Pelvic Fractures

Skelton_side_2 They say that cases come in threes, but that’s not one of my personal superstitions (and I do have a few).  On Sunday I saw two hit-by-car cases, both with a broken pelvis.  Quite a coincidence, and two was enough for one day, thank you.

The pelvic bones, the pelvis (as in Elvis), the pelvic girdle, the birth canal. Everybody’s got one.  It’s what your legs hook into on the bottom and your backbone on the top. ["The Leg-bone connected to the — Hip-bone…"]  If a dog or cat gets hit by a car on the rear, the pelvis often takes the impact.  The patient can’t get up and can’t walk, even though his legs are okay and his back is not broken.

Pelvis_model_rear_close_2 Here’s how it looks from the rear. Notice how irregularly shaped and twisty these bones are.  What you can’t see on our little plastic skeleton is the tremendous amount of muscle and tendon that surrounds it.  Both those factors make it very difficult to approach the bones surgically, or to bend and contour a bone-repair plate to fit it.  It takes one heck of a good orthopedic surgeon to get in there and put a pelvis back together.

Pelvis_dog_2 Fortunately, when the hip joints are intact, you usually don’t need to surgically repair things.  All those muscles and tendons that make the bones so inaccesible will also act as a "self-cast".  They will hold it together well enough that most cases will knit back in two to four weeks.  If the spine is okay and the hips and legs are okay, the only treatment needed may be bed-rest and nursing care (including pain control, of course).  This is Sunday morning’s dog patient.

Pelvis_cat_2 This is Sunday afternoon’s cat patient.  These patients need help with their toilet work.  Personal hygiene is a little difficult for them.  You’ll have to bring them their food and water — we don’t want them dragging themselves around the room.  You have to be alert to be sure that they are able to eliminate, as some individuals have damage to either the bladder, the rectum, or the nerves that control them.  Sometimes the sciatic nerve is damaged along with the bones and the animal loses the use of a hind leg, even though all the bones heal up okay.

Also, while these bones usually knit back together well enough for the patient to walk and go potty okay, the "birth canal" will very likely be deformed.  If the pet is an intact female, it’s important to have her spayed, as she will probably be unanble to give birth naturally.

It’s a pretty tough injury, but the prognosis is usually good.

583 thoughts on “Pelvic Fractures

  1. dbird says:

    hi, my cat got injured yesterday the vet said it was a car injury, he doesnt think there’s a break in his pelvis but has had a severe knock to it – leaving him in a lot of pain and not able to stand for more than a few seconds, he has only just today found the energy to get up and wee in his tray, he wont eat or drink much but will eat yoghurt is this ok for my cat.. he is 9 mths old

  2. dbird says:

    can i also add that vet did give him 10ml of Vetergesic Anaesthetic, A ketofen anti-biotic injection & A Synulox anti inflamatory injection.. how long will it take before he will be able to walk again.. he looks at me with his big sad eye’s and i feel totally helpless..

  3. Doc says:

    If you are dealing with an uncomplicated pelvic fracture, most cats that young would be up walking in two weeks.

    If it is just severely bruised, then a few days may see your baby up and going again.

    It’s important to stay in touch with your veterinarian and keep him/her posted as to the kitty’s progress.

    Sometimes something is weakened in the initial injury and doesn’t break until later. Be alert for any changes, good or bad.

    I think the long-range prognosis is good, based on what you have told me.

    Yogurt should not hurt your cat. Right now, the best diet is the one you can get him to eat. Don’t worry about spoiling him. He can’t get well if he doesn’t have any fuel.

    If he is still painful, you might ask your veterinarian about buprenorphine. This is a mild narcotic that is usually well tolerated by cats.

    Good luck.

    • Beth Walker says:

      My 1 yr old basset hound was hit by a car. We rushed him to an animal hospital and x-rays confirmed he has an acetabular fracture to the hip. While the vet recommended surgery it is just not an option for us. The emergency visit alone whipped us out.
      He is eating, drinking, and has used the bathroom but has a very hard time going from laying to sitting. He will stand on all 4 legs but will not walk. Is it normal that he won’t walk at all? He did wag his tail this morning which he hasn’t done since the incident happened two days ago. I’m just worried about my boy. It’s killing me watching him in such pain.

      • Doc says:

        Hello, Beth,
        This is a difficult situation. With pelvic fractures that do not involve the joint surface, an imperfect healing is usually not a big deal. The fragments stick together a little funny, but things stick together and then it doesn’t hurt. When the joint surface is involved, the pieces will probably still stick together, but there will be a kind of “stair-step” in the socket, instead of a smooth cup. This will grind on the “ball” causing severe arthritis. It is a very difficult area to perform surgery on, due to the irregular shape of the bone and the large amount of surrounding muscle tissue. This necessitates a very good surgical specialist, and unfortunately does cost big bucks.
        Once your dog has healed from the initial trauma, a salvage surgery could be performed at a later date. A femoral head ostectomy (FHO) involves removing the “ball” of the ball and socket. This eliminates the pain from bone-on-bone in the joint. There is enough muscle and tendon support to enable the dog to walk, though he won’t be an athlete. This is still a major surgery, but way cheaper than trying to fix that socket.

    • Shy says:

      Hello, my almost two-year-old dachsador was hit by a car yesterday the night of the accident he tried to stand once at the er he did take a couple of steps for them but he wouldn’t eat once home he ate he has three fractures on the left side of his pelvis he’s been resting since he’s on pain meds I tried picking him up and taking him out as the vet suggested with him being potty trained but he hasn’t eliminated yet he only did a little earlier on his puppy pad that he is laying on should I give him time since it all just happened yesterday?
      How long will it be before he recovers? And when will he eliminate?

      • Doc says:

        Hello, Shy,
        Obviously, I haven’t seen your dog, so I cannot give specific advice. Generally speaking, if there is no joint involvement or other injury, 2 to 4 weeks is the average time to get up walking again.
        I would suggest adding metamucil (unflavored psyllium mucilloid powder), 1 teaspoon per 20 pounds of body weight, to each feeding. This should help keep him from getting constipated.
        I suspect he isn’t eating very much at this point, so I wouldn’t expect much bowel movement until his appetite picks up.
        My usual recommendation is a well-padded bed, with easily cleaned surfaces, and very restricted activity (like just enough room to turn around).
        Best wishes.

    • Crystal says:

      Hello my daughter accidentally dropped my guinea pig yesterday and he is eating and drinking but he is barley walking he can poo and pee I think he has a broken pelvis will he be able to heal??

      • Doc says:

        Hello, Crystal,
        I’m afraid I don’t have much experience with this sort of injury in pocket pets. If the hip sockets are intact and there is good nutrition, I would think that the prognosis is good.

  4. ellen says:

    hi my 2 year old shitzu got hit by a car a week ago, he stayed at the vets overnight and got released the next day. he has a seperated pelvis and is currently taking pain relief but hasnt moved much, he wont get up for the toilet and seems to be in pain when moved…. is this normal….

  5. Doc says:

    Hello, Ellen,

    It usually takes two to four weeks for an uncomplicated pelvic fracture to knit. Most will heal with good nursing care and “bed rest”.

    During this time, the dog does require assistance to eliminate, as it cannot stand or walk without severe pain.

    Pain control is certainly part of good nursing care. Be sure to stay in touch with your veterinarian and let them know how your dog is doing. You may need to get the meds refilled before the dog is actually trying to get up and walk.

    If he develops new signs of problems, or does not appear to be gradually improving, you should call your veterinarian.

    Good luck.

  6. Paula says:

    My beloved Yorkie got hit by a car on 7-21-09. He fractured his pelvis in 4 locations (both sides). Truly a miracle he survived. He had pelvic surgery on 7-24-09. He came home on the 27th and was doing well. However, this weekend he has not been eating, drinking, and whimpering quite a bit. (he’s on pain meds.) I’m worried. What could have happened?? He was doing so well. I’ll be taking him to the vet tomorrow. How long will he experience pain? It breaks my heart to see him in such pain.

    • Fedelina Mendez Andres says:

      Hi my 7 mth old pug got got stuck by the tire of a truck and both hips I’m told are severely fractured. I was told he’ll need surgery. It took him a whole day to eat and potty which we’ve been helping with. They haven’t mentioned other injuries.Do these fractures have a chance at healing right if not taken to surgery are there other options I can mention to see if it will be a fit alternative as we could barley afford to take him to the er

      • Doc says:

        Hello, Fedelina,
        If the hip joints are damaged, they are not going to heal without surgery. Pelvic fractures are a different story, but if the hip joints themselves or the femurs (thigh bones) are damaged, that isn’t going to heal on its own.

        Without seeing your dog and its X-rays, I could be giving you poor advice. The doctor seeing your pet is your best source of information. It sounds like you have unanswered questions. When we don’t hear from you, we assume that everything is good. We don’t mind you asking questions until you are satisfied that you have a good understanding of the problem.

      • Paula Garza says:

        My 7 month old lab got hit by a car and broke her Elvis in 3 areas. No nerve damage and no other broken bones (hips are OK). Surgery was not an option because they quoted us $6K-$10K.

        5 weeks later she is doing great physically. My concern is her ability to eliminate. We have her on stool softeners and it seems to just take her a bit longer but she goes. I have notice that she is leaking irons at times. I think the broken bones are putting pressure on her bladder. I’m worried about future scar tissue, etc. and feel like my time with her is limited.

        My question are:

        1). Do you think the urine issue will get worse or better?

        2) Is if possible to do surgery to shave some of the broken bone off to relieve the pressure on her bladder?

        Thank you.

        • Doc says:

          Hello, Paula,
          I think it is possible that things will improve as healing continues, but it is difficult to give a meaningful answer without knowing what the problem actually is (that is, is there really some compression of the bladder now, or is the urine leakage due to something else?)

          “Shaving off” bits of bone is a tricky business, as the bone often grows back bigger in response to the trauma of being re-injured.

          If the problem continues, then having your dog re-evaluated by your veterinarian is the next step.

  7. Doc says:

    Hello, Paula,

    It is common to have pain for several days after such an extensive surgery, but it should be getting better instead of worse.

    Please be cautious about increasing your dog’s medication. This may or may not be safe, depending on what type of medication you have. Overdosing on some types of medicine can cause serious stomach damage, and possibly fatal kidney damage. Others can be increased quite a bit.

    You might just try calling your veterinarian to ask about the safety of this until you can get in to see him/her.

    Good luck.

  8. Johanna says:

    My dog was hit by a truck yesturday has a fracture in 4 locations. I can tell that she needs to eliminate but it hurts her to bad to try. Is there any way I can help her or do I just wait? I have been feeding her canned dog food with stool softeners to help.

    • Anthony says:

      Are Boston terrier for which we had for over 8 years was a huge part of me and my ladies life. Unfortunately our dog became sick with an imploded bladder and we were unable to let him be a part of this world due to suffering he would have had to overcome he was 8 years old and he will always be remembered. We said that we would never be able to get another pet. Which probably to say less than 3 weeks later our friend heard our story and offered us a puppy that she had come to take care. His story was his owner had lost her house. My friend my friend was shopping at the Dollar general and seen a homeless lady with a 4 week old puppy. Puppy had no hair hundreds of fleas and eyes were sick with mucus, so my friend gave her $100 and took the puppy. She told me the story and I immediately purchased the dog from her. I was not allowed to take the dog until he was a few weeks older. He is now become the most exciting part of my day week, and he is all I think about constantly. Me and my wife live on a busy Street, that only has a 25 mile an hour speed limit. Everybody tries to cut through to the big roads doing about 55 to 60 MPH through our neighborhood. I came in from the backyard and sat on my couch on Wednesday afternoon and notice my door was cracked, in which I replied to my wife where is my baby of course my puppy is who I call baby his name is Sonny. My life ran outside and noticed that the cross the street neighbor had sunny in their arms, which is strange because Sunny never goes across the street and there’s never out of my sight for more than a minute or so. Needless to say despite the circumstances or the situation at hand the cross the street neighbor heard my wife hollering for Sonny, in which time she sat Sunny down and he began to run towards our house. My wife at that time seen a pickup truck flying down our road she waved jumped up and down and screamed slow down slow down please please slow. It seemed like the driver was on a mission of aggravation, which time he be lined for my puppy can’t figure out why in the world somebody would do that to it tiny chiweenie that is barely even 30 weeks old, my puppy was able to make it out from underneath the car without being torn open, unfortunately he has a compound fracture in his leg that needs orthopedic surgery, and the fracture of his pelvis bone it is all surgery capable of fixed. I’m 47 years old work everyday and pay all my bills. At 47 years old I have tried my hand in credit and have found myself on the lower end of score pole. My doggy has been a fighter since the day he was born he is overcome not having a mother, and learning how to eat for the first part of his life, not having his brothers and sisters next to him and learning how to tussle and play, in the fleas being so horrible that they took a part of his vision away from him. And now an aggravated driver who knows why he was aggravated has tried to take his life away from him. Sunny is much stronger than that he is here next to me without a whimper in his day, hoping that I find a way to let him feel the concrete and grass under his paws once again. If anybody could find it in their heart to please help, my address is 4721 Town & country boulevard Tampa Florida 33615. My phone number is 813-679-45 78, me and my wife’s names are Tony McCall, and Heather. If you took the time to read this paragraph that we have set up in hopes that our doggy can once again be himself we thank you sincerely Tony

  9. Doc says:

    Hello, Johanna,

    So sorry about your pet’s injury.

    Is she taking pain medication? I am sure that she needs it.

    The canned food and stool softener is a great idea. It is possible that your dog will need an enema.

    You really should talk to your veterinarian about this. They may need to recheck her situation, and they can help you with the enema, if needed.

    Good luck.

    • Lori says:

      I just came back from my country vet he check my pug and said he thought he had a pelvic fracture no x ray machine in office until Monday. He can’t stand and he gave him a dose of morphine he told me I could take him to an emergency vet 100 miles away there was no blood in stool and with recital exam he didn’t move hind quarters is there a possibility he can recover from this I’ve had him since he sat in the palm of my hand and he’s 12 he also breathes like his in pain with a fair whimper

      • Doc says:

        Hello, Lori,
        Sorry I didn’t see this earlier. Most dogs with pelvic fractures do recover, especially if the hip joints are not involved.

    • Brandy says:

      My dog was hit and her pelvis is broke and her back hip is dislocated what can i do to help her pee? She went one time but has been eating and drinking alot still but hasnt gone to the bathroom.

      • Doc says:

        Hello, Brandy,

        I would want to be sure that her bladder is intact, and not leaking into her abdomen. It is also possible to have a torn urethra, leaking into the tissue.

        As far as just helping her up, sometimes using a towel as a sling around her belly will work. There are also commercially available slings that can be used to support the hindquarters.

        These look good to me.

    • Brittany says:

      I’m trying to figure out what the name of the fracture is on the back left leg of my pitbull caused by being hit by a vehicle. I was told it was multiple fractures and that she was to be put on cage rest and it was a very complicated area to heal and would take approximately 8 weeks or more. Long story short Ive spent upwards of $700 on her vet bill and medications and in less than 2 weeks she must be seeing again for examination. unfortunately I cannot pay that bill although I desperately need to get her there. I ask this so I hopefully I can get the assistance I need so she can get the assistant she needs. Thank you in advance.

      • Doc says:

        Hello, Brittany,
        I’m not sure how I can help you. Your description sounds like there are pelvic fractures. If the hip joint is not involved, many will heal with cage rest, even with multiple fractures. I would suppose that the recheck is to be sure that your dog is making satisfactory progress.

        I am guessing that you are supporting her when taking her out to use the bathroom, and that she has been on some pain control medications.

        It’s not really possible for me to give you meaningful specific advice when I have seen neither your dog nor your X-rays.

  10. omar says:

    my dog got run over by a jeep, fortunately he survived but he has a dislocated joint,its called some thing like a femor or pelvic fracture,there arent any vet surgeons around and i have been advised by my vet to just give him 6ml of brufen and restrict his movement as much as possible. The dog is in a lot of pain as he cant even sit, please advise

  11. Doc says:

    Hello, Omar,

    The femur is thigh bone (from knee to hip joint). The pelvis is the girdle of bone that forms the birth canal (in females).

    If the joint is dislocated, it really needs to be put back in place. When this is not possible, some dogs will eventually develop a “false joint”. They have enough muscle and tendon to support the body weight, even when the “ball isn’t in the socket” of the hip joint.

    Unfortunately, sometimes the bone-on-bone will be too painful for the dog to walk on this.

    If the femur is broken, that is very unlikely to heal back together on its own. It has happened, but usually will wind up with a non-union. The ends of the bone heal over and quit hurting, but they don’t stick together so the dog can walk on it.

    If only the pelvis is broken, it will usually heal on its own, given a couple of weeks of supportive care.

    You do want to control the dog’s pain in the meantime, no matter what the injury is. Ibuprofen is of questionable safety in dogs. Some can tolerate it okay, but there have been reports of dogs who develop a bleeding stomach ulcer after only one pill.

    If you are using over-the-counter human medications, you may be better off with something like Tylenol (acetaminophen). Most dogs can tolerate one regular strength tablet (325mg) per 40 pounds of body weight, given every 8 hours.

    I can’t really prescribe for a dog I haven’t seen.

    Usually the pain gets a lot better after 3 days or so, but it’s pretty tough right now. You have to help him in and out to eliminate his waste. Sometimes using a towel under his belly as a sling will allow him to walk on his front legs some.

    You want to come as close as possible to complete bed rest for the next two weeks.

    Stay in touch with your veterinarian.

    Good luck.

  12. Celeste Rousseau says:

    My precious Schnauzer/Yorky mix was hit by a car & broke her hip 7 years ago. She has healed and walks on her leg from time to time but I have noticed great sensitivity when I touch her leg lately.(nerve damage?)She goes under the bed a lot which tells me she is in pain.I would love to find a natural alternative to help her with pain and possible arthiritis. I did have her on Previcox at one time but it seemed to upset her already sensitive stomach.Somebody recommended a joint pill by Drs foster& Smith.i would love to get your input on this. Any ideas or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

  13. Celeste Rousseau says:

    Living in NC,I have noticed a horrible flea infestation. Used frontline plus on my dogs only to discover fleas 3-4 days later. I hate the idea of dousing my dogs with all these chemicals. I have investigated natural alternatives and was wondering if you have had any experience with this and it’s effectiveness?

  14. Doc says:

    Hello, Celeste,

    It is possible that the Frontline isn’t working, but I suspect that you have an infested environmental area. The point is that most of the flea’s life cycle takes place OFF the animal in the environment. Each flea lays hundreds of eggs each weak, and they fall off into the environment. Once they develop into a new flea, they can remain dormant for months in your yard, carpet, upholstery, etcetera. This is why having a flea-control product that stays on the pet for one month is so great. When the animal returns to the flea-cocoon-infested area, and pick up new fleas (within seconds). This may be what you are seeing. If so, they will be very small and black. The Frontline should kill the new fleas die before they start the cycle over again. If you are seeing big brown fleas, then they have been there feeding for a while and we need to do something else.

    Here’s a link to the flea life cycle put up by some other nice folks.

    I don’t really have much experience with “alternative” treatments. If you have a specific substance or product in mind, I would be interested in investigating it for you.

    For our patients who don’t do well with Frontline, we have had good luck with the once-a-month pill Comfortis.

    Good luck

  15. Aoife says:

    Hi, my cat (10 months old neutered male) was hit by a car yesterday morning, and only managed to get himself home at 2 this morning. Poor thing had dragged himself through many unfamiliar gardens as his usual routes all involve high fences. Last night it looked really bad with no pain response in the tail or back legs, but today he’s moving his legs, twitching his tail, and even tried to put a little weight on his legs to shuffle himself back in his crate after his examination. There was blood in his pee last night, and we’re not sure what control he has over his elimination. The vet isn’t operating on the pelvis fracture (confirmed by x-rays), so that means it probably does’t affect the hips or ischium right? It’s apparently a fairly bad fracture though. How big should his immobilisation area be? (I’m hoping there’s no lasting nerve damage, as he’s such a fighter and I really want to see him get better). I have a hallway which has nothing to jump up on (all my other rooms do) and is about 3 foot by 7 foot. I could narrow it down further if needed with a big bit of mdf or chipboard something. Is there a spectrum of lasting nerve damage to bladder and bowel, or is it either on or off? If there’s only minor damage and continence problems, I would not be adverse to seeing if there’s a way to work through it (I’ve lived with a cat with sleep-incontinence before, and it’s a pain but when you love them you do your best).

    Just so worried for him right now.

  16. Doc says:

    Hello, Aoife,

    It sounds to me like you need to get in better communication with your veterinarian. He/she is better equipped to answer, based on direct knowledge of your cat’s case.

    Generally speaking, I would restrict the cat to a travel crate or playpen type enclosure. We don’t want him dragging himself all over the house. Think bed-rest.

    There are certainly gradients of neurological function loss. However, it is possible that there is no permanent nerve damage and what you are experiencing is temporary poor function due to swelling and inflammation.

    I am assuming that you veterinarian is providing pain control medicine for your cat. Cats do not tolerate most human medications for pain, so please do not give your cat medicine without consulting with his doctor.

    Most pelvic fractures, even when severe, do allow for a return to normal function, provided that the joints are not involved.

    Good luck.

  17. Steve says:

    Hi,my female cat that is about 7 months old got runover by a car and we talked to the vet and she said to put it in a confined space and wait for some results. She must have pelvic fracture because she can walk or more of a waddle on her legs but she doesnt seem to want to eat and she is in lots of pain. She can barely stand herself up for a few seconds. I dont see how she will make it to the litter box. she is on bed rest. With her food and water by her.

  18. Doc says:


    The cat will need help to get to the litterbox and help to keep standing while she eliminates.

    I think that she does need pain medicine, but there are no safe over-the-counter drugs for cats. Your veterinarian can supply pain medication, such as buprenorphine, but not without seeing the cat. Take her in for a visit to her doctor.

    Most pelvic fractures will knit and allow the animal to get up walking within two weeks if the hip joints are not damaged and there is no spinal damage.

    If the pelvis is fractured, that usually causes the birth canal to be deformed. She would not be able to deliver kittens if she got pregnant, so you will need to have her spayed.

    Good luck.

    • A sad cat finder says:

      Hi I found a stray kitten that was limping. I tried to take her into my home to keep her safe while I figured out where to take her and she wiggled out of my hands and fell maybe a metre on to the ground. She limped away. Eventually i got her into my home and to a vet. I got the call later that night that her pelvic bone was severely shattered and they had to put her down. I’m tormenting myself thinking that I caused her to have to be put down. Could a fall that big cause such a large issue? Would it have changed a possibly savable case to not savable? Did I worsen her life or put her out of inevitable pain? I’m quite torn up about this and don’t know where to turn

      • Doc says:

        Hello, Sad Cat Finder,
        I suspect that there was some pre-existing injury (she was limping when you found her), and the fall may have aggravated it. It is rather difficult to determine what actually happened. For me, the bottom line is that you did the best you could to help. Nobody can do more.

  19. fezzy says:

    why do you let your animals out???!!!! and put them in harms way?? would you do that to your toddlers or babies?/ please keep your small innocent animals indoors!!! PLEASE!
    I have a cat perfectly fine and lives indoors and out of harms way.

    • Tammie says:

      I can’t speak for the cats however I will speak for the dog owners. You DO NOT know the circumstances and how dare you chastise these people. It doesn’t mean people let their animals roam free that they were in an accident. Shame on you.

  20. Rita D. says:

    My 2 yr old cat was in the grass not moving. The neighbor saw him and said he was dragging his back legs. He typically loves to go on the roof, so it may be an injury due to a fall or perhaps a car hit him. The vet took a couple xrays to verify that it was a pelvic fracture. She suggested surgery which would cost $1500-$2000. The other option, which we took, was to give him a sedative, also antibiotics, bring him home and watch to see if the injury heals on its own. Well saidly, he passed away that same evening. Could the vet have missed something? I could only figure that he was bleeding internally or something.

  21. Doc says:

    Hello, Rita,

    Sometimes an internal organ is greatly weakened by the injury, but has not yet ruptured (spleen, urinary bladder, kidney,liver, other organ with large blood vessels). Thus, at the time of the exam, there is no evidence of internal bleeding, because there isn’t any — yet.

    Later, the weakened structure gives way, and internal hemorrhage takes place with no warning. This is very hard to predict. Unless the patient is hospitalized for constant monitoring in intensive care, you wouldn’t detect the problem until it was too late to do anything.

    I am sorry for your loss.

  22. amy l. says:

    my one year old yorkie/chiuauah was hit by a car. she had 3 fractures to her pelvic bone. 2 were just cracks but one was a vet set the break..she improves everyday..when i come home from work she gets so excited to see me she tries to get usually causes her pain.. the accident happened amost a week ago..her trying to get up or getting up while no ones home will not affect her healing will it?

    any info would be great..thanks

  23. Doc says:

    Hello, Amy,

    You need to confine your dog to a kennel-cage so that she cannot drag herself around much. An occasional attempt to rise won’t slow her healing that much, but she doesn’t need to be struggling from one end of the house to the other.

    Most of these kids heal in 2 to 4 weeks. Be sure and check with your veterinarian about getting her spayed (if she isn’t already). Pelvic fractures can deform the birth canal, making normal delivery of pups impossible, and requiring a C-section. We sure don’t want her to get pregnant.

    Good luck.

  24. Tyson and Teagan says:

    Our 12 year old terrier-poodle was hit by a truck last night and fractured his pelvis in four places. This morning he had surgery to put a screw in the major displacement, as advised by the veterinarian. The surgeon told us that during the surgery, there was a lot of unexpected muscle damage torn off the bone. They haven’t really given us any information as to whether or not he will recover at all.
    I understand that at 12 years old his recovery may not be as easy as a young pup, but he is extremely healthy, and our regular veterinarian says his blood work could be mistaken for a young adult!
    We are all very worried and at this point do not know what to expect for tomorrow. I haven’t read a case regarding muscle damage.. do you have any information?

