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My 4 month old kitten has had a swollen elbow since very. He…

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My 4 month old kitten...
My 4 month old kitten has had a swollen elbow since very young. He favours the limb and cannot bear weight on it for a short period after sleeping and it appears stiff. the join does not appear to bother him, and he behaves and plays, runs and jumps fairly normally, however the joint is very swollen. It does not appear to be a cyst. It seems like a luxation of the elbow, however the cat was born with a lame leg with the swelling onset shortly after birth. Also the entire swollen area feels like fluid build up and there is no bone in the swollen region. No deep cut or scar tissue appears on the skin, and no redness to suggest infection. Is it possible that it was a growth plate fracture while in the birth canal? the mother cat was young and of a small frame. What does this sound like to you?
How expensive and extensive might the reconstructive surgery be?
Is the cat's pain likely to increase in the future?
Would a surgery also have the chance of generating traumatic arthritis?
Submitted: 5 years ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 6 minutes by:
11/26/2012
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Altman, Veterinarian replied 5 years ago
Dr. Altman
Dr. Altman, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 13,823
Experience: Practicing small animal veterinarian for 18 years.
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Dogdoc4u :

Welcome to the chat!! I am Dr. Altman, a licensed veterinarian and I am happy to answer your questions.

Dogdoc4u :

This is a very difficult question to answer without a diagnosis and x-rays

Dogdoc4u :

It is possible it is a congenital or birth defect or an injury during birth

Dogdoc4u :

Truly an x-ray is needed to diagnose the underlying cause of the swelling to determine the best course of action to treat the injry

Dogdoc4u :

Injury

Dogdoc4u :

It might be a subluxation of the elbow or a fracture in the growth plate halting growth in that joint, there is no way to know that at this point

Dogdoc4u :

So surgery can range from using a certain type of sling to maintain positioning in the elbow for 4-8 weeks to plates and external fixators if the plate is only damaged on one side and not the other.

Dogdoc4u :

Will the pain increase in the future, it is a possibility without repair. What you describe, even at this young age, is arthritic changes when a patient wakes up stiff and is able to improve with movement

Dogdoc4u :

There are many alternatives to pain management now in cats, including physical therapy, laser therapy, acupuncture, gabapentin medication

Dogdoc4u :

Surgery is going to be used to stabilize any unstable areas. Arthritis (created by the body to help stabilize areas that are moving that should not) is going to form regardless of whether surgery is performed but the purpose of the surgery is to stabilize joints in order to minimize the progression of that arthritis

Dogdoc4u :

I hope this helps answer your questions but unfortunately without the x-rays it is virtually impossible to give you a range of cost for repair

Dogdoc4u :

I will monitor for your response, I am online an additional 30 minutes this evening...

Dogdoc4u :

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