Questions and AnswersCategory: HealthCat Sprained Leg
bestvet Staff asked 2 years ago

Cat Sprained Leg

My cat sprained leg 2 weeks ago (we suspect a fall) and would hide under the bed
when in pain. She goes to the toilet and eats fine though. The vet checked her over
and described her hock as “crunchy”. She suggested a week on loxicom and to monitor
her progression which we did. She was hiding much less and seemed to bear good
weight on her leg. We took her to the vet again though as she looks like she has a
mild platnigrade stance when she walks and she is occasionally still limping. The
vet was not too concerned at this stage as she seems well in herself and seems to
have strength in her leg so agreed to give it another week on loxicom and if no
improvement bring her back for an X-ray. There were suggestions such as the
possibility of tendon damage. As with most cats, she hates the vets and having to
take her twice lately has been very distressing for her (and us!). Therefore I
really want to avoid the X-ray appointment if we can. Can it be usual for potential
tendon damage to take some weeks to heal? Especially in a cat at 11 years old?
Should we be worried about her slight awkward walking stance in the injured leg, or
can this be common with this sort of injury?
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1 Answers
bestvet Staff answered 2 years ago

Cat Sprained Leg

We all consider the cat as an agile animal that can make impressive jumps. However, there are chances that the best athlete can miss a few of them. A fall from height or collisions with cars are common causes a cat can break a bone. Aggressive attacks by others can be another reason for the breakage of bone in cats.

A damage or debilitation of one or more parts of the legs, i.e., bones, joints, muscles, nerves, tendon, ligaments, or skin, can lead to lameness or limping of the leg. A few limps have specific reasons. If there is a broken bone or dislocated joint, then there will be swelling, and the limb may lie at an uncooperative angle.

However, infection of nail bed may lead to crusty, deformed nails. Deeper contamination like abscesses will be warm, soft, changing swellings beneath the skin. Any harm to the nerves, tendons, ligaments, or joints may be no sign of external injury.

Several limps are dangerous compare to others. Thus, the first step in providing the first aids to the cats is by the assessment of the lameness by observing the catwalk. The second step is to give a time frame, i.e., the time the owner notices the limp.

Signs: –

The first sign is pain. Cats usually try to hide the pain, so it is better to watch out for the following symptoms.

  • Growling, meowing, or crying
  • Do not walk or walk without using the injured leg
  • Do not eat
  • Inflamed or bruised injured area.


The primary cause of limping may be due to abnormal stress on the bone, i.e., fall from height, hit by the car, or broken tendon.


The immediate to remember is that the injured animal can bite in pain no matter how gentle they usually are. The second thing is to remember that the event of falling or been wounded by the car collision is shocking for cats that may not be detectable for days.


The injuries to the hock joints are less common but can also be the offender in hind limb lameness circumstances. It is significant with any lameness to make thing sure that you are not hitting blinders on and only looking for specific conditions. The cats with these injuries need precise analysis as their prognosis is the greatest when they are recognised and treated primary.


The attachment of Achilles tendon is with the heel bone of the rear leg and is in charge of keeping the heel of the paw raised off the ground. Trauma is one of the most common causes of the tendon tear. Some cats may show “crab-clawed” signs if one section of the tendon is torn and if the full tendon is torn, the cat will walk with paw dropped on the ground. Depending on the severity, surgery may need to occur. 


The veterinarian will examine the cat health and will make assure that there is no other serious problem. Once the cat gets stable, the vet will perform x-rays of the suspected fractures. The radiology will help to clear the alleged options of the limping.


As mostly the breakage of limping is due to the traumatic events, so it is better to limit the outdoor activities of the cat. It is essential to pay attention to the places or areas cats like to go. Try to restrict the access to the risky areas as it will further damage the leg of the cat.

DVM, Lina

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