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My cat broke his leg... I need advice!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I came home last weekend to find my 2 year old cat with a very swollen and floppy back right paw. After a visit to the emergency vet, we found out Bailey broke all 4 bones that are close to his foot. It turns out that I took him to one of the most expensive emergency vets (they have their own show on Animal Planet) and their estimate for surgery is pretty pricy. They quoted $2500 to $2800. He’s in a splint right now, so we are hoping it will heal that way. If it doesn’t, we’ll be looking at surgery.

I wanted to ask other people’s opinions about this type of surgery. I heard that there can be a lot of complications and the healing process is really long. He’s already been crated for a week and he’s not too happy about it. Are there other options? I’m just looking for some advice as I’m not sure what to do. I’ve been calling around looking for a cheaper vet, but I worry that I might not get a good one and he could end up worse off than he was.

Has anyone had this happen? Any words of advice?

Thanks,

Erin and Bailey
post #2 of 13
Oh no! How awful....I am sorry, but I have no clue what to tell you.

How did it happen?
post #3 of 13
We just had a shelter kitty come in after being hit by a car and breaking his femur up near his hip. He had a pin put in, and was on pain meds for about 4 days I think, and I saw him then while he was spaced out, but he was able to move around (slowly, and had to stay in his cage), and he could eat and use his litter tray and was in pretty good spirits. Within days he'd been adopted by the vet who did his surgery. Apparently they just need to keep him quiet, not crated while he recovers.
post #4 of 13
Even after surgery, you are looking at crating for a period of time.
One issue with splinting is that the splint can (and often does) shift, which compromises healing.
This type of surgery needs to be done by someone who does it frequently.

Have you considered CSU's vet school? It is one of the best in the country - top 3 for several years, I believe.
post #5 of 13
They may be pricey, but if you're saying that you took your cat to Alameda East, I know that they have one of the best orthopedic surgeons there.

If too pricey, I agree, try to find a Vet School's teaching hospital for the surgery.
post #6 of 13
I had a dog in a cast for about 6 months one time. His leg was firmly wrapped, was seen by a vet constantly to monitor the cast, but we didn't have to crate him. He ran around for close to a year on 3 legs before he healed. But just to clarify - his leg wasn't broken, he had major bone reconstructive surgery - far worse than a break.

I suspect if you find a really competent vet, talk thru the entire treatment process before you go thru with it. My vet at the time gave me a long term deal that included the surgery, pain medication, and follow up treatments for a year. We went every week for the first 2 months, every 2 weeks for the first 6 months, then monthly for the rest of the year. If I had arranged payments by the visit, it would have been cost prohibitive.
post #7 of 13
I have no advice, I just wanted to say that I hope Bailey heals well and quickly for him!
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn View Post
T
If too pricey, I agree, try to find a Vet School's teaching hospital for the surgery.
The teaching hospital won't necessarily be cheaper (its a common myth that teaching hospitals are free), but you could always call and ask for an estimate.
post #9 of 13
While they may not be cheaper for routine procedures, they wil sometimes help an owner out for the opportunity to have a rare/uncommon/challenging case for the vet students.
The down side is that you will have a student performing the procedure. I let a plastic surgery resident work on my broken nose - it's had two other surgeries to fix what he did and still not right.
post #10 of 13
My Brothers Cat broke her leg as a Kitten. It healed crooked but she did ok.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom of 4 View Post
While they may not be cheaper for routine procedures, they wil sometimes help an owner out for the opportunity to have a rare/uncommon/challenging case for the vet students.
The down side is that you will have a student performing the procedure. I let a plastic surgery resident work on my broken nose - it's had two other surgeries to fix what he did and still not right.
That might be true in human hospitals, but its not true at veterinary teaching hospitals... at least not the one I go to. All non-elective (not spay/neuter) surgeries are performed by residents and/or board certified surgeons.

I have only seen procedures performed for free when there was some sort of research aspect associated with it, and your critter has to have a REALLY rare condition for that to happen. I only saw it happen once during my entire year of clinical rotations.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the comments!

I've called around a bit and I need to get copies of his x-rays for places to give estimates. I'll check with the CSU vet school too once I get the x-rays.

Hopefully his first follow-up on Wednesday will go well and we won't have to do surgery. :-) Just have to keep our fingers crossed!
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misskiwi67 View Post
The teaching hospital won't necessarily be cheaper (its a common myth that teaching hospitals are free), but you could always call and ask for an estimate.
A school will almost always be cheaper than having the surgery done at Alameda East, they are not, not, not cheap there, but they are competent.
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