Soft tissue injuries

MittensKitten

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It's been five days since my eleven year old cat fell about seven feet from his cat enclosure walk way. I saw it happen on my security camera and immediately took him to the vet. She did an x ray and examined his leg and foot. The x ray didn't show any fractures or breaks and she thought that the pain was in his paw.
I was given an anti inflammatory to administer for three days and told to prevent him from jumping. He has been confined to a crate except for brief walks around the yard. He still doesn't want to put weight on that paw.

It's really stressing me out that his condition hasn't seemed to improve and I would like to know if anyone has input on the situation. Should I give it more time? Should I seek out a second opinion? My concern is that something was missed and he will end up with some permanent deformity or chronic pain in the joint.

I hope I'm just over reacting and that I'm underestimating the recovery time for such injuries. Any advice or shared experiences would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Dan
 

Jem

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Soft tissue injuries can take a long time to heal. I've known of some who had the keep their pet in crate rest for several weeks before they could slowly let them wander about.
Soft tissue injuries are actually worse than a break in most cases because of how long they can take to heal.
It may be possible that if there was too much inflammation around the site that the x-ray could have missed something. I've seen that happen with humans anyway.
If you're concerned, call your vet, she may want to recheck or perhaps even just give you a few more days of pain management meds for kitty.

With our kitty, he got his claw stuck in his cat tree, and in trying to free himself, ripped the claw out. The wound healed fine, but the tenderness from the sprained ligament in his toe lasted a couple weeks.
Another cat of ours got his tail stuck when a cord wrapped around it. When he pulled the cord got tighter and tighter. We freed him, but where the cord wrapped caused quite a bit of inflammation as he kept pulling and straining his tail...it took almost 2 weeks until the inflammation in his tail joint went a way.
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. I would at least call the vet and ask what they think of him not yet putting any weight on his leg/paw. It might be that the vet will prescribe a few more days of anti-inflammatories, and perhaps a mild pain med. While it can take a few weeks to heal, I would have thought he might have tried to use his paw a bit by now.
 

tarasgirl06

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Hello M MittensKitten and Dan, and welcome to TCS! Other posters' suggestions and information are excellent. Think about it: If you have a bad bruise, are you feeling better in five days? I wouldn't be. Time is the great healer; getting his doctor's input wouldn't hurt, either. Keep us informed, wont' you? *And we love pix here!*
 

Xena44

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Are you familiar with homeopathy? Traumeel is excellent for soft tissue injuries. Any anti-inflammatory the vet gives can only be extremely short term as they can be very detrimental to the kidneys. Time is the best healer. Along with traumeel. Imho.
 

Purr-fect

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Heres what I would do.

Call vet's receptionist find out what days the vet is working this coming week. If by the second or third day from now your cat is still limping I would phone the vet, update her and ask for advice (renew prescription, another examination?) Knowing the vet's schedule ahead of time means you wont decide one morning you want to see the vet and then have the anxiety of having to wait a day or two until she is back on shift.

And of course I would also pamper my cat in the mean time and try to limit its walking: a "carry" around the yard, carried up and down stairs, a few step stools around the house to dicourage it from jumping.

We had a similar issue with our cat greg. At 8 pm on a sunday night greg is fine. At 8:10 pm I notice he is limping. At 10 pm he is still limping......so off to the emergency 24/7 vet clinic we go. (Greg intentionally times his vet visits for after hours on holidays, its his way of getting even with us for taking him to the vet.........premium vet rates).

By 11:30pm greg is fine again......he just seemed to have walked it off. I think, he jumped out of his cat condo and landed badly.

I hope your guy recovers soon.

Try to figure out how he fell from the enclosure and prevent it from happening again.....and look for other tripping, falling hazards he might encounter.
 
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MittensKitten

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Thanks for all of the replies. I called the vet this morning to ask for advice. She offered another round of pain medication but I'd rather not subject his body to the drug. He is eating and behaving normally other than avoiding use of the left front paw. When I watched the security footage again I heard what sounded like him grabbing the welded wire with his claw and I suspect that is what caused the injury. I couldn't see it, just a guess.

I really want a more clear explanation of the injury but I'm not sure I will get it. I'm hoping that it's just a slow process as some of you have described.
 

Xena44

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Heres what I would do.

Call vet's receptionist find out what days the vet is working this coming week. If by the second or third day from now your cat is still limping I would phone the vet, update her and ask for advice (renew prescription, another examination?) Knowing the vet's schedule ahead of time means you wont decide one morning you want to see the vet and then have the anxiety of having to wait a day or two until she is back on shift.

And of course I would also pamper my cat in the mean time and try to limit its walking: a "carry" around the yard, carried up and down stairs, a few step stools around the house to dicourage it from jumping.