  25. Lynz Smith says:

    Hi, my cat Lou is an indoor cat. He’s 4 years old and has always been healthy. Half a week ago he was rough housing with our other male cat when he awkwardly fell from the back of the couch. He was immediately in pain and extremely agitated. We took him to the vet’s the next morning and he was so mad (hates the vet) that they couldn’t even examine him without anesthesia. They took two x-rays and had to give him more anesthesia in order to catherize him to treat bladder crystals (probably unrelated?). The vet suspected a pelvic fracture but wasn’t completely confidant with the x-ray. She said if it was a fracture that it was close to the joint. We brought him home the next day and have been giving him vet prescribed Bioclav and Tramadol. He does seem like he’s in a lot of pain but is able to walk to the litter box and he’s been eating and eliminating fine. However he’s very agitated and still tries to climb on top of things. I’m most concerned that he’ll need surgery but we’re hoping he will heal on his own. Do you have any ideas on what the best options and treatments are? He’s a very difficult cat to keep on bed rest and he looks so pitiful. Please help, thank you. Lynz

  26. amy l. says:

    hello, i just had another question.. my dog is confined by the way!! she seems to want to sit on her back legs and stand often. should i let her do this? or is this just proof of her making good progress in her treatment? i would hate for her to have a set back and for it to take longer to heal.. thanks, amy

    • Latanula Dallas says:

      I have a nine month old cat. On yesterday, I believe my cat got hit by a car. I immediately rushed her to the veterinary for help. The veterinary stated that Chloe had a fracturned pelvis and everything thing else looks grest. Vet ordered to put Chloe on complete cage rest for 6 to 8 weeks with a follow-upvisit..

      I have a few questions.

      What else should I do for Chloe’s care?
      How long does it takes for my cat to return back to normal eating and drinking?

      • Doc says:

        Hello, Latanula,
        Since your cat cannot walk (and should not try for a couple of week), you would need to have a crate just big enough for her and a very shallow litter pan. You might have to take her out and assist her to the litter pan. The crate should have a well padded liner that is easily changed for cleaning. You may need to help her eat and drink by holding the bowls near for her.

        I would assume that your veterinarian prescribed some pain medication for a few days. Most cats would begin to eat in 2 or 3 days.

  27. Doc says:

    Hello, Tyson & Teagan,

    Your surgeon can probably give you more meaningful advice than I can, and he/she should be willing to sit down with you and give you a better explanation. He/she may think that all your questions have been answered already, and be perfectly willing to spend more time with you if you just ask.

    My own take would be that this would certainly slow the healing, but not prevent it. I would also be concerned about nerve damage. The sciatic nerve is the main nerve for the hind leg, and comes over the pelvic bone just behind the hip socket. If it were torn in half, your dog would lose the use of the leg.

    The pelvis is almost “encased” in muscle and tendon. This is why many pelvic fractures don’t need other immobilization. If those bones are broken, then you would expect muscle tearing as well. I think the prognosis would still be pretty decent.

    Again, I urge you to talk to your surgeon and let him/her know about your concerns.

    Good luck.

  28. Doc says:

    Hello, Lynz,

    Talk to your veterinarian about this. It sounds like we need to look at cage rest for a week or so, and that may require some sedation in addition to the pain-killers and antibiotics.

    Some cats adapt well to being kept in a kennel (You need one big enough to accommodate a litter-box, and the litter-box will need to be cleaned more often, because he’s stuck so close to it. Who wants to live next to a porta-potty?) If he does not adapt well to the kennel cage, then sedatives may be helpful.

    I’m not a big fan of drugging pets (or people) into submission, but it sounds like this guy really needs to avoid jumping and falling for a week or two.

    Talk to your veterinarian.

    Good luck.

  29. Doc says:

    Hello, Amy,

    Should you let her? How would you stop her?

    As long as she is confined so that she is not overdoing it, I wouldn’t worry about this. It does sound like she is making progress in her healing.

    Stay in touch with your veterinarian and follow his/her directions.

    Good luck.

  30. Terri says:

    We adopted Tippy, my now, 10 year old jack russell female 4 years ago from the county pound. She had always walked funny, not bending her back legs and often holdig one rear leg up when she ran/walked. My vet said she may have been abused and had developed arthritis. She never complains and seems to be happy and healthy so we just accepted this was how she would always be. Recently she stopped going poo and strains but nothing happens. She was not herself that day so I took her to the emergency vet. They misdiagnosed her as constipated… 3 days later she started to poo blood. my vet said that was normal from the strain but I insisted on bringing her in. More xrays and another failed enema, the vet told me that Tippy had refractured her pelvis. Her anal passage is completely shut. We are going to a surgical specialist in the morning. I am truly scared and broken hearted. She is my best friend. Can you offer any advice so I can help my litle dog and mentally prepare myself?

  31. Doc says:

    Hello, Terri,

    Sorry to be so late responding. I was out of town for a few days, no internet.

    It is very odd for a pelvis to spontaneously fracture when there is no history of new trauma. I am glad you are seeing a specialist, as I would be concerned that there is some other underlying disease going on.

    In addition to looking for a deeper problem, I am sure that the specialist will prescribe pain medicine for Tippy so that she can be comfortable.

    The pelvic bone has such a complex and irregular shape that it takes a very skilled orthopedic surgeon to do much with fractures in that area.

    It sounds like you are on the right track. Let me know what you find.

    • Jess says:

      My daughters 11month old Jack Russell got run over by a car and the vets said that she’s fractured her acetabulum and they want to cut the head off her femur. She is confined to a very small cage at home and awaiting surgery, may I ask what the benefits of this surgery is and would it heal fine with out surgery and just cage rest for 6 weeks?
      Thanks Jess

      • Doc says:

        Hello, Jess,

        Repair of the acetabulum (hip socket) is incredibly difficult. It is covered with a lot of muscle and tendon, very hard to get to, and has a very complex and irregular shape. Even a very good orthopedic surgical specialist may not be able to achieve the perfect alignment that would be needed to give perfect function of the hip joint. The “ball” has to glide smoothly in the socket. If the match isn’t perfect, the bones get damaged and severe arthritis results.

        Since the socket is deformed, the “ball” that is the femoral head will be grinding on that irregularity. So, removal of the femoral head prevents that grinding pain. There is enough muscle and tendon attached to the greater trochanter of the femur to support the dog’s weight. It isn’t perfect, but it works and it isn’t painful.

        With cage rest, the pelvis would heal, in that the bone fragments of the pelvis will be stuck together, but they won’t be in proper alignment, and you get painful arthritis.

  32. Tara says:

    Hello, Our 1 1/2 year old Husky took off Sunday night, and was found down the road early yesterday morning, unable to walk on one back leg. The x-ray showed several pelvic fractures and her left hip is basically shattered with the middle of the ilium broken and pushed completely midline. The femur is fine, as well as the spine. Vet said she had to have been hit by car going at least 55 mph because of the extent of the damage. She has bowel and bladder control, can stand on her right leg with some discomfort, and all reflexes are intact. The vet said that she could undergo TPO if we could find someone to do it, put her down, or let the fractures knit themselves with bedrest for the next 6-8 weeks. We opted for the bedrest as long as she is not suffering. I am wondering what your experience with this is, and how long should it take for her to start improving? She is drinking, not eating much. Is in a kennel on bed rest, taking Tramadol 100 mg three times a day, and is also on an COX inhibitor once daily. She does whine with moving her to go to the bathroom, etc. Is there anything else that we can do to help her heal and keep her comfortable? Do you think she has a good chance of living a relatively decent life since she still has the use of one leg? Any answers or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. This is a heartbreaking situation.

  33. Doc says:

    Hello, Tara,

    Your veterinarian is best equipped to advise you, as he/she is seeing your dog and I am not.

    Generally speaking, if the acetabulum (hip socket) is intact, most dogs will heal spontaneously with the bed rest and pain control, and have a normal quality of life.

    The pelvic canal can be quite deformed by this type of injury, but it rarely keeps the dog from having normal bowel movements. If that occurs, you will either need corrective surgery, or have to use stool softeners regularly.

    With females, I usually recommend that they be spayed, as they are not likely to be able to deliver puppies through a deformed birth canal.

    I have had many patients with rather severe pelvic fractures who were up walking around in two weeks, though four to six is more realistic with an adult dog.

    Generally speaking, going by your description of the injuries, I think the chance of a happy outcome is very good.

    Keep your veterinarian informed of your dog’s progress (or lack of it), and of any new signs that develop.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  34. Deb says:

    our dog got hit by a car last night and she seems to be having trouble with her right leg and hip she can walk but sure seems to be in alot of pain when doing so. the vet says to get her up and walk her so often … I see on here where you say bed rest for a few weeks is good ? HELP plz this our family pet and i don’t want to hurt her any more than she alredy is !

  35. Doc says:

    Hello, Deb,

    If your dog has been X-rayed so that we know there are no fractures, then short periods of movement will help her. She would still have a lot of bruising, so she should be taking some pain medicine or anti-inflammatory medicine (NOT over the counter meds like Aleve or Ibuprofen).

    You don’t want to push her hard, but just lying in one spot will probably make her get more stiff and sore.

    If you are not sure whether anything is broken, then you do need to find that out.

    With the pelvic fractures, we don’t want them moving a lot, because we want the bones to knit together. Less motion equals faster healing.

    Good luck.

  36. wardah razak says:

    My 1 month old kitten Leah hurt her rear while playing wildly with her siblings. She got stuck somewhere and then just started limping… She applies pressure on her foot and acts and plays normally but her hip bones seem skew as she runs and walks with a limp… I’ve taken her to see the vet and he didn’t say anything about her pelvis but that I should get back to him in a few days time if she’s not walking properly… Could her pelvis be fractured? Is it something Leah could live with as it doesn’t seem as she has any pain? If not she’s very young and I doubt surgery would be an option?! Please advise/comment

  37. Doc says:


    It’s pretty hard for me to advise you about a case that I haven’t seen. I really think that you need to speak with your veterinarian again with your questions.

    From your description, I am hopeful that you are dealing only with a sprain or strain. At this age, it is difficult to evaluate X-rays. There are many cartilage growth plates in the bone, and these look just like breaks in the bone on an X-ray. These are also weak places in the bone, and they may break in these spots.

    The good news is that kittens are really good orthopedic patients. They heal really well. There’s an old saying that if you can get the bones in the same room, they will heal. That’s a joke, of course, but you get the idea.

    I think that with rest, there is a very good chance that your kitten will get back to normal.

    Good luck.

  38. akua lum says:

    i want to thank you for your blog. reading your answers about pelvic fractures on cats has made me feel comfortable and at peace with what we have been doing for our little kitten. i appreciate your efforts. you are helping lots of animals get the best treatment. i will look at your sponsors as a thank you.

  39. Jessica Lotz says:

    My dog was hit by a truck and broke his pelvis in 3 places. The vet suggested we wait till the first of the week and see how his pain level is, then decide on surgery. They said he could heel just fine with rest and time, but I hate to see him suffer. The problem is surgery will be very costly and we will have to go to a specialist. Its been 24hours and I believe we have his pain under control. He is a 2yr old springer spaniel who is like a son to us, as a specialist what do you suggest for most cases like this?

  40. Doc says:

    Hello, Jessica,

    I am not a specialist of any kind.

    My experience has been that most dogs with pelvic fractures will heal with cage rest, providing that the hip joints are not involved. There is a large amount of muscle and tendon surrounding the pelvis, which tends to act as a sort of “self-cast”.

    Due to the irregular shape of the pelvic bones and the large amount of muscle and tendon surrounding them, it is very difficult to surgically repair them with bone plates. That generally does take a specialist in orthopedic surgery.

    If is his pain is under control and your veterinarian thinks the prognosis is good, that sounds good to me.

    If you are uncertain about the recommendations, you could ask your veterinarian for a referral to a specialist to get a second opinion.

    Your veterinarian has seen your dog and your X-rays, and is in a much better position to advise you than I am.

    Good luck.

  41. Beth says:

    My two year old boxer got loose from me when I was trying to open the door to get her in the house after pottying and she ended up getting hit by a truck. I took her to the vet and she had a broken pelvis. There’s about a one inch piece of bone that broke off of her pelvis and her hip bone moved forward some. The vet said that kennel rest should help her heal. They put her on Metacam and an antibiotic. She can move her leg and everything, I’m just worried about whether everything will move back to normal?

  42. Doc says:

    Hello, Beth,

    “back to normal” is a relative situation. When this heals, it will not look like there has never been an injury. From your description, I expect that the X-ray will show some bumps and some stuff that’s a little crooked.

    However, it probably will not affect function at all. As long as the birth canal is not deformed and the hip joints are not affected, then your dog should return to normal function.

    This is a common injury and most dogs return to full function without long-term problems.

    You should discuss your concerns with your veterinarian, as he/she has seen the dog and the X-rays, and can give you a more accurate idea of what to expect.

    Good luck.

  43. Lacie says:

    My american bulldog was hit my a garbage truck this morning. we took her to the emergency hospital she has fractured her ilium, but they have been waiting for her to urninate since 10 this morning! is that a bad sign that she hasnt used the restroom? and is there something they could do to actually help her urinate?

  44. Lacie says:

    Got an update on my american bulldog this morning. She finally urinated and they found blood in it. Could you tell me what the chances are that my isobel will make it?

  45. Doc says:

    This is the type of question that you really need to ask you veterinarian. All things being equal, I would say yes. If she got hit hard enough to break her pelvis, it could certainly bruise her bladder enough to cause some bleeding. This would have a good chance of healing without complications, but needs to be monitored. Her bladder could be injured in such a way that it deteriorates more with time. Also her urethra could be injured. Stay in touch with you veterinarian.

  46. Diana Haines says:

    We have a two year old hanging tree dog, Jack. He broke his collar off and was hit by a truck Wednesday night. We took him to the vet and he has a broken pelvis. He were given stool softners, antibotics and pain meds for him and he has been on bed rest. He has been urinating but he hasn’t eliminataed himself yet. When we take him out he stands up and walks!! Are these good signs or not? Should we not allow him to stand and walk? I’m afraid he will hurt himself more. How long should we wait for a bm before we should be concerened? Please help. I am just heart sick about my baby and really don’t know what to do!!

  47. Doc says:


    It usually takes two to four weeks for an uncomplicated pelvic fracture to heal. It is good that he feels like standing up and walking, but he will heal faster if he rests.

    Let your veterinarian know that he has not yet had a bowel movement He may recommend some additional laxative, or not. He/she has a better idea of what the situation is than I do.

    The outlook sounds generally good, from what you’ve told me.

    Best wishes.

  48. Diana Haines says:

    Thanks Doc. Actually as of 30 minutes ago he finally had a bowel movement. One of he joyous times of my life. I now feel convident that he will make full recoery!!

  49. Linda Shier says:

    Thank you for all your information on the nursing issues that apply to a fractured (X3) pelvis. My 1.5 yr old large shitzu was hit by a truck 4 days ago. He is on Meloxicam and Auexil???. He is resting well in a confined space. He had diarhea for the fist two days after leaving the vet. Yesterday he had a normal bowel movement outside. I was told to use a scarf to help suppot him when it is bathroom time and am unsure how to do this. I have gave him yougart and eggs because he is not interested in his dog food. My question is: How do I support him as he goes to the washroom?

  50. Doc says:

    Hello, Linda,

    A scarf or towel can be used as a sling. You would pass it under his belly, just in front of his hind legs. Thus, it would be a narrow band between his hind legs and the front of his penile sheath.

    Holding the ends, you would support him sort of like a wheelbarrow.

    They make special slings for dogs with long-term problems, but most of these guys are up getting around in 2 to 4 weeks.

    You might look at this site:

    Good luck.

  51. Dilliakotze says:

    My 11month old jack russel puppy got hit by a car. Broke her pelvis in 3 places and theres a bone just on top of the pelvis that is misplaced and it looks like it is sticking out from where it used to be. She still ran home after the accident and just moaned when i picked her up, but other than that she looked okay, a little down and shaky, but you would not say she had just been in an terrible accident. When the vet told us that we must decide what we want to do between surgery and puting her down, puting her down was defnitly not een a option for me.Cause my dog certainly does not look like a dog that is busy dieing! The surgery would cost me between R6000-R8000. Wich i unfortunately do not have. I asked the vet if there is a chance that my baby girl could recover without surgary and she said we could take her home for about 5-7 days and if she can urinates and poo by herself then she could recover by bed resting. She have been bed resting for 2days with great painkillers that are working very well. She urinated normally and were eating good and dranked alot of flueds. But she hasnt had any bowel movement. She normally used to be constipated even before the accident. So i called the vet and asked her if theres something to relieve my puppy from her constipation. And she gaved me an ointment that the dog must eat. I gave her the prescribed meds this morning and now 12h later she still havnt made poopies. And after i gaved her the meds this morning she also stopped eating and only took a few sips of water. This is concerning me. When i put her down outside the door to go poopies then she runs back inside easily on her 3 legs without moaning. (i dont allow any movement otherwise but since she is now scared to be outside, she slips pass me to go inside and lie down) Its been 3 days, should i be concerned that she hasnt made poopies? Or could it still happen? Can it be the new medication for her constipation that made her stopped eating? And what can i do to help her more. Shes my little baby and it will kill me to loose her, espessialy since i had my previous jack russel for 13years and lost her a month before getting this one.

  52. Doc says:

    Hello, Dilliakotze,

    If she is walking on three legs and urinating okay, then the prognosis is very good. She may have some arthritis at an early age on the side where the injury is worse.

    I would suspect that the poor appetite is more due to pain than to the constipation treatment. It is also possible that if she is indeed constipated, that would reduce her appetite.

    The “ointment” for constipation sounds like the preparation we use to treat hairballs in cats. It is basically flavored petrolatum (Vaseline is the common tradename here).

    If the dog does not like to eat this, some dogs will eat their regular food with mineral oil poured over it like gravy. Both petrolatum and mineral oil are inert lubricants and go through the dog without being digested. The worst side-effect is usually a loose stool.

    If she really is becoming constipated, it is possible that she will need an enema. You should consult your veterinarian about this.

    Good Luck.

  53. Lindsey says:

    Hi my dog got hit by a car 4 days ago and we rushed him to the vet emergency room and he has 3 fractures in his pelvis.. it was either a 2500 dollar surgery or crate rest for 6 wks. we had to choose the crate rest because of money issues plus the vet overnight cost us 800. they gave us pain meds and an antibiotic hes doing very well but hes having trouble going to the bathroom. hes very constipated, the vet said to use colate stool softener and that didnt help so we tried pumpkin. he wouldnt eat it. so i gave him a stool softener/ laxitive yesterday and he did try to poop but he would cry out in pain and he only let a little bit come out. so i was wondering if theres anything else that i can try to make it easier for him

  54. Doc says:

    Hello, Lindsey,

    Let your veterinarian know what is going on. He/she may wish to give the dog an enema. I really cannot advise you to do this without knowing more about the case.

    Best wishes.

  55. James says:

    My Doberman/Lab mix “Max” ( He is 11 months old) was hit by a car and is suffering from a broken pelvis. We have had him to the Vet for X-rays his hips are okay and his back and legs are not broken. The Vet expects him to recover well. Max is 89 pounds and needs a lot of help. We are using puppy pads for the constant dripping of urine and he has little control over his bowels but we are keeping that area clean also. We have to turn him every few hours or the side he is laying on gets soaked. We have noticed that his tail is swelling and limp and we are wondering if there is anything more we should be doing. Does anyone else have experience with a large dog with a broken pelvis – any ideas or suggestions? Thanks.

  56. Doc says:

    Hello, James,

    The swollen limp tail should be reported to your veterinarian. It is possible that the nerves controlling it have been damaged, either temporarily or permanently.

    This could also be an indication that other nerves have been damaged, like the ones that control his bladder. Constant dripping of urine is not to be expected with a pelvic injury.

    Call your veterinarian and let him know what his happening.

    Good luck.

  57. Patti S says:

    My cat was hit by a car tonight. She has tail pull and her pelvis is broken in three places. She has no feeling in her back legs and the Vet says she may have nerve damage. I told the Vet I will do anything to save her. She was a rescue not even a year ago. I love her.

  58. Doc says:

    Hello, Patti,

    I wish that I had something to offer you. The lack of pain sensation is a bad sign, usually indicating spinal cord damage.

    I suspect your veterinarian has prescribed supportive care and pain medication.

    I hope it is less severe than it sounds.

    Best wishes.

    • Susan says:

      My Belgian Malinois was hit 6 weeks ago. Pelvic fracture that spidered into the hip. She is walking and getting up and down but knuckling on the injured leg. No surgery was needed and we think her healing is good but worried about the muscle loss and if she will ever gain muscle strength to pick up the leg snd straighten out the paw and digits. Her paperwork stated mild sciatic something that I researched and was found as being the mildest sciatic issue because the axon was intact. How do I help her stop knuckling and get her leg strength back?

      • Doc says:

        Hello, Susan,
        If her sciatic nerve was impacted, there is no specific treatment. If it was not severed, then there is a good chance it will recover function, but that can take six months or longer. If the paw is knuckling over, that can cause abrasions if she drags it very much. There are boots and braces that can keep the foot from knuckling under while she recovers (or support her in the event that she does not recover full function).

  59. J & L says:

    Hello, last night our dog was hit by a car. She is a 2 year old pomeranian/beagle mix. She had trouble walking last night and this morning put some weight on her left hind leg but none on her right. When we took her to the vet he did xrays and found her right femur dislocated from the socket and 4 fractures in the pelvis. He said there may be some nerve damage as well that will complicate going to the bathroom and things like that but its hard to tell because there is so much swelling. right now they are keeping her there with pain meds and sedation to keep her still and resting to see if some of the swelling will go down so they can better see whats going on. my question is, in cases like this what are the odds of her being surviving? Also keeping use of her hind leg? What is the approximate healing time for wounds like this, and is it possible to heal without surgery or is that going to be the best option? I will ask our vet once we see him tomorrow but we’re just so worried I was hoping to get some sort of answer to these questions sooner. thank you.

  60. Doc says:

    Hello, Jackquelline,

    Pelvic fractures usually heal in an adult dog over a 4 week period, younger dogs may be up walking in as little as two weeks.

    When the hip joint is not fractured, most patients will be functional with just cage rest. The heavy muscles around the pelvis act like a “self-splint”.

    Orthopedic surgery to put the pieces together is really difficult, due to the very irregular shape of the bone, and because it is heavily covered with muscles.

    From your description, it sounds like one of the fractures may be in the area where the sciatic nerve crosses over the bone. If this nerve is actually torn in half, that leg will not function normally.

    Sometimes the nerve is intact, but the swelling in the area keeps it from functioning during the early stages of healing.

    Replacing the hip in the socket may be difficult, due to the nature of the injuries. When the pelvis is intact, it can usually be done without surgery. In this case, I cannot say, not having seen the pet or the X-rays.

    Pelvic fractures deform the birth canal, so getting females spayed is important.

    Many dogs with injuries such as you describe can lead happy lives, even if they don’t recover use of the affected leg. I’ve seen quite a few 3-legged dogs that did really well.

    Be sure to relay your concerns and questions to your veterinarian.

    Best wishes.

  61. Angie says:

    I feel upon this and am looking for some advice! My puppy (4 1/2 months old), feel out of the car window while driving (sticking her head out the window, it was only 1/2 way down, little stinker) and we found out she broke her pelvis in just one place. I have the xrays from the vet uploaded on my computer. If you have an email I could forward and I would be eternally grateful for any advice! We have already spent $300 on x-rays and an exam. The vet recomends surgery at $2000!!! Yikes. It happened one week ago, and she’s already running around (we try to keep her caged though) and bearing weight on it. We were told if she doesn’t get it repaired, she could have severe arthritis for her lifetime. So confused on what to do! So much money that we don’t have to spend, but don’t want her to suffer forever. Please help!

  62. Jpensak says:


    Thank you for the excellent website! My 3 year-old neutered male cat was clipped by a car about 2 weeks ago. Exam by 2 vets thought no major fractures or internal injuries. He did have a deep gash between his hind leg and anus (and some bruises on his face).

    He’s eating (much less than normal) and walking about, but I still haven’t seen him drink anything. (So, I’m still syringe feeding him at least once a day, just to make sure he gets some fluid.)

    Is there any obvious issue that might cause him to stop drinking?



  63. Doc says:

    Hello, Jon,
    If he is eating okay, then it’s not any kind of bowel blockage issue. If he weren’t urinating he would be pretty darn sick, and quit eating. I’m concerned about the dog being in pain, either from the trauma, or an infected wound.
    I would suggest that you get the dog rechecked. Sometimes injuries don’t really show up well until later.

    Good luck.

  64. Teisha A. Tinker says:

    According to the humane society in my area, my pit bull was hit by a car. They said that his pelvis is broken, they sent me home with some pain meds and an anti inflammatory and called it a day… My poor dog has been whining since we brought him home. The meds seem to only help a tiny bit but there are a couple things that really concern me. Number one, his testicles are BLACK… he doesn’t seem to have pain in that area but they are usually not that color. The other thing that worries me is that the side were he is hurting, well that leg keeps kicking or twitching on its own and my dog looks really scared when it happens. Is this going to heal on it’s own or what should I do for him?

  65. Doc says:

    Hello, Teisha,

    The black color is probably due to bruising. If there is no swelling, I’d leave it alone. If there is swelling, cold compresses should be applied for 20 minutes 3 times daily – A towel in ice water works well. NO ice should be applied directly, as it’s too cold and will damage the skin.

    The twitching suggests that the pelvic fracture (or related swelling) is putting pressure on a nerve. We can hope that this gets better as the swelling goes down.

    The pain should be better tomorrow. It is worst in the first 24 hours up to 72 hours. You might contact the prescriber and see if it is safe to increase the dose for now.

    Without seeing your X-rays it is hard to say what will happen, but most pelvic fractures do heal on their own within 2 to 4 weeks.

    Good luck.

  66. Sarah says:

    Hi my poor cat (6.5yr old female) was backed over in our driveway. She immediately couldn’t walk on her hind legs. I took her to the emergency vet who did xrays etc and told me her hip was just out of socket and it didn’t look like any spinal damage maybe just compression on the cord due to swelling. They put her hip back in place gave me some pain meds and steriods and told me to see my vet in 3 days and if she didn’t make any progress with movement within 24-72 hours she probably had some spinal cord damage. She started moving her legs and tail but would not stand or anything. Monday morning I took her to the vet and there they looked at the xrays that were done and said she had a pelvic fracture and her knee was broke! So they put a splint on her leg and told me it needed to be changed weekly. She cannot get up to get to the litter box….she urinates on herself and the vet told me not to wrap any kind of plastic wrap or anything around the splint to keep it dry. They are charging me $110 each time I have to take her in to get it changed (weekly and PRN if wet etc). They don’t want me to change it myself and I can’t afford to pay that much if she is constantly going to soil it. My question is (sorry it has taken a while to get to the point) if we leave the splint off and just do cage rest will she be able to walk ever again? Thanks so much!

