A broken cat nose occurs extremely rarely – but is always an emergency. Because when the nose breaks, more than just breathing can be restricted and affected by it.
It is therefore all the more important that you, as the owner, know the possible causes, risks and preventive measures and act immediately.
We’ll show you what to look out for and what to consider when dealing with an injured cat. This is of crucial importance, because especially with wounds and fractures in the area of the head the highest caution is required.
In this article you will learn how your cat can break its nose, how to recognize a fracture and how to prevent it. In addition, we explain why a broken cat nose is so dangerous and what treatment options are available.
Can cats break their nose?
Yes, but this happens very rarely. This is because only a small proportion of the cat’s nose consists of bone. By far the larger part is an extension of cartilage.
However, the cartilage can also break or tear – i.e. be injured and damaged.
Although this is not referred to as a broken nose, the injury is still painful and restrictive.
If the bone is broken or even suspected, you should take this condition very seriously. Since the nose in cats is only a slight protrusion of the skull bone, the fracture can directly affect the brain.
In mild cases, there is a concussion. In more severe injuries, brain hemorrhage can occur and be life-threatening.
Broken cat nose: Causes
Injuries to the cat’s nose are usually shown to be caused by significant force. Therefore, possible causes include:
Falls from great heights
Fights with larger and heavier animals
collisions with cars, bicycles, motorcycles or scooters
Even an uncoordinated cat running in a panic can break its nose if it runs full force into a hard obstacle.
Just as in the case of serious falls, another underlying problem is often responsible. One of the possible causes is vestibular syndrome.
Traumatic experiences and the resulting fear can also be triggers.
Example to illustrate
Your cat runs during its wild “5 minutes” through the apartment and jumps on its scratching post. From here she jumps first onto a sideboard and then onto the floor.
On the sideboard was a heavy flower pot, which started to wobble when the cat landed and then fell on the animal’s face.
That sounds absurd and made up to you? However, it actually happened. The young cat suffered a fracture and a laceration.
Although outdoor cats are at a much greater risk of injury from fights with animals, road traffic and strangers, even indoor-only cats are not immune to a chain of unfortunate circumstances – as the above example shows.
Broken cat nose: symptoms
Recognizing a broken cat nose is not easy without proper examination. However, there are signs that you should take seriously in any case.
If you notice one or more of these symptoms, it is an emergency:
noticeable breathing noises
deformation of the nose
fatigue and noticeable tiredness
changes in behavior
Even if the bone is not broken, the surrounding tissue may be injured as well as the brain.
If there was a serious fall, your cat was hit by a car, hit, or got into a fight, additional injuries are often found.
These can include internal bleeding, further fractures, torn tendons, ligaments and muscles. Bruises, sprains and hematomas are also possible.
Nevertheless, the above symptoms are not unique. For example, nasal discharge or even blood may also indicate a blade of grass in the cat’s nose.
Broken cat nose: diagnosis
Comprehensive examinations are required for a definite diagnosis of a broken cat nose. This includes x-rays. This is the only way to detect fractures and other changes.
In addition, a reputable and thorough veterinarian will palpate your cat completely, check for wounds, test reflexes, and take temperature.
Additionally, a blood test may be advised if an underlying disease is suspected behind bleeding or uncoordinated movements and should be ruled out.
When the cat nose is broken: Treatment
Treatment for a broken cat nose is unfortunately limited in mild cases. The veterinarian may administer remedies for the pain and give something to soothe it while it heals.
It may also be necessary for your pet to wear a neck brace at first to prevent touching and force on the bridge of the nose.
If it is a complicated and severe fracture, surgery may be required. This is especially true if breathing is restricted.
If there are already or additionally infections, the administration of antibiotics is necessary.
How long does the healing of a broken cat nose take?
There is no general answer to this question. A slight fracture can heal completely within ten days to two weeks, especially in young cats and healthy animals.
If it is a complicated break, an operation was necessary or your cat is already weakened by age or other diseases, a complete healing is not to be expected even after one month.
In any case, the following points are important to support the recovery:
Treat the pain: the pain of a broken nose can keep your cat from eating and drinking, disrupt sleep, and thus slow healing immensely. Unfortunately, many veterinarians still dose painkillers too short and too low when it comes to cats. If your pet refuses food, you should have the pain management adjusted.
Rest and protection: Free roaming and wild playing are cancelled during the recovery. Give your cat rest and spare him as much as possible.
Help with grooming and cleaning: If there is significant pain in the face, your cat will most likely not groom here and the rest of the coat can be neglected as well. To prevent felt from forming or dirt and loose hairs from remaining in it, you should brush your pet gently every day and, if necessary, use a soft, warm, damp washcloth to wipe the face gently.
How can you prevent a cat nose break?
For indoor-only cats, you can and should make your pets’ environment safe. Make sure there are no heavy objects on the edges of taller furniture and that falls from great heights cannot occur.
In addition, you should consult a veterinarian if your cat staggers or otherwise behaves in any way abnormally.
Do not leave her unsecured and unattended while she is still under the effects of anesthesia. Free-range access is, of course, canceled during this time.
With free-rangers your preventive possibilities are clearly limited. Here you can only make sure that your own garden is cat-proof and that your velvet paw only spends time outdoors during the day.
Recognize, treat and prevent a broken cat nose.
Although cats rarely break their noses, cartilage and nasal injuries and problems are common.
So, in any case, it makes sense that you are familiar with this issue and can react promptly and correctly accordingly.
Since rest, protection and a good supply of nutrients are most important during treatment, but not much can be done, you should pay particular attention to sufficient sleep and food.
If you have the impression that your cat needs more or longer painkillers, asking the vet is often necessary.
Also make sure that you protect your cat comprehensively and thus prevent fractures.
My name is Mark and the senior editor
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