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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 22457
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats and am happy to discuss any questions you have.
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My cat was hit by a car in Thursday night and has been left

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My cat was hit by a car in Thursday night and has been left with a broken leg. Our vets have applied a ***** ***** splint to his rear leg and told us to keep him in a dog crate. We have no indication of how long this will continue, but it is very distressing and seems cruel. He is unable to sit on his litter tray so is becoming caked in his own urine and faeces. When he attempts to walk his splint drags behind him, which looks extremely uncomfortable and awkward. He is a young normally active cat and we as owners feel that we have been left in a distressing situation that is hard to cope with. Our suspicion is that our cats after-care would have been better if this had not occurred over a weekend. Luckily he is insured, but we still feel very unsure about the current situation...Is this normal?

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Did his vet take xrays of the leg at any stage?

Did they comment on the type of break?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
They took several x-Rays. He has fractured his tibia. They said that it was a very clean fracture.
Thank you Helen,

Now just like fractures in our own bones, the nature of the fracture is what dictates our treatment options. The worse the fracture, the less options we have and the more likely that an invasive (ie surgery) treatment will be required. Though, as in Potion's case, the more clean cut the fracture, the more options and more chance a non-invasive treatment like a split can be used to facilitate the bone healing.

Now if he has a clean break of the tibia where the edges are lying aligned, splinting the leg with a ***** ***** bandage (plus his fibula bone which lies next to the tibia will act as a splint too) is a reasonable non-invasive treatment option. That said, it does mean 4-6 weeks of wearing this bandage and being restricted in his activities (hence the dog crate).

Now if Potion is not a cat that would tolerate 4-6 weeks of strict rest in the crate while his bones quietly knit themselves and is struggling with this bandage (which is not going to be good from the point of view that we need those fractured bone edges to be lying undisturbed), then Monday morning you will want to have a serious discussion with his vet. Because while not absolutely necessary with this type of fracture, surgery may be the best option for Potion's mental health. It would still mean strict rest but if we did use surgical intervention, we'd have our "splint" (or pin) on the inside and he would have more control over this leg then he does at the moment. And I would say that if you think he will struggle with a month or two of strict rest, then it may be worth considering this option now since we'd hate to have a failure to heal using the split and wind up needing surgery (and more rest) after all.

Overall, I don't think the weekend has lead to the treatment course being used for your lad. I suspect the nature of the fracture and the intact fibula acting as a little internal bone splint has made your vet feel that non-invasive splinting (like a cast used in people) will allow the bone to heal successfully. Still if you are seeing your poor wee lad struggle and don't think he can handle 4-6 weeks of being confined in the dog crate and having bandages replaced every few days to weeks; then it is worth bringing this to his vet's attention at this stage. They can take your concerns on board and discuss alternative surgical options for this particular fracture. Or if your vet isn't able to perform the fracture repair at their practice, they can refer you to an orthopaedic specialist (either at a vet school or privately) who can assess Potion's fracture and work with you to take the best steps for him and to ensure success in his healing this fractured bone.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.
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