Albert fell in April and hurt a part of his chest bone, sternum. It was a dramatic jump (that turned to a fall) from a cupboard to the edge of a chair. The first veterinary we went to basically ignored a bone poking out of Albert’s chest and us saying that he is in pain, so we went to another veterinary where he was x-rayed, got pain medication and diagnosed with a dislocated part of sternum. Several days later I called our vet Buba (the first two were in the emergency animal hospitals, since, of course, Albert chose to try to be extra acrobatic on Easter!) and he said that we should wait and see if the bone will go back after some time or not.
Our Easter was not that good; we spent two days in animal hospitals.
Last Friday Albert fell from the kitchen cupboard when he tried to jump down. He did not see me next to the cupboard, in the line of his ‘flight’ before it was too late. He tried to avoid jumping on my head and landed on the edge of one chair with his abdomen and chest. At first he seemed fine, but then he hid and was silent and did not want to play with us. I tried to lift him and check him, and he cried. I felt something hard and sharp poking out of his chest (but no blood or so) and we called one animal hospital where they told us to come there with him for X-ray and an exam.
After some waiting time in the hospital we finally got to see the veterinary and she thought that Albert seemed fine. He was silent and tried to wrestle out of her hands when she wanted to examine him, so she concluded he is ok and no X-ray was needed! We were very surprised, and pointed out the bone or something poking out of his chest and she said ‘Maybe it is a rib, maybe it is piece of his breast bone, in any case we do not do anything about it’. He did not get painkillers either, since she thought he didn’t have any pain! She told us though to monitor if his skin gets paler (in the case of spleen injury) and to come there again if that happens.
That vet was not a speciallist in cats; not very knowledgable about their behaviour anyway, IMO. Cats are experts in hiding pain, especially in front of strangers! What could we do – we paid and went home.
Albert got worse on Saturday and yesterday, and the place of injury got swollen and red and poor cat could not lie as usual and had some pain while breathing. We waited one day to see if he would get better and then yesterday we went to another hospital, Albano (I am really not happy with the first one, Västerort djursjukhus, every time we go there we pay a lot and only sometimes we felt we got a good care for our cats). We called Albano before we went there and they were surprised that Albert was not X-rayed and that he got no meds in Västerort djursjukhus. So we went to Albano.
After 6 hours of waiting (it is Easter, and few veterinaries were working) Albert got an x-ray and exam. Good news – no fracture or inner organs injury. Bad news – one bone has dislocated (the one poking out of his chest) and there is an injury of connecting tissue. The operation to move back the bone would be too complicated and risky. He will probably have a bone poking out of his chest forever, but it will not hurt him after the inflammation has calmed down. Now he got an antinflammatory medication/painkiller (Metacam) and we hope he will get better fast.
Albert is one happy and playful cat; he is playing even now, although he has pain, but then he gets tired and he cannot lie down as usual, so he has to find a position that won’t hurt him as much. Breathing hurts as well.
Here is an X-ray of his injury, the green line shows where the dislocated bone was situated before, and the red arrow points to where it moved.
The injury looks so small on the X-ray, but it is pretty big and swollen in reality. You can see it a bit here on the picture where I hold him so I can show it; I did not want to stretch him too much. It is worse than it looks on the pic, the fur is hiding how bad it is.
Poor Albert. 😦 We give him a lot of love and care and hope he will get better soon. Also, I put a few boxes on the top of the cupboard, so that no cat can jump there again.