Front Leg Injury Average Cost

From 327 quotes ranging from $200 - 1,800

Average Cost

$850

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What is Front Leg Injury?

Front leg injuries range from mild and simple to treat to complex and serious. Regardless, it is important to seek medical care if your cat has experienced any type of harm to their forelimbs.

A number of different things can lead to your cat sustaining a front leg injury. Issues with the forelimb can occur due to some form of trauma like a road accident or fall, or even landing wrong after a jump. If you notice something off in your cat's gait such as a limp or a hesitation to bear weight, then they may have suffered a forelimb injury.

Symptoms of Front Leg Injury in Cats

A variety of signs exist to indicate that your cat is dealing with a front leg injury. Listed below are some of the symptoms they may exhibit:

  • Limping (otherwise known as lameness; it can occur continuously or intermittently)
  • Swelling in muscles/joints
  • Redness/warmth of the area
  • Lethargy
  • Reluctance to bear weight on limb
  • Limb deformity (e.g. bone sticking out, bent in odd direction)
  • Agitation (e.g. hissing when damaged limb is touched)

Types

There is a variety of injuries that can cause trauma to the front leg, and they are as varied as the symptoms your cat can present. Some of the more common ailments include:

  • Strained/pulled muscle
  • Bone fracture/dislocation
  • Damaged tendon/ligament (e.g. carpal hyperextension)
  • Infection due to bite or other trauma
  • Arthritis

Causes of Front Leg Injury in Cats

A few things commonly cause injuries to a cat’s front leg. Some can be extremely severe, while others can be treated rather easily. No matter, if your cat experiences any of the following, it is important to seek professional treatment to assure they heal properly:

  • A bite from an animal or insect can lead to an infection of the limb.
  • Traumatic accidents such as being struck by a motor vehicle or falling from heights can cause severe injuries.
  • Jumping can cause tears or strains on soft tissues or joints.
  • Landing from heights can injure front legs.

Diagnosis of Front Leg Injury in Cats

Due to the broad range of causes and types of leg injuries, a veterinarian will be sure to conduct a comprehensive examination to determine just how to handle your cat's injury. One of the first steps a vet will take is asking for a complete medical history. This can help determine if the issues with your cat's front legs are due to illnesses such as arthritis.

Next, your cat will undergo a complete physical examination. During this evaluation, your cat may be sedated in order for the tests to be performed adequately and without causing further stress to the animal. If your cat has been bitten or has an open wound, your vet will check the site for any infections. Blood work may be done as well to determine your cat's overall health. Another primary test conducted is a standard X-ray; however, the scan may not always indicate exactly what is wrong.

Your vet may also wish to check for instability which is done by overextending the damaged limb, otherwise known as a stress radiograph. This particular test is usually done in the case of damage to the ligaments such as the case with carpal hyperextension. In the case of a major trauma, it can sometimes lead to internal damage. If this is the case, further tests will be conducted such as a CT scan.

You can assist in the diagnosis process by keeping track of the symptoms your cat has presented and how long these signs have been occurring.

Treatment of Front Leg Injury in Cats

Once a diagnosis has been discovered, it is important that you follow your vet's treatment plan in order for your cat to heal.

Immobilization

Depending on the injury, stabilizing the limb can help improve your cat's condition. To keep it immobilized, a bandage or splint will be used. Sometimes, this is only a temporary treatment to prevent further damage while a more definite treatment is sought. The use of just a cast or splint within a bandage can successfully treat certain front leg injuries. This immobilization can sometimes last as little as four weeks or longer than six.

Surgery

In the case of a major front leg injury, your vet will recommend surgery. They may insert pins or wires through the skin/bone that often noticeably poke out of the skin. In some cases, these are all removed upon the bone healing. In other cases, things such as pins or screws that are placed on or inside the bone are kept in as long as there are no further complications.

Another surgery your vet may perform concerns joint fusion, or what is known as 'arthrodesis.' This can be temporary or permanent. This procedure can cause a decrease in motion, but even cats that undergo a partial arthrodesis can have greater function. However, some can develop or retain some lameness.

In the event of a severe injury that has caused the front leg to become useless, or if all other options to fix it has been exhausted without success, your vet may recommend amputation. This is a serious option in which your vet will thoroughly examine your cat's overall health to be sure no other treatment can be taken, as well as whether or not their remaining limbs can support them.

Infection Treatment

If the front leg is infected due to cases such as an animal bite, then your vet may want to place your cat under anesthesia first in order to treat the infection. The afflicted area will be disinfected, and if an abscess has formed, then the pus will be removed and the wound promptly flushed and sterilized. Prompt treatment with antibiotics once an infection is noticed can help prevent the development of an abscess.