    • Christine says:

      I’m tin and my dog was hit by a car 3 days ago. He sometimes eat
      and sometimes not. Can’t barely walk and keeps whining when he tries to stand up . My concern is that he was not able to poop for three days now. Please tell me if he is going to be ok and what should I do. There is no vet around our area.the only thing I can do for his pain is Lgiving him paracetamol mix in oral rehydration salts. Is that ok?

      • Doc says:

        Hello, Christine,
        Paracetamol (acetaminophen) is relatively safe for dogs (NOT CATS). A 325 mg tablet treats a 40 pound dog, and is usually safe to give twice daily.

        If he is having trouble with his bowel movement, a really safe laxative is psyllium mucilloid (Metamucil is one trade name), 1 teaspoon of powder per 20 pounds of body weight with each feeding.

        Plenty of fluid intake is important in order to be able to evacuate the stool. If he seems to be straining, it is possible to give an enema.

  67. Doc says:

    Hello, Sarah,

    The pelvic fracture will probably heal without any treatment except cage rest.

    The hip has a better than 50% chance of staying in the socket and doing okay. Even if it doesn’t it may form a “false joint” in the muscle tissues and still be serviceable.

    The “broken knee” will probably not heal unless it is kept immobilized. The cat may likely walk on 3 legs, but that leg probably won’t be functional if not kept splinted.

    I wish I had an easier answer for you.

    Good luck.

  68. Jon says:

    Hi. I had a question on time to “full” activity.

    It’s been 4 weeks since my cat got hit by a car–testing from vet showed pelvic fracture and his blood tests were normal except for liver values were “diluted.” I limited his activity by preventing him from going up and down steps. Now he’s walking normally, but everytime I let him outside, he comes back and looks “sore” in walking and doesn’t eat as much.

    Just wondering how I know when to let him go back to normal activities?



  69. Doc says:

    We usually say that it will be two to four weeks before the animal is up walking. If you’ve ever had a fracture, when you first get your cast off, you’re really not ready for full activity.
    It sounds like things are going well, but I would certainly give him another two weeks to get back on his feet. It may take several weeks to really get as good as he is going to get.

  70. randi says:

    My dog was run over by a car yesterday and has bad injuries. Her pelvis is broken and has come away from her spine. He weight bearing joint (I don’t remember the name) has been shattered. Surgery was not recommended because she is 14. So far she is managing well-eating, drinking, urinating, and comfortable. One vet who reviwed her xrays said I should put her to sleep. Another vet said she could heal with 5 to 6 months of bed rest. Because she is acting normal I am going to keep her on bed rest and maybe get her a wheelchair eventually. Do u have any other suggestions?

  71. Doc says:

    Hello, Randi,

    This is indeed a difficult situation. Stay in close touch with your veterinarian and be sure that she is urinating okay. She could have trouble with urine retention and urinary tract infections.
    She could also develop decubital sores (bed-sores).

    Please keep your veterinarian informed about your dog’s condition.

    If she is not taking pain medication, you need to get help evaluating that situation, also.

    Good luck.

  72. Darla says:

    My dog was hit by a truck and broke his pelvis. The vet put him on pain meds and mentioned feeding him canned tuna with oil. Drain as much oil off as you can. One week later he is eating, drinking and starting to wobble around. Can I give him Poly-vi-sol baby vitmins? Will this help in the healing? and the long term effects of the break?

  73. Doc says:

    Hello, Darla,

    The vitamins will not hurt, and may help. The long-term effects of the fracture depend on where the breaks are, and the dog’s general condition and other injuries.

    Your veterinarian is better equipped to answer this question, as he/she has actually seen your dog’s injuries.

    Best wishes.

  74. Kacey says:

    Hi, My 4 year old American Bulldog was hit by a car this morning. We found her sitting on our porch with a bloody tail and road rash. She didn’t appear to be in any pain. My husband tried to stand her up and her hind legs were pretty limp. Somehow she made it to the porch though!? The vet says she has a fractured hip and her sacrum is fractured. He says she needs surgery that he does not perform. When he examined her he did say that she was putting some weight on her left leg. That’s a good sign right? He has referred us to a surgeon who says it could cost anywhere from 1,600 to $3,200 . We do not have that kind of money and they will not work out any kind of payment plan!! My question is … Is there any chance this could heal on its own?? What kind of risk would we be taking by going that route? I really don’t want to put her to sleep. :o( We are letting her stay at the vet tonight and I will be picking her up in the morning. I just don’t know what to do!

  75. Doc says:

    Hello, Kacey,

    I’m not sure that I can give you meaningful advice. I haven’t seen the dog or X-rays, and I’m not an orthopedic specialist.

    A fractured hip joint is extremely unlikely to heal on its own, and if it did, would almost certainly heal in an abnormal fashion. This would result in a joint that would develop severe arthritis at an early age, even if it functioned okay initially.

    The broken sacrum could impinge on spinal nerves if it heals improperly. This are is more likely to heal on its own, but no guarantees that things would be normal.

    From your description, it sounds like that without treatment, the best outcome would be a dog that walks on three legs without much pain. The leg with the fractured hip would probably not be functional, and might continue to have pain. The pain might be minor and controllable with medication.

    It always amazes me when a dog even lives through an encounter with an automobile.

    It is unfortunate that your dog was injured in this way, but there is no simple quick fix for such a problem. The surgery is complex, requiring a specialist, and just the materials are expensive, even if you expected the doctor to work for free (which would not be reasonable).

    You might consider applying for Care Credit. This is a credit card that is only used for medical expenses. If approved, they usually give you the first 3 months interest free. After that, the rate is plenty high if you don’t pay it off monthly.

    In the meantime, your veterinarian should be able to help you manage your dog’s pain with medication.

    Best wishes.

  76. shannon says:

    hey my cat got hit by a car last night i took him the the vet straight away they told me it wasnt bad enough to have surgry on but he has had a bit of blood in his urine does this mean he has internal bleeding i told the vet and he just said to me thats a sign hes been hit but i dunno pls help oh and how long should i keep him on bed rest for ?

  77. Doc says:

    Hello, Shannon,

    When the cat has taken a blow to the back end that would break the pelvis, the urinary bladder can be bruised, even if not severely damaged. This will cause some blood in the urine. If the amount of blood is small, and it stops in a couple of days, then this should not be a problem.

    If the leg bones and hip joints are okay, then most pelvic fracture patients will be up and walking in about two weeks, though it could take four weeks.

    With the bladder damage, it is important to be sure that your cat is continuing to urinate. Sometimes a damaged bladder works okay for a few days, then the damaged tissue breaks. Urine pools inside the belly, instead of coming out of the cat like it is supposed to. If your cat quits passing urine, you need to take him back to the doctor.

    With female cats, it is important to get them spayed, even if they heal up okay. The birth canal is usually deformed by the injury, and they cannot have kittens without surgery.

    With a male cat, this is not an issue, of course.

    With good nursing care and cage rest (in a travel cage, for instance) most will be up and going in a couple of weeks. If your cat is urinating okay and eating okay, then the prognosis is good.

  78. Ursula says:

    My 4 year old shitzu got hit by a car friday night we rushed her to the clinic and she has a fractured pelvis she just delivered pups 4 weeks ago now we feeding the pups can food and milk pups my dog she seems to be in pain at night we have her in a cage aas we were told by thr vet but she is crying all night am not sure if is that she is in a cage or pain my questions is what are the chances for her pelvis to heal with out surgery.?if the vet er vet never mentioned the bladder i should not be concerned on this or what are the test to know if there was any bladder damage??

  79. Doc says:

    Hello, Ursula,

    Most pelvic fractures will heal without surgery. If they involve the hip joint, arthritis can result at an early age.

    The birth canal can be deformed, so it would be best if she is not bred again in the future. Better yet, get her spayed to remove the chance of pregnancy.

    If she is passing urine out of her body, then her bladder is probably okay. If it were badly damaged, the urine would pool inside her body, and you wouldn’t see it come out.

    I hope that her pain is beginning to subside since it is three days now. It is certainly possible that she is still in pain.

    I would ask your veterinarian again about some pain medicine for her.

    Good luck.

  80. cathy says:

    what if the vet says my dogs pelvis is “crushed” I have no money to provide her with a surgery. I am so sad thinking my only altenative is to put her down. Is that so?

  81. Doc says:

    Hello, Cathy,

    It is difficult for me to advise you, not knowing your pet or having seen your X-rays.

    Your veterinarian is your best source of information.

    “Crushed” does sound like something that may be beyond repair. Cars can do terrible damage to a dog.

    Best wishes.

  82. Lynz Smith says:

    Hello! Over a year ago I asked you about my cat Lou who had fractured his pelvis near to the joint. Well, he ended up healing fine and was doing well until this May when a vehicle struck our apartment building. I dont know if he was just startled or if he was under something when it happened but afterwards he displayed the same symptoms as when he fractured his pelvis. We had x-rays done and they were inconclusive. My regular vet suggested taking him to a neurologist which I didnt do but he seemed to recover fairly quickly but has a residual limp. On Aug 20 my much larger cat jumped on him and seemed to reinjure him yet again in the same way. Not trusting my vet’s opinion I took him elsewhere and within 5 mins of examining him the vet declared that his pelvis ‘did not feel normal’ and told me to obtain his previous xrays b/f taking him back. I plan on taking him in for more xrays next week at this new vets but in the meantime i was wondering if you had any idea as to why his pelvis may be misshapen and why my usual vet didnt determine this in May. Any advice would be great. Thanks so much, Lynz.

  83. Doc says:

    Hello, Lynz,

    While the pelvis will usually heal on its own, it frequently does not heal in a completely normal alignment.

    The fragments of bone do stick together, but they may not be stuck together as though nothing happened.

    The resulting deformity of the pelvic bone and “birth canal” area is usually not of much consequence in males. It doesn’t take much deformity to prevent the delivery of kittens, so females should be spayed. It takes a LOT of deformity to keep the cat from passing stool, so male cats usually are not troubled by this.

    It is not surprising at all that the pelvis does not “feel normal” if was fractured previously.

    The question is whether or not this has any relationship to his present problems. I would question this, as he had done well for months before being re-traumatized.

    While the old injury needs to be considered in evaluating his current problem, I would certainly be looking for other things related to the more recent injuries, as well.

    Good luck.

  84. jenny says:

    My cat went missing for 3 weeks,returned ths friday,he has a fractured pelvis not sure when this happened or how,he hasnt passed urine yet,in a cage,purring,eating,drinking,washing,but not been?rally worried

  85. Doc says:

    Hello, Jenny,

    Purring, eating, drinking and washing all sound good.

    I would recommend seeing your veterinarian to determine if there are any neurological deficits. Even if the legs are intact, there could be nerve damage affecting the control of them, and also affecting the control of the bladder.

    Your veterinarian can also determine if the bladder is intact and able to empty normally.

    This is not something that I can really help you with long distance.

    Good luck.

  86. tina says:

    Hi my doberman shepherd was hit tonight by a truck he ran away from the truck to the grass. He cant move his back legs. the lady who hit him was a vet tech she said if he makes it as long as 3 hours he may not have internal bleeding an he could recover in time since hes young i cant get him to eat or drink 🙁 i really hope he can recover. Im hoping tmw the vet will give me some pain meds for him. What do i do an what could be the out come.

  87. Doc says:

    Hello, Tina,

    If it is just a pelvic fracture, many patients recover without a lot of major intervention: strict rest and pain control.

    The inability to move the hind legs makes me worried about a spinal cord injury, that is almost always permanent.

    Your dog needs a good examination by your veterinarian to see the extent of the damage.

    Good luck.

  88. Jenny says:

    My cat was hit by a car four nights ago. The emergency vet took x-rays and blood. His blood was fine and there doesn’t seem to be internal damage. His pelvis is fractured. We were able to take him home Sunday night and took him to our regular vet (per the emergency vet’s orders) on Monday morning. The regular vet only had him a few hours and said that the only serious problem could be if the pelvic bone is pressing on the rectum. He had a small bowel movement at the vet’s that day, but the stool was hard. We’ve been giving him kitty laxative gel (that he really likes) as the vet suggested. We will be taking our cat back to the vet next Monday (so it will be about 9 days after the accident) to do more x-rays and make sure everything is okay. We have him in a large (for dobermans we used to have) crate. He’s eating really well, but only drinks if we mix his food with water. He is urinating about twice a day.

    After all of that — what the vet said about the rectum being an issue (and then if it is surgery being needed) has me worried. I know with humans pain medicine does cause constipation and he obviously isn’t eating as much as usual . . . so how long is usually “normal” for constipation to last in this sort of case? And, do you think a litter box in the cage would help right now? he won’t even drag himself to his food or water bowl. He will “help” me move him if he’s urinated on himself, but that’s about it right now. So I don’t see the point of having a litter box in there unless it could potentially “entice” him to feel more comfortable about going to the bathroom??

  89. Jenny says:

    Also, what is the best way to pick him & help him use the litter box? And what is the best way to pick him up and move him over to his other side so he doesn’t get bed sores?

  90. Doc says:

    Hello, Jenny,

    Try to support both front and back as you turn him, with a hand under his shoulders and chest, and the other hand under his thighs and hips.

    Ideally, you would roll him so that his legs go under him, rather than rolling him on his back (legs going over the top). However, this usually requires two sets of hands (two people).

    If he is lying flat on his side, I would try to turn him every two to four hours.

    Good luck.

  91. Jenny says:

    Thank you for the advice.

    I called my vet today and he “wasn’t in right then” and never called me back, so I’m a bit frustrated because I wanted to figure this problem out:

    I picked him up just as you described and he didn’t make a peep, he seemed completely okay with how I was lifting him and I had him in the air and even had him rolled over without any problems.

    But, as soon as I put him down onto the blanket (onto his “bad” side) he started crying, pushed himself up (or tried to) stumbled out of my hands and fell (by this time I had him again and so I “helped” him fall gently) back onto the same side he is constantly lying on.

    He just refuses to be on the other side or to even lay on his belly.

    I have lifted his front half up and massaged/ scratched the side he is laying on to try and get blood going and he is okay with that and purrs.

    I can’t get near his back legs to clean them or to move him into a new position or to massage them, however.

    Is this something that will resolve itself in time? Should I leave him be for now and not try rolling him to his other side for a few days?

    I will call my vet again tomorrow, but if I get the same brush off, I’d like at least your opinion to work with.

    Thanks so much.

  92. Doc says:

    Hello, Jenny,
    I understand your frustration. I know that sometimes I get a bit overloaded and am really late calling people back.

    I think that your instinct is correct when you decide to NOT do something that appears to cause pain.

    I wish that I could give you more specific advice, but it’s really not possible without an examination.

    Do call your veterinarian again.

    Best wishes.

  93. Tracy says:

    Dear Doctor,

    My 2.5 yr old Corgi was hit buy a car about 6 weeks ago, his pelvic bone was fractured and is no longer connected to his spine.

    The Emergency room doctor recommended surgery, but we just couldn’t afford it. So we took the conservative approach and cage rest him for 6 weeks now. My poor corgi still cannot walk.

    Should we try to give him some training/assistant to walk again? We are hoping that he just can’t move much because he’s been in a cage for so long.

    Please let us know what we should/can do to help him!

    Much appreciated!!

  94. Doc says:

    Hello, Tracy,

    I believe that the first thing needed is to have your regular veterinarian re-evaluate your dog. You need to know several things.

    Is the spinal cord intact? Does he have feeling in the legs? Is he emptying his bladder normally or is it staying pretty full (leading to bladder infections)?

    This is not just a walking issue. It’s also not something I can diagnose or recommend for “long distance”.

    If your pet just needs some additional physical support, this company has really good products.

    I definitely would not start ordering stuff to try to get the dog up without having him re-evaluated.

    Good luck.

  95. Lorna quinn says:

    My Yorkshire terrier fell of the settee and was yelping in pain , he now has no power at all on his back legs , vet says to take him home n give him complete rest to see if any power returns do you think he will be ok , thanks

  96. Doc says:

    Hello, Lorna,

    I wish that I could be of more help to you. Without a good neurological examination (and maybe X-rays), I don’t know what to tell you.

    Pelvic fractures usually do not result in a loss of control or feeling in the hind legs. The dog hurts too much to walk on them, but he can move them.

    A spinal disc injury can put enough pressure on the spinal cord nerves to prevent the dog from using the legs, but it seems unlikely that this would occur just falling off the couch.

    Please call your veterinarian and tell him/her that you need some more explanation on what he/she thinks the dog’s actual injury may be.

    Let them know that you aren’t really sure what your are supposed to be doing or looking for.

    I’m afraid I can’t tell you much without having seen the dog, so call your veterinarian back.

    Good luck.

  97. Tracy says:

    Dear Doctor,

    This is Tracy with the 2.5 year old Corgi, who has a pelvic bone fracture for about 9 weeks now.

    We took your advice and have him re-evaluated, but the vet recommended us to visit a neurologist to understand why he still cannot walk. He can sometimes stand up with the good rear leg, but the broken leg seemed to be dragging next to it, it seemed to blocks him from walking, and I can imagine the pain with all the broken pelvic bones.

    My family is thinking of amputating the broken leg, and hopefully he can walk again. Do you know how much the surgery usually cost, and the recovery time? He’s a 27 lbs corgi, do you think he can still walk after amputation of the rear leg?

    Much appreciated!

  98. Doc says:

    Hello, Tracy,

    If the dog can walk on three legs now, he should be even better after amputating the non-functional leg.

    The recovery time is usually about 10 days.

    I cannot comment on cost of surgery in your area. This varies so much with the overhead costs of the hospital, and the general costs in an area.

    Your veterinarian should be able to give you a very close estimate of the surgical cost ahead of time.

    While this surgery is not routine for the dog, it is not something that usually requires a specialist.

    Best wishes.

  99. heidi kroeck says:

    my 4 year old cat got run over in the driveway Friday night (we did not know we hit him except for the car felt like it hit a small speed bump)and we found him on the back porch later on. We took him to the emergency and the doctor took xrays and said he would recover from the small pelvic fracture though we declined to do the traumatic injury test or blood work. He was put on pain meds and cage rest. He barely moved the whole next day and never went to the bathroom or ate. 24 hours after the car accident he started twitching his front legs slowly then his back legs then his whole body and we brought him back to the ER vet who said his BUN was off the chart and even for a traumatic injury it should not be that high and said it looked like antifreeze toxicity. He ended up needing put down but I still think this could have been from the car hit. What do you say?

  100. Lee Noad says:

    My Cat has a pelvic fracture we have had him to the vets, and they have said that he needs to be in a cage and rest , but they said he was eating and going to the toilet, but hes been home 24 hours and he’s wee’d 2 times not pooped and not eaten or drank anything, is it just a case of, glad its all over now i’m gonna rest ?

  101. Doc says:

    Hello, Heidi,

    It is possible that the trauma was the actual cause of the kidney failure. The kidneys are very sensitive to a loss of good circulation, and easily damaged.

    I once had treated a patient who had been comatose for several hours after being kicked by a horse. He recovered from the brain concussion, but 3 days later died of kidney failure. His circulation had just been too poor during the hours of unconsciousness and shock.

    So the trauma is a plausible explanation for the kidney failure. However, this time of year people are certainly draining and changing antifreeze.

    Cats are so susceptible to the toxic effects of antifreeze that they can walk through a puddle and clean their feet and get a fatal dose.

    Your veterinarian has more data in this case and is better equipped to give you an explanation than I am.

    Microscopic examination of the kidneys by a pathologist would reveal oxalate crystals if it were antifreeze poisoning. There is no way to be sure otherwise.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  102. Doc says:

    Hello, Lee,

    It is possible that your cat just needs to rest. On the other hand, if he was eating in the hospital, we would expect him to have a better appetite at home.

    It is possible that more pain medication is needed. It is also possible that there were other injuries that have gone undetected.

    Sometimes in a trauma case like this, a body part is damaged and weakened, but still functioning. Then later a weakened area “gives way” and ceases to function properly.

    If your cat does not improve rapidly, I recommend that you get him back to your veterinarian for re-evaluation.

    Good luck.

  103. Melissa Garcia says:

    My 10 Month old Chihuahua was hit by a car today, we took him to the vet and the x ray showed he had a fractured pelvic ischium and his right hip is dislocated. They referred me to a specialist and starting rate is $2700 to 4700 for surgery, my question would be is if surgery is absolutely needed or can my precious chihuahua heal on its own with best rest. please help,my heart brakes every time I hear him cry in pain.

  104. Doc says:

    Hello, Melissa,

    The pelvis will usually heal together without surgery, but the alignment of the bone fragments will not be normal. This can deform the birth canal.

    If the hip joint is affected, the dog will almost certainly have severe arthritis if the surgery is not performed.

    I really cannot advise you without seeing your dog.

    Ask your veterinarians what your options are, and what the pros and cons are.

    Good luck.

  105. LGD Owner says:

    We have a maremma sheep dog that is 6-8 years that we adopted from rescue. She has worked out great for us. We recently adopted a 1 1/2 year old Pyrenees and have not had a chance to train her. We decided they should not be left alone together as our maremma displayed dominance and territorial issues.

    Long story short: we had to leave our home for a few hours. We decided to put them both on separate cable runs with trolleys and swivels, etcs. However, the Pyrenees broke her leash in half and when we returned, it was clear that they had fought. Our Maremma had not been able to escape off her cable run and she was injured. No bleeding or cuts or tears but slight limping of the back hips and leg areas. She has always been stiff in that area to begin with and we had her on joint supplements. But she was able to walk and run before. Now she cannot run and avoids walking. It seemed that whatever occurred while we were gone has been severely aggravated and possibly injured. She has a hard time sitting and prefers to stand or lay down. But not sit. She is able to climb onto our couch to sleep and seems to be able to rest well. The only time she yelped in pain is when my husband pressed on her lower back and she yipped at him but settled down. I have given her natural pain and immune remedies and they don’t help with the limping but help with her being able to relax more.

    Is it possible that she could have a broken or fractured hip or leg? We are debating if we should take her into the vet right away or give her a few days to rest and recover and reassess.

    We feel terribly about this and fully responsible. We did not predict in a million years that the leash would break. We mainly need help determining if a vet visit will help or stress her further. I read that 99.9% of fractures heal on their own. However, how does one determine between a fracture, hip displacement or broken bone without an x-ray? Or even just bruises and sprain?

    What is the longest we can wait before taking her to a vet? This happened less than 12 hours ago.

    Thank you in advance, I actually feel better after reading your article and all of the response you give. Hearing that dogs can sometimes heal after a car accident makes me feel a lot better about two dogs getting in a scuffle. But I still want to do the right thing.

  106. Doc says:

    Hello, LGD Owner,

    It is unlikely that your dog has a pelvic fracture (a break or crack in the pelvic bones). That usually takes a really hard blow, as there is a lot of muscle protecting it.

    If the angle of impact was just right, it is possible that the hip is dislocated or that it is even broken.

    You are correct in saying that this is nearly impossible to differentiate without an X-ray. I can’t do it, and have been surprised by the X-ray results more than once.

    It is also possible that you have a severe sprain, strain, bruising, etc.

    If your dog is not a great deal better in the morning, I’d take her to a veterinarian. If there is a dislocation, the longer you wait, the less likely you are to have a good outcome.

    Take your veterinarian a written note of any medications you have given. Do not give human NSAIDs, such as Aleve or Ibuprofen. Dogs do not tolerate these well, sometimes getting bleeding ulcers at the first dose.

    There are NSAIDs that have been tested and approved for dogs, and that rarely cause any problem, should your veterinarian feel that they are needed.

    For some of these conditions, time and good nursing care are all that are needed, but you need to know what the condition is, in order to treat it appropriately.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  107. Melanie says:

    My husband accidentally reveresed into our 2 yr old cat, and i saw her flee immediately. We carried her and laid her down and she started to just drag her hind legs. Shortly after, around 5 minutes, she was still trying to move, and defecated on the floor beside her. Her tail was limp. We then rested her on a rug but she kept trying to sit up, with almost no control of the hind legs. We will take her to the vet first thing in the morning to get an X-ray. After reading this helpful post, it sounds like a pelvic fracture, and I am slightly relieved. Is there any other immediate care so that she can rest through the night? Thanks Very much.

    • M says:

      Our 2 yrs old recently adopted Shepard mix door dashed and was hit by a car Tuesday afternoon. We rushed him to the er vet they did xrays and ultrasound. We were told he has Fractured acetabulum of right hip ( needs surgery 5k) Pulmonary contusions –mild and a broken pelvis. Were a low income family and unfortunately after paying the $1200 er bill, 5k for surgery is not possible. They gave us pain and anxiety meds for 7 days and told to follow up with our vet within 2 days. We have an appointment on Friday. Our dog seems comfortable, he is eating and drinking but has not urinated or deficated for over 24 hrs. We tried to take him out with a towel sling and we also purchased a velcro sling but he just looks at us 🙁 were very concerned and can’t wait for the vet to open in the morning so we can inquire. Is this normal ?

      • Doc says:

        Hello, M,
        Sorry I didn’t see this until today. It is not unusual for a dog to be too painful to stand and eliminate, even with help. That should get better. We do worry about possible nerve damage with trauma in this area. Your regular veterinarian will hopefully be able to give you some insight about this when the dog is re-examined.

  108. Doc says:

    Hello, Melanie,

    I hope that the X-ray showed only a pelvic fracture. Your description makes me very worried about spinal damage.

    Sorry about the late reply, but I am at a continuing education meeting, with limited internet access.

    We don’t have good over-the-counter pain meds for cats. I hope the night wasn’t too bad and you got a good report.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  109. priscilla says:

    My 8mo. Mix got hit by a car 3 days ago. We took him to the vet and has a pelvic fracture and a leg severely swollen and doesnt move it. He hasnt had a good urine only dribbe.. his bladder is intact but the vet inserted sotme dye since he was not able to get a catheter through and the xrays showed signs of leaking. He is having exploratory surgery today so the vet can see what exactly is the problem and to see if theres a tear in the urethra and if its fixable..
    if there is a tear urethra what are the chances of him fully recovering and how often is this injury to dogs?
    Is there diffrent options to trying and fix the problem?
    And if my dog has has some dribble of urine isnt that a good sign that the urethra isnt comepletly torn?

