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 Cher Your Own Question
Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 21416
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
Type Your Cat Question Here...
Cher is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hello...Possible broken leg.My 12 year old cat was limping

This answer was rated:

Hello...Possible broken leg.My 12 year old cat was limping and I noticed he was not applying much pressure on his back right leg. My husband carefully picked him up as we were not sure it there was a wound. (None) When I carefully went to move his made a crack sound as if a joint went back in place similar to maybe a human walking up steps.. Either way my husband immediately took it to the nighttime ER vet. They wanted over 1000.00at the starting gate as to what to do.This only included xrays and sedation. My husband tore off his finger 3 weeks ago so he is out of work so sadly money is an issue.. The ER VET agreed to sedate and splint the leg for a somewhat reasonable fee and said if we go to our VET in the morning it should be cheaper. What are the chances of it healing with the splint on and it not needing surgery. Can it heal with the splint? It was able to carefully walk on it did eat...

Hi Alicia, and welcome back to Just Answer.

I'm so sorry to hear this has happened to poor Spirit.

For the moment, you did what you had to do and if you bring him to his regular vet in the morning, you will be able to have an x-ray done at a lower cost and see what's actually happening with the leg. It could be broken, it could have a hairline fracture, a joint could be dislocated. There are many possibilities, but an x-ray will certainly show more and if the splint is not positioned correctly, after a diagnosis is made of the injury, your vet will re-do it correctly. It's important that the splint (or even if a cast is needed for a break/fracture) is positioned right, so the bone heals properly and doesn't cause future problems. You will not know if surgery is needed until your vet makes a diagnosis after the x-ray.

If Spirit is eating and walking gingerly, this is very good; however, I would try to keep him off his feet and confined, until you can get him to your vet in the morning. He also should be prevented from jumping up onto or down from, anything. If you have a large dog crate or something similar, you can put him in there, with a few layers of towels or blankets on the bottom and his essentials: food, water, litterbox, and allow him to rest. I'm assuming the ER vet gave him some pain medication, so that should help him feel more comfortable.

I hope all will be well with Spirit, once he is evaluated and treated by his regular vet.

If you need any additional information, please do not rate at this time, but first, click "Reply" to let me know how I can further assist you. Thanks!

When you are satisfied with the answer, please rate positively, so I am credited by the site for my assistance. Thank you!

Best regards,

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your fast, kind an helpful response. While I do not have any kind of crate I have a very small bathroom where I have set up a litter box, water and food along with several layers of towels along with one of my nice comfy soft robes for him to lie on...I suppose it is anybody's guess if he will chose to jump in the tub but with the shower curtain closed but I am hoping not. The ER Vet did give him pain medication while sedating him to splint..Do you imagine it is safe to say the ER Vet must have some idea on the correct way to set his leg even though they are not doing an xray?

Hi again, Alicia and you're most welcome.

It is my pleasure to be of help to you and Spirit!

Your idea to set him up in your small bathroom is great! I also worry that he might try to jump into the tub or onto the toilet lid (it's closed, right?), but let's hope not. Try to block these areas if you can, by placing boxes (like cereal boxes, etc.) around the perimeter, so he is not tempted.

Yes, I think from experience, the ER vet had an idea of the correct way to set his leg without an x-ray, but I still feel it's important to have the leg x-rayed tomorrow morning by your vet to actually know what you're dealing with and the best way to help it heal.

I hope all will be well with your furry boy and please let me know how it goes tomorrow at your vet. Thanks!

Best regards,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you once again Cher..I am thankful for your advice.I just wanted to let you know that the Vet said they are pretty sure the ankle is fractured. The whole leg is splinted.. Are splints ever a course of healing as long as there are no complications to be seen in a x-ray from your experience? Thank you so much for your patience in helping me through this..

Hi again, Alicia and you're so very welcome!

As long as the whole leg is splinted and he is kept from walking on it, so the ankle can heal properly, unless your vet decides a cast might be better, after the x-ray, it can heal well, under the circumstances. If the fracture is minor or 'hairline', it should heal well. Here is more information for you to read: Fractures

Don't become upset when surgery is mentioned in the article above, because you will not know anything for sure until x-rays are taken, then, your vet will advise you as to the best way to help this bone heal and knit back together.

Best regards,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

You are amazing Cher...Thank you so much for helping our family with our cat Spirit.I am so thankful for all the advice and the link you provided. I hope you have a wonderful evening...

Hi again, Alicia and you're most welcome.

I'm very glad I could be of help to your family and to your furry boy, Spirit!

I wish you a wonderful evening as well, and please let me know how he's coming along. Thanks!

Best regards,
Cher and 2 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Alicia,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Spirit. How is everything going?