Medication

Beyond antibiotics to treat infections, your vet may prescribe a couple of different medications depending on the primary treatments. Anti-inflammatory medication will greatly assist in handling swelling as well as any fevers that may arise. To manage your cat's pain, your vet may inject painkillers while the pet is hospitalized. Once sent home, further oral pain medication can be given according to the plan laid out by your vet.

Recovery of Front Leg Injury in Cats

It is always important to keep a close watch on your cat once they have been treated for a front leg injury, and the time it takes to fully recover depends on the severity of the damage.

If your cat has been bandaged, it is necessary to properly observe and care for it daily. You should follow up immediately with your vet if you notice things such as your cat showing major signs of discomfort with the bandage, any sort of odors or sores, or any swelling around the bandage such as in the toes. Also, be sure to keep the bandage clean and dry, and avoid modifying the splint in any way. Your vet will walk you through the proper way to change the bandages, and you should keep to a regular schedule.

Following any treatment, especially surgery, it is essential that your cat is well rested and that activity is restricted. You can confine your cat to a single room, but be aware that they can jump from various surfaces, so be sure to remove anything that they can leap on or off of. Your vet may recommend 'cage rest', something that many owners and pets alike find difficult at times. In spite of any feelings on the matter, it is important to follow the vet's instructions if they have ordered your cat to be in a crate while healing.

Your cat may also arrive home with an Elizabethan Collar to prevent chewing on the area, something typically used for up to two weeks. This is mainly in the case of amputation. Limiting your cat's activity following this treatment is vital until they have recovered.

Make certain to have routine follow-up appointments with your vet. They can more properly check any dressings, remove sutures, and order X-rays to be sure the injury is healing.

Front Leg Injury Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

sugar
mixed
3 Months
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

I have a stray kitten and her front paw is swollen 2x it's size i tried to look at it and she was in a lot of pain can't put her paw down she is still eating and drinking with sugar being a stray i really don't know if she was hit by a car or got bit by another animal

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1191 Recommendations
Without examining Sugar’s paw I cannot really give you that much guidance; it is important to make sure it isn’t an infected bite which may occur even if you cannot see any bite marks. I would keep her rested but ideally take her into your Veterinarian for an examination to determine the underlying cause of the swelling and they will also be able to give treatment. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Gizmo
Domestic cat
2 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Limping

My cat is 2 years old now but I’ve just noticed he is limping of his front paw and meows if we cry to look at him. Although he is trying to walk on it .

What do I do it’s the first incident that he has had

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1191 Recommendations
If Gizmo is limping, rest is best in many cases; putting him in a cat carrier to restrict movement (with food and water) may give adequate amount of rest for a day or two to see improvement. But if the pain is severe, you should visit your Veterinarian for an examination. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Nina
Domestic shorthair
5 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Limping

I came home from work today and was letting my cat in when i noticed she was limping. she seems reluctant to put any weight on it. I didn't see any cuts or scrapes but it did seem like her foot looked like it was protruding on the side. I gently pressed it and she immediately jerked away and meowed/hissed. is there any way to treat this at home, as I dont have a lot of money to pay for a vet?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1191 Recommendations
The problem is that it is impossible to determine the level and severity of an injury without examining Nina, if there was no protrusion from the paw I would suggest putting her in a cat carrier to restrict movement along with some water and food. Since there is a protrusion we have to be cautious as a fracture or dislocation is a possibility and would need to be seen by your Veterinarian regardless of cost. Unfortunately not everything has an ‘at home’ treatment. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Otis
Maine Coon mix
10 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

My cat was outside 2 days ago and came in with a slight limp (front right leg). Yesterday the limp appeared worse and the same today. We've not allowed him back outside so that we can keep an eye on him. Also because we have a number of barn cats outside and don't want him having to deal with them when he isn't feeling well. He appears to be hesitant to jump up or down to furniture, etc...which is probably good as with most cats of his breed he is quite heavy(close to 20 lbs) which I'm sure puts extra strain on his leg if he lands on it. I have checked his foot and leg and can't feel anything unusual. He also doesn't react in pain to me touching his leg or foot. His appetite was normal yesterday and so far today is down a bit but he is still eating. I'm hoping its a strain and a couple of days rest will show improvement but I would appreciate your thoughts. Thanks