    Please help i love my dog so much and im willing to do anything for him..

  110. Doc says:

    Hello, Priscilla,

    I am no expert on this condition. Fortunately the urethral tears are rare, but it sounds like your dog does have one.

    My understanding is that sometimes they can be sutured. They are often treated by leaving a urinary catheter in place for about a week and letting the structure heal around the catheter.

    The fact that your dog is dribbling urine is good, as otherwise it would mean that all the urine was leaking into his belly.

    Your veterinarian is doing the right thing. He/she will be able to tell you more after the surgery.

    There are referral surgical specialists, so if your doctor is unhappy with the results, he/she may suggest that you see a specialist.

    Good luck.

  111. Charity says:

    My cat may have a fractured pelvis or has nerve damage. The vet could not get the full view xray that she wanted because my cat was in too much pain. She had a kitten stuck in the birth canal. I am not sure for how long. She is on pain meds now and eating a little better, but she will not stand up and will not go to the bathroom unless I put her in the box and coax her to. I just wanted to know if you think she will recover from this.

  112. Doc says:

    Hello, Charity,

    Having a baby stuck in the birth canal for a long time can put pressure on the obturator nerves, and this will render the mother unable to stand. That type of nerve damage is usually not permanent.

    It may take days to weeks to recover, though.

    Pelvic fractures usually heal within two to four weeks.

    The veterinarian who has seen the cat is in a much better position to advise you about her prognosis.

    It would be good if you would give him/her some feedback about how things are going.

  113. Kate Sullivan says:

    Hi my little poodle Jeter got hit by a truck on friday, he had a dislocated hock but is bruised the rest of the length of his body.. The vet said he went #2 on saturday morning but since then hes been eating some hotdogs and cheese because thats all he will eat and hasnt been to the bathroom (#2) since saturday. Is there any way I can provoke him to deficate? Any food that will help aid the process.. Hes on pain medications so I dont know if hes unable to realize he can go to the bathroom but he does pee everyday… Really worried about the little guy any advice would be great!

  114. Doc says:

    Hello, Kate,

    You really should contact your veterinarian about this. He/she has actually seen your dog and knows the extent of the injuries, and the possible side-effects of any medications.

    The safest laxative I know consists of adding one teaspoon of metamucil (the generic unflavored psyllium mucilloid powder is fine) per 20 pounds of body weight, per feeding.

    This may be somewhat difficult to do with a hotdog.

    I really recommend that you let your veterinarian know about your concerns.

  115. Craig says:

    Our 6 month old 8 lb Maltichon was run over by a car on April 14th. She had surgery on the Monday after the Saturday accident. Tail amputation, repair of abdominal wall hernia and an FHO on left side. Problem is I just found out today that the FHO should have been done on the right side. The xrays were apparently mislabeled. So her right side is still a complete mess and the left side had an unnecessary surgery. I am meeting with the surgeon tomorrow and was wondering what infomratiion I should be prepared with. Can the right side be repaired this late in the game with the extensive damage to the pelvis? Can she do fine with 2 FHO’s for the rest of her life? Should I insist on Total Hip Replacements? etc. I feel bad that our sweet little girl has to go through this (not to mention the over $10,000 that has been spent, apparently for naught). Any insight or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.


  116. Doc says:

    Hello, Craig,

    Well, what a nightmare… for you, your dog, and the veterinary hospital.

    It reminds me of that terrible joke about the man who had the wrong leg amputated, then they had to go back and amputate the correct leg. No lawyer would take his case, because… he didn’t have a leg to stand on.

    Nothing funny here, though.

    First, the good news. A very small dog like this probably will have a very good quality of life with two FHOs. No guarantees, but good odds.

    I’m no orthopedic surgeon, but my understanding is that even if one were planning to do total hip replacements, you’d want to wait until the dog was fully mature so you wouldn’t have to re-do it as she grew.

    I can’t predict the future, but I would be pretty surprised if the hospital and surgeon are not falling all over themselves to do whatever possible to make things right.

    This seems like an incredible mistake, but anybody can make a mistake. The best that we can do is to go forward, doing the very best that we can.

    If you are not happy with the recommendations of the veterinarians you are working with, I think it would be reasonable to ask for referral to an orthopedic specialist.

    I wish you the best in this difficult situation.

  117. Craig says:

    Thanks for the encouragement…and the joke, a good one and apropos.

    I understand that this is a terrible situation for the hospital and I believe that they will bend over backwards to make things right. At the same time, I understand that they are running a business and as a former portfolio manager, if I owned shares in their company, I’d like them to resolve this situation with as little cost as possible.

    Yes, a THR should only be done on a fully developed animal. That is part of my concern…what costs am I going to be subject to in the future as a result of this error.

    Peace and thanks again.

  118. Monique says:

    My 5 1/2 month old 40 pound labrador was admitted to the hospital on April 27 with left femoral capital physeal fracture, left caudal acetabular fracture, pubic fractures, left ilial fractures and right sacroiliac luxation. He was hospitalized for a week and since the fractures were not displaced he was discharged and told he needs cage rest for 2 weeks or more. He is suppose to have a repeat x ray with the surgeon this week. My puppy is playful as ever. We sling walk him to the bathroom. He doesnt appear in too much pain but on the left he does wince where the femoral fracture is located. I am curious about possibly bringing him to the pool since he can’t bear weight. I thought this would be a good alternative. It pains me that he is so active but can’t walk. I want to keep hin strong.What are your thoughts?

  119. Doc says:

    Hello, Monique,

    Once the initial healing has taken place, swimming is great physical therapy.

    Initially however, we need to limit not only weight-bearing, but MOTION. Bones can’t stick together if they are moving around.

    Your veterinarian can give you the best guidance as to when to begin physical therapy.

    At this age, his recovery will probably be very rapid once he gets up and going again.

    Stay in touch with your veterinarian, keep him/her posted about the dog’s progress, and get back for your recheck on time.

    Don’t feel bad about calling your veterinarian with your questions. When we don’t hear anything from you, we just assume that everything is going great.

    Good luck.

  120. Tina says:

    My 4 year old Italian Greyhound suffered a pelvic break from being struck by a car. He had surgery 6 weeks ago to repair the break. His left hind leg was affected by the accident and he carries it for the most part but uses it for stability occasionally. He recently used it to scratch his neck and has been stretching the leg out. These things are encouraging but sometimes when he uses his leg, his foot curls under and isn’t parallel with the floor. At his last exam with our Veterinarian, I was told that there is nerve damage possibly from the impact and he may never use his leg/foot as he did before. Is there therapy that might possibly help him gain more strength in his leg and better use of his foot?

  121. Doc says:

    Hello, Tina,

    The sciatic nerve could easily suffer damage in a pelvic fracture. Nerve injuries take a long time to heal, if they ever do.

    After he is healed from the orthopedic surgery, swimming would be a great exercise for the guy.

    This lady is a specialist in rehab and super-nice. I suspect she would answer your email.

    Good luck.

  122. Tina says:

    Thank you so much for your help! I so appreciate your website. I researched my area and found a clinic that does water therapy and acupuncture for all types of health issues for small animals. My little greyhound will be starting therapy next week. I’ll be checking with Ava Frick as well.

  123. Jamie says:

    My 3 yr old dog got hit by a car yesterday, and survived thru the night, i took her to the vet this morning and she has 5 pelvic injuries. I cannot afford surgery so I was advised to strictly keep her in her kennel for 10 weeks so that it hopefully heals.

    She’s back hom but in extreme pain. I do have meds from the Vet and have been giving them to her, but she seems to hate being in her cage and moves a lot, and i feel bad for her. What can I do to calm her down and make her feel more confortable?

  124. Doc says:

    Hello, Jamie,

    Please contact your veterinarian and let them know what is going on. They can prescribe additional pain medications, or mild tranquilizers to make this initial healing period less difficult.

    Good luck.

  125. Trish Vance says:

    My 7 mo old lab pup jumped from our truck after a drive shaft incident scared him. Our vet is hopeful for a good recovery with pain med’s and a tape hobble. He’s back home now (happened friday evening), but now seems to not hold his bladder. He held his bladder the whole evening after the incident. Should I be concerned, or write this off as healing and medication?

  126. Doc says:

    Hello, Trish,

    I would be more concerned if he were not able to urinate than that he is leaking.

    On the other hand, sometimes the nerve supply to the bladder is disrupted. Then it just sits there without emptying until it is totally full, stretched to the maximum. The excess then begins to dribble out, while the bladder remains very full. This is bad, as it both indicates nerve damage,and the full bladder often becomes infected.

    You should contact your veterinarian and make arrangements for a recheck.

  127. colin says:

    Hello Trish

    Another sad my dog ran out and was hit by a car last night. He’s a 1 1/2 yr old dachshund/yorkie He has one fracture of the pelvis and one on the tail bone, the one on the tail bone they said will heal by it self but the other would need a plate to stabilize it. We got a a price range from 1500-6000 we have already spent 1400 in two days for stay overs at vets! With the amount being told to us they gave us a few options. One being we krate him and let it heal naturally, My question is if we don’t opt for the surgery and it starts the healing what are some of the things down the road that we have to watch out for and would there be any reason that we would have to put him down?? I love the dog to death and don’t want to see him suffer but honestly we just can’t afford 3-6 grand on him. I really just want my little guy back and hope he will be around for a lot longer..

  128. Doc says:

    Hello, Colin,

    The pelvis is a bone of very complex shape, with many attachments of muscle and tendon. This is what makes plating it so difficult.

    These same muscles and tendons tend to hold the pieces together, so that if the dog is kept quiet (crated), the bones do usually heal back together.

    The pieces would not be precisely lined up, though. If the hip socket itself is not broken, most dogs will walk pretty normally in a few weeks (2 to 4).

    If the socket is broken, you will have arthritis developing at an early age, because the socket doesn’t mate with the ball any more, and the irregular surface will tear up the ball of the hip.

    Early on you also have to monitor bladder function — is he urinating regularly or not? This is super important.

    Also, the breaks in the pelvis can damage other nerves, especially the sciatic nerve, which could impair the function of a hind leg pretty severely.

    If the hip sockets are undamaged there is a really good probability that he will have a good quality of life.

    Stay in touch with your veterinarian. Let him/her know how the dog is progressing.

  129. christie says:

    hi, my name is christie. My friend found a cat two nights ago by the side of the road. we think it is a 3 week old kitten. I took it to the vet today, and it has pelvic injuries and waddles… and hasnt been able to eliminate yet… it has peed twice in the past two days. is there a way i can get it to eliminate? :/ thats my biggest concern. he also has a swollen tummy which is prob. worms, so we have worm meds. for him. but i really am worried about how to make sure he can go to the bathroom so the toxins dont kill him 🙁

  130. Samik Ghosal says:

    Hello Trish,

    My dog started limping and gradually couldn’t walk with it’s hind legs after probably getting hit by a car. The vet said he has a pelvic fracture and to take care of him. He is a year old and the vet prescribed a calcium supplement. The initial couple of days he wasn’t moving at all. But, after that, he has started becoming restless and drags himself around the house with his front legs. If he is in so much pain then how and why does he want to move so much? We haven’t kept him confined and he whines to be let outdoors. How much time should it ideally take for him to be back up on his feet and should we keep him confined? Is movement a danger to his chances of healing?

  131. Doc says:

    Hello, Christie,

    You need to let your veterinarian know what is going on. Without seeing your kitten, it is not okay for me to prescribe for you.

    If you are giving formula, it may be possible to add a little mineral oil as a lubricant laxative, but you need to consult with your veterinarian about the dose.

    If eating solid food, one can also use mineral oil, or sometimes psyllium mucilloid (Metamucil) can be added to the food.

    It is possible that the kitten may need an enema, and you would wish to consult your veterinarian about this (as in “don’t try this at home”).

    Keeping him confined is important. The more he moves around, the more the pelvic fragments get jostled away from one another and it is harder for them to heal. Usually about 2 weeks of confinement is adequate in a healthy, growing kitten.

    The dragging of the hind legs and the lack of bowel movement make me concerned about a possible spinal injury. You should really let your veterinarian know what is going on.

    Good luck.

  132. Doc says:

    I sort of mixed up the two posts and replied to both.
    The stuff about laxatives and enemas is for Christie,
    and the worry about the dragging is for Samik.

    Also, with a mature dog, the confinement may need to take as long as 4 weeks. I am still concerned about spinal injury, and would recommend at least a phone call to your veterinarian.

  133. Lianne says:

    Hi, I wonder if youcan provide me with some advice, or reassurance or something. Our 3 year old cat came in yesterday morning (had been out since about 4am ish and came in at 9am ish|), climbed the stairs where my husband found her laying strangely. She struggled downstairs and he noticed she was struggling with her back legs. He took her to the vet and she has been there all day. They have done x rays which were not clear as she wouldn’t let the vet get close to her, she appeared to be in severe stomach pain (even with painkillers). So they anaesthatised (sp – sorry!) her and she had x rays and radiography. There doesn’t appear to be anything broken/fractured. Her colon is a little farther down although the vet said this could be as she is slightly overweight. Similarly, they thought there may be some internal bleeding but she said upon a proper look when she was under and that appears to be fat (she really isn’t obese – just slightly overweight according to thevet). Anyway, they said the local hospital could watch her overnight in case the pain wore off, or she could come home. I should mention that this morning/afternoon her heartrate and breathing were high and shallow respectively – but by the time we went to the vets had stabilised. Anyway we decided we would bring her home and watch her all night. She initially (tried to) walked across the front room and her back legs were almost unusuable However, this looked the same to me as our other cat and all thecats I have had when they come round from the anaesthetic. I moved her to two pillows n the floor (she wasn’t happy being moved but let me without too much fuss), she has had a finger of squirty cream and about 5 or 6 chunks of cat food from my hand. She hasn’t, however, moved since from the pillows or slept. We told the vet if her breathing deteriorated or if she needed more pain relief we would take her to the hospital: neither happened in the night. The vet said she doesn’t know why she is in so much pain, The vet says she doesn ‘t know what happened but that she suspects trauma. At about midnght she tried to turn over on the pillows for tickly belly (something she loves normally – but earlier on in the day she wouldn’t let anyone near her stomach – even my husband)and purred lots. Similarly she did this this morning. We stayed up all night with her and she got up at about 4am, walked ok ish (you could see she was tender but she walked) and had a wee. My husband took her to the vet this morning but had huge issues getting her there as she fought and fought him getting in her basket (this is normal but yesterday she just let him take her). The vet was encouraged by the turning over and also by the fact that she had eaten about 4 tiny chunks of food, that she had weed and that she had tried washing herself. She has been given painkillers and an appointment for next Wednesday. However, since she has come home she has neither weed or pood, has only taken one chunk of food and, when we tried to get her into her litter tray, she panicked, walked away and her breathin became not good again. This has now settled. We are so desperately worried about her and wondered if youcould advise us in any way?
    Thanks so much

    PS Sorry for the tenses – some of this was written yesterday and the extra bit today!

  134. Doc says:

    Hello, Lianne,

    It certainly sounds like your cat is still painful. I agree with your vet that trauma is the top of the list. Unfortunately, that doesn’t help us narrow down the painful area.

    Cats are often difficult patients, as they can be uncooperative about eating and being medicated even when they feel good.

    I recommend that you stay in close contact with your veterinarian. He/she may want to give fluid therapy, may also want to repeat X-rays to see if something has changed, particularly in the chest.

    Good nursing care would be continuing the pain medicine and coaxing the cat to eat and drink (not easy).

    The person best equipped to advise you is the doctor seeing your cat. Keep them posted regularly about what is going on.

  135. Makenzie says:

    My puppy (about 6 months old) got hit by a car earlier today, when she got hit she seemed fine, she cried but was walking good. Now shes sore and cant walk too good, she can walk but its really slow with her back legs and she has trouble when she sits down or stands up. My mom is a nurse and says she has no broken bones or internal bleeding. She might just be sore. Is this something i need to worry about? All the bills got hit on us this week and we cant afford to take her to the vet unless its completely necessary.

  136. Doc says:

    Hello, Makenzie,

    It’s always dangerous to try to make a long-distance diagnosis.

    Since she was up walking, I would suspect that there are no major fractures. I am certain that she is very sore and needs pain management.

    This would best be acomplished with the help of your veterinarian. Dogs do not tolerate ibuprofen or naproxen (aleve) many other human pain-killers. Even the drugs that may be safe need to be dosed accurately.

  137. Donna says:

    Hi there,

    Our cat was clipped by a car last Saturday morning and has a severe tail pull injury. His tail is paralysed and he has no bladder or bowel function at all. He has no feeling and the vet says it’s due to nerve damage. He’s been at the vets since Monday and has a catheter. But they’ve said if there is no bowel movement by this Saturday (one week) then the kindest thing would be to put him to sleep. The vets are also upset because he’s completely fine otherwise but there’s nothing they can do unless he moves his bowels. Are they definitely right? The x-rays showed a one inch gap between his tail and sacrum(?) which they say means the nerves have probably been broken and that there’s little hope of recovery. Needless to say, we can’t stop crying. Is there any hope with an injury this severe? Any advice sincerely appreciated.

  138. Doc says:

    Hello, Donna,

    Generally speaking, the person best equipped to advise you is the doctor seeing your pet.

    I am certainly not a neurological expert. In searching Veterinary Information Network, some experts have noted that recovery can take as long as six weeks in those cases where it does occur.

    In the meantime, the cat would need considerable assistance keeping the bladder and bowels empty. The tail might need to be amputated just because it gets filthy when it cannot be lifted out of the way and the patient is leaking wastes.

    It is certainly possible that you might go through six weeks of intensive nursing care and find that your cat made no progress.

    Is there hope? Maybe, but you’re looking at a lot of heavy-duty nursing care. If you want to give this every chance, you might ask your veterinarian for referral to a neurologist or critical care specialist.

    No easy choices here.

    Best wishes.

  139. Antony Hunt says:

    Hi, we wondered if you could just offer some advice. We live in Spain but are far from fluent in Spanish so have difficulty understanding exactly what our vet is telling us. One of our adopted cats had an accident last Friday trying to climb out of a window, so we rushed her to our local vet who x-rayed her and said that she had a fracture in her pelvis with quite a lot of swelling but everything else (organs etc) was ok. She is now back home but we are a little concerned about her back legs, one of them shows a little movement but the other (on the side of the fracture) she does not move at all (she can move her tail) although she is quite happy lying on it. At the moment she cannot stand up, so we are carefully moving her in and out of her litter box and giving her plenty of bed rest (with pain killers and an anti-biotic for a cut). Now I understand from your excellent article that this sort of temporary paralysis of the limbs is normal in a case of a fracture pelvis, but we are worried that the one leg is not moving at all. Can you tell us whether this is normal and should movement start to come back as the fracture heals? We do not know exactly how old she is about we think she is about two or three. Many thanks

  140. Doc says:

    Hello, Antony,

    It doesn’t bother me that she isn’t walking on the leg. As to the movement, she may simply still be too sore, or have too much swelling.

    A worse problem would be damage to the sciatic nerve, which passes through the pelvis, sort of over the top, just behind the hip joint. It certainly is vulnerable to damage in a pelvic fracture. Fortunately, that doesn’t usually happen, but it would permanently affect the use of the limb (unfortunately).

    We are about 7 days into the recovery, and two to four week is average.

    If you are still seeing no motion in the leg after 14 days, I would get back in touch with the veterinarian. If you Spanish is not fluent, this would be a good time to recruit some help in that department.

    Good luck.

  141. antony hunt says:

    Hi thanks for your advice, over the weekend she has started to move her legs a little, so fingers crossed she is on the mend and i guess we just have to give it time (poco a poco as they would say here).

  142. Sheri says:

    Hi – i need URGENT help. my boyfriend’s cat fell out of a 2 story window after getting her leg caught in the air conditioner. (she was trying to get outside – shes an outside cat and was locked in by a roommate so she squeezed out the sides) the twisting of her leg in the window dislocated her right hip and the impact to the thick bushes and metal trash cans below broke her pelvis on her left side. she has not made stool for 3 days, and she is backed up. the vet says they cannot help us until we have all the money up front – which is normal but INSANE. it could be two weeks before we can pay and she can have surgery to fix the break and the dislocation. despite the pain, though, she seems very lively – eats and drinks just fine, and though she stays laying down she will play with toys within arms reach. shes starting pain medication tonight, but the amount of poo backed up on that xray is making me panic – how do i help her defecate? is this a death sentence? she can move her toes and tail, but could she still lose those functions? she puts weight on both legs when she walks, but only goes a foot or two at a time – is this a sign of promise? should i lose hope? people keep telling me we should put her down and i just can’t deal with that – she’s not even 2 years old yet!

  143. Doc says:

    Hello, Sheri,

    If she can walk a foot or two, then her prognosis for recovery is good. Cats are incredible orthopedic patients. They heal from stuff you wouldn’t believe. That’s how the “cats have nine lives” thing got started. Some orthopedic surgeons jokingly say that “if you put the bones in the same room they will heal”.

    I really cannot prescribe for your cat without seeing it. She may require an enema, but this is not something that I would recommend you attempt on your own with no experience.

    If she is eating, you can add mineral oil to her food (about 1/2 teaspoon, or 2&1/2 cc) per feeding as a lubricant. You can also safely add 1/2 teaspoon of psyllium mucilloid (metamucil) as a lubricant laxative.

    Obviously I have not seen your cat, but I would say that the outlook is still positive. A veterinarian who actually sees your cat is your best source of information.

    Good luck.

  144. Charlette says:

    Hi, My cat is 4 years old and fractured his pelvis in January this year. He had cage rest for around 8 weeks and gradually made a full recovery. Over the past couple of days he has not been himself he is walking very slowly and not jumping up on the window ledge as he usually does and his muscle on his back and back leg of the side of the fracture seems to be spasming. He is still eating and drinking. Could he have possibly re-fractured his pelvis?

  145. Doc says:

    Hello, Charlette,

    It usually takes a pretty heavy trauma to fracture the pelvis, with being hit by a car the most common cause.

    He wouldn’t be very likely to do that around the house.

    The sciatic nerve crosses over the pelvic bone right behind the hip socket. It is possible that the pelvis healed in such a way that bone spurs are impinging on that nerve.

    It is also possible that the hip joint was injured at the time and that arthritis has been developing as a result.

    This guy needs to see his veterinarian.

  146. rob says:

    Our 7 month old black lab got hit by a pickup truck today. We took her immediately to the vet and she quickly put her on pain meds. Turns out we have found out that our dog has fractured her pelvis in two spots and her best bet is to have surgery.the one fracture is right where the pelvis and spine meet.. Therefore, we have agreed to surgery. She has a lot of road rash. We were wondering if surgery will fix the fracture where the pelvis meets the spine.. we realize that its hard to say with out looking at x rays.. but by reading some comments on this website its safe to say pelvis injurys are self healers for the most part?

  147. Doc says:

    Hello, Rob,

    It is true that many pelvic fractures will knit together without surgery. This is because of the large amount of muscle and tendon surrounding the pelvic bones. This tissue acts as sort of a “self-cast”.

    Just because the bone fragments stick together, that doesn’t mean you will have something that is healed as well as it could be. The fragments may not be causing pain by moving around anymore, but the pelvis could “heal” in a very deformed fashion.

    Go back to your veterinarian with your questions.

    If you don’t have confidence in your veterinarian’s recommendation, then ask for referral to an orthopedic specialist. Or take the dog to another local veterinarian for a second opinion.

    This is not something you can fix over the internet.

  148. Frank says:

    My 4 year old Redbone Coonhound dug under the fence in the backyard and returned four very long and sad (for my family and I) days later. We were overwhelmingly happy that he showed up on the front porch in the pouring rain this past Sunday. We took him to the vet today because it was obvious that he was in pain and had some bruising and a limp on his back right leg. Sure enough, he broke his pelvis in two places. Like you mentioned, he is on pain meds and bedrest for the next month. He is also on antibiotics for a Urinary tract infection caused from the broken pelvis. My questions: Is a UTI common/normal in pelvic fractures? Also, my dog seems to want to get up and walk around every now and then. Does this hurt or delay the healing process? I am trying my best to keep him confined to his crate. Lastly, his vet said that she thinks he may have been hit several days ago (the first day he wandered off) and laid there until he got the strength to walk home on Sunday. My questions is how in the world he could walk home with this fractured pelvis? Thank you very much for the extremely informative post!

  149. Anon says:

    My roommate’s cat has been walking funny for about 2 days and we suspect a pelvis or lower back injury. Two nights ago he came home and had a scabbed area on his lower back, which was sensitive to the touch, and was walking with his hind legs and lower back low to the ground. He still hops up on things and walks slowly, but it takes him a while to be able to sit or lay down in a comfortable position. He uses the litterbox without difficulty. Lately he meows to be let outside (which we do not allow) and his back no longer seems to be tender to the touch, however there is a large, hard bump on his lower back that feels like a bone out of place (this is not painful when touched). He still walks slowly and awkwardly with his pelvis turned downward, creating a reverse back arch. I’ve been reading about spinal and pelvic breaks and fractures online and it seems like in most cases the animals are in pain and experiencing some level of paralysis. My roommate is waiting for a paycheck to take the cat to the vet but probably cannot afford any sort of surgery. If a fracture is what occurred, does it sound like there is a probable chance of it fusing without surgery? How could we prevent it from healing in a deformed fashion? Is it likely that there even has been a break based on my description? Thanks, Anon

  150. Doc says:

    Hello, Frank,

    A UTI is common if you sit around with a full bladder instead of emptying it regularly. If you hurt too badly to get up and walk, you sit around with a full bladder.

    I suspect that he walked home in great pain. Every time those broken ends moved around, it hurt a lot. He hid out while he hurt too bad to think about it (so nobody could find him and do him ill – instinct at work, as there’s nobody to help you in the wild). When he got able to move (albeit painfully) he wanted to go home and see you guys and get something to eat.

    It’s good that he wants to get up, but I’d do my best to keep him down for two weeks. The more he moves around, the more the broken bones move back and forth, so healing will be slower.

    Good luck.

  151. Doc says:

    Hello, Anon,

    If there were a spinal injury causing that much deformation, I seriously doubt that the cat could walk.

