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petdrz, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7246
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience in caring for dogs and cats.
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My cat must have hurt her back left leg. She is limping but

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My cat must have hurt her back left leg. She is limping but she is showing no other signs of distress. She is eating, being social and not acting any differently except for the limping. she will not allow me to touch her back paw, when I try she swats at my hand. Is there any over the counter medication to help with the pain in her leg?
Hello and thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a veterinarian with over 25 years experience and would be happy work with you but have a few questions.

Did the limping appear suddenly or slowly over time?

I understand that she won't let you examine well, but does there appear to be any swelling of the paw? How far down on the leg will she let you touch before she acts like it hurts?

Are you aware of any trauma that may have occurred?

Is Newman an indoor only cat or is she allowed outdoors?

Thanks and I will respond further after you reply.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you Dr. Z for your time and help with Newman. She does go outside but she usually stays on the porch and sleeps in her chair. The limping was sudden and there is no swelling. She will let me touch her hip, upper leg and back. Of her leg. She swats at me when I go near her paw and she does lay on her left side without discomfort. She was fine yesterday afternoon and when we got back last night I noticed she was limping. She was inside yesterday with our dog. Newman and our dog sometimes chase each other around the house (newman is approximately 2 pounds more than the dog) but I'm only guessing this is how she hurt herself. She was outside yesterday for a little while and we were home when she was on the porch sleeping. Thank you again for your help.

Thank you for the reply. Cats can incur soft tissue injuries like a sprain but it is usually involving the long bones of the leg or the joints. Not to say it is impossible that she could have injured her paw by chasing the dog, but when paws are suspected to be involved, I get a little more concerned about a few other possibilities. A broken or ingrown nail can lead to foot pain as well as an abscess or infection if she stepped on something and created a puncture wound. Another possibility on an older cat that is not that uncommon is a toe tumor. In a cat that won't allow you to examine the toes well, we still need to rule that out.

Unfortunately, there are no safe over the counter medications for use in cats (Are prescription choices are even somewhat limited in oral form). There are a couple of things you can try if she will allow. Cold compresses on the affected site which sounds like it is localized to her paw. I am not sure she will let you if she is swatting when you get near it. Another option that she may tolerate better is a warm water epsom soak of the lower leg and paw. Epsom salts tend to help decrease inflammation as well as draw out infection if present. Other than that, there is not much that you can do short of keeping her off of it as much as possible. If she continues to limp, you will most likely need to seek veterinary intervention for further diagnosis and treatment. I am sorry that there is not anything more that can be done, but the over the counter options are not safe for use in cats.

I hope this is helpful. If you would like any additional information or have further questions please don't hesitate to ask. My goal is to provide quality service until you are fully satisfied and can provide a positive rating or feedback. If I have not provided a complete answer please click on the REPLY TO EXPERT button before rating so I can continue the discussion.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Dr. Z, Thank you again for your help. I took Newman to the vet today and they found that she torn her ACL. I appreciate all your help and will use your service again.
I am glad to hear that Newman was evaluated and the problem was identified, but am sorry to hear the findings. Hopefully he will be back to normal and without pain soon.

Thank you for the update.

If you have any questions in the future that I may help you with, ask for Dr Z in the question title or see my profile to request me. You can save my profile to your browser favorites with this link:

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