to do :(

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.

If she didn't object to your feeling her hip (did you also rotate her leg in the hip socket?) she probably didn't luxate the hip. I'm going to recommend that you wait until Monday so you can see her regular vet. She may normalize by then and you won't have to take her in at all.

I'm going to check back with you in a couple of days for an update but feel free to return to our conversation - even after rating - prior to my contacting you if you wish.

Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 13633
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 42 years of experience.
Dr. Michael Salkin and 4 other Cat Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


I havent tried rotating it yet but I will. Thank you so much for all your help.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.

It's my pleasure. I'll speak to you on Sunday. Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
May I have an update on Macy, please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


She's been great no limping, no touchiness, nothing :) Im still going to have my Vet check it out just to be safe but I'm feeling alot better about it. Thank you for all of your help

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
That's what I like to hear!

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George Boca Raton, FL
< Last | Next >
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George Boca Raton, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Gary

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3053
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3053
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    4146
    UC Davis graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/doggfone1/2009-07-16_133633_vet_pic.jpg Dr. Scott's Avatar

    Dr. Scott

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3980
    12 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet experience in medicine and surgery.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BI/bigislandvet/2013-2-21_214244_IMG0357.64x64.JPG Dr. Michael Salkin's Avatar

    Dr. Michael Salkin

    Big Island Vet

    Satisfied Customers:

    3268
    University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 41 years of experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/1I/1ISUDVM/2011-3-1_22028_Honeymoon2005075294928803490646858.64x64.jpg Dr. Bruce's Avatar

    Dr. Bruce

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3188
    12 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AN/andrewDVM/2012-4-27_12585_iStock000011751407XSmall.64x64.jpg Dr. Drew's Avatar

    Dr. Drew

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    2873
    Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PE/petdrz/2012-6-7_16239_MeandDoncropped.64x64.JPG Dr. Z.'s Avatar

    Dr. Z.

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1936
    Over 25 years of experience in caring for dogs and cats.
 
 
 
Chat Now With A Cat Veterinarian
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
4419 Satisfied Customers
University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 42 years of experience.