Signs That Your Cat’s Limp Requires Urgent Attention

When it comes to your cat’s lameness, most cases can typically wait until the next business day for veterinary care. However, there are certain conditions accompanied by limping that require immediate attention at the nearest emergency veterinary hospital.

Signs of lameness in cats that warrant emergency care include:

1. Dragging a limb
2. Not bearing weight on a limb
3. Extreme lethargy
4. Uncontrollable bleeding
5. Excessive swelling
6. Excessive vocalization
7. Abrupt worsening of a limp

If your cat is experiencing minor lameness but also displays concerning signs such as vomiting or diarrhea, they may require emergency treatment for the underlying cause rather than just the limp itself.

There are various causes of lameness in cats, and while some may be worrisome, they do not necessarily require immediate emergency care. For instance, a muscle sprain or strain should not prompt a rush to the nearest emergency hospital. However, certain conditions do demand urgent attention, including:

1. A fractured limb
2. Paresis or paralysis of one or more limbs
3. A deep or large wound that continues to bleed
4. A bite from a venomous insect or snake
5. Involvement in a car accident

Some of these situations may initially seem less severe, but internal injuries could develop and necessitate treatment. For example, if your cat is hit by a car and displays only minor road rash on their legs and a slight limp, a comprehensive examination may reveal damage to their liver, spleen, kidneys, or bladder, requiring intensive hospitalization.

Another common scenario that requires emergency treatment is when a cat is bitten by another pet. Although puncture marks may appear small, these wounds quickly become infected. Furthermore, if a pet grabs and shakes your cat, significant damage to underlying tissues can occur, potentially leading to a serious problem.

Determining whether your three-legged pet needs emergency care can be challenging. Therefore, we encourage you to reach out to our team for a consultation about your pet’s condition. We can provide guidance and advise you on whether emergency treatment is necessary.