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 Dr. Barbara Your Own Question
Dr. Barbara
Dr. Barbara, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 1614
Experience:  Over 30 years experience in veterinary medicine and surgery.
56364752
Type Your Cat Question Here...
Dr. Barbara is online now

I have a 5 year old female neutered cat ,who has two brothers

Customer Question

I have a 5 year old female neutered cat ,who has two brothers in the same household, she is minuscule in comparison to her brothers....she started biting her arms last year, which we think was due to fleas, we de-flea d her and it seemed to get better , this year in this last month she seemed to be limping , it has come and gone, she is eating well,her coat is good, her nose is wet, her eyes are quite bright ....she allows me to touch her paws, legs , 'arms' ..which suggests the source of the pain is not in her leg ...which makes me think that either she has pulled a muscle badly or has some sort of internal injury......she has only been to the vets a couple of times in her life, it freaks her out , she hyperventilates so I am trying to avoid it....is there any other check I could do to check out what might be wrong...is there anything I could do to make her better, she looks right now like it causes her pain to put her back leg down.......sometimes.......
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm a licensed veterinarian and I'll be happy to help. I'm glad to hear that Squeaky is doing so well other than her limp.
Generally, the further down the leg the injury is, the greater the limp. . .holding her leg up would likely indicate that the problem is in her ankle (tarsus) or foot.
Sounds like this limp is not due to anything internal (usually limps are not), so I wouldn't worry about that.
To check her at home I'd first look for any swelling of the joints or foot. Try to compare her injured leg to the other healthy leg. You can check for swelling by looking and by feeling. Also check for any lesions or foreign bodies, and check for bruises between her toes.
If you don't find any abnormalities with this check, then I would firmly press her joints and her bones to see if this elicits any pain. You have to press firmly enough!
If all is OK with this check, then I'd do range of motion in each joint. . .flexion and extension of the ankle and knee and a circular motion with her hip. Again, you do need to be firm enough.
The knee is often a problem with cats and dogs, especially the cruciate ligaments of the knee can be overtressed or torn. In this case, extend the knee (straight leg) and hold the femur (thigh bone) in one hand and the tibia/fibula (bones below the knee) in the other hand. You should not be able to slide the bones forward and backward. If you can, then she has a cruciate problem. If this is the case, there is a repairative surgery for this.
Finally, she may have a ruptured patellar (knee cap) ligament, and her patella would be movable from side to side.
I hope I have explained this well enough to be of help. Please do ask any questions that you have. . .or any comments or concerns.
Dr. Barbara
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you very much....a couple more questions.. if it was the final problem, would that also require surgery? And finally if I did test the range of motion in the various joints and one caused her pain, what can I do? Is it a question of rest? Or ?
Regards
Catherine
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 2 years ago.
Hi Catherine,
If I am understanding you correctly, Squeaky at times is walking normally?????
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes, although in truth this last week she mainly been limping, but it comes and goes as to how bad the limp is....which is why I'm confused .....
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 2 years ago.
This would then indicate that it is a strain or sprain most likely. Resting for 6 weeks would likely heal whatever is causing the limp; no rough playing or jumping up or down. Ideally cage rest would be good but probably not accepted at all by her.
What I would recommend is that you check her for pain, swelling, lesions and foreign bodies, and abnormal movement of the joints now since she does have the limp. If you find any of these, the condition should be monitored every few days. Even if you continue to find nothing, rest her as best you can until she hasn't limped for 1 week. This will probably take 6 to 8 weeks of rest.
Remember, because she can easily hold up the sore limb this is also resting it. Not like us two legged creatures. Rest for us would likely mean crutches for awhile.
Dr. Barbara and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** have been very clear and concise....I will do as you suggest. Best regards
Catherine
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 2 years ago.
You're welcome, and so glad that I could be of help. Even after a rating this thread does stay open for quite awhile, so if any further questions arise as you're going through your exam and her rest, you could continue to contact me.
Good luck!
Dr. Barbara