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August 27, 2007


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Lee Noad

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 ?


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.


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.

Melissa Garcia

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.


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.

LGD Owner

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.


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.


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.


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.


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..


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.


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.


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.

Kate Sullivan

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!


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.


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.



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.


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.


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?


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.


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?


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.


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.


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?


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.

Trish Vance

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?


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.

Trish Vance

Thanks, I'm waiting on a call back, and he's alreay on Keflex. I appreciate the quick reply.


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..


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.


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 :(

Samik Ghosal

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?


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Antony Hunt

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


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.

antony hunt

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).


Hello, Antony,

It sounds like things are moving in the right direction, poco a poco.

Good luck.


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!


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.

David White

Thanks for all the info fantastic blogg.
Davy Northern Ireland


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?


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.


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?


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.


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!


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


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.


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.


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!


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.

Anne Gorey

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 shape..vet 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.


Hello, Anne,
Thanks for sharing your good news.

Jessica Rose

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...

Cheryl Bracht

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.


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


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.


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.


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.

Cheryl Bracht

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


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.

Cheryl Bracht

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


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.

Cheryl Bracht

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


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.


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?


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.


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?


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.


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


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.


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. !!!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


my dog has multiple fractures to her pelvis how much could this surgery run w sn orthopedic vet


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.


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?


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.




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'.


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?


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.


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.


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.


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?


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.


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.

Michael Fowler

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?


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.

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