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10 yr old cat with compound fracture needs surgery

May 4th, 2012, 09:17 PM
Took her to the surgeon today. The xrays showed compound fracture of right front leg: he said the bones were so small he wouldn't really know what to do until he was in there (pin, grafted bone, etc.)

They did a chest scan to be sure her lungs were OK for surgery - but abnormality was found: a little abnormal, I was told, nothing obvious. He said it wasn't his specialty, but it could be asthma (or worse, of course.)

She's had a little cough for a couple of years, we were told it was allergies.

IF she does have asthma, what are the dangers of operating on her? He did specify "A little abnormal." Over the weekend, this surgeon is consulting someone else, but I'd like to be somewhat informed by Monday.

Anyone have any ideas? Thank you so much.

May 6th, 2012, 01:28 AM
Hi Jokerette, and welcome!

I've never had to deal with asthma at all.

Here is what I would do - if I were faced with this.

First, understand that there are specialized self-help online groups for almost every feline health condition. Many have been operating for years and have built up an enormous collective store of information about these conditions. That collective knowledge and experience far outweighs that of anyone's own veterinarian. These people are usually on the leading edge of new therapies, approaches etc.

So, were I in your position, I would present my question to "them".

There are two such groups of which I'm aware that focus on asthma: since 1999, 3500+ members, a very busy group home website:

I just pulled up the second one - there's been no activity (messages) there since January. It was always a less busy group (that has its own benefits) - I'll give you the link anyway - there are some resources on that page.

These groups use a different format from forums like this one and you're given choices for message delivery. I've found it helpful to use a separate email address (create a new one with Yahoo, Gmail etc) as the volume of messages can be overwhelming.

Hope some of this does help.

I just noticed that you said "surgeon". Would that be a specialist?

If you happen to live within travelling distance of a Veterinary College (most have small animal hospitals onsite), that might provide another resource for you.

May 6th, 2012, 02:35 AM
There are a couple of other points that I want to share with you.

If, in the worst case scenario, the leg were too badly damaged and amputation is recommended, you should know that cats are well-known to come through this successfully and enjoy full and happy lives.

If she were mine, I'd keep her very confined when she first comes home, then restrict her to a small space where she has little opportunity to jump/leap etc.

The second point concerns the choice of pain medication. There is a relatively new medication, an anti-inflammatory, which is being touted as the best thing since sliced bread. It does relieve pain remarkably well and is a breeze to administer to cats. The problem is that it destroys kidney cells in any dosage. It's a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and cats have evolved without the necessary liver enzyme to metabolize therefore ends up in the kidneys where it wreaks havoc. This drug is meloxicam, a common brand name is Metacam. see

There are many other pain medications - all "narcotic" - which will provide adequate safe pain relief. I would specifically request that Metacam not/never be used in my cat.