Kids & Pets
August 10, 2020
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Broken legs in cats very costly

By: Mickey Zeldes
November 2, 2018

I know I’ve said it before but it’s true – things come into the shelter in waves. For instance we currently have four German Shepherds. How random is that? But here’s a first for us - this past month we’ve taken in three kittens with broken legs and got a call about a fourth! Typically we might see one in a year! Which is good because broken bones can be costly to repair. Although I much prefer something like this with a simple fix to a behavior or temperament issue that is harder to correct.

What do you do for a broken bone? Of course it depends on the break. Not all broken bones are treated the same. Where on the leg is the break? Which and how many bones are involved? How severe is the break? Compound fractures, where the bone is sticking out through the skin is pretty serious and needs immediate attention, as opposed to hairline fractures where the bone possibly can mend itself with time and cage rest. Even that has a price tag though as you need to manage the pain and do x-rays to measure progress.

Are you prepared for an emergency like a broken leg on one of your pets? It always happens unexpectedly (unless it’s the result of cancer, like my dog Brandy) so it’s impossible to plan ahead. Going into an emergency hospital, although they do excellent work, can be expensive. Do you have pet insurance? That can help with the wallet pain at least! Veterinarians like to give the best care possible and that often means they will suggest surgery right away to try and save the leg, which can run into thousands of dollars without any guarantees of being successful. It’s a shame for an animal to lose a limb unnecessarily but that can be a more affordable solution, though it’s still by no means cheap. Believe me, I know, since we just had Brandy’s leg amputated and it cost a pretty penny.

We are lucky with the three kittens I mentioned earlier. We don’t really know for sure how the breaks happened. We speculate that they may have been hit by cars – in which case they were pretty lucky to have come away with just one broken leg! The kitten we got the phone call about had fallen from a second floor balcony. So much for cats always landing on their feet. Actually he did land on his feet but that doesn’t mean there won’t be an injury! Fortunately, because they were so young and the breaks weren’t severe, we are letting them heal with just cage rest and pain control. At least for now. We will have to repeat x-rays in a month or so to see if the breaks have healed properly. And if not, then we will need to decide what the next step is. Cross your fingers that they mend well – otherwise we could be looking at a very expensive month!

Upcoming Events:

Bark After Dark – dinner and auction for the animals! Join us for this fun fundraiser on Sat., Nov. 3, 6:30-10 p.m. at the RP Community Center to support the lifesaving programs of the Animal Shelter League. Get your holiday shopping done and give presents that give twice – something nice for the recipient while knowing you helped animals in need. Tickets are just $25/person or $40/couple in advance and are available at the shelter or online at

Mickey Zeldes is the supervisor at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter. She can be contacted at