    A pelvic injury is much more likely. You’ll know when you get it X-rayed.

    Unless a major orthopedic surgery is performed to align the bones, there isn’t much you can do to keep them from healing wherever they end up.

    Keeping the cat inactive lets it heal faster.

    On the other hand, you could even have an abscess in that area. The kid could have been wounded during his outing.

    This is a little tough to handle “long distance”. The sooner we get to the veterinarian, the better.

    Good luck.

  152. Molina says:

    Hello, Please Help!!!

    My one year old toy poodle, was hit by a van last Thursday and Fractured his pelvis. We drove him right away to the nearest Vet, they only gave him pain relievers since they said they were about to “close”, although he said to come back the next day,in which we did. The vet “re-located” his leg onto the hip joint, however, we went back 2 days later and he said it got dislocated again. The vet was being very in patient and rude, so we are currently looking for a new vet. He did say however, that my dog would need surgery or we can just “wait it out, and see if he heels on its own”. Today marks exactly 7 days after the incident happened. My dog wags his tail, barks a little bit, and has been eating/drinking, and using the bathroom. We just want to ensure that he will be ok and, any suggestions would be very much appreciated!

  153. Doc says:

    Hello, Molina,

    Many pelvic bone fractures will heal on their own over a 2 to 4 week period. This healing won’t be a perfect return to normal alignment of the bones, as a general rule. It is usually functional, as long as the hip socket is not involved.

    Other complications are possible if the sciatic nerve is damaged.

    If the hip joint remains dislocated, then you have a different problem to deal with.

    There is so much muscle and tendon in this area that sometimes the dislocated hip will form a “false joint”. The weight is supported by the muscles, and the “ball” of the ball-and-socket hip joint sort of finds a place outside the socket.

    In a very small dog, this may enable pretty normal walking after a time (weeks to months). Sometimes it is never comfortable.

    In that case, either one can do surgery to keep the hip in place, or do a salvage surgery where the ball is just removed. This eliminates the pain of bone on bone, and is usually very functional in a small dog.

    In view of your dissatisfaction with the doctor who saw you initially, I think that you plan of seeking a doctor whom you get along with is a very good plan. I would try to get a new veterinarian to evaluate your dog as soon as possible.

  154. Anne Gorey says:

    This sight has allowed me to nurse my 3 year old cocker spaniel back to being healthy today.My dog was hit by a car and broke three pelvis bones. He was in terrible thought we might have to put him down. After an initial hosp. stay at $1000.00 I could not afford the $5,000 surgery. I brought him home with pain control and antibiotics. I kept him in a pen. (I have photographs of this) the first 2 weeks were really tough but each week of rest he got stronger. We are celebrating today his 6 week of recovery. He is doing GREAT!!! Please let me know if I can help you with advice. All these blogs have given me the strength to carry on.

  155. Jessica Rose says:

    Hello and I am so happy I found your site!

    My 5 month old cat just came out of pelvic surgery yesterday from 2 fractures. He also has a bone shard in his hip from the accident, but the doctor said it will heal on its own. I am very worried about his chances for the recovery of the leg opposite the surgical site.

    To tell you the truth, the left leg was the one he was having the most trouble walking on, it’s jutting out, he barely uses it and it just doesn’t look right! Seems like it’s dislocated, but I’m no Dr. The other vet said the pelvis was broken, not the hip. But the Dr put the pin in the right hip. I am very confused!

    Is it possible that the surgeon overlooked the 2nd fracture in the x-rays or that he repaired the wrong side of the hip? What could be wrong with his left leg? Is it possible the left side needs surgery too? He is using the right hip that just had surgery more than the left when he stands and walks to his litter box! He puts all his weight on that side. I just spent $2700 and I am freaking out a bit. Your response is much appreciated…

  156. Cheryl Bracht says:

    Our 3 year old male Huskey was hit by a trash truck on Nov 24 and had a back leg and tail amputated and also has 2 pelvic fractures. He has no control of bladder or bowel control as of yet. We left him under vet care for 9 days and he is under crate restriction and seems to be doing ok. He doesn’t eat well, but has always been finicky. He doesn’t seem to know he has any bowel movements, but when he urinates he doesn’t dribble continually,like the vet said he would. The urine comes out all out at once just like he would normally. What are the likely hood of him regaining his control? Thank you.

  157. Kerri says:

    hi, my 1yr old female cat was hit by a car a fortnight ago she was missing for 4 days before we could get her to the vets but when we eventualy got her there she was kept for xrays and it turned out she had a fractured pelvis and severe bruising she also split her tounge in 2 aswell. Today a week and a half later she has just been back at the vets for a check up and i have been informed that she MUST get dressed asap as if she falls pregnant and gives birth naturally that her spline could rupture and she will die. i have always said that i would let my 2 female cats have 1 letter each then get them dressed. The vet said that if she fell pregnant that she could have a c section to give birth but i dont want to put her through that but im a bit confused because the vet didnt take any new xrays to check how she is healing so how would they no wether she would be able to have a litter or not?? can u please give me some advice on this?? i am thinkin about getting a second opinion before i take her to get dressed but thought i would ask on here first. thanks xx

  158. Doc says:

    Hello, Jessica,

    For $2,700, I would feel entitled to ask as many questions as I wanted. Really, I think your veterinarian probably just thinks he/she has done a wonderful job of explaining things, but it is obvious he did not. You still have way too many unanswered questions.

    I would call them up and ask for a consultation with the X-rays to explain as much as possible about what happened. Don’t be embarrassed to keep saying that you still don’t fully understand. Make them use words of one syllable if necessary.

    It is our job to communicate with the client in order to ensure that the patient has as good a result as possible. It is a very important part of the service. You can’t just nail the pieces back together.

    I say this because I really can’t give you a lot of specific advice. I haven’t seen the X-rays, much less your cat.

    That being said, it is possible that the sciatic nerve has been damaged on the side that isn’t being used as much. That nerve runs right over the pelvis on its way out to the leg. It’s in a bad position with a pelvic fracture.

    Two things are good. The damage to that nerve could just be a lot of swelling in the area putting pressure on it. That will get better (though probably not overnight – days to weeks). The other good thing is how young your cat is. The healing machinery is in high gear in a patient who is still growing.

    I strongly urge you to call your doctor back and just (without any “make wrong” or antagonism) tell them that you really don’t understand what is going on. You don’t want to keep bothering them, so you’d really appreciate it if they could just take some more time now to be sure you fully understand the situation.

    Good luck.

  159. Doc says:

    Hello, Cheryl,

    From your story, it seems obvious that we’ve got a lot of nerve damage. The control of the urinary bladder can be complicated. It does sound like the bladder is emptying fully, and this is good. If he were just dribbling, it would mean that the bladder was staying full to overflowing all the time. Patients in that condition develop repeated urinary tract infections and are very difficult to manage.

    I would be guardedly optimistic that he will be able to control his bladder when he gets up and around again, though there is certainly no guarantee of this, and I am certainly no neurologist.

    Nerves that are damaged often do not heal, and even those that do can take weeks to months.

    Good luck.

  160. Doc says:

    Hello, Kerri,

    You are correct in thinking that a follow-up exam is needed to check the progress of the healing.

    Your veterinarian has advised preventing any possible pregnancy for a very good reason. The pelvis is the girdle of bones that forms the birth canal. When it is broken, it generally does heal back together. It does NOT generally heal back together in perfect form.

    It is very common for it to heal in such a way that bony knobs are sticking into what should be the birth canal. This is not enough to prevent bowel movements or urination, but it frequently IS enough to prevent the babies from getting through.

    The mother pushes and strains to deliver the babies, but they cannot get through the partially blocked birth canal (due to the pelvis being deformed by imperfect healing).

    They continue to strain, and may rupture their uterus in the process. Surgery is necessary, and may come too late if you are not observing the cat 24 hours per day.

    I would heed your veterinarian’s recommendation and have the sterilizing surgery as soon as she is healed from her accident.

    Best wishes.

  161. Cheryl Bracht says:

    hello- I am the momma of the 3 year old huskey. He is feeling much better and starting to control his bladder and bowel. He scratches at his gate when he wants to go out. We help him down the steps outside and walk a little. I do wonder how to keep him from hurting his fractures now that he is more mobile. He is 3 weeks into recovery and we have hard wood floors, we have put down carpets and rugs and limited his access, but if he slips a little will he rebreak his fracture that is healing. He also has an amputated leg so is learning to get around on that. Thanks

  162. Doc says:

    Hello, Cheryl,

    Man, that is a tough situation, with a leg missing on top of the pelvic fracture.

    Certainly a fall would not do him any good, and might set him back by a week or so. It should not stop him from healing eventually, though.

    Your idea to put down surfaces that will give him more traction is a very good idea.

    It sounds to me like you are doing all that can be done at this point.

  163. Cheryl Bracht says:

    He seems to be healing ok. We are so thankful he seems to have control of his bladder and bowel. Some days he wants to play and we have to contain him from being to active. Other days he seems to sleep and is a little depressed. If one of the other dogs accidently bumps him he still yelps( but he is always been a bit dramatic). How much pain do you think he may still be in at 4 weeks? the pain killer he has, just says 2x a day as needed. we usually just give it to him at night. Thanks Cheryl

  164. Doc says:

    Hello, Cheryl,

    I’m so glad to hear that your dog continues to improve.

    At four weeks, his pain is going to be more when he moves, or something moves HIM to shift things that are not totally healed yet.

    The days when he is a little depressed likely indicate painful days.

    Talk with your veterinarian about this, but I would generally err on the side of caution, and give the pain medicine regularly twice daily with the situation you describe.

  165. Cheryl Bracht says:

    That’s what I kind of thought. This am my husband was helping him in the house with a sling and our lab knocked him in the back side fairly hard in an effort to get in the house first. He was luckily had his sling on and didn’t fall but he really howled. He is laying down resting now. Is it possible that he could have re-injured the fracture? at 4 weeks I would think it would have to take more than a hard bump. But, I worry about set backs. thanks so much Cheryl

  166. Doc says:

    Hello, Cheryl,

    With a 3-years old dog, the healing is still a work in progress. Probably wouldn’t totally re-open the fracture, but might cause some cracks in the healing area. So, a set-back, but not a deal-breaker.

  167. Jennifer says:

    Hi. Our Pit Bull got away from us on Jan. 13th and according to several witnesses he was hit by a car that day but ran off into the woods. We searched in no luck. He found his way home yesterday, 10 days later. We took him to vet and the x rays showed a severely broken pelvis on the right side. We were referred to a surgeon who hoped to put a pin in to repair his pelvis. We received a message from them stating they could not put the pin in because there was to much damage and nowhere to connect the pins. According to the xray the fracture is pressing on his colon preventing a bowel movement. Even if the pelvis can’t be repaired shouldn’t the fracture be able to be fixed?

  168. Doc says:

    Hello, Jennifer,

    The pelvic bones are notoriously difficult to work on.

    I am not an orthopedic specialist and it sounds to me like you need one. Even if the pelvis cannot be fully reconstructed, I would think there would be a way to restore the canal enough to allow bowel movements.

    Ask your veterinarian if the surgeon who has seen your X-rays is actually an orthopedic specialist. That’s what you need.

  169. Rob says:

    My 1 1/2 year old tabby started limping slightly 2 weeks ago on his left hind leg. He is an indoor cat. Took him to the vet 3 days later, they wanted to xray, etc, at large cost. A week later his limp got worse, he doesn’t walk much, lays down. Eats, drinks, goes # 1 and #2 just fine. Personality is normal aside from bad leg.
    Vet today xrayed and said he has a fracture in BOTH hips and surgery is required at a high cost.
    Any chance he’ll be “normal” if surgery is done? Vet says no. Any chance he will heal on his own?

  170. Doc says:

    Hello, Rob,

    Since I haven’t seen your cat or your X-rays, it’s a little hard for me to give you any meaningful advice.

    It sounds from your description like there might be problems with the “head and neck” of the femur. This is the ball of the “ball and socket” hip joint.

    If these have fractured spontaneously in the home, that can actually happen due to a weird bone condition called aseptic necrosis. We don’t understand why this happens, but the bone in that part of the femur just dies and disintegrates.

    The only way to relieve the pain is to remove the dead, diseased bone. This operation is called a femoral head ostectomy, or FHO.

    While the cat would not be normal, like nothing ever happened, he probably would be able to walk and get around well without pain.

    Again, without seeing the situation, it is hard for me to help you. It would not be out of line for you to ask your veterinarian for a more detailed explanation about what is going on.

    It is hard for anyone to make a decision as to what their best course of action is when they don’t fully understand the situation.

    It is often difficult for us to be sure that we are communicating well. We think that our explanation is great, because we are so familiar with what is going on. Unfortunately, sometimes something as simple as one misunderstood word can make the whole explanation useless.

    It’s okay to ask for clarification on the situation. It doesn’t mean you’re dumb, it must means you need a better explanation.

  171. Carmen says:

    My 6 month old shih tzu got ran over by a truck yesturday evning i took her in to the emegency vet and he gave her pain meds and antibiotics…i have her home and she is really swelled up and bruiced on her back part…vet said its most likely pelvis but wont know for sure till about 8 today

  172. Rob says:

    Thank you. You are correct in your assumption. The vet showed me the x-ray and explained, the “ball” is fractured on both femurs though my cat only limps with his left leg showing lame. He recommended the FHO as the “cheaper” surgery, rather than full hip replacement. The vet said he would not consider pinning the ball, because it wouldn’t hold. So I guess it will not heal on it’s own, and the ball has to be removed? The vet said he’d be normal after the surgery, but that doesn’t sound right. You make more sense than him, and you haven’t seen the cat. Vet said surgery is around 3500 which i can’t afford. He’s home now, and eating, bathroom, and spirits high. Just moans when getting up from laying down. Much less active. I may have to put him down unless I win the lottery, or he heals on his own.

  173. Rob says:

    Sorry to keep posting, one more thing. The vet was adamant that “trauma” caused the injury. Thank you so much. You are a HUGE help to myself and others out there with injured pets.
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. !!!

  174. Doc says:

    Hello, Carmen,

    Be sure to keep your veterinarian informed of the dog’s progress. A lot of this involves “watch and wait”, but the watching is important, and letting the doctor know what is happening is important. Things change, and we change what we are doing.

    Be especially alert as to whether the dog is able to urinate and have bowel movements.

  175. Doc says:

    Hello, Rob,

    Thanks for the feedback. Total hip replacement is almost unheard of in cats, especially with this sort of problem.

    Trauma to the hips may have occurred, but is certainly not the only possible explanation.

    $3,500 sounds like a lot, but I don’t know your location. If you are in Los Angeles, that may be the going rate.

    Here in Missouri, it probably wouldn’t be so much, even with a specialist at the university.

    However, you do need to remember that this is a pretty major surgery.

  176. Vanessa says:

    I accidentally ran over my dog smokey. After i hit him he went under a car to hide my bf got hit out n his legs were spread out more then usual. He put him down n he came n walked to me as if nothing happened but with his legs spread. I took him to the vet and they did a x-ray n gave him meds n they said he was ok. I stay up most of the night as he laid in his little bed on my bed during the night he would whine jus a little but would sit up n try to get comfortable. I been giving his meds every 8 & 12 hrz. He drinks some water but doesnt want to eat. I took him back today to do a check up the doctor looked at his x-ray n said he has a fracture pelves but doesnt need surgery. He said its by his butt n that is why his legs are spread apart like if he did the spilts. I took him out to pee i ran inside real quick n he was at another part of the yard peeing so he walked a lil. His peeing was brown, vet said it cus his kidney got hit like how boxer pee blood sometimes. Anyway i love my baby n i dont want anything to happen please if anyone can help me by letting know if he will survive this n want can i do to have him eat so i kno hez ok. His private area is also bruised. He stands up but i try to keep in bed all day do it can heal. He doesnt cry at all unless i pick him up wrong he’ll jus whine a little.

  177. Doc says:

    Hello, Vanessa,

    I can understand your concern. It sounds like there is a lot of bruising in the groin area. This means that his urinary bladder was probably very bruised as well, resulting in some blood in his urine.

    It sounds to me like your veterinarian has prescribed very appropriate treatment — strict rest and pain medications.

    Do continue to monitor the dog’s urine output to be sure that he is able to urinate. On rare occaions, a bruised bladder breaks open internally and the urine goes into the body, instead of outside where it belongs.

    I haven’t seen your dog or your X-rays, so I cannot give you very much information about what will happen with your dog.

    I can say that your description makes me very optimistic that things will be okay in a couple of weeks.

    Be sure to stay in touch with your veterinarian and let him/her know how your dog is progressing, and let him/her know what your questions are.

  178. Vanessa says:

    Is it possible to contact my vet to verify the x-ray somehow because the day i took him they said he was fine n then the next day i took him i kepted asking question so he looked at the x-ray again n that when he told me about the fracture in his pelvis its in a crease he said. My smokey finally ate today this is day 3. But hasnt done #2. I can tell he doesnt like to be laying down all day n wantz to walk. They gave me amoxicillin/ calvulante n buprenorphine n ive been giving it to him lile clock work. His urine is normal color but i dont think itz a flow it more like dribbles. My vet is east lake veternary in watsonville ca95076

  179. Doc says:

    Hello, Vanessa,

    It is really not possible for me to give you specific advice, as I am not able to see your pet.

    When a pet does not eat for a couple of days, we don’t expect a regular bowel movement. When the stomach fills, the colon empties. It’s a reflex. If you don’t eat, the body isn’t really stimulated to empty the colon.

    Keep in good communication with your veterinarian. Just let them know what is happening and keep asking them your questions. I am sure that they want to help you.

  180. Amanda says:

    Dear Doctor,
    My cat was involved in a car accident two days ago. We took him to the vet and he told us that the pelvis has been fractured.He gave my cat some pain killers and told that the fracture would heal after some weeks. My cat seems in pain though and he won’t drink any milk. He also hasn’t passed stools. He tries to stand up but he can’t. Could you please advise me on how to take care of him at this time and what to look out for if his condition gets worse.

  181. Doc says:

    Hello, Amanda,

    Please call your veterinarian and tell him what is going on.

    He has seen your cat and knows more about the case and is best equipped to advise you.

    If the pain is not being controlled, your veterinarian can give you more or different medicine.

    He can also tell you the safest thing to do about the stool situation. If the cat is not eating much, it may not need to pass a stool. You need to discuss this one-on-one with the doctor.

    It is also important to be sure that urine is being passed.

    Most pelvic fractures will heal with rest in 2 to 4 weeks, but not all.

    Tell your veterinarian what is happening. If he doesn’t hear from you, he thinks everything is okay.

  182. Doc says:

    Hello, Rosalya,

    Without seeing your X-rays or your dog, it is a little difficult to give you very meaningful information.

    My experience with referring dogs to specialists for surgery with pelvic fractures is that you would often be quoted a price upwards of two thousand dollars.

  183. Melissa says:

    My 5 month old male kitten had some kind of accident (what we don’t know) but it left his pelvis fractured. One of the pelvic bones pushed his sacroiliac vertebrae slightly askew and by slightly I mean that it was so slight that it was missed with the first 2 xrays and the vet missed it. At that time, 1 week ago, the prognosis was paralysis and that he should be put down. I have cared for blind dogs, dogs with broken pelvis, and deaf cats so we didnt’ have him put down. We brought him home after 4 days at the vet. I gave him a bath becasue he had urinated on himself. He was so unhappy that he launched himself out of my arms using his right hind leg that was supposed to be paralyzed. Last night (day 6 we noted that his right hindleg was quivering and shaking, there was some resistance in it, like he was pushing back against the range of motion (bicycle) exercise and he would spread his toes out on that leg in his sleep. After reading through the above posts I’m feeling guilty because I didn’t confine him to his pet carrier and may have made things worse, so I’m going home to confine him to prevent further damage. He eats fine, picky as always, he prefers the dog’s water bowl to his own, he is sleeping on a heating pad that has multiple settings and shuts itself off automatically, he had problems urinating and pooping but I figured out how to help there until we get things better figured out for him. He mostly sleeps, waking long enough to eat, drink, then go back to sleep. He did play with a feather toy for a few minutes last night ony because his sister was playing with it first. If he is actually paralyzed in the hind quarters or even partially paralyzed what are your opinions on water therapy, massage therapy, and the use of wheel chairs for cats?

  184. Doc says:

    Hello, Melissa,

    I think I would wait for another three weeks to allow more healing of the pelvic area before starting any physical therapy. At that point I don’t think you would hurt the cat, and you could certainly help.

    I think it would be difficult to keep a cat in a “wheelchair”, but it would depend on the cat and his temperament.

    This outfit makes a lot of products, but doesn’t specifically make cat products. This is a link to a search I did on their site.

  185. Jason says:


    So my Jack Russell was ran over by a Jeep and has three cracked ribs(not displaced) and a fractured pelvis in several spots. This happened about 1-1/2 weeks ago. He is already standing/turning/taking several steps(I try to limit his movement so not to overstress his injuries) however, he seems to only like to walk on three legs. About every fourth or fifth step he may use the other hind leg but with slight pain. He uses it for balance when standing/turning. Radiographs don’t show anything wrong with his legs so I’m basically just wondering is there any chance he would regain normal functioning of this leg? Should I attempt to have him use it slightly(rehab it)? Oh and what is strange that the side most of the damage is on is the ‘good hind leg’.

  186. Jason says:

    Add: Jason: Jack Russell- Also, about 75% of the day I’ve got him confined to a Infant/toddler padded play-pen, should he be in there more often than that? Is allowing him to take 10 or so steps at a time several times a day too often for this soon?

  187. Doc says:

    Hello, Jason,

    Even the more minor pelvic fractures usually take 2 to 4 weeks to heal. By heal, I mean the bones knit together and not shifting. You really want to minimize the dog’s activity until that has had time to happen. I believe I would wait until 3 to 4 weeks out before looking at physical therapy. The bones are really stuck together yet.

  188. thompson says:

    hi my 5month puppy was hit by a car and i took him to th vet they did an x-ray and the result is a fracture pelvic and broken back leg. i am devasted just seeing him in all that pain. his vet is doing the surgery to put a pin in his leg but i am still concern about the pelvic what affect will it have on his life…will be contacting the vet on monday to find out how the surgery went.

  189. Doc says:

    Hello, Thompson,

    Most pelvic fractures will knit on their own, as per the original post. If the hip joints themselves are not affected, then chances are very good that the pelvic fractures will not affect your pet’s quality of life.

    Your veterinarian is the person best equipped to answer your question, since he/she has actually seen the dog and the X-rays.

  190. Melissa says:

    My 1 year old springer spaniel was ran over Sunday. The people in the car said they felt the car lift up as the ran over her. I immediately took her to the vet and was told she had a left hip cranial luxation and subluxation of the right sacroiliac joint. They put her hip back into socket but it immediately popped right back out. This morning she seemed to be making progress until she tried to get up on her own and tripped coming out of her kennel. I ran her to our vet and the vet confirmed my fear that her hip had dislocated again. She is now under observation for the next two days and they are recommending a FHO. She is not eating but she does wag her tail and put weight on her other foot. My question is will she recover from this? Will she be at a greater risk for arthritis as she ages?

  191. Amy says:

    Hi there my English staffy was hit by a car 11 days ago. He has 3 fractures to the pelvis and its still in the vets because he needs a cathada in for urinating. He has done poo’s by himself 3 times. The vets say his bladder could be still very painful and that’s why he hasn’t or its nerve damage. Is this normal? What are my chances of bringing him home.

  192. Doc says:

    Hello, Amy,

    It sounds like your veterinarian is being very thorough. The pelvic fractures could certainly have created some nerve damage. If so, this is somewhat unpredictable as to when or if it will recover.

    Unfortunately, some of this will just take time to tell. Your veterinarian who is managing the case is the person best equipped to answer your questions.

    Most pelvic injuries do heal and the dog returns to normal function. If he does not recover the ability to empty his bladder, this is a complicated situation to manage. The bladder must be emptied several times daily to avoid urinary tract infections. This would require manual emptying (squeezing the bladder, which is difficult in male dogs), or catheterization (passing a tube into the bladder, which is uncomfortable, and risks introducing infection).

    I hope that he recovers control of his bladder function.

  193. Michael Fowler says:

    My 6 month old Weimaraner got ran over last night. We took her to the vet this morning and found she had a pelvic fracture and high femur fracture (femur fracture is a spiral type fracture per out local vet and the fracture is in a high location) Our vet referred us to have the dog taken to another vet for orthopedic surgery that would cost approx $3,500.00. Or to amputate the rear leg. I have had a dog with amputation and he was fine. But it would seem that a female would cause problems if she ever was bread.

    What are your thoughts on the fractures? I can’t afford the surgery for the hip nor can I afford the amputation.

    Will her pelvic and femur fractures heal on there own and if/when they do heal, should I have her fixed?

  194. Doc says:

    Hello, Michael,

    The femur is unlikely to heal in a usable fashion. The bone fragments will “heal over” but not to each other unless the fracture is immobilized. Without surgery, this would require a body cast that encased the dog from chest to toe. Not really possible.

    The pelvic fractures usually heal, but the healing can deform the birth canal. I would definitely have her spayed to remove the possibility of pregnancy and a difficult birth that would require emergency surgery.

  195. quirina says:

    hi my 3yr old orange longhair tabby fell out of the tree and broke his pelvic on right side Monday night the vet said to keep him in a crate with food and box so we have this morning I took him to his regular box and he went pee but that’s it he doesn’t want to be in crate so I have let him just lay on floor. my question is that he is getting up and walking a few feet at a time not dragging himself is it ok to let him do that?

  196. Deanna says:

    My 9 year old female dog got hit by a car yesterday, I took her to our vet, she gave her X-rays. Vet said she broke to bones but everything else is still in place. Vet gave her morphin, tremadol, antibiotics and inflammatory pill. By doggie is whimpering all day today and it’s horrible. I feel so scared and bad for her. What sleeping position should I put her in?

  197. Doc says:

    Hello, Deanna,

    You should really ask your veterinarian if he/she recommends a particular resting position.

    Generally speaking,the pain is worst when they move around and broken bones grate on one another.

    Even with a lot of pain medicine, broken bones hurt (my own body experience). This should get much better within a couple of days.

    Be sure to keep your veterinarian posted about your dog’s progress.

  198. Deanna says:

    My lovely Wire Fox Terrier, Tabby.

