Thursday, November 02, 2006

So do I panic?

I once called my EMT certification (Emergency Medical Technician) "When to panic". That's all it reallly is; how to identify an emergency and maintain until you can get the person to a hospital. It's damn useful, particularly with a baby in the house, and I figure has saved us at least two or three embarrassing ER visits over the years.

Unfortunately, the current worry is the cat, and I don't know jack about cats. They're cute and furry, that's the sum total of my knowledge on the subject.

Today I shut the cat's tail in the door, about four inches down from the end. It pulled out a big wad of fur and she swore at me as she ran away but there was no unusual amount of yowling; I get similar noises when I make her get off my office chair. When I saw the hunk of fur in the door, I chased the cat down and carefully ran my hand along her tail; once the fur smoothed out, there was no other obvious damage. No blood, no lumps, no weird bumps or kinks. At first, she walked with her poor little tail drooping down and wouldn't use it at all. Within about fifteen minutes, she was holding the tail horizontally, but now, about an hour later, she's still not lashing it back and forth like normal, she's still holding it still.

I've got NO money for a vet's visit unless it's a real problem.

So is it a real problem? Do I panic? Anyone?

(And I'm still knitting on the damn sleeve of the Husbeast Gansey.)

9 comments:

April said...

Perhaps this will help with the diagnosis ...

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_cats_with_broken_tails.html

Hope Kitty gets better soon!

Bells said...

I'd give it 24 -48 hours and see what happens.....

But OUCH!!!

sienna said...

I would pet the tail again and see if she complains. If it's broken she will complain.

Sheepish Annie said...

I'd just keep an eye on it for now. It could just be bruised. Kitty gets extra kibble tonight, though! Payback can be horrible in these situations. Hope the poor feline is OK!!

Alwen said...

A couple of years ago, my then-toddler kid slammed one of our dog's tails in the door and (I think) broke it. Which I didn't realize until later. She is fine today except for a very slight bump, invisible under her long tail "feathers".

However, other than pain relief, what can the vet do? (Other than confirming your suspicions.) Can they splint a cat tail?

Gee, that looks hard-hearted in print, but f'rinstance when I broke my toe, they didn't splint it, just told me to take ibuprofen and tape it to the one next to it, which I was already doing. (And the pain really did subside . . . in 8 to 10 months.)

As long as the tail is not dying, going septic or anything totally blech, she'll be fine. Meanwhile, poor kitty!

Amy Lane said...

Yeah...Alwen's right... we always had 'outside cats' (read, 'cute &furry' and also 'expendable')and we learned very quickly that kitty only got taken to the vet on one occassion--to be put to sleep because there was nothing we could do about it. Basically the kitty's tail could get cut off (perish the thought!) and as long as you stopped the bleeding, she'd be fine. That doesn't mean you'll be her favorite person, but you should definitely NOT panic.

Carrie S. said...

They can't do anything about it in particular--it's like a broken toe, it's going to move no matter what. It'll heal on its own eventually, and the cat may even forgive you. :) Don't panic.

Cindy said...

Keep an eye on her to make sure she is eating, drinking, and eliminating. If she stops doing any of those things get her to the vet. Otherwise, her tail is probably broken and there is nothing a vet can really do for it. One of my dogs broke her tail years ago, the vet said "Yep, looks broken" and that was it. The dog now just has a bump on her tail (just as another commentator described). Good luck.

Emily said...

All the above, plus just keep an eye on the tip of the tail. If it gets weird (like weird smelling or feeling) it might be infected and then they have to amputate the top. But apart from that, no worries, it'll heal. My mom has a cat with the top of his tail standing in a 90° angle, and he's fine (well, except for the 102 other problems he had during the last years! :D).

Greets!