Thursday, 3 September 2009

Tail Base Fracture

Possibly the cat had been jumping off a fence, a fairly simple exercise but somehow the tail had got caught, maybe in a gap in a panel. The downward body weight had fractured the cat’s tail at the base. Being caught with closing doors is another culprit.

This innocuous fracture has cost a lot of cats their lives. There is a nerve that appear in this area, it’s job is to ensure the bladder empties, and knows when to empty. If this is damaged it may take anything from weeks to never to get better.

This fracture means a long hospital stay for the cat as it has to have it’s bladder emptied every few hours. A catheter is not generally placed to empty the bladder as the vets want to see if any feeling is coming back and the cat makes any moves to urinate by it’s self.
The tail hangs down limply and if the cat recovers the tail is amputated so that it does not get caught in anything else. Tails are not repaired if they are fractured just removed.

The cats get very grumpy at having their abdomen squeezed all the time, even if they are sweethearts in between the squeezes. It can take several weeks before the vet is happy for the cat to go home. The cat may or may not be better. Sometimes they are able to take over urinating again, at least with the knowledge that the balloon in their abdomen needs the toilet, often not in litter trays though. If cats are lucky enough to get some feeling back their tails are amputated and they can resume a semblance of normal life.

Often though the urine the cat is passing is from bladder overflow. The owner may take the cat home and take over expressing the cats’ bladder, or come in two or three times a day for the nurse to do it till the owner gets the hang of it. Some people decide that they can do that for the rest of the cat’s life, this is rare.
Even with the owners doing the squeezing it is stressful and places unnatural strains on the cats body, renal failure may start or if it is an outdoor cat the change to indoor cat can be very stressful for them, sometimes the cat will go just downhill the decision is taken that the stress is to much.

The bladder is full and visible in the bottom portion of the x ray it is the large oval shape tipped at a slight upward angle.


joker the lurcher said...

when i Saw the title of this (reading on my phone on a canal in scotland) my heart skipped a beat as i have just grabbed dave's tail to stop him leaping into a lock! they are meant to be in the boat at locks but he is like houdini. still wagging so hopefully ok...

Constable said...

Just sent you an e-mail, sorry for delay.