My cat won’t put weight on his left leg and paw and he sometimes limps after sleeping. What is the cause and treatment?

Original Question: Simon seems to be having some problems with his left leg/paw; he sits with it off the floor and he licks it and occasionally he limps when he gets up after sleeping. This happens over a period of a couple of weeks, then it seems to go away and he is fine for a few weeks/a month and then it seems to occur again. - Anonymous

My cat won’t put weight on his left leg and paw and he sometimes limps after sleeping. What is the cause and treatment? Aug 24, 2018

Hi there,

Thanks for your question.

I won’t be able to give you a diagnosis given the information you’ve provided. The area will need investigation to achieve an answer. I strongly suggest you have your veterinarian investigate it but in the meantime, here are some things you can do:

  • Investigate the area thoroughly. Spread the toes apart and look for any lesions such as redness, growths, or hair loss. You may find the source of the problem.
  • Check the nails and nail beds. Make sure that a nail is not growing in a direction where it is irritating the toe and that there is no indication of infection at the nail base.
  • Monitor your cat’s behaviour and what it does in the home. If it occasionally jumps down from a high counter or plays with something very aggressively on occasion which could cause repeated injury, then restrict access to it.
  • Most of all, I would recommend you have a physical exam performed by your veterinarian. They will be able to recognize things from experience that others can’t.

Good luck. I hope this helps.

Dr. Clayton Greenway

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