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1191 Recommendations
Many times with this type of injury, rest is best; the rest should be movement restriction as cats like to jump which may put strain on the affected limb, placing Otis in a cat carrier and letting him out to do his business would be best so he doesn’t start jumping off the furniture. If you see no improvement over the next day or so I would suggest visiting your Veterinarian for an examination. Also, a little bit of a diet would be good for him in the long term overall. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Shooki
tabby
6 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Sore paw/carpal - stiff and curled

Hi. I woke up this morning to my indoor female cat (about 6 years old) meowing loudly with her front right paw curled up and stiff. She will not put any weight on it. We live in a carpeted apartment and I was only asleep for a few hours in between her paw being normal to now stiff and curled under. Took her to the vet for a physical and they cannot see anything that is wrong- she lets us touch her paw and leg and vet says nothing seems to be broken or fractured. Can not afford the next step of X-rays etc. so I took her home hoping it will heal on its own. Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated. Also, the pads of her sore paw are lighter in coloring than the other healthy three. Vet was perplexed as am I. Thank you

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1191 Recommendations
Various injuries may occur, it only takes Shooki to lose her footing and fall wrong, even from a low height, to present with symptoms of pain like this. I would recommend that you can her confined to restrict movement and let her out to do her business if needed regularly. If after two or three days of strict rest and movement restriction there is no improvement in her leg it would be advisable to visit your Veterinarian again and have a set of x-rays regardless of cost just to check. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Lili
Persian
3 Months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Sleepiness
Less activity
moving front limb in a way hurts
Inability to walk on 1 front limb

my cat started limbing and can't walk on her front left feet when she was about to sleep i tried to move the arm but there was no signs of me hurting the cat but when i touched an area around the front feet joint she wake up and bite me, the cat has a weird limb shape like a dislocated one i don't know really, What is it that happening with the cat is it a fracture or a dislocated bone? and what is the best treatment for her?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1191 Recommendations
Given the circumstances it would be best to have the limb examined by your Veterinarian as deviations of the limb may be caused by dislocations or other issues, both of which would require Veterinary attention. Without examining the limb I cannot say if there is a dislocation or not but would strongly recommend you visit your Veterinarian for a check. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Red
American Shorthair
4 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

My cat is putting some weight, however not all of his weight on to his front right paw. We did not see what might have happened to cause this. He is eating really well and is allowing me to touch is his paw without any discomfort. He is refusing to jump down off of the bed or high spaces but will jump up to those spots.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1191 Recommendations
Sprains and other injuries may cause a cat to be more cautious when jumping down or doing other movements; you can try to restrict movement for a few days to see if there is any improvement, but if the limping continues you should have your Veterinarian take a look at the leg. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Percy
Domestic short ha
11 Years
Fair condition
1 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Limping

My cat is 11 and has started limping on one of his front legs over the last few days. He doesn't seem to be in any pain and nothing looks abnormal. You can touch his leg with no issues and he is still jumping about using both legs to play. It is only when he walks after sitting or laying down when he limps as if it is a bit stiff. He is eating as normal etc, in fact everything about him seems normal other than his limping. What could this be? Thanks.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1191 Recommendations
This could be a small injury or the start of arthritis; without examining Percy I cannot say what the cause is. You could try to restrict movement for a few days to see if there is any improvement in the limp; if not a visit to your Veterinarian would be required to examine the leg and possibly take an x-ray too. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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tootise
Balinese
8yrs
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

limping front leg

a couple weeks ago a male young cat attcked my female fixed older cat.she disapperd for 24hrs i guess she was afraid to come home because he was stocking her.but now she limping and doest want to eat and feels warm.this is 3 times this last yr he has attck her.she looked like she was ok when she came bc home .next day she seems very hurt and limping on her right leg.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1191 Recommendations

The limp may be attributable to the attack from your other cat or from something during her 24 hour absence. Sprains, bites and fractures are all possible causes of limping; I would advise you to have her checked by your Veterinarian and to get some pain relief for her too. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Meridith
mixed
3 Months
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Limping

My 3 month old kitty is very playful and sleeps in my room with me. I make sure to kitty proof the room so she can't get into trouble with chewing wires, etc, well this morning I woke up to give her her breakfast and it took her awhile to come out of my room, and when she finally did, she was trying not to put weight on her front left paw. She is an inside cat, no fleas, has her shots, etc and the only danger in my room is jumping from my bed to the floor which she does routinely day in and day out. I'm hoping her paw isn't more than just a sprain because she hasn't been near anything dangerous. Your thoughts doc?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1191 Recommendations

Unfortunately without examining Meredith I cannot put your mind at ease; cats (like dogs) jump up and down from furniture and manage it 99.9% of the time, sometimes they place a paw wrong and cause a sprain. I would give it a day if she isn’t in a lot of pain, but if there is no improvement visit your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Larry
Maine Coon
5 Months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Limping

Medication Used

Metacam

Our cat started limping on his front left leg 6 days ago, quite severly. I took him to the vet who flexed his legs and compared both front legs. Larry showed no signs of pain (vocally or physically) as a result the vet prescribe some anti-inflammatories for the weekend and said to come back if he continues.