We had a similar issue with our cat greg. At 8 pm on a sunday night greg is fine. At 8:10 pm I notice he is limping. At 10 pm he is still limping......so off to the emergency 24/7 vet clinic we go. (Greg intentionally times his vet visits for after hours on holidays, its his way of getting even with us for taking him to the vet.........premium vet rates).

By 11:30pm greg is fine again......he just seemed to have walked it off. I think, he jumped out of his cat condo and landed badly.

I hope your guy recovers soon.

Try to figure out how he fell from the enclosure and prevent it from happening again.....and look for other tripping, falling hazards he might encounter.
Yes! Jumping is a very big culprit to delay healing or exacerbating a soft tissue injury.
 

Xena44

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Thanks for all of the replies. I called the vet this morning to ask for advice. She offered another round of pain medication but I'd rather not subject his body to the drug. He is eating and behaving normally other than avoiding use of the left front paw. When I watched the security footage again I heard what sounded like him grabbing the welded wire with his claw and I suspect that is what caused the injury. I couldn't see it, just a guess.

I really want a more clear explanation of the injury but I'm not sure I will get it. I'm hoping that it's just a slow process as some of you have described.
What was the pain medication offered?
 
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MittensKitten

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Day 7 and still holding it up and jumping on one leg. I thought that he had been slightly better yesterday, but I'm not sure.

I took him to another vet today just to get a second opinion. She came to the same conclusion that the injury is in his paw and that he isn't contracting it the way a cat normally holds it. She was a little surprised that he was still holding it up all the time. She sent me home with an anti inflammatory ( onsior ) and a pain killer (buprenorphine). I'm a little hesitant to use the pain killer on him. What would you guys suggest?

My next appointment with his regular vet is this Saturday. I really hope this starts to improve. I'm not sure what the next step is if for some reason doesn't heal. Hoping for the best.
 

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I am not a vet and have no medical expertise.

I think you were right to take him back for another visit given his lack of progress. I would google the anti inflamatory and pain killer for reviews and side effects. If I felt the benefits of the drugs would likely out weigh the side effects, I would give them to my cat. I would do it in the morning, so if there were side effects, the vet clinic would be open, instead of giving the medication in the evening and not being able to see the vet until 12 or more hours latter. I would carefully monitor my pet and try to encourage him to eat and drink.

The xray showed no issues. Perhaps he has torn or sprained a tendon or ligament. Can cats have ultra sounds done?
 

Xena44

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Onscior is a good medication but it is a non steroidal anti-inflammatory to be given for a maximum of 3 days. When is the last time he had a non-steroidal? Was it onscior? Metacam?
 
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MittensKitten

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He had Onsior last week Wed-Fri and was prescribed this week Tues-Thurs. The vet had his records and knew that he had taken it last week. I hope that is okay.
 

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If the vet was aware of the earlier course of Onsior, and still prescribed it, you should give it to you cat. Same with the buprenorphine. There's been a study showing that giving cats Onsior even for a full month didn't result in any organ damage, even if the vets wouldn't prescribe that kind of treatment and the drug is not labeled for it: https://www.vssoc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Clinical-safety-of-robenacoxib-in-feline-osteoarthritis-30-day-use.pdf

Cats tend to hide their pain, and if your cat is holding its paw up and showing lameness, it means the pain is beyond his ability to hide. I had a cat who aggravated an old elbow injury and held her leg up across her chest, and limped around, and I didn't hesitate to give her the pain meds that were prescribed. She had to be limited from running and jumping and stairs for 2 entire months, but she did eventually get back to her old state.
 
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MittensKitten

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I just went back to my vet and she can't detect a pain response when palpating his paw. She thinks that it's a tendon or nerve injury and referred me to a specialist. There is a possibility that this could be a permanent condition. I've lost a bit of confidence in my vet at this point. The whole situation is pretty unfortunate. Thanks for all of the advice.
 

Xena44

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I wouldn’t give up all hope on your vet yet. Soft tissue injuries are very hard to pinpoint. Damage typically doesn’t show up on x-ray and usually the best thing you can do is treat for pain and give it time. Does anybody in your area too cold laser treatment? It’s a really good healer and it’s really great anti-inflammatory. How about gentle massage?
 
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MittensKitten

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She already referred me to a specialist surgeon. What I can deduce from observing my cat when he does bear weight on the paw is that he is suffering from carpal hyperextension. I suspect that he will require arthrodesis. I think the only way my vet could determine this is through a stress x ray. Does anyone have experience with a cat that has had this surgery? My appointment with the specialist is for June 16 which is unacceptably far off. I'm considering bribing the vet somehow or doing something to have him treated asap. If there is a possibility that he could recover with a splint (which I think is unlikely) , I think that time is of the essence.
 

Xena44

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is there any possibility arthrodesis is a bit of a jump from point C to point W while missing a number of steps in between? I’ve seen a lot of injuries in my day and I’ve never seen that done. keep in mind, surgeons cut. It’s what they do.
 
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