Cats can suffer from claw fractures, but it is not as common as in dogs and is usually due to the cat’s claw getting stuck in something.
In case of claw fracture, an acute lameness can be seen. The cat often licks its paw and often shows pain when it puts its paw down or if the clone is touched. With a crack further forward in the clone, the animal can react slightly or not at all, while with a crack all the way up to the claw fold, the cat can react much more. When the entire clone wears away, it usually causes both bleeding and pain.
What can you do yourself?
If only a small piece of clone has fallen off, it is usually sufficient for the clone to be cut down to the pulp.
When should a veterinarian be consulted?
It is rarely very acute with claw fractures, but it can feel acute because the cat may be in pain. In the event of a major crack or splitting of the clone, a veterinarian should be consulted within 24 hours.
Treatment by a veterinarian
If the entire clone, including the pulp, has been torn off, the area is usually shaved and cleaned. If the crack goes all the way up to the claw seam or if the clone is blown up, the entire clone usually needs to be removed. The cat is sedated or anesthetized before the procedure. Local anesthesia is also usually given. If the clone is not removed, there is a risk of inflammation in the claw fold that spreads to the claw.
If the clone is removed, the cat usually gets a bandage around its paw to protect the pulp. The paw is usually kept bandaged for one to three days or as needed. The bandage should be a thin protective bandage that is changed once a day or if it gets wet.
In connection with the bandage change, the pulp is gently washed with lukewarm water or saline solution. Sometimes it may be easiest to shower the paw for a while to loosen up old wound fluid. If the toe swells up or smells bad, it may indicate an inflammation. Then contact your veterinarian.
The exposed pulp hardens and becomes more durable after about a week. It usually takes a few weeks before a new claw capsule grows. Sometimes the new clone is deformed and if the claw is seriously damaged, it is not certain that there will be a new claw. Collar is used until the cat does not show interest in licking the clone.