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Old 12-21-2007, 06:18 PM   #1
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Question for cat owners...

I adopted a cat a couple of months ago. About 3 weeks ago I noticed her back paw getting a little red and swollen. I took her to the vet a few days later when I could get an appointment. She had a low grade fever and the vet basicaly said it was infected. She couldn't imagine how an inside cat could cut/puncture her paw. Honestly, neither could I. I don't know how she did it.

Anyway, she got 10 days of Amoxicillian and we called it a day. This was on a Tuesday. By Monday of the next week it wasn't looking any better. I took her back in. She still had the fever (she was still playing and eating and drinking like usual so they weren't concerned). The vet gave her a shot of cortizone to help with the itching. We figured it was just taking some time to heal because she was constantly licking at it. Got another 10 days of meds and went home.

It is now some time later and it's still the same. I have 3 days of meds left. The vet said that if it doesn't heal, the next step was to take a biopsy to see if there was something else going on. My dilema is this... Let me say first off, I would never deny an animal, especially one of mine, medical attention of any kind. I am, in fact, saving money to get a hip replacement for my Akita who was diagnosed with hip dysplasia in October. Anyway, has anyone had a cat with a similar situation? I still think it's not healing because she licks and bites at it constantly. On top of that she's walking in her litter box with a moist sore. I clean it every morning but there's still bacteria in it. I don't really have the money to do this. I can put it on a credit card and I will if I have to but I'm looking for some advice first.

So has anyone else had a cat with some kind of injury or infection that took a very long time to heal? If anyone wants to see what it looks like I'll be more than happy to take a picture.


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Old 12-21-2007, 06:32 PM   #2
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Is there anything in the paw? A thorn, piece of glass, a sliver, etc. That is the only reason I can think of as to why it wouldn't be healing. If you want to prevent the little one from licking you could get one of those domes to put on their head. It looks ridiculous but they work.

You could also get a second opinion from another vet before you go full forward with the biopsy. We are animal lovers too. Rescued two dogs in Mexico, who had heart worms, lyme disease, etc. A big financial committment to get them healthy but well worth it......they are the best family members ever!

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Old 12-21-2007, 06:35 PM   #3
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Oh, jen, I'm sorry to hear about your kitty. It's difficult when they have to use the litter box and you know that doesn't help the healing process, but they have to go potty.

Buck and I have lots of kitties and know that some wounds take longer to heal than others, but it does sound like the one your kitty has is taking a bit long to heal. I would listen to your vet if he's one you trust. I would just expire if our vet retired. He's the best.

Good luck to you and your kitty. We'll put her in our prayers. They deserve prayers just like people.
"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
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Old 12-21-2007, 06:57 PM   #4
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.... could your wrap his foot in some kind of bandage to stop the licking and to keep the paw clean??
In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on. Robert Frost
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Old 12-21-2007, 07:11 PM   #5
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J 75,
Did the vet examine the cats paw for a grass seed?
We had a similar problem with our dog.
They can become very swollen and inflamed from these little nasties.
good luc lets know how pussie fares
It is a credit to you, you sound a very responsible, loving & caring person.
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Old 12-21-2007, 07:38 PM   #6
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Cilenta - As far as I can tell (and as far as I can get without her slicing and dicing me) I cant find any foreign object. Also, I think I am going to get a 2nd opinion from my regular vet. I have a trusted vet I take my dog to. He is about 30 min away though so I thought I'd try something closer for the kitty. I should have followed my instinct and gone to him.

Katie - Thank you, I appreciate your prayers.

Pdswife - I have some CoBand that I got from school (shhhh...) I was thinking of wrapping her paw and leg in it tomorrow since I'll be home all day and see if she will let it be. My guess is she's gonna try her hardest to rip it off lol!

Angel - By grass seed I'm assuming you mean something she would pick up outside. She's an inside cat and does not walk around outside.

Lol... she's sitting on he couch next to me stalking her tail
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Old 12-21-2007, 07:41 PM   #7
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Ouch. OK, it could be a compression injury with broken bones in there too. My kitty had his foot smashed and it got abcessed inside. My cat has had various paw injuries and I tell you, it can be a trial, and an EXPENSIVE one to get them fixed.

Some cheap things to do that will help with infection:

Epsom salt bath - get the water as warm as you can and dissolve some epsom salts (tbsp or so) in it. Then get kitty on your lap and comfy and ease the sore foot into the water. Keep it there as long as you can, which might be seconds or minutes. LOL. Trust me, I know how tough that can be. Do this a few times a day. It draws the infection out. When my cat had an abcess in his foot this really helped.

