"Hoy" - Broken Leg
Pets with broken bones are amongst the most complex and expensive cases which we treat at Fairfield. Despite the variety of injuries that occur, bones tend to break along very similar patterns dependent on their inherent weakspots. There are some interesting differences betweeen dogs and cats that influences the location of the break or fracture. From surveys carried out, between 73% and 87% of broken bones in the cat occur in the hindlimb. Elbow fractures (forelimb) by contrast are extremely rare in cats in part due to the relatively greater bone density (absence of a supratrochlear foramen) when compared directly to a dog. With this in mind I was quite puzzled when "Chris Hoy" was presented to me by his owners with a severe forelimb lameness with no real history of significant trauma.
Nevertheless, persuaded by the grossly abnormal elbow joint on clinical examination "Hoy" was admitted for further radiography. X-rays revealed a humeral, condylar (elbow) fracture. Whilst well recognised in spaniels, which have an inherent weakness, this particular injury is very rare in cats. In 30 years of veterinary practice I have never seen this injury previously.
Fraught with difficulty and well recognised as having a high complication rate I was very pleasantly surprised when "Hoy" responded favourably to repair with a threaded pin. As a typical large Maine Coon it can only be speculated that his anatomy may be more typical of a dog given his size or whether this represents a new "design fault" within this pedigree breed. No doubt "Hoy" will be amongst the many topics to be discussed at the forthcoming annual orthopaedic association meeting in October. It is often the case that more tips, advice and recommendations are often to be found between delegates in the more convivial environment of the lounge bar after the more formal lectures. It is for this reason (and this reason only) that I shall be setting aside a proportion of my time to acquire knowledge in this area of the conference venue! Whilst well recognised in spaniels, which have an inherent weakness, this particular injury is very rare in cats. In 30 years of veterinary practice I have never seen this injury previously.