Freddie is a 4 year old black cat who is generally fit and well. In mid-February he staggered home one morning, obviously injured, so his owner brought him to Cogges Vets.
Vet Megan examined Freddie and found that he had very painful hindlimbs, asymmetrical hips, no sensation in his tail and scuffed hindlimbs which probably indicated that he had been hit by a car.
Freddie was admitted for fluid therapy, pain relief and further investigations. Once we were happy that Freddie was stable he was sedated for x-rays. These showed multiple right sided pelvic fractures in the ileum (wing like structure at the front of the pelvis) and acetabulum (socket of the hip joint). There was a floating segment which was impinging on the pelvic canal. Radiographs of his chest and abdomen and the rest of his hind limbs were unremarkable.
We were concerned that Freddie’s lack of tail tone could indicate nerve damage that would make it difficult for him to pass urine and faeces. The severity of his injuries meant that Freddie needed specialist orthopaedic surgery which unfortunately is not something that any of the permanent vets at Cogges are able to perform.
Once on pain relief Freddie was much more comfortable; he started eating and drinking and was able to pass urine. He was started on liquid paraffin to make his faeces soft and easy to pass.
Usually a case like Freddie would need to be transferred to a specialist veterinary hospital for surgery. We are fortunate to have an arrangement with a visiting orthopaedic surgeon, Hannes Bergmann, to come and perform some of these procedures at Cogges. A few days later Vet Hannes arrived with his trolley full of surgical instruments and implants, ready to repair Freddie’s pelvis.
The ileal fracture was repaired using a plate and screws. The acetabular fracture was allowed to heal conservatively. Hannes removed the top part of the femur (the “ball” part of the ball and socket hip joint) to allow a false joint to form, supported by the hip muscles, taking the strain off the acetabulum. Post operative xrays showed that the fracture had been well reduced.
The plan was for Freddie to be strictly rested in a crate for at least 6 weeks before having repeat x-rays. He recovered well from his surgery and was discharged a few days later. At his initial post op check he was doing really well, coping with his new restricted lifestyle and his mobility was as expected for this stage in his recovery. We will see him back regularly and in a few weeks we will repeat his x-rays for Hannes to check.