Cat Tail Injuries

Cat tail injuries are extremely painful to cats and can be caused by several different situations. A cat's tail is one of the parts of the body that is used to judge distances when walking through narrow paths, and it's also one of the major contributors to the amazing balance that cats are known for. When tail injuries occur, it is best that they be treated immediately in order to hopefully save the tail. If the tail cannot be saved, a cat can still learn to navigate and balance without it.

Cat tail injuries can occur from being slammed in a door, stepped on and even bitten off by other animals. Because the tail is actually an extension of the spine, the vertebrae in the tail are responsible for contributing to movement and bowel control. When the tail is injured or lopped off, some or all of these functions can be lost.

Signs of Tail Injuries

Cat tail injuries are often very noticeable to a cat owner. When the tail is injured, it will likely be bent or there will be a noticeable kink at the site of the break. In addition, a cat owner will probably notice a tremendous amount of pain at the base of the tail. Regardless or where the injury occurs in the tail, the base of the tail will most likely be sore and painful as well.

Paralysis of the tail may also be apparent. Because the tail contains vertebrae stemming from the spine, it's possible for these vertebrae to become broken and for sensation in the tail to be lost. Paralysis is usually detectable when a cat no longer swishes his tail or shows any signs of movement in the tail.

Diagnosing Tail Injuries

In most cases, the onset of the appearance of the tail will give way to great deal of information regarding what actually happened to it. When it has been stepped on or accidentally shut in the door, no additional diagnostic testing will be required.

However, when a cat's tail suddenly appears to be paralyzed, a complete work-up of diagnostic testing will be performed, such as a complete blood count and a urinalysis. These tests will help to detect if an underlying condition has caused the sudden onset of paralysis in the tail, or if there was an unnoticed injury which resulted in paralysis.

Treatment of Tail Injuries

In most cases, and depending upon where the break in the cat tail is, it can mend and grow back together on its own. While surgery can certainly be used to repair a tail that is broken, most veterinarians will recommend that the tail be given a natural chance to heal before surgery is attempted.

When a cat tail is paralyzed and there is no feeling, most of the time the best option will be to amputate. Because the tail can get in the way of normal movements, urination and defecation when there is no feeling, it's usually best to amputate in a case of complete paralysis.