Peroxide and polysporin - if you can find the puncture, try to open it GENTLY by a little pulling and pour a bit of hydrogen peroxide in it. Then if you can, smear some polysporin on it. We did this for the abcessed foot, but we also did it when he was in a fight and yanked some claws out. Worked very well.

Finally, if you can find toe socks, cut the big toe off and put that over kitties foot with some surgical tape. You will need to get a cone to keep her from licking at it but that will keep the kitty litter out of it. You can even put plastic wrap over the toe thing if you want.

I second the "get a second opinion" advice. Your cat needs his foot x-rayed before you go straight to the biopsy thing. Try the epsom salts thing and see if it helps.
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Old 12-21-2007, 08:48 PM   #8
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So sorry to hear about your kitty's problem. First, I would replace her litter with shredded newspaper for the next week or so. I know it's a pain but litter can irritate and keep foot wounds from healing. It's what they do in veterinary hospitals when cats have foot surgery. The hydrogen peroxide cleanses and neosporin are a very good idea. 2 or 3 times a day would be ideal. The bandages can be iffy if the wound is still draining. Warm, wet places (like bandages on a seeping wound) can help bacteria thrive. But if it's not draining, it might keep your kitty from messing with it. Also, has your kitty been tested for feline leukemia or feline aids? They are different in cats than in humans but they can cause healing to be much slower than normal. Anyway, good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 12-21-2007, 09:15 PM   #9
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Is she having you clean it regularly? Maybe you just didn't mention that fact but it seems that you should be cleaning it.

My cat almost lost her tail ~ horrid really ~ and I had to, much to her dislike, clean it after the bandage was removed. However, for two full weeks, he tail was wrapped. She didn't like it, but a year and a half later, she still has her tail.

I really think you should get that second opinion you talked of. It's worth it.

Positive thoughts to you from kitty central Mooresville NC!
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Old 12-22-2007, 12:36 AM   #10
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Firstly, second opinion. They may just not have given the correct antibiotics.
Secondly, no bandages - let the cat lick it's wounds as saliva is a good healer. It is what it would be doing in nature if we didn't get in the way. If you really feel you need to stop it, like in the case of an obsessive licker, an Elizabethan collar is the go.
Thirdly, I wouldn't be using anything stronger than saline or weak clor hex solution. Water on its own is good just to clean the wound. Have you had a look at the claws as well, just to make sure something hasn't slipped into the quick?

The wound may be an abscess, a cut, a break or whatever. FIV and FELV, as Fisher's Mom said, can stop a cat from healing or at the very least slow it down. I have an FIV positive cat at the moment and while the FIV is inactive and he is just a carrier, his ability to heal is greatly reduced. I recently had to have five of his teeth removed incl three of his canines as the teeth are the first part of them to go. So far he has healed from each of his issues but it has always taken longer than the other cats. As to grass seeds, the cat doesn't need to be an outside cat to get those sort of things in a paw. You go outside and probably your dog does as well. They can get brought into the house and imbedded in the carpet or a curtain.

I know what you mean about the long drive with the cat. I have a vet two minutes from my house, and several within a 10-15 minutes radius, yet my preferred vets are 30 minutes away, near where I used to live. I have tried several near me and now don't bother going anywhere except the long drive ones. Most of my cats cry loudly and heart-wrenchingly all the way there, and when I have more than one in the car it is horrendous!! Thankfully they know that they are going home on the way back and are quiet for most of the way. Just take cotton wool!!

The second last cat that I took in would have to have a charmed life. Before I got him, he had been run over twice and had the end of his tail taken off with elastic bands. As a result of those incidents, he has ended up with a broken pelvis, broken hip and dead tail. He also suffers from bouts of incontinence and is unable to clear himself unaided. Well the night that his owners officially gave him to me, he ran thru the front door and up to my bedroom. Somehow in the ten metres or so, he managed to rip his pupil open! How did he do it?? Not a clue! I don't have any sharp items around and at the time I had another six cats in the house, none of whom were prone to injuring themselves. He and they were used to each other at that stage too so I can't even blame one of the others for his mishap. If they can find a way to perplex us, they will!!!!

Good luck (to you and the cat - and your dog too!) whatever way you go with this. It is stressful for you probably more so than the cat. I renamed my credit card, the cat card. I am sure I have paid for the principal vet to go to Bali on holiday several times in the past x years I have been going there!!LOL

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