You arrive home from work one evening and you notice that your cat is meowing more than normal or has a lack of appetite, they may be limping or you might notice some swelling.
If you notice any of the above your cat might have a sprain, bruise, or tendonitis. If your cat will tolerate it, apply ice packs to the area for 15 minutes, twice daily. Flowing water improves circulation, reduces swelling, and promotes healing so you could try using your sink or bath and swirl water around the leg joint.
A swollen leg might be a soft tissue injury which usually takes about one to two weeks to recover but you should restrict activity until several days after limping is gone. It is always advisable to visit your veterinarian for a diagnosis. If your veterinarian diagnoses it as a sprain, they will likely prescribe rest as the first course of treatment. As long as your cat is restricted to a cage or small area in the house, where it they can rest, it’s injured limb should begin to heal. They may also prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. These medications help to reduce the inflammation in the cat’s injured limb, which helps to speed healing and recovery. They also help to reduce the pain the cat experiences and can be taken with other cat hip and joint supplements.
Depending on the grade of the sprain, additional treatments may be prescribed, such as splinting the injured limb to protect the joint. After several weeks, the cat’s limb may regain normal function. Some sprains might require anti-inflammatory medications, splinting and possibly surgery to help stabilise the joint. If your cat is prescribed medication and you would like to use additional supplements to support and speed up the healing process, we would always advise that you discus options with your veterinarian.
Swelling is caused when there is an excessive accumulation of tissue fluid within the interstitium, which is a gap or narrow space in-between tissues. It will be impossible to prevent any injury in your cat, think about all the running and jumping they do in their lifetimes. Never give your pet human medication like Ibuprofen, whilst it treats inflammation in humans it can be toxic for cats. Your veterinarian will prescribe a course of medication that will be suitable and more effective.
A swollen leg joint can occur for a variety of reasons and if it has happened to your cat please share how you believe it happened in the comments below.