    Tabby’s pain is a bit less today. But still hurts when she tries to move or when we have to pick her up. She has not had a bowl movement since the accident and she does urinate but she urinates while laying down and we monitor also Chang her bedding all the time. Tabby has not wanted to eat and that’s okay because when she does I now she will have bowel movements. Tabby started to lick under her front paw and tummy? Is their a reason why she does that?? She hasn’t really slept still but will dose off for like 20 mins, 10 mins. Off and on. Is that normal? We keep in touch with Tabbys vet this Wednesday she will go in and the vet will check her gash to make sure it’s healing healthy.

    Any information will be very much appreciated.

    Thank you,


  199. Doc says:

    Hello, Deanna,

    I wish that I could be more helpful, but this is just something that requires the hands-on, in-person approach.

    Be sure to communicate all your data and concerns to your veterinarian.

  200. Christina says:

    My 5 yr old pit was struck by a car the other day when a local stray attempted to attack her. We immediately took her to the local animal ER and they took xrays and stated she has three fractures in her pelvis and one of them is in the joint. Of course funds are obsolete due to me being a single mother of three, I cant afford surgery. Some of the doctors said that there is a chance she can recover if she has lots of rest and minimal movement. I’ve been having her rest on some cushions/blankets with potty pads spread across, so she wont have to move too much. She only wants to eat our food versus her dog food! Dont get me wrong, Im very grateful that she is getting something in her that is the way I’ve been getting the meds the Doctor prescribed in her but my overall concern is her Nutrition!What can I do to get her to eat her dry dog food again?? Does anyone think what I’m doing for my dog is sufficient enough?? Doctors say it could take up to at least 4-6 weeks for any improvement with the healing..etc..Our dog means so much to us she has such a special bond with my girls especially my middle child she is 12 yrs old and in a wheelchair since brth and they are both inseperatable! Please give me your opinoins on what I should or could do…

  201. marie boone says:

    My dog was hit by a car a year ago. His pelvis was fractured in four places but healed nicely. Our problem is that one year later he still can’t control his bladder or feces. Will this ever change or could the damage be permanent?

  202. janice corbett says:

    dog was hit 3days ago, vet said it was his spine that was hurt. he has not had a bowel movement in 3 days what can Ido

  203. Doc says:

    Hello, Marie,
    Sorry I didn’t see this sooner. I suspect that the nerves in the area were damaged. If there has been no improvement after one year, then I fear that the damage is permanent. I have seen dogs recover this function after six months. At this point, I can’t be very optimistic.

  204. Doc says:

    Hello, Janice,

    If the spine is injured, then the outlook is poor. Sometimes the nerves are just having trouble because of swelling and pressure, which gets better as the dog heals. Then the nerves recover function.

    If the nerves are cut, they almost never grow back together. The damage is almost always permanent in that case.

    If the dog is doing well, otherwise, ask your veterinarian about giving him an enema to evacuate his bowels. After that, if he is eating, you can add a mild fiber laxative like Metamucil to his food. As your veterinarian about the dosage.

    I really can’t tell you what you need to know. You really need to talk to your veterinarian. Let him/her know that you still have questions.

  205. Sharon Hobbs says:

    Hi my Bengal cat was hit by a car one week ago today. He has a broken pelvis on the right side and dislocated on the left side, he had tail nerve damage too. He spent the first night in the pet hospital with IV’S and pain meds, x-ray and a urinary tract test to check the bladder (bladder was clear). One night $1k they wanted to do surgery $3-4k. we decided to bring him home since they couldn’t say he would not have nerve damage. He is going to the bathroom on his own but just drags himself to the box. His tail is regaining movement and his dislocated leg seems to be doing better as he curls the toes and pulls his foot out of my hand but the broken side is limp for sure from the ankle down and maybe from knee down (just can’t tell for sure but doesn’t have resistance). He is still in some pain when moved but not touchy like he was when rubbed. He is taking Robenacoxib for pain and inflammation and buprenorphine for pain too. We have cut the dose in half after 5 days 3 mg and .1 ml, respectively. This seems to be enough to keep him resting. When do you think he should start trying to stand? Do you think he will regain use of his limp foot/leg? I have taken him to a local vet but he doesn’t offer much on expectations (just says we will talk if he isn’t standing in 2 more weeks). Thank you for your forum.

  206. Doc says:

    Hello, Sharon,

    Cats have amazing healing powers, but this certainly sounds like a complicated situation.

    Even uncomplicated pelvic fractures usually take 2 to 4 weeks to heal.

    In situations like you describe, they sometimes do not regain control of tail and have to have it amputated to keep from soiling it when they go to the bathroom.

    The broken side of the pelvis could have damaged the sciatic nerve. If it is just swollen and bruised, it may regain function. If it has been cut in half, then the outlook for regaining use of the leg is about zero.

    It is really too soon to tell. At this point, I tend to agree with your regular veterinarian. Good nursing care and more time to heal is what is needed right now.

  207. Sharon Hobbs says:

    Thank you for responding to my post. I have an update, I have a friend in vet school so I asked her to look at the x-rays. She told me I was not looking at them correctly that Alex was laying on his back when the x-ray of his spine and pelvis was taken so I have his right and left side backward. I verified that to be correct. That being said his broken side is doing much better than the side with dislocation. His left/broken side is regaining most of its ability for example he was able to scratch his ear this morning (with a good bit of effort) but the right side is still not showing much improvement. What else could be going on with the dislocation to cause this? I am up to 4 minutes/day physical therapy on his right side which he complains a little but lets me do it, he refuses to let me do it on the left side, I don’t press it though since it seems to be healing well. Main question is, what would be causing the lack of feeling in the dislocated leg. It made more since to me if it were the broken side. I should add he is an inside cat that occasionally escapes when the door is open which is what happened when my husband came home last Tuesday 🙁 he has just been sick over watching our baby be in pain. Thank you again

  208. Doc says:

    Hello, Sharon,

    Lack of feeling indicates nerve damage. It still could be just bruised and have the capacity to recover eventually.

    A cat with a dislocated hip joint often forms a “false joint”, where the weight is supported by the muscular attachments to the thigh-bone, rather than the ball and socket joint.

    However, if there is no feeling, there is also probably poor control.

    Nerve damage will take weeks to months to heal (if it does heal). Too soon to tell, certainly too soon to give up.

  209. Leighann Britt says:

    Hey my name is leighann. My lab puppy Kinley got hit by a car about two weeks ago and we rushed her to the vet. She seemed to be making good progress with her pain meds, calcium ,and bed rest. She eats and drinks fine as well as using the bathroom. She moves around ok. She puts a little pressure on her leg. She had three breaks. One in her hip, femur, and tiba. The hip was the worse. Now it has started to swell the vet said on our last visit that swelling would be normal. I’m wondering though how much swelling is normal? It looks like she has a small balloon taped to the side of her hip. She doesn’t seem to be in any pain and it doesn’t have too much affect on the way she walks. Were going to the vet tomorrow hopefulky, but I’m just googling around looking for something to give me peace of mind. What do you think is going on?

  210. Doc says:

    Hello, Leighann,

    What you are describing sounds like some fluid accumulation. It is possible that the damaged area has caused a blood vessel to leak blood or serum (the fluid part of blood, versus the cells). This may need to be drained.

    Your veterinarian who is actually seeing your dog is the best person to advise you, so it’s good that you are going in tomorrow.

  211. Kim Pavlicek says:

    I have a 7 month old grant dane mix female puppy I don’t know if she was hit my a car or what happened to her yesterday. she was not walking on her leg for hours, but she was eating and drinking ok and bathroom ok, but today she is walking ok and drinking ok not eating much, but what worries me is she is loosing control of her bladder, she is sleeping and wets on herself before she can get up. should I be worried?

  212. Doc says:

    Hello, Kim,

    It certainly is not normal for her to be lame yesterday, nor is it normal for her to have poor bladder control and leak while she is asleep.

    It is possible that there has just been some bruising, but unless she is getting rapidly back to normal (like by tomorrow), I would certainly have her checked out by your veterinarian.

  213. chanel says:

    Hi my names chanel my cat got hit by a car 2 days ago and is now in vetinary hospital the vet says he has broken his pelvis in seven places he has passed urine okay but he hasn’t excreted yet they said if he doesn’t do a number 2 they will have to put him down is there any chance that my cat will do his business and if so how long do they wait for him to do so ? And do u no any other cats that survived this ?

  214. Doc says:

    Hello, Chanel,

    I have seen lots of cats with multiple fractures of the pelvis that did okay.

    Unfortunately, damage in this area can also damage nerves that control the colon, bladder, or back legs.

    It is possible to evacuate the bowel with enemas, but would be pretty difficult for the rest of the cat’s life. It might be helpful in the short term while waiting a week or 10 days to see how things are going otherwise.

    You should really discuss this further with the doctor who is actually seeing your cat.

  215. Christina says:

    My dog was run over thank god he survived but fractured his pelvis . The doctor said he wouldn’t need surgery and just gave us medication for him . But these past days he started bruising up down there and swelling, I’m not sure if that’s normal ?

  216. Doc says:

    Hello, Christina,

    I am not surprised that you are seeing visible swelling and bruising if the dog was hit hard enough to break the pelvis.

    Key issues are that he is urinating, eating and drinking, and eventually having a bowel movement.

    Keep your doctor posted as to what is going on. He has seen your dog and will have a better idea what to expect than I would.

  217. su says:

    I am so devastated reading all these posts. Our cocker spaniel escaped and got hit by a car whilst we were searching for her and the rspca were called and took her to a vet. We were called and the vet she was taken to didnt xray her and when we arrived she told us that the injuries were quite severe and her legs were damaged. She told us that she would be in a lot of pain for a long time and might not fully recover and would need several operations. She looked good to me but we made the hearbreaking decision to put her to sleep based on the vets advice. Now I am reading all the posts about the pelvis healing itself etc. and cannot believe that my poor dog is dead when she might not need to be. How can the vet have advised this when she wasnt xrayed? None of us can cope with her loss.

  218. Doc says:

    Hello, Su,

    I am sure that your veterinarian would not have recommended euthanasia if he believed it were only a pelvic fracture.

    Sometimes the leg bones are so shattered that they feel like a “bag of bones”. If your doctor felt such a thing, he might have made that recommendation.

    It is really not possible for me to second-guess the doctor who actually saw the patient.

    I am sorry for your loss.

  219. Sarah B says:

    My 2 year old cat broke her pelvis Monday night. I took her to the vet and they did tell me to give her “cage rest” and gave her pain pills and antibiotics. But I was only given 4 pain pills for her?? Shouldn’t she need more than 4 days worth of pain pills? I just hate seeing her in pain.

  220. Doc says:

    Hello, Sarah,

    If the pain pills were Onsior, they are only approved for a four day course of therapy. There are so few options for pain relief in cats. Their tolerance for many drugs is about zero.

    Buprenorphine is really safe, and pretty effective, but expensive.

    Stay in contact with your veterinarian.

  221. Janie says:

    My longhair chihuahua got ht bya car 2 days ago. they said at the emergency that he has 3 fractures on his pelvis. i cant afford surgery. they said they recommended it but they also recommended all these other things and i felt like they were just trying to get as much $ out of me as possible. $2800 for a diagnosis and $5k for surgery all up front :(.. he is urinating on his own and moving all legs. After a day he even tried to stand and managed to stand on all fours. I layed him back down so he wouldn’t get hurt but I see progress in just one day. The only thing that concerns me is he refuses to eat drink and hasnt gone poop. I heard his stomach growl a few times. I’m just wondering if that is normal? I’ve been giving him his meds. Pain, antibiotics etc. and force feeding him fluids.

  222. Doc says:

    Hello, Janie,

    The shape of the pelvic bone is so complicated, with multiple curves in different directions, that doing surgery on it is REALLY difficult. Five grand seems like a lot, but I don’t know the area you are from. At our university teaching hospital in Missouri I’m sure you would spend at least in the two-thousand dollar range.

    It is very important to keep him hydrated. Some pain medicines can be a little hard on the kidneys, so you want to keep plenty of fluids in him.

    He is not going to need to have a bowel movement if he is not eating.

    It is very important that he is urinating. If he doesn’t urinate much it can mean that he is dehydrated. If he doesn’t urinate at all, it could indicate damage to the nerve supply to his bladder, or even a tear in the bladder that is leaking urine into his abdomen, instead of coming outside to get rid of his wastes.

    As his pain subsides, I would expect his appetite to return. Usually by 3 or 4 days out, the pain is much improved.

    Please contact your veterinarian and tell him/her what you are seeing and your concerns. If they don’t hear from you, they just assume that everything is going good.

    The doctor who has seen your pet is the person best equipped to advise you.

  223. Sharon Hobbs says:

    Hi this is Sharon I posted back on July 22 and 24 about my 7 year old Bengal cats broken pelvis on one side and dislocated on the other side and tail nerve damage. I wanted to give you and the other readers, that may be in the early days of this type injury, an update on Alex. He has thankfully made a full recovery after 3 months (8 weeks of cage rest). He is back to doing almost everything he did before the accident except he hasn’t tried to sneak out the door anymore. Maybe he has learned he is much safer inside. Thank you for your encouraging and accurate words during a very difficult time. Sharon

  224. Doc says:

    Hello, Sharon,

    So great to hear your success. That’s a little above average on the recovery time, but his injuries were somewhat worse than average, so that makes sense.

    Thanks for the update.

  225. Doc says:

    Hello, Sharon,

    I would ask your veterinarian to do a neurological examination. We need to see if the dog has normal sensation in the foot area.

    If nerve damage occurred along with the pelvic fracture (not common, but possible), then the foot may be losing sensation. If it becomes numb, some dogs will mutilate the foot, even chew it off.

    Nerve damage is very slow to heal (months), even when it does heal (and many times it does not).

    If sensation is not normal, I would consult a specialist. My experience with these has been dismal. I have had to wind up amputating the foot after the dog chewed it off.

  226. Doc says:

    Hello, my name is Sarah and my beloved 5 year old Jack Russel got hit by a car on 11/4. We rushed her to the vet and were told her pelvis was shattered but no internal bleeding or anything else. We picked her up after surgery on 11/13 and she has been doing okay. Even under sedatives and pain pills she is fighting off sleep and wanting to get up on her legs constantly. She is eating and drinking a little less, which they said was fine and is also peeing well. We’re having issues with constipation. She hasn’t gone since the day of her accident, so about 5 days, and we can hear her the gas moving constantly. When we take her out to go pee, she farts sometimes, but then winches in pain. We were told to try some pumpkin pie filling to help ease the constipation but that just isn’t working. Is there anything we can do? Preferably without going to the vet. The bill already cost us about $4000 and it’s another $150 just to walk in the door. But, will take any suggestion. Thank you!

    Hello, Sarah,

    Six days without a bowel movement is a long time. If the dog were not eating, you wouldn’t expect to have regular bowel movements. In this case, she is eating, and she is evidently TRYING to have a stool, but it is either too difficult or too painful. I would call your veterinarian and ask him/her about giving the dog an enema. They may be able to give you what is needed to do this at home. Please do NOT just try this without talking to them first.

  227. Michelle says:

    My dog has a rectal stricture and is having a colonoscopy and biopsy done tomorrow. He is a yorkie, 10 years old, and otherwise healthy. They haven’t made a treatment plan yet (if there is cancer it will affect how aggressive they will be) but they said that if they operate there is a good chance they would have to break his pelvis to access the stricture. This seems really cruel to put him through. Can a dog recover from breaking a pelvis during surgery?

  228. Doc says:

    Hello, Michelle,

    What they would do would be to split the bottom of the pelvis lengthwise along its natural seam. Sort of like opening a clamshell. Pregnant females do this a little bit naturally at the time of birth to give the baby a little more leeway in getting out.

    This procedure is certainly traumatic, but nothing like the trauma that would occur in an auto accident. It should heal back together VERY rapidly, with minimal discomfort.

  229. Ashley McDonald says:

    My for year old golden retiever started showing signs of extreme pain Sunday night so we took her to vet Monday morning the did X-rays and then asked us if she had ever been hit by a car….we didnt think so but my in laws lost her when they were puppy sitting two years ago so the is a chance as I found her 5 days later( after coming home when we found out on day 2 to look for her they didn’t call us right away) that was 2 years ago… The vet also said its possiable she was born with a messed up pelvis. She had the same kind of pain this time last year for about 10 days and it went away she’s on tramadol and metacam for pain right now. What are your thoughts?? They also said there is some extra bone growth in top of her tail and end of her back end….

  230. Doc says:

    Hello, Ashley,

    I am ill equipped to answer your question, having seen neither your dog nor the X-rays.

    It is certainly possible that old injuries could cause arthritis type problems later in life.

    I would suggest that you ask your veterinarian to explain more fully what they are thinking in the case.

    You obviously have unanswered questions. I know from my own experience that when the client quits asking questions, I tend to think that they are satisfied with the explanation. I certainly do not mind working through it further with them, and I would bet that your veterinarian would be willing to talk more with you about your situation.

  231. William says:

    My dog is a pekingnese about 5 years old and 10 lbs. He has a fractured pelvis and I took him to the vet and he gave him an antibiotic following the xray revealing the broke pelvis. Its been 6 days now and I noticed this morning his penis is fully erect(abnormally) and his testicles are rock hard swollen and he is in noticeable pain. It’s Saturday and I’m in a small town and our vet is out of town..Anything I can do here at home to help him NOW with no vet available til Monday?

  232. Doc says:

    Hello, William,

    It is difficult to advise you without seeing your dog.

    A cold compress may help with the swelling, and should do no harm.

    Never put ice directly on the skin.

    I usually fix a pan of ice water. I soak a small towel in the ice water, and use the towel to apply cold to the affected area.

    As the towel warms up, just re-soak it in the ice water. Apply cold for 10 to 15 minutes four times daily.

  233. sophia says:

    Hi, my 2 year old tabby cat got hit by a car 4 weeks ago and he was diagnosed with a fractured pelvis on the left side and a couple of broken ribs to the right side.He’s eating normal by now and has no problem with going to the bathroom but he does not want to stay in his crate,(he was a very active cat),so I do let him out for a little bit with supervision but he is still limping on his back left foot….it seems like he still cannot put full pressure on it.Is that normal? Thank you in advance for your time!

  234. doc says:

    Hello, Sophia,

    I would be concerned that the hip joint was also injured. Another possibility is that the sciatic nerve was damaged. It goes right over the edge of the pelvis. It is the “wiring” for several important hind leg muscles.

    By four weeks, I would expect the cat to be using the leg if there were nothing but an uncomplicated pelvic fracture (if there is such a thing).

    I would recommend that you have your veterinarian re-evaluate your cat.

  235. sophia says:

    Thank you for your prompt response…..I really cannot afford any other procedures since I spend $3,800 for 2 nights in the hospital so please help me understand if it is any of the 2 possibilities that you suggested could it heal by itself? Also he does use his leg but cannot fully step on it. I will take him to the vet this week but if you could please let me know what are the options and cost if it’s the sciatic nerve or the hip joint? Thank you again, I do appreciate your time.

  236. doc says:

    Hello, Sophia,

    WOW! If he is using the leg, it is very unlikely to be the nerve.

    If the hip joint is involved, then one would be looking at “living with the arthritis”, or removing the head of the femur (the “ball” of the ball and socket joint).

    If the hip joint is not involved, then you are probably just looking at some more time in the healing process.

  237. sophia says:

    Hello Doc,
    Thank you again for your prompt answer and for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer all of our questions!! Boy do I wish you practiced in NY….
    I saw him yesterday scratching his head a little with that leg so I guess that’s good news?
    Have a wonderful day and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!

  238. sophia says:

    Hello again , I have another question about my cat…where the hospital shaved him,(his dark side skin), the skin is peeling off and it’s getting bigger and has a little redness in it. Please help me by giving me some advise!
    Thank you.

  239. doc says:

    Hello, Sophia,

    This is a difficult thing to evaluate without seeing the cat. It is possible that this skin was damaged in the initial injury. I would have expected to see changes before two weeks, though.

    I cannot tell from your description whether the skin is just peeling a little (like a sunburn), or you are seeing a raw spot with no skin.

    If there is a raw area developing, then this will need medical attention.

    I know you feel like you are overspent on this, but I just cannot advise you without seeing your cat in person.

  240. sophia says:

    It looks like the dark skin is peeling off and underneath there’s a lighter color skin..also there is some redness in it , I guess because he’s licking it.It started small and now it’s gotten bigger.

  241. doc says:

    Hello, Sophia,

    It is possible that the skin was damaged by the injury, and the outer layer is coming off, now revealing newer skin beneath.

    If that is the case, then this should be fine.

    If there is any doubt in your mind, you should have her seen by the veterinarian.

  242. Raina says:

    my 12 year old male cat was hit by a car 3 days ago. I found him and was able to get him to the emergency vet within 15-20 minutes after (when I believe) the accident happened. They took some xrays and say he has a fracture in his pelvis (pubic part) and some luxation (possibly sacroiliac). They also say he may have a torn prepubic tendon but they have not confirmed it yet. The surgeon recommends surgery, but the general doctor at the emergency vet seems to suggest that I may have a choice to bring him home and put him on crate rest for 6 weeks. I took a picture of his x-ray but I’m not sure I can post it here. I would like to see if another vet could look at the x-ray to determine how severe it really is and if it indeed warrants surgery. He already has $2000 in bills for his stay thus far and they say he may need an $800 blood transfusion. I’m not sure we can go into this much debt with a $5000 surgery on top of all of that. We love him dearly and hope that we can help him heal on his own.. but if it’s absolutely necessary to have surgery, we’ll most definitely consider it.

    Thank you..

  243. doc says:

    Hello, Raina,
    A young cat would certainly heal more rapidly than older cat. Uncomplicated pelvic fractures knit in 2 weeks. Not so with an old-timer. Six weeks doesn’t sound unreasonable.

    A fractured pubis will usually heal on its own, providing the fractured area is not pinching the urinary tract (a definite possibility that could be life-threatening). If he continues to urinate okay this could very well not be a problem (it isn’t common).

    Sacro-iliac luxation means that the pelvis is detached from the spinal column. Re-attaching it is certainly a major orthopedic surgery. It may or may not stabilize with cage rest, depending on the nature of the injury.

    From your description, it sounds like your cat is now getting stabilized. Rather than post pictures on the internet, it would be better to have your regular veterinarian take a look if you want a second opinion.

    I don’t think the ER folks will mind your seeking counsel from someone you know better.

    Lots of pelvic fractures heal spontaneously, though not perfectly, with cage rest. Cat are particularly good healers (hence the “9 lives” legend).

    However, multiple injuries in an older cat like this may not do well at all without some surgical help.

  244. sophia says:

    I just want to say that after 8 long weeks of cage rest my cat’s pelvis has finally healed and he walks and jumps as before with the exception that he’s not allowed outdoors anymore…It breaks my heart to see him go to the door and meow but better safe than sorry! As for his peeling skin , the vet had tested him for ringworm which it came back negative and he suggested to give him omega3 fatty acids supplements.Just be patient with a cat with a broken pelvis because sometimes it takes longer to heal….

  245. Nikki says:

    My 7 year old chihuahua was hit by a car today. We immediately took him to the vet and he had x-rays done. They said that his pelvis was fractured all the way through and reccommended surgery. Everything else seems 100% fine at this point.

    I cannot afford the surgery. Am I sentencing my dog to death or is there a chance he’ll recover by the “crate him for 8 weeks” method the vet suggested as an alternative? What are his chances?

    Thank you.

  246. doc says:

    Hello, Nikki,

    If the hip joints are not broken, and the pelvis is not detached from the spine, and there is no nerve damage or damage to the urinary tract, then many dogs will heal with cage rest. They won’t be exactly normal, but they usually do okay.

    Since I have not seen your dog or your X-rays, it is not really possible for me to advise you as to what you should do. If your veterinarian has suggested the cage rest as a possible treatment, then it may work out fine. Really, the person to ask is the doctor who is actually seeing your pet.

    Good luck.

  247. Rachel McBride says:

    Hello. My tortoise shell cat was attacked by a dog. She immediately lost use of her hind leg. Her back legs were jerking for a minute. She has no cuts or wounds from it, but now she cannot walk using one back leg. I am taking her to the vet, but do you think it is permanent nerve damage? She can move it. Nothing feels broken and she doesn’t seem to be in any pain.

  248. doc says:

    Hello, Rachel,

    The fact that she can walk on 3 legs rules out spinal injury (hooray!). The fact that she can move the leg is really good.

    I would be concerned about a pelvic fracture, a hip fracture, or hip dislocation (though I would expect ALL of those to be painful).

    This is something that I can’t help you much with “long distance”. I’d love to hear what your veterinarian finds.

    Best wishes.

  249. vicki says:

    Hi! I have a shizuh dog and he was in a dog fight. He was limping ouhh his right back leg.We took him to the vet and x ray read a dislocated hip. He was put to sleep and hip popped back in place. After 2 days it came back out. Same procedure done and it last 6 days on bedresbed rest and it came out again. Problem is the vet that is helping out will b gone for another 3 weeks and for financial reasons is the only one that can help. My question is will my dog be okay to wait that long to have surgery done on his hip? He walks on it some to go to the bathroom and it doesnt seem to bother him much but he does have a bad limp and sometimes want even attempt to put pressure on it. I just want to make sure he will be ok to wait. Ty

  250. doc says:

    Hello, Vicki,

    Dislocated hips often will not stay in place without surgery.

    I am sure he does not want to put pressure on it if it is dislocated.

    I’m not an orthopedic specialist, but I think the surgery will still be about as successful in 3 weeks as right now.

    I hope that pain medication has been prescribed. Do not give over the counter pain meds to your dog, as they can be quite dangerous for these little guys.

  251. Sam Protheroe says:

    Hi my cat was hit by a car about 5 weeks ago, she’s been on cage rest since and eats, drinks and toilets as normal, she shuffles around her cage using her front legs, and one rear leg seems fine, but the other on her fractured side isn’t. She seems able to lift it for washing purposes but it doesn’t have much resistance if you touch it, she doesn’t pull it away in the same way as her other leg if you tickle it and she doesn’t seem to have control of the joint (I call it her elbow but not sure what it’s real term is) and her leg seems to just be limp. I’ve looked up and seen lots of info on it possibly being sciatic nerve damage and could repair 3-6 weeks, but nothing on if it doesn’t etc. I don’t want to put her through an unnecessary vet visit if it will recover on it’s own (she is feisty and has no qualms educating the vet with claws and teeth use) but I’m worried about leaving her if she’s in pain when it is prolonging it. It was an ilium fracture, is it possible she will recover on her own? Thank you.