As he continued I took him back for an X-ray. They took a pre anaesthesia blood test as well. The vet could see no signed of breaks or damage however concluded it is his shoulder and tried to categorise it as growing pains.

He has/had a habit of jumping off fences and trees,which I think could have facilitated this injury however with no signs on the x-ray it is confusing.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1191 Recommendations

Young cats (just as young dogs, other animals and humans) have growth plates in the bones which can be damaged with trauma from jumping, landing or falling. Growth plates can stop growing if the trauma is severe; this is something you would need to keep an eye on and administer any pain relief as required in the meantime. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Riley
Unknown
1 Year
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Limping
agitated
Swelling

We recently got a new puppy and our cat strongly dislikes her. We let him out of the house and he didn't come back until two days later, but with major swelling in his front left paw. He has a bad limo and won't put weight on it. Riley also hisses or growls when we try to touch it.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1191 Recommendations

There are many causes of swelling of the paw including trauma, foreign body (small thorn entering the underside), infection, allergy etc… Wash the paw thoroughly and check the paw for any cuts or scratches, if you see nothing or you’re having trouble visit your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Kitty
Mix breed
3 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

leg broken
hanging leg

My cat was under a recliner love seat my husband was moving it and the cat was under it and he let it down on her leg she it's just hanging as she try to walk she cry out when we pick her up she only lay in one spot

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1191 Recommendations

If the leg is just hanging and Kitty is in pain, please visit your Veterinarian or Emergency Veterinarian immediately to as least make Kitty more comfortable and to take an x-ray to assess the severity of the injury. If the leg is broken, the movement of the bone against the other will be extremely painful for Kitty. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Tom Adkins
tabby orange and white
one and a half years old
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

sorness in front leg

my husband was standing on a small foot stool to fix the ceiling fan and it kicked out from under him, our cat was right around the stool, as he wants to help with everything my husband does and the stool must have hit his front leg somehow. he is using that foot to stretch and reach for stuff but puts no weight on it, can i take my cat in for just an x-ray to make sure his leg is not broken? He is eating good and playing just not putting weight on his leg if he can help it.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1191 Recommendations

I cannot see any reason why a Veterinary Clinic wouldn’t allow you to have an x-ray as a paying client. I would advise seeing your Veterinarian for some flexion tests as well as the x-ray to determine the extent of injury. It is possible that there is ligament damage which can take time to heal (ligaments are poorly vascularised so take longer to heal). Being cautious and having the leg examined would be useful to determine if it requires splinting or not. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Belfast
Unknown
4 Months
Moderate
Has Symptoms
Limping
Lethargy
Recently, my cat Belfast has been limping, it started today (7/17/2017) around this morning. She started limping a little after I woke up, I tend to let her walk around freely because she likes playing with her siblings and this includes a lot of running. She does sleep in my room with my brother and we have a bunk bed that she'll sometimes climb up and jump down. She could've sprained her leg but I don't think she climbed up last night and she wasn't limping when I woke up. Her leg is warmer than the rest of her body and she's sleeping much more than normal, touching her leg or paw doesn't seem to bug her, in fact, she's more willing for me to touch and handle it than usual. I'm not sure if one of the siblings was playing too rough and hurt her (there's no blood or wound) or if she found a scorpion and decided to play with it in the house. She was outside yesterday, but she would've shown signs of being stung unless if she got cheat grass in her foot and it just burrowed in. I put triple antibiotic ointment on her leg to see if it was an infection/sting. She's sleeping right now and I haven't seen any worsening or easing symptoms.
Emerson Cole
Domestic Long Haired
Moderate
Has Symptoms
Sorness In Front Leg
Pain
Emerson had growth plates that shifted in his left front wrist June 2016- he was splinted and recovered well (he was 8 mths old at the time). About every 3 months or so he will hold his left paw up while sitting and limp when walking. This lasts for 2-3 days and then stops. The first time post splint I took him into the vet for another x-ray. Everything looked good. This time we are on day 3 and he will put no pressure on his leg at all...hopping on 3 legs. I have a call in to the vet but was wondering if I should schedule an appointment with a specialist- maybe ligaments or tendon issues? The random timing and duration of his leg bothering him is making it hard to figure out!