Legs, Hips and Paws

Unless it is obvious that your cat simply needs his nails trimmed, your vet will examine the toes very carefully for signs of infection or swelling. If only one claw won't go back in, your vet will probably recommend x-rays to see if a fracture, arthritis, or a tumor is causing the problem. If more than one claw is affected, she may do blood tests to check for internal conditions, such as thyroid disease or diabetes.

In some cases your pet may need surgery or long-term medications -- or, in the case of a potassium deficiency, potassium supplements -- to clear up the problem. Most of the time, however, he will just need more-frequent trims.

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Copyright 1999 Rodale Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

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