How to Splint a Cat Leg

If you suspect that your cat has fractured its leg, a temporary splint is needed to prevent jagged edges from injuring the neighboring blood vessels, tissues, and nerves. For stability, a splint should include the joints immediately above and below the fracture. An improperly applied splint is worse than no splint at all.

Place a clean cloth around the limb for padding. Fasten a rolled (U-shaped) magazine, newspaper, or cardboard to the leg with tape.

Many times, the shape of the leg and the cat’s resistance to handling when injured will make it impossible to apply a temporary splint. In this case, gently support the limb with a towel, blanket, or board on the trip to your veterinarian’s office.

The following are some steps that can help you to splint your injured cat efficiently.

  • Before splinting the cat’s leg first try to assess the intensity of the injury. Find out whether there is any severe injury that would require a splinter. In most cases, you will find that the wounded portion is broken and dangling. Swelling may not occur immediately and can be a gradual process. In case of any confusion, it would be ideal for you to take up splint the leg.
  • While splinting the injured portion of your pet cat you may take the help of a family member of yours. While splinting, make sure that your pet makes a minimal movement. For the entire process of splinting, one should be taking charge of bandaging the wound while the other person should supply the materials required for splinting.
  • Collect and assemble all the materials required for splinting. The materials like a wire coat hanger and rolled gauze for wrapping the leg are usually required. In case rolled gauze is not available you may use duct tape or masking tape. Make sure not to use the tape directly on the fur of your pet cat. Rather warp at first the wound with a paper towel or tissue paper to avoid a painful splint removal process.
  • Before splinting the area try to reduce the swelling of the wound as less as possible. You may use a cube of ice for reducing the swelling.
  • Unwind and then roll a wire coat hanger to bring it to a length approximately the size of the limb of the cat. Wrap tape around the sharp edges of the wire to avoid additional wounds or scraps.
  • No matter how docile is your cat it may turn very aggressive if it gets wounded. While splinting the injury you can get attacked by the cat so ask your family member to hold the mouth of the cat.
  • While wrapping the gauze gently place the coat hanger wire alongside the limb. The wrapping should neither be too tight nor too loose.

If you find that the injured leg is crooked do not try to realign or bring the leg back to its original position. Your pet would experience extreme pain if the broken limb hits the internal tissues and blood vessels while realigning.

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