  252. doc says:

    Hello, Sam,

    Without seeing your cat or her X-rays, I cannot give you much specific information.

    At five weeks, I would think the pain of the injury would be pretty much subsided.

    A fracture of the ilium would usually heal pretty well in a cat with cage rest.

    I agree that sciatic nerve damage is a very real possibility.

    Unfortunately, other than confirming this with a neurological exam, there isn’t much we can do about it.

    If the nerve was entirely cut, then it probably will never recover. If stretched and bruised, it can take weeks to months to recover.

  253. Ilya says:

    We found a stray cat which was probably bitten by a dog in the pelvis area. We took her to the vet, took an X-ray and it seems that she doesn’t have fractures in the back nor pelvis (except for a slight distance between L1 and L2 if I remember correctly).
    At first she wasn’t able to control her defecation but she recovered from that.
    However, after a week or so, her legs became stiff, her tail is always up and contracted and she is constipated. She feels deep pain in the tail and legs though. The vet suspects some sort of nerve damage but we can’t afford any further diagnosis.
    Do you have a guess to what kind of damage could this be and what prognosis can we expect?

  254. doc says:

    Hello, Ilya,

    I don’t think that any simple diagnostic tests would be helpful. To get a good idea of what is going on would probably require an MRI and some specialized neurological testing, available primarily at a teaching institution.

    It is troubling that the problem got worse after a period of time.

    Nerve damage heals slowly, when it heals at all, weeks to months. If she has pain sensation and can walk, those are both really good signs.

    Talk to your veterinarian about stool softeners. If her colon function is poor, she may need these regularly.

    The doctor who has seen your cat is better able to advise you than I am.

  255. Maya says:

    My cat was nearly beaten to death, which resulted in a broken pelvis, almost a month ago and then she got pregnant. Well she tried to give birth and a kitten got stuck in her birth canal for almost an hour, she past her others kittens later and they were deceased. In the same month she got pregnant again and Im worried that she’s not going to make it this time. The vet said it’ll take about a thousand dollars to operate and I don’t have that kind of money. What should I do?

  256. doc says:

    Hello, Maya,

    You should have had your cat spayed (reproductive organs removed) as soon as she finished the last pregnancy.

    Spaying late in pregnancy has more risk than when the cat is not pregnant. The uterus is large, and has a lot of the cat’s blood supply tied up in it. Even if you don’t spill a drop, a lot gets removed. Thus, you want them on I.V. fluids, and extra support.

    I’m sorry that I don’t have a simple answer for you. It would have been simple a month ago, but it’s not now.

  257. Melanie K says:

    Hi, my cat was run over 48 hours ago and has a fractured pelvis at the point the femoral joint slots in. At the moment she has not urinated using the litter tray only overnight in her bed (I appreciate that further progress depends on this). However, if the urinary issue is due to pain & unwillingness opposed to neurological: What is the outlook for recovery after a femoral neck & joint removal? I am happy to pay for this surgery if the outlook is good, I don’t want her to suffer longer if the outlook remains bleak. 🙁

  258. doc says:

    Hello, Melanie,

    We always worry about nerve damage. It is also important to be sure that the urinary bladder was not ruptured during the injury (a rare occurrence, but it happens). This would have urine pooling in the abdomen instead of coming out.

    Removal of the femoral head and neck (the “ball” of the ball and socket joint, also called femoral head ostectomy, or FHO) has a good prognosis for a pain-free life and pretty normal ability to get around, especially in small patients (like a cat).

    If no urine is produced soon, get the cat re-evaluated as to the bladder being intact, or over-full, or whatever is going on.

    Stay in touch with your veterinarian.

  259. Melanie K says:

    Thank you. The vets confidence is growing that she is urinating through choice and not incontinence. Cat had a bladder test last night too. They have ruled out rupture.

    Looks like surgery is the next step then! 🙂

    We certainly are staying in touch (twice daily calls and visits when we can), think we may be somewhat annoying. 😉

  260. evan says:


    I have have a 2 year old husky lab cross. she fell out of the truck about 2 weeks ago and broke her pelvis in 2 spots, one spot is very close to the hip bone laying on the floor unable to move, she crawls around and by doing so i think she has bed sores from the hard ground. What can i do about these bes sores? Also i would like to add that she can only lay on one side of her body and since she relieves her bladder it runs into her fir soaking her with urine. How unhealthy is this for a dog, we have tried to turn her over to clean her but she completely freaks out and does not allow us to. I guess another thing im wondering is if we are doing the right thing keeping her alive? She is in pain and i hate to see her like this. the vet said 4-6 weeks recovery but im starting to think now after 2 weeks she is still in rough shape, we cant even move her. what should we do?

  261. Doc says:

    Hello, Evan,

    This is obviously a difficult situation. It is important that you contact your veterinarian about appropriate medication to help manage the bed-sores.

    It is also important to provide a thickly padded surface, like artificial fleece, that can be changed and washed frequently.

    We generally recommend confining the animal to a very small space to limit movement, and allow the fracture to heal more rapidly. You might look at a small fence-type dog “playpen” floored with fleece, and the fleece changed at least twice daily.

    Most pelvic fractures that do not involve the hip joint and do not damage the sciatic nerve will heal in the four to six weeks.

  262. yazmin says:

    Hello there, i just found this site. My Chinese crested was hit by a car in a hotel parking lot. Earlier today we were told it was heavy bruising and a broken pelvic bone that within 3 days she should be fine. Well she is eattinh and drinking water. Finally went to urine and she peed with some blood. Is this normal I went to the emergency vet but they wanted too much and I already paid so much earlier. Also the bruising underneath her is a dark red color? Would that be normal bruising or maybe something worse? She is si alert and tries to get up already and I am just really scared. Any Advice please and thank you.

    She is also on 3 different meds

  263. Doc says:

    Hello, Yazmin,

    Two to four weeks is the average recovery time with an uncomplicated pelvic fracture. Perhaps you misunderstood the doctor and it was 3 weeks, rather than 3 days.

    The dark red or purple sounds like it is probably normal bruising. If it doesn’t keep spreading, or swell up, I would just keep an eye on it. If it does keep spreading, or swelling develops, then she does need to go back to the doctor.

    A little bit of blood in the urine would not be surprising with this type of injury. However, it should get less and less rapidly.

    If she is alert, eating, drinking, and going to the bathroom okay, then the outlook for recovery is good.

    I cannot really advise you without actually seeing your dog. I would recommend that you at least call the doctor who saw her and give them a progress report.

    Best wishes.

  264. Arica Hawley says:

    My daughter and her boyfriend took thier beagle wheeling with them this past weekend. They bought him a nice harness seatbelt so he could ride in the jeep. He did fine all weekend then on their way back they were driving about 25-30 mph on a road and the harness stitching came undone and he flew out of the jeep. Took him to the vet and he has a fractured pelvis. The vet said the dog shouldn’t be acting like he can’t walk but he is over exaggerating the pain. He won’t use his back leg and waits until his bladder is going to burst before he urinates. I think he is in a lot more pain because of the fall, he peobably has bruising and hurts all over from that fall! They gave him pain meds but cn we give him ice or stretches??? Honestly the poor dog, he was just shot in the rear 2 weeks ago by a pellet gun and now this!

  265. doc says:

    Hello, Arica,

    Cold compresses (not ice directly on skin, which would cause damage) can help with swelling in the first 24 hours.

    After that (and certainly after 48 hours), moist heat may help more, by increasing the circulation. Sometimes alternating the two gives more relief.

    It’s a little difficult to tell how much pain the dog has. Is he exaggerating it? How would I know? Maybe he’s being stock, and hurts a lot more than you think. I would tend to give more pain medication, rather than less, since the dog can’t talk. Do not exceed the prescribed doses, but you can ask your veterinarian for a combination of medications for better pain relief.

    Please do not add over-the-counter pain medications without consulting your veterinarian. Dogs can develop severe stomach bleeding from drugs like ibuprofen or naproxen (advil or aleve).

  266. Caitlin says:

    I am fostering a 7 month old puppy while she recovers from a car accident. Her owners decided they couldn’t cope so left her at the vets after the accident. She has lost one of her hind legs and has a broken pelvis.

    She has now been in caged rest for nearly 5 weeks. But for the last couple of weeks she’s had diarrhoea on and off and then yesterday she managed to escape her cage and went upstairs. So I have two questions:
    1. I’m worried climbing the stairs will have caused more damage. She seems fine but is there any way I can tell?
    2. I’ve put her on a bland diet of rice and poached chicken but do you have any other advice for her diarrhoea? The vet suggested it could be trauma related after her ordeal (they also spayed her 3 weeks after the accident). She is eating fine.

    Any advice/reassurance would be really great.

  267. Doc says:

    Hello, Caitlin,

    I would want her exercise supervised still at this point, but I doubt that she did any damage with the stairs. A repeat X-ray would tell you more.

    You really should talk to the doctors that know her about the diarrhea. They will probably want to check a stool specimen to rule out parasites as a cause. If there are no parasites, they can prescribe medicine that should take care of the situation.

  268. Lois says:

    Hi, I’m hoping you are still around to answer questions. My niece’s almost year old teacup chihuahua was hit by a car about 4 months ago, He suffered 3 pelvis fractures, a broken leg, and his hip was broken. He was so small there wasn’t a vet around here that could perform the surgery that would help him so we tried laser treatments and he is doing great. 4 months later he still has a limp but he walks,runs,jumps, and it doesn’t seem to bother him at all. He is a frisky little puppy. The only thing seems to be have has little bladder controll now. He pees a little when he is excited and that doesn’t worry me too much, but what does worry me in he pees in his sleep. He can be sitting quietly on my lap and he will pee and not move like he doesn’t notice. Also sometimes when I pick him up his little back legs are wet like the pee maybe drizzled down his back legs. I guess what I’m asking is will this heal over time or will he always have a bladder issue? Does he need surgery or can meds help? I love the little dog not matter what and will always take care of him but I am worried about him and I want to help him be as healthy as he can be.

  269. Doc says:

    Hello, Lois,

    If there has been some damage to the nerves in the area, this can take months to heal, and may be permanent.

    There is a medicine that help with increasing the muscle tone of the bladder sphincter. Phenylpropanolamine (PPA) is usually well tolerated. If the dog is tiny, you might have to have it specially compounded to get a correct dose.

    Your veterinarian who has seen the dog and the X-rays can give you a better prognosis than I can.

  270. Satya Sunder Ghosh says:

    A dog was hit by a car, we took to a x-ray clinic found one fracture in the back right leg. Pain killer injection was given. He is running around on 3 legs. Moving well, but little wobble. Pl.advise if surgery is required.

  271. Doc says:

    Hello, Satya,

    There is no way to for me to advise you without seeing your dog and the X-rays.

    Generally speaking, pelvic fractures that do not involve the hip joint do not require surgery.

    Fractures of the back leg that are below the knee joint (stifle joint) can often be treated with splints or casts.

    Fractures of the back leg that are above the knee joint are best treated with orthopedic surgery, i.e. pins, wires, plates, etc.

  272. cham says:

    My dog cants walk on her hind legs she drags herself with her front.
    The first day she was action weird and wouldn’t jump but she was walking normal
    The second day she was dragging one foot
    The third day now shes draggins both
    She’s shaking and won’t he her heart rate is up .
    What do u think happened to her it doesn’t seem like he legs are broken.
    Please help

  273. Doc says:

    Hello, Cham,
    I am very concerned that your dog has a spinal nerve problem. This can come about through an injury, or through degeneration of the discs that cushion the vertebrae (the backbones).

    Pressure on the nerves causes loss of control, and then loss of feeling. If not treated right away, the dog can become permanently paralyzed.

    Your dog needs to be seen by her veterinarian as soon as possible.

  274. Doc says:

    Hello, Cham,

    I’m not sure about the red stomach, unless it is just irritated from her dragging herself about.

    Conservative treatment of spinal disc problem is usually done with cage rest, anti-inflammatory doses of an oral cortisone type drug, and pain medication. I cannot tell you what the cost would be in your area. Here it would be around $70.00.

    If she needed surgery on her spine, this could be from $1,200 to $2,400.

    If her spinal nerves are permanently damaged, then her quality of life would be poor. She would never walk on her hind legs.

    She might be unable to empty her bladder normally. Then it sits there full, dribbling urine without control, and very prone to infections.

    That is a worst case scenario, but there is no way to evaluate a patient like this without examining them in person.

    I wish I could do more to help you, but this is not a “long-distance” situation.

  275. Doc says:

    I don’t know how to help you. It sounds like she either has a neurological infection like meningitis, or a disc rupture in her neck. I don’t know how to make a diagnosis or treat when we cannot see the patient.

  276. cally says:

    Hello. My cat was hit by a car 4 weeks ago. She had a shattered pelvis on one side and the pelvis had come away from spine on other. She had specialist surgery with a plate one side and screw the other. She is doing really well and can pee and poop. However, she is only pooping once every 2-3 days. The vet said this maybe a neurological injury which should repair itself with time and that she should be going everyday. What do you think?

  277. Diana says:

    Hi, my dog got hit by a car a couple days ago she has 3 pelvic injuries and a skin infection too and I’m not sure how to help her eliminate. She can’t walk either, when I try to help her use the bathroom she drags her self and I think that would make her skin infection worse. How can I help her use the bathroom? The vet gave me tramadol , rimadyl and clavamox, she is currently taking .

  278. Sophia Donnelly says:

    Recently my 2 month old kitten came back from outside and we found that she was just about walking on her hind legs. She could still walk on them, but leaned more on her front paws. When she was laying down I discovered that where her pelvic bone was, it was lower than her actual spine. She didn’t feel any pain. But Only a a half hour ago I accidentally stepped on her! (it was dark and I was looking for her) Now whenever I feel around her spine or leg she cries in pain. She can walk still, but I’m worried.

  279. doc says:

    Hello, Cally,

    That sounds very plausible to me. Those things are almost impossible to be sure about with diagnostic testing.

    The only thing I would suggest would be to talk to your veterinarian about stool softeners while the cat is recovering.

  280. doc says:

    Hello, Diana,
    Sometimes using a soft cloth sling to support the dog will work. Towels are most often recommended, but are a bit bulky. See what you’ve got around the house. Sometimes a couple of soft scarves can be used to make loops that would support each hind limb.

  281. doc says:

    Hello, Sophia,
    If you didn’t have a fracture before, it sounds like you may have one now. Cats are pretty flexible, but even a small person’s weight would put a lot of force on the body when you step on them. Sounds like a trip to the veterinarian is needed.

  282. Jen says:

    My 5 month old puppy was kicked by a horse and now has a luxated hip and a small fracture in the hip. The vet said she did not need surgery at this time as she was weight baring and also walking, just a little wobbly and weak. We restricted her movement but she will walk to go outside fine. However, now its 6 days later and she’s picking up the injured leg and I can tell that she’s trying to put weight on it. She’s been wagging her tail at me while walking 3 legged and doesn’t seem to be guarding it or in extreme discomfort, only sleepy and observing her surroundings. She’s also been laying on the injured side while at rest. Before I rush her off to the vet again, is it possible that she’s doing this because she’s been resting on her leg funny and its like it fell asleep? Can I do something other than give her the pain meds to feel better, like a little muscle massage?

  283. Doc says:

    Hello, Jen,

    You really need to talk to the doctor that has actually seen your dog. I’m having a hard time visualizing the injury, and what has been done. I would assume that the hip would have been replaced in the socket, but sometimes they do not stay in place.

    Warm compresses on the area can stimulate the circulation. (Early on you would use cold compresses to minimize swelling).

    Again, best to talk to the doctor who is seeing your dog.

  284. Emily says:

    I found my 2 and a half month old male kitten this morning unable to use his back legs he is peeing blood and appears to be in pain I don’t know wheather he was his by a car or attacked by a predator he won’t eat but he will drink water he also every once in a while try’s to drag himself away. What should I do for him?

  285. Andrea says:

    My 6 year old cat was hit by a car on Sunday. It is now Wednesday and he is very sore but walking around. He is eating and drinking a lot. So far since he has been home, (Monday evening) he has not eliminated at all but has peed 3 times. I’m getting concerned about the delay in elimination. I don’t know how long a cat can go without eliminating until he starts to drown in his own waste. My husband and I have talked about putting him down if he cannot heal on his own since we have spent thousands of dollars in the last two years because of his kidneys. I really need advice for how long I should let our kitty go without eliminating before we need to make a decision.

  286. Doc says:

    Hello, Emily,
    Sorry I didn’t see this sooner. I really cannot help you with this long distance. Your kitten needs a doctor’s help in person.

  287. Doc says:

    Hello, Andrea,

    If he were unable to urinate, this would be a greater concern. However, if he is eating a lot and not having bowel movements, this can certainly become a problem. You can try dosing him with the lubricant laxatives used for hairballs at the hairball dose (things like Laxatone, which are basically flavored vaseline). To prescribe anything more active, I would have to see the pet,meaning his regular doctor would need to see him.

  288. josh says:

    My 3 month old kitten got smashed under the metal bar of a 100 lb couch, when i lift the couch to get her out her back and stomach was smashed flat. She didnt move for 5 minutes, and didnt make a sound. After 30 mins she got up to walk. Her stomach is exteremly hard and she is trying to go to sleep, with her shoulders hunched up and she wont stop purring. I am afraid she has internal bleeding. Any way to tell? This couch already killed one kitten the same way. The kidsplay on it while the recliners are out and it tips easily.

  289. doc says:

    Hello, Josh,

    With internal bleeding, you will probably get pale gums, gradual weakening. I’d add weak pulse, but if you’re not used to checking a pulse on a kitten, it would be hard for you to tell.

    If the spine is broken, the kitten will not have sensation of pain in the hind legs. Pinching the toe may cause withdrawal of the limb, even if the spine is severed. You should see the cat reacting to the pain, too, if the spinal cord is intact — crying out and so forth when you pinch a toe.

    I really can’t tell you how to evaluate and treat this kitten without seeing it. This is not a “long-distance” solvable problem.

  290. miguel says:

    Hi, my little 3 year old poodle (female) was hit by a truck this past friday she survived and shes getting better each day the doctors her spine was good and she only had her left back leg wounded but it should heal in 4 to 6 weeks. I give her baby food like gerber and she eats it but she hasent pooped and its been 2 days since i brought her home from the emergency hospital is she going to be okay? And another question is she does go pee pee but her pee is brown and i think its blood is that also normal?

  291. Doc says:

    Hello, Miguel,
    It is not uncommon to have some blood in the urine after this type of injury. The urinary bladder can be bruised enough that it bleeds a little into the urine. It should get better each day if it is just from bruising at the time of the accident.

    It is possible that she is painful, so doesn’t want to get up or strain to have a bowel movement.

    Two days without a poop doesn’t bother me too much, but we don’t want her to get constipated.

    I can’t really prescribe for patients that I haven’t seen, but it is pretty safe to add Metamucil (generic is psyllium mucilloid)to help her pass stools. One teaspoon per 20 pounds of body weight is the dose (1/2 teaspoon for a 10 pound dog, etc.). Add this amount of the plain unflavored powder to each feeding.

    If she doesn’t continue to improve, you absolutely need to call your veterinarian.

  292. miguel says:

    Thank you so much this really calm me down tomorrow i have an appointment with my vet.shes stable right now she doesent cry she seems to get better just my concern was about her peeing brownish pee other than thst thank you so much

  293. wade says:

    My 1year old wire terrier he was out side and we heard my dog whimpering and my daughter ran outside and found him across the field and he was laying by a tree bleeding with wounds and he was bleeding from his privates and legs and he stopped bleeding and he wont move he ate a little and drank a little but he wont do thing but whine and when he walks on his front feet and he indicates his legs are hurt is it his pelvis? or his legs?

  294. rits says:

    my 1 year terrier was outside and we heard him yelp so my daughter ran outside and she found him across the field with wounds and he was bleeding from his privates and his legs and he stopped bleeding and we made him a bed and let him rest so he’s in his cage asleep and we don’t know what to do please answer my son will be devistaed if any thing happens to him pleasre anwser

  295. Doc says:

    Hello, Rits and Wade,
    I was unable to access the internet yesterday.

    It is not possible for me to make such a long-distance diagnosis. Your buddy really needs to see a veterinarian.

  296. Jazmin says:

    Thank you for your blog! It with everyone’s questions mine has been answered. Two of my dogs ran out and got run over by a truck, unfortunately one of them past away on the way to the emergency room and my Jack Russell did make it, but I was told he had a pelvic fracture and might need surgery. (this was at the emergency vet) Surgery was going to be around $2,000-5,000! I was devastated how was i going to pay for it? So I took the xrays they took and saw another Vet. who said more likely Chiko will heal without a need of a surgery. I felt that i was too good to be true.. but now that am reading your answers. I feel a bit more confident my Chikolino will be back up. He is peeing and pooping well. He even wants to go and play and hates being on bedrest. But he has been improving. SO thank you again for helping out our lil furry family members!

  297. Erica says:

    My Lhasa Apso was hit by a car about 2 months ago, he’s 7 years old. He had 2 small fractures on his pelvis, they said it wasn’t bad at all and he would heal with bed rest. I would put him in the crate but not as often as I should have. Now he still walks with a bit of a limp and when he tries to walk fast he holds his back right paw up. I do see him run just fine most of the time but he worries me when he holds his paw up. Is it too late to keep him on struck crate rest? Could it have healed wrong? I just felt bad locking him up so long. He would cry non stop. I feel horrible now of course, I thought I was taking care of him.

  298. Doc says:

    Hello, Erica,

    It is possible that the hip joint was injured, and it didn’t show up on the first X-ray.

    A new X-ray may reveal the problem. And yes, it might have healed a bit crooked, but it might have done that with strict cage rest, as well.

  299. Stuart wright says:

    Hi, our 2year old male cat went missing for a few days so we put missing posters up and after 2 days we had a call that someone had found him. When we went to collect him he could not stand and looked to be in pain so we took him to the vets straight away as we assumed he had been hit by a car. He has had an x-ray and shows that there either a break or dis-location in the spine but the spinal cord is intact, it also showed that he has a pelvic injury but it was unclear whether it’s a dislocation or break. After being at the vets for 3days we were told he could come home and have cage rest and we have to wait for the spinal specialist to respond to the x-rays that were sent. We had a reply today ad he told us to give him two weeks cage rest and see how it goes…..he didn’t explain much at all, I have read through previous posts here that it is a common diagnosis with pelvic injuries but I don’t understand how or why he won’t do anything about his spine being broken or dislocated? Our cat is urinating fine with no blood but has not had much bowel movement at all…he pulls himself around the cage and even stands himself up using his front legs and puts some pressure on his back legs but he soon topples over again. I have pinched his toes and he reacted and pulled away. Any information on why the vet has recommended cage rest when our cat has a spinal injury would be really helpful…..thanks

  300. Doc says:

    Hello, Stuart,

    Even if I were a neurologist and orthopedic surgeon (and I’m not), I doubt that I could give you much useful information without seeing the cat and the X-rays.

    What comes to mind is this: it sounds like the cat has sensation and some control. Sometimes the dysfunction is related as much to swelling and inflammation as it is to structural damage to the nerves.

    It may be that they are waiting for this internal inflammation and swelling to subside, and then will wish to re-evaluate the cat to see the differences.

    I feel sure that your veterinarian would be glad to discuss this further with you. That is really where you need to ask your questions. He probably think that he has given a great explanation and doesn’t realize what your questions are.

  301. James says:

    Hello my 3 year old spayed female Catahoula dog has been chasing squirles in our backyard and attempted to jump a 4ft wood retaining wall and has caught her back legs 3-4 times hard over the past year. She recently limps her back right leg after she gets up from a laying position sometimes but she runs and plays with no limp. I have also recently noticed in the past few weeks she is leaking small amounts of urine while laying down, can this be connected and if so how? What can I do to help with the incontinence?

  302. Wanda Ramos says:

    My weiniemix(toast)was hit by a car the moment I told vet I had no money to put down on a operation he told me by the x rays he shattered his pelvis and all the money in the worked couldn’t save my baby and he would need a cathader every time he peed my question is …..did my vet make it cheaper for me to put toast to sleep so that way he will get paid instead of him wasting time and effort and risking not getting paid …

  303. doc says:

    Hello, James,

    It is certainly possible that these repeated injuries have led to some arthritis problems. While arthritis (inflamed and painful joints) is thought of as a disease of the elderly, repeated injury can bring it on earlier in life.

    I would talk to your veterinarian about putting her on a glucosamine type supplement regularly. This has no side-effects and can be helpful. When he examines her, he may prescribe some anti-inflammatory medicine to help her on her bad days.

    I don’t think that her urine leakage is likely to be related. There are medicines that can help with this. Again, you should consult your veterinarian about this.

  304. doc says:

    Hello, Wanda,
    It really isn’t possible for me to answer what was in someone else’s mind about a case where I have seen neither the dog nor the X-ray.

    Surgical repair of a fractured pelvis is extremely difficult. You are unlikely to find a veterinarian who can do it outside of the specialists at a veterinary school teaching hospital. Even there, it is a long and expensive procedure.

    There are some big nerves that can be damaged if the pelvis is shattered. It is possible for the dog to lose control of his hind legs, even if the broken bones are healed.

    The urethra runs through this area, and it is possible for it to be torn by the broken pelvic bones. This is also extremely difficult to repair, even for a surgical specialist. It is possible that an ostomy would have to be created for the bladder to empty direct to outside, bypassing the pelvis. This is a mess, with constant leakage.

    If the injury was as severe as you describe, then repair was not likely to be accomplished outside of a teaching hospital full of specialists.

    In that case, without repair, your dog’s quality of life would have been very poor.

  305. Tricia Martin says:

    My 16 month old boxer ran full speed into a moving vehicle. She has not been able to put weight on her rear left leg. We can move it around and flex it with no pain response. We can push and touch her entire skeleton without pain response. She just can’t put weight on it. She won’t eat drink or use the bathroom. It’s been 12 hours. The vets are closed at least until 32 hours from now due to the holiday. Should I give her pain relief otc? Drive 3 hours to the emergency clinic? Wait for condition changes? Thanks for any suggestions.

