Ask the Veterinarian/my cats leg


QUESTION: I have a roughly 1 yr. old cat who is very dear to me and my children and she has always been an inside cat until the last month. She recently started going outside and one night she decided to stay out all night. The next morning she came crawling out from under the house limping now I'm not sure if she got in a fight with one of the neighborhood cats or ran over by a car/ bike or just fell out of a tree or out the roof of the house but I ran my hand all around the leg that hurts initially I thought the leg was broke I cannot afford the vet fees so I have been monitoring her and she has been ok she is no longer limping but she cant jump she is a spoiled cat who will not drink water unless it is straight from the faucet and I tried to get her to jump up there on her own but every time she tried I watched her right hip pop in and out of place what can I do from home that will help her hip to heal she does not seem to be in pain just cant jump and she knows it she drags herself on my bed or couch with her front paws and to jump down she some how gets her front paws down first and slowly puts her hind legs down if that makes sense but I need to know what I can do to help make her better all the way?

ANSWER: If her hip is popping in and out, there is nothing you can do at home to fix it.  That joint is most likely out of the socket when it pops, the head of the bone is actually circling the socket, called the acetabulum (which is like a volcano shape).  It needs to be replaced with the cat under anesthesia or it will not be able to use it.

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QUESTION: She has been moving fine and as of yesterday 2/25/13 she has been jumping and playing normally I'm not sure what is or was wrong I do not have the money to take her to a specialist what do you recommend?

If she has adapted, then the acute painful phase of the dislocation is over. YOu cannot do anything at home. The joint cannot replace itself because all of the muscles around the head of the femur have contracted, decreasing the looseness of the joint.

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Dr. Louis N. Gotthelf


Dermatology and ear diseases of dogs and cats


I am the author of "Small Animal Ear Diseases; An Illustrated Guide" published by W.B. Saunders. I have over 25 years of clinical experience with a special interest in dermatologic conditions and ear diseases.

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