August 2012 Issue

Broken Bones: All Cats Are at Risk

Fortunately, most feline fractures can be repaired by a veterinary surgeon. Here’s what you should know.

Despite their typically strong, agile, and resilient bodies, cats are subject to a wide variety of musculoskeletal disorders — diseases and injuries affecting the complex structure of bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments that give shape to their bodies and enable them to move about. Fortunately, most of these disorders — such as congenital malformations, inflammatory diseases and tumorous growths — are relatively rare in cats. Less rare by comparison are bone fractures that result from traumatic events, such as when a cat is hit by a car, for example, or falls from a tree. A fracture can occur when any physical force applies sudden and excessive pressure on a bone until it snaps at its weakest point. Although fractures occur less frequently in felines than they do in dogs, cats with broken bones are treated once or twice each month at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals (CUHA), according to Ursula Krotscheck, DVM, an assistant professor of clinical sciences at the University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

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