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Feline Pelvic Fractures

Jonathan Miller, DVM, MS, DACVS, Oradell Animal Hospital, Paramus, New Jersey


|May 2017

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In the Literature

Meeson RL, Geddes AT. Management and long-term outcome of pelvic fractures: a retrospective study of 43 cats. J Feline Med Surg. 2017;19(1):36-41.

From the Page …

More cats in recent years are receiving surgical treatment for pelvic fractures, though long-term outcomes are limited.1 Significant questions yet to be answered are whether cats return to normal function and whether megacolon after pelvic fracture is common in surgically treated cats.

FIGURE 1 Cat with sacroiliac luxation and ischial fractures

Clinician's Brief

This retrospective study analyzed cats with pelvic fractures over a 5-year period. Of the 43 cats, 93% had >1 orthopedic pelvic injury present, which illustrated the importance of evaluating the entire pelvis. Of the 43 cats, 32 were managed surgically, most having a plate or screw implanted. Neurologic deficits, sciatic neurapraxia being the most common, were found in 23% of cats preoperatively. With a mean follow-up of 24 months, 86% had no long-term mobility issues. Nerve deficits resolved entirely in 79% of affected cats and improved in the rest. No cats developed megacolon, although 19% had varying degrees of chronic (≥ once a month) to intermittent (≤ once a year) constipation.

The authors found similar outcomes when conservative management was compared with surgery, although selection bias was not controlled. Routinely excellent outcomes were seen in both groups, with cats having minimal long-term problems after pelvic fracture treatment.

… To Your Patients

Key pearls to put into practice:


Most cats presented for pelvic fracture likely have >1 pelvic fracture or luxation.


Neurologic problems are common in these patients but will most likely resolve with time.


Surgical treatment for pelvic fracture typically results in excellent outcomes.


Megacolon after pelvic fractures in cats is very uncommon.


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