Hello again and thanks for waiting.
Sorry to hear Dante is uncomfortable however I have worked out an answer for you ...
1. The situation is that unfortunately almost all of the usual human over the counter pain killers are very unsuitable for cats because of many reports of side effects and toxicity. Cats just cannot process these drugs in the same way as humans, if you are going to the vet tomorrow the best thing to do is just to keep Dante comfortable and reassured in the meantime, but do not consider giving him any human meds, the vet will have prescription drugs specifically for cats.
2. One of the commonest things that a small animal veterinary surgeons sees in his consulting room is lame cats. Of course more serious conditions such as fractures are possible but luckily most of these lamenesses are trivial and are easily put right. There are two main minor causes you would initially consider, infections and trauma.
A. Lameness due to infection: If you have more than one cat or your cat wanders outside 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. Cats or not the most sociable of creatures and they are prone to 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 as a matter of course. 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 but some need lancing.
B. Lameness due to trauma: Cats are agile creatures and even indoor cats can have a mad half hour 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 .
Hopefully Dante's condition is very minor but you are doing the right thing in taking him to the vet tomorrow ...
I hope I have covered your question fully enough but if you would like further clarification or to talk things over a bit more then I will be on-line for the next hour or so and I will be more than pleased to continue working with you.
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