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Fracture of the Pelvis in Cats

By: Dr. David Diamond

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If it is determined that surgery is not required for your pet or if it is not necessary to pursue the surgical option, you must strictly confine your cat to allow the pelvis to heal and prevent excessive pain. Because the bone fragments are not stabilized when this course of treatment is followed, excessive motion or activity can prevent the fracture from healing at all or cause it to heal in a location that interferes with motion of the leg or with structures that pass through the pelvic canal like the colon, urethra and uterus.

After surgery and discharge from the hospital, the animal must be restricted from activity to allow the fracture to heal properly. Activity must be restricted for several weeks after surgery (the duration will vary depending on the severity of the injury, the type of fixation that was used, and the age of the animal). Restricted activity means that the animal should be kept confined to a carrier, crate, or small room whenever he cannot be supervised, the animal cannot play or rough-house, even if he appears to be feeling well, and the use of stairs should be limited.

Analgesics (pain medications) or anti-inflammatory drugs should be given as directed by the veterinarian. Analgesics, such as butorphanol (Torbugesic®) can cause sedation, and anti-inflammatories, such as aspirin or carprofen (Rimadyl®), can cause an upset stomach. Your veterinarian should be informed if any adverse side effects do occur.

The skin incision needs to be monitored daily for signs of excessive swelling or discharge. These can indicate problems with the incision or possibly infection. Contact your veterinarian if these occur.

If at any point prior to the recheck radiographs your pet stops using the leg again after some improvement following surgery, there could be a problem. Again, the veterinarian should be notified.

Several weeks after surgery, the pelvis will need to be radiographed again to make sure the bones are healing well. If the healing has occurred as expected, the cat's activity level will be allowed to increase slowly back up to normal over the next few weeks.

In general, any other implants that were used in the repair will be left in place unless they cause the animal a problem at some point in the future. Potential problems can include migration (movement) or infection of the implant.

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