  306. Doc says:

    Hello, Tricia,

    Ibuprofen (Advil) and Naproxen (Aleve) are NOT safe for dogs. Some dogs develop bleeding ulcers after a single dose.

    Your description doesn’t sound like a life-threatening emergency, but it is cetianlhy difficult to evaluate a dog without seeing it.

    A pelvic fracture is possible, as is bruising with no serious structural damage (just pain).

    At the time I see this it is almost 24 hours since your post.

    My best guess is that she was too painful to feel like eating or drinking, and didn’t want to get up to use the bathroom, also because painful.

    If she wasn’t some better today, or was getting worse, I hope you made it to the emergency clinic.

    If getting a little better, then Friday should be okay.

  307. Liz says:

    My 6 month old kitten quit walking this past week and I noticed she was covered on her under side with urine and her stomach is bloated. With very little money I still took her to the vet to have her examined. He said her kidney was inlarged and her bladder was full, he kept her over night for free and drained her bladder and gave her a steroid shot. After doing an xray he said that she has fluid in her abdomen and most likely she was injured somehow. I am going to pick her up today after work but the vet doesn’t think there is much we can do. She doesn’t appear to be in pain but she doesn’t walk on her back legs any longer although she has feeling in her toes and tail. He said we could take her home and she if she gets better or have her put down. Is there anything that I can do to help her heal? I don’t want to have her put to sleep but I would if she seemed in pain which she doesn’t, the doctor knows I don’t have any money to cover costly vet bills so i don’t know what to do for her other than to wait for her to pass??

  308. Doc says:

    Hello, Liz,

    I really cannot give you super-dependable advice, as I haven’t seen your cat or the X-rays. You really should ask more questions of the doctor who has seen her.

    That being said, I will tell you what I can, based on what you have told me.

    The loss of the ability to empty the bladder on her own lets us know there is some serious nerve damage, possibly spinal cord damage.

    Being unable to walk makes it sound more like spinal cord damage.

    Trauma is the most common reason for this. It is also possible for infections like Toxoplasmosis and Neospora to invade the nervous system.

    When the bladder doesn’t empty itself regularly, just sitting there full, urinary tract infections develop.

    It sounds like your cat’s quality of life is very poor at present, and almost certainly will get worse.

    I wish that I had something good to offer you, but I don’t see a happy ending here.

    Unless she shows some obvious signs of improvement in the next 48 hours, I would consider euthanasia.

  309. Michaela Montano says:

    Hello im in need of alot of advice. Yesterday afternoon my 11 week puppy got ran over yesterday he couldnt move at all his right eye is completely foggy. His left front leg is very swollen and we r having to feed him ourselfs today he has been picking up his head and kicks his back legs and moving his tail other than that he lays in the exact place all day today

  310. Doc says:

    Hello, Michaela,

    I wish that I could help you long distance, but this is something that needs a doctor right there. I just don’t know enough about what is happening to give you any helpful advice.

  311. Emma says:

    Thank you so much for this. My cat has 3 breaks to his pelvis SO very similar to the x ray you have shown. He is currently at the vets being monitored. We have no idea what will happen from here and this has given us hope. Vets Update this morning (10am, injury as 14.40 on the 24th so less than 24 hours) – He still hasnt used the litter tray but this has been put down to inflammation. Orthopaedic update is so long as he is trying to be mobile and isnt in obvious pain he should be able to recover without surgery. Vet on call reports he has been shuffling around in his cage and tarting at her. So Fingers Crossed he is on the mend..

  312. ash says:

    my cat got hurt on the lower part of his body,,his still baby and he jumpt on a bongo drum witch is not so big itself,but fell on him…now he doesent use its back legs,,his in some discomfort but moves around draging his back legs,, he started using his one leg now and then i c movement on the legs and toes,,,wil this get better, couse here in SA thy just put them down,,and jip dont want that..

  313. jessica says:

    Dear Doctor,

    My cat was found inside of a car motor as a kitten, he was all banged up, his pelvis broken. his pelvis was never fixed they just let it heal naturally, he walks funny and needs fiber in his diet, other than that he’s been ok all these years, he’s about 9 now.
    For the past 2 days he’s been less mobile (he’s always very active ) & sleeping a lot, I think his hips might be hurting him. I’m taking him to the vet on Saturday. Do you have any suggestions for natural supplements anything else that I could give him..

  314. Doc says:

    Hello, Ash,
    If this is a pelvic fracture, then the prognosis is good. I do not think he would be up on one leg if he had a spinal injury. If there is a spinal injury the prognosis is very poor. Pelvic injuries usually heal with time.

  315. Doc says:

    Hello, Jessica,

    We are very limited in the options for pain relief in cats, especially long term.

    Cosequin for cats is a very good supplement, and can (and probably needs to be) be used daily.

    Adequan injections often are helpful.

    The anti-inflammatory drugs that people and dogs take can be used for only a few days in cats.

  316. Brynda says:

    My 10-month old rescue blue heeler got under the wheels of the truck last night and we ran over him! We immediately took him to the vet, and he has a pelvic fracture, but hips and legs are okay. Surgery is $1300-$2500, and I am wondering if it is okay to take a ‘wait and see’ approach and see how he does on bed rest? If in a few days he doesn’t seem to be improving, could he still have the surgery done? He is already doing better from last night vs. this morning (he is at the vet waiting to see about surgery, where we will have to take him to another town because no one around here does it!). Thank you so much for this website. I feel hopeful about home rest after reading all of these comments. Also, we are gone a lot during the day. My mom has offered to take care of him at our house, but would she need to be there all the time? Or just come check on him? Thanks again.

  317. Doc says:

    Hello, Brynda,

    Waiting a few days is unavoidable. It is unlikely that an orthopedic surgeon has everything ready to go for you if you just walked in the door.

    Waiting a few weeks is a different story. If the hip socket are affected, or the pelvis is torn loose from the backbone, you are not as likely to have a good outcome with just “bed rest”.

    The doctor who has seen your dog and his X-rays is in a much better position to advise you than I am.

  318. Naomi says:

    Hi there. My 15 month old Australian terrier crossed with chihuahua ran out on the road and hit a car. Not run over. Vet said crate for 6 weeks. He’s super active and we walk(well he runs) 6k a day so he probably does 10k with all the back and forth. He’s been in a crate carried out to toilet for 9 days now. Up until today he only would lie on left side. Assume fracture must be on right. He slept on right side today. When looking for spot to eliminate he walks in front legs only to go fast. 3 legs for medium speed and all 4 of just going slow. He was never given pain meds at home and hasn’t cried from pain ever. Do I really need to crate him for 6 whole weeks? Are there steps (such as him lying on broken side comfortably) I should look out for that indicate being able to let him walk
    Around the garden on a lead a few times a day etc

  319. Doc says:

    Hello, Naomi,

    I haven’t seen your dog or your X-rays, so I can’t really give you a specific recommendation.

    Most uncomplicated pelvic fractures are up and going in two to four weeks in my experience.

    I would recommend that you give your veterinarian some feedback, tell him/her how your dog is doing at 14 days and see if the recommendation changes.

    We cannot always make an accurate prediction of the animal’s progress. Keep your doctor up to date on what is happening.

  320. ang says:

    Hello. My 6 year old domestic short hair cat was injured in a car accident. He has a fractured pelvis and is currently on pain meds and laxatives. He has no use of right hind leg and is cage bound. He has been able to pee but we are sure there is blood in there as well. It is a very dark red and sometimes if we see him pee we check and its a bright red. Also, my main concern is that it has been a week and he has not pooed at all. Should we take him back to vet or is this normal during recovery. He is eating half of what he normally would but does have a reasonable appetite. Thanks

  321. Doc says:

    Hello, Ang,

    This may be okay, but I would definitely contact your veterinarian and give him a progress report. He/she is the best person to advise you.

  322. kapil says:

    my 11 months dog jumped from my roof.and her back legs are not there any chance of having good……

  323. Doc says:

    Hello, Kapil,
    I wish I could answer this for you. You could have broken legs, broken hips, broken pelvis, broken spine.
    Your dog needs to be seen by a veterinarian.

  324. vivian says:

    Hey I was wondering what would be my girls chances she’s my cat
    of 1 year and 4 months old, she got ran over from the back Tyre of a car, and she was still awake and 3 of her legs are okay she was walking on them except for her left back leg she can’t stand on it at all, but also the vet said that she is urinating but I was wondering cause she hasn’t gone in for a x-ray yet what you think her chances will be?

  325. Doc says:

    Hello, Vivian,

    I would think that she has good chances for recovery. If her leg bones are fractured, that will require treatment. If just the pelvis, most do well with cage rest. Best to get her spayed, though, as the birth canal is often deformed by pelvic injuries.

  326. Eman says:

    My 1.5 year old female cat (British short hair and Himalayan hybrid) fractured her pelvis on January 9, 2015, she dragged her self to our house and for few days she was in pain and couldn’t walk on her back legs, vet told us to give her baby brufen and wait 2 days to do x-ray
    Toke her to the vet after 2 days and after looking at her x-rays he said that she had a pelvic fracture but she’ll be better
    however, now she walks and run but still didn’t regain her sensation in her tail, and doesn’t have any control on her bladder, she’s struggling with pooping, constipated, she goes to her box sometimes she manages to do it there and sometimes it falls while she’s walking
    Vet told us the nerve is damaged due to swollen and she’ll get better within months, we have to give her olive oil, meat and fish

    Also told us we can let her play and move, and I’m following up with the vet since January
    Sometimes I see like bruises in her private area and rectum, vet told us it’s normal and will disappeared on its own

    However, can’t see any improvement in her bladder control , or her tail, although she can feel in the area where the tail begin

    Vet told us no need to amputate the tail or have her spayed as she will get better but it’ll take a long long time, please advice of there is hope and if this is normal

  327. Doc says:

    Hello, Eman,

    As I have not seen your cat it is not possible for me to give you better answers than the doctor who has.

    Generally speaking, nerve damage can take six months to heal… if it’s going to (which it might not).

    If she is having trouble pooping, ask your veterinarian about a safe stool softener.

    The bladder problem is more troubling. If she is just dribbling urine, it may be because her bladder is not emptying, but staying completely full all the time and just dribbling the overflow.

    That is not a good situation, as it inevitably results in a bladder infection, if not an ascending kidney infection as well.

    Discuss this with your veterinarian. If the bladder is staying full all the time, one can usually learn how to empty it by hand, which needs to be done several times daily. Also, one would check urine specimens for signs of infection, and treat appropriately.

  328. Eman says:

    Thank you,
    After i sent to you, I noticed along with the leaking urine there was blood, took her to the vet and told me it was miscarriage, apparently one day she escaped for few hours
    Anyhow, he said that she smells really bad, and have infliction, and suggested to euthanize her, but my mother refused because the cat is still strong, he gave her antibiotics and gave me cream “dark green” to apply once every night, told me she’s in bad condition, but if I kept her on treatments she might respond because she’s strong, and suggested the following for one week to check:
    Nicilan tab. One tab. Twice daily for 1 week . Laxative past for constipation
    She eats and drinks but she struggles little when tries to set in high places like chair or steps

  329. Monica says:

    I am so glad I came across this site. My 6 year old shitzu laso apso (sorry for the horrible spelling) was hit by a car approximately 2 weeks ago. We were given the option for surgery but wouldn’t afford it. She has been healing well but she wasn’t eating so we tried mixing wet food with her dry food and she ate the whole bowl but then she got a severe case of diarrhea and the one time there was some blood in her stool. It kind of freaked me out because of her injury. Her bowel movements before hand were normal and she wasn’t straining at all. Thank you for any advice you may be able to provide.

  330. Matt Major says:

    Hey Doc, My cat came into the house last night crying and moaning and dragging her back right leg. She has a cut on the inside of the leg that was full of dirt but looks like maybe a bite. I think though she was hit by a car and cut her foot in the process. Im taking her to the vet today but my main concern is that her pain is not coming from the leg she injured and was dragging. It’s almost as if the leg is dead. Could this be a sign of a spinal injury or sciatic cut. And wouldn’t this effect both legs and tail? All symptoms are no movement in leg, cut in leg, cant walk or move without extreme pain, and blood in her urine (no #2 yet or interest in water or treats/food). Any advise would be great.

  331. Doc says:

    Hello, Monica,

    It is possible that the combination of stress and dietary change produced the loose stool.

    The blood could be from her injury, but also can occur with diarrhea.

    Some pain medications can cause blood in the stool.

    You should talk to your veterinarian about this diarrhea and blood.

  332. Doc says:

    Hello, Matt,

    By now you have probably already seen your veterinarian.

    There is a sciatic nerve on both sides, so you could certainly have one leg working and the other not.

    Pelvic injuries can also affect either leg or both.

    Blood in the urine could certainly go along with a fractured pelvis.

    I hope your veterinarian was able to give you a good prognosis for recovery.

  333. curt says:

    My dog was hit by a car 3 days ago. Her vet did x-rays and said she had 2 fractures in her pelvic and that her nerve in her leg he thought was torn. She has no feeling in her paw and when you move her paw and hip around she seems to be in no pain. The vet said the best thing to do was take her leg off. Should I give it more time before we do that to see if it will heal?

  334. Doc says:

    Hello, Curt,

    Sorry about the delay, but I’ve been out of the country.

    It sounds like the broken pelvic bone has torn the sciatic nerve.

    The numbness and paralysis would likely be permanent. In that case the dog would drag its leg, making bad sore places. It would be very difficult to keep the leg healthy.

    Sometimes dogs with numb legs will mutilate themselves, and start the amputation process for you (in a very unpleasant way).

    Giving it more time won’t hurt anything, unless the dog decides to chew on itself. Nerve damage can certainly heal, but it can take six months or more to see any change. Many wounds to the nervous tissue just do not every heal.

  335. Whitney says:

    About three years ago my female, three year old cat incurred four pelvic fractures due to a hit and run. After much deliberation, my vet decided that we could realistically crate hold her for a month resulting in a full recovery without surgery although it was encouraged. We erred on the side of caution and kept her contained closer to two months. She seems to have no issues whatsoever getting around and does not have any kind of noticeable limp, but she seems to be in quite a good deal of pain if anyone tries to gently pet her past mid-spine and will start licking herself. I’m not quite sure what to do, but I hate seeing her so obviously uncomfortable. She’s a little overweight at the moment, and we’ve been trying to get her down to a healthier weight since we assume that extra weight certainly doesn’t help the matter. That being said, getting her sufficient exercise has been difficult since we transitioned her into a strictly indoors cat. I thought I’d try here before scheduling a vet appointment since I know that x-rays will likely be needed to assess the situation which I sadly lack the funds for. Any assistance you could offer would be most welcome. Thank you so much for your time!

  336. Doc says:

    Hello, Whitney,

    I don’t know how to tell you what is going on without examining your cat.

    It is certainly possible that your cat has some arthritis problems after such an injury. We are pretty limited in our ability to medicate cats with that type of problem. Cosequin for cats is very safe, available without a prescription, and can help over a period of time (usually takes a month to really get maximum effect, and needs to be continued on a maintenance basis).

    For tips on getting an indoor cat to exercise, take a look at this website. It is great!

  337. Evalie Coronado says:

    I have a six month old puppy she got hit by a car she can’t walk but she drags herself places she been eating and drinking perfectly fine now I’m scared that if I take her to the vet they will put her to sleep.What do I do?

  338. Doc says:

    Hello, Evalie,

    If her pelvis is fractured, her outlook for recovery is very good. I do not think your veterinarian would even consider putting her to sleep.

    If her spine is injured, that is a different story. The doctor would check for her reflexes and ability to feel pain in her hind legs. If there is no sensation of pain, then her spinal cord is cut in two, and will not get better.

    Patients who are paralyzed need lots of care for their whole life. They make sore places dragging themselves around. Their bladder doesn’t empty well on its own, so they have a lot of bladder infections. It’s a very tough life, requiring lots of nursing care.

    You need to find out what the problem actually is so that you can do the right thing for your puppy.

  339. sue Lemmon says:

    My 9 year old cat had an undiagnosed pelvic fracture a year ago. She has had a limp since then, and a poopy bum over the last few months. 2 weeks ago she became constipated, and hardly eating or drinking. She had an examination under anaesthetic and the vet said, the pelvis had formed bony ridges in the healing process (which I understand) and that was narrowing her colon. What surgery options would you advise and what would be the healing time an prognosis? My vet has advised euthanasia. Thanks.

  340. Doc says:

    Hello, Sue,

    Some of these patients can be managed successfully with stool softeners, but this will likely contribute to the “poopy bum” situation.

    The pelvis is quite difficult to access surgically. Even without seeing your X-rays I can tell you that it takes a highly qualified veterinary orthopedic surgeon to be successful in performing surgery.

    This type of surgery will not be cheap.

    You might consider asking your veterinarian for a referral to an orthopedic specialist who could look at your cat’s X-rays and give you some idea of what can be done.

  341. sue Lemmon says:

    Hi further to my question of 7th July, thank you for your quick response. Can a subtotal colectomy be performed without pelvic surgery to reduce the pelvic canal narrowing, and is there a minimum width of the pelvic canal where this would be advised?

  342. doc says:

    Hello, Sue,
    What are you thinking? An ostomy bag?

    If the pelvis is too small to allow easy evacuation of feces, it is hard for me to see how making the colon smaller is going to make that any easier.

    This is really outside my area of expertise.

    You should consult a surgical specialist if you want more information and alternatives than your regular veterinarian can provide.

  343. sue Lemmon says:

    That’s what I thought but it seems that several veterinary web sites advise this, saying that most of the affected colon is removed, and then anastomosis of the ileum to remaining end of colon, which would result in softer faeces. I don’t understand as you say, that there would still be enough room if the pelvic cavity wasn’t enlarged with some form of osteotomy?

  344. Edgar says:

    Hello, my Chihuahua got runned over by a car on 4 days ago, I took her to an animal hospital nearby and they took xrays, it turned out her pelvis was broken in four different locations and her leg was dislocated from the hip joint, also that same leg what’s broken right about mid section, the vet gave me three options, 1. take it to an orthopedic surgeon and get her fixed up which I couldn’t afford. 2. He would leave her pelvis broken, perform an FHO surgery on her and put a pin on her broken leg and he said she would be fine. 3. Put her down. I decided to go with option number 2 but I’m still not convinced about the results. How do you think she’s going to do, is she going to be able to walk, is she going to be in pain? What can you tell me?

  345. Doc says:

    Hello, Edgar,

    Holy mackerel! Bad injuries, and your veterinarian’s recommendations sound spot-on to me.

    I think the odds are very good that she will be able to walk.

    I also think the odds are very good that she will have some arthritis problems as as result of all these injuries. This means that she may require some pain management for the rest of her life in order to be at her best.

    Talk with your veterinarian about this. He sounds like he is giving you pretty straight information.

  346. Nitzia Mosqueda says:

    My 3 year old dog was hit by a car a few days ago. I took her to the vet and they took x-rays, they said she had multiple pelvic fractures and chances of her needing surgery are high. Since our vet visit she has stood on her own, ate, and has used the restroom. It also looks as she is managing the pain well, seems like the only time she will cry is when she wants attention, im just curious to know if surgery is necessary since it is something I can not afford. what are the chances she may recover on her own.

  347. Doc says:

    Hello, Nitzia,

    If she is able to stand, eat, and eliminate urine and stool already, she will probably have a decent quality of life without surgery to correct the fractures.

    It is certainly possible (depending on fracture location) that she may have some early onset of arthritis from this, if the joints are involved.

    With a female, the pelvic fracture can heal in an abnormal alignment, deforming and partially blocking the birth canal.

    You should get her spayed when she recovers so that she doesn’t get pregnant and have to have a C-section when the puppies come.

  348. Sara says:

    Hi my cat is two years old and got backed over in the driveway. He immediately ran off. He finally came in the house today. He can seem to walk ok. He even jumped down off from his spot I put him in. Well he jumped down cause he must have had to use the bathroom. However he only made it part way down the hall. He stopped and peed. He had visible bright red blood in the urine. He definitely seems to be in pain but he’s not whining or anything. I can’t afford to take him to the vet. What does the blood in the urine mean. Is he bleeding internally. I have not seem him eat or drink

  349. Doc says:

    Hello, Sara,

    Blood in the urine can accompany a urinary tract infection. In this case, however, I would be more suspicious that his bladder was bruised in the accident. If this is the case, it should clear up in a couple of days.

    It would be much worse if he were not urinating. It is possible for the bladder to be burst when this happens, and urine then pools inside the belly instead of going out of the body.

    I wish that I could give you more help, but it just isn’t possible without seeing the cat.

  350. Sarah says:

    11yr/N/62lb/MIXED MALE My dog was hit by a car. His injuries are on his left side. The sacroiliac joint is displaced I think still under 50% because no one was recommending surgery. He also has a caudal acetabular fracture, although I’m taking more rads tomorrow because they’ve only done frog VD. Pain wise he seemed to be more comfortable 7 days after the injury. He can hop on his one hind leg to go to the bathroom. My concern is he is not bearing any weight on his leg, he is not lifting it as he walks he is letting it bounce up and down as he hops. I am worried about usage. He does move his leg while laying down and as he dreams he moves his toes and feet, he feels pain in all toes and has. His reflexes are intact. Took him back to the vets a few days ago and he did some heavy manipulation (I thought was unnecessary) the whole time my dog was screaming and ever since then (4 days) he keeps whining and nosing his hip. I do not want to go back to him because the rads looked worse after the manipulation. I can see fragments around the acetabulum that were not there before. How successful are FHOs? How successful is it to go in and remove fragments if they are in the joint. When do they usually bear weight? I just feel so terrible to watch him in pain.

  351. Doc says:

    Hello, Sarah,

    I doubt that the doctor created additional injuries by the manipulation. It sounds more likely that more injury became visible after the manipulation, since you already had a fracture of the acetabulum (hip socket). It is this fracture that will give us the long term problems, as there won’t be a smooth surface for the femoral head to glide against.

    It is also possible that there is damage to the sciatic nerve on that side, which makes long-term recovery less certain.

    Removing the fragments is unlikely to leave you with a smooth joint surface.

    Orthopedic surgery to repair the pelvis really takes a super-good orthopedic surgeon. It is a very difficult area to reach.

    It is certainly too soon to consider the FHO. It is a salvage procedure to eliminate the pain of bone-on-bone. The result is beneficial in any size dog, but more likely to result in a normal gait in a small dog.

    Having said that, I have certainly seen some really big dogs do okay afterwards, gait-wise.

    Your veterinarian should be able to prescribe pain medications to make your buddy more comfortable. If not, I would consider trying another doctor.

    Even uncomplicated pelvic fractures take 2 to 4 weeks to heal enough for walking in a young dog. Give him some time, get him some pain medications.

    Please do NOT use over the coutner pain meds, as dogs have low tolerance for them, and they can cause some severe side-effects.

  352. Liesel says:

    Hi. I have a young male dog (age unknown) its a bit of a complicated story. Seen him wondering the streets for a few months, been putting food down trying to catch him, to no avail. Last month I think he got hit by a car in the front as he was hobbling on his right front leg, but was still unable to catch him. 3 nights ago I found him lying on a pavement unable to move and in excruciating pain. Some of the locals in the village (Thailand) where I am working helped me get him home. Its taken me 3 days to not only find a vet but arrange to get us there. Unfortunately it’s a country vet and he does not have an x-ray machine. He tugged on the back legs and checked the front leg, and with the language barrier we have, I was told ‘he has problem in back’, I have made my own assumptions based on working with the dog and guessing he means fractured pelvis and collarbone area. He gave the dog and injection of vit B and an iv then sent us home with some ibuprofen and but B complex. Since his arrival I have been hand feeding him and syringing 140ml water into his mouth 2 hourly as he can do little more than move his head slightly due to pain. He has gone from screaming and writhing in agony when he urinates or has a bowel movement to, high pitched whimpering. His heavy pain panting has reduced to a manageable sound (no longer open mouthed) so there is definitely improvement. Unfortunately this is the only vet I can find in my area as its a really specialised trade down here. I need help with advice on how to move his recovery forward (like how to handle him when he eventualy starts moving with the injuries being front and back)and possibly medication that I could get him from over the counter for pain management as opposed to ibuprofen please.
    Thank you

  353. Doc says:

    Hello, Liesel,
    I hope that you are mistaken in identifying the drug as ibuprofen. Dogs frequently do not tolerate ibuprofen well, developing stomach ulcers. There are similar drugs, such as carprofen, that are usually well tolerated.

    For short term (a week or so), Tylenol (acetaminophen) is usually well tolerated. A regular strength 325mg tablet, one tablet per forty pounds of body weight (18 to 20 kg) given up to 3 times daily. This does not do anything for inflammation, but does help relieve pain.

    If he has a spinal injury, there really isn’t much we can do. If the pelvis is broken, and the hip-joints themselves are not affected, then there is a good probability that he will be up walking in less than 4 weeks.

    I would consider using a towel to support him as a sling when you help him to walk, or have to move him.

    When he starts really trying to walk, you could cut holes for his 4 legs in the towel to help support him front and back without putting so much pressure on his tummy (which is uncomfortable).

    What are you doing in remote rural Thailand? My daughter was in the Peace Corps and spent time in a very remote village in Zambia. She visited Thailand as a part of a study-abroad program with the school of agriculture at the University of Missouri.

  354. Liesel says:

    Hi. Thank you so kindly for your swift response. I’m busy teaching in Thailand and crazy fool I am, opt for the low income areas where I feel I can make a difference. It’s rough but worth it when you get a kid to see that they can be more than just a farm labourer 🙂 Unfortunately it is ibuprofen, the vet confirmed when I queried the tell tale bright pink stash of pills he handed over. I will defo go get him Tylenol tomorrow. I am surmising his spine is fine as when the vet tugged on each back leg, besides screaming and trying to bite he pulled them back, but yet again I am just surmising and hoping as he has such an fighting spirit. One last query (I am sorry, I been hitting the Google for help), what is your take on trepiline/amitriptyline?
    Thank you once again

  355. Doc says:

    Hello, Liesel,

    Amitriptyline is generally considered to be a psychotropic drug, used as an antidepressant in people, for whatever that’s worth. In chronic pain that is believed to come from nerve inflammation, there are doctors who feel that it can be helpful, especially when combined with other medications.

    I do not believe it is likely to be helpful with musculoskeletal pain.