1. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    Any veterinarian or animal people?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Steerpike, Oct 21, 2016.

    My cat occasionally gets into it with neighborhood cats, but usually nothing serious. This time, I saw blood on the concrete and followed it to where she was laying behind a chair. Seems fine - she came out when she saw me and immediately wanted to eat. She has a wound on her back, one on her stomach, and one on her hind leg by her butt. They're not really bleeding anymore, but they were (her fur is still matted from it).

    I figure I should probably take her in for a booster on some shots, and to have the wounds looked at. However, there's no way I can do that before tomorrow morning. So I'm going to clean the wounds. Im curious - can you put neosporin or any other such material on a cat's wounds? She's going to lick whatever I put on her, and I'm not sure if there is anything in those ointments that is dangerous for cats to ingest.

    ETA: I did Google this before posting, but saw conflicting information. So if anyone knows with certainty....
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2016
  2. Lea`Brooks

    Lea`Brooks Contributor Contributor

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    I would say no, just to be safe. You can go to a pet supply store and pick up some wound care stuff though. Everything there will be pet friendly and help with pain or infection until you can get it to the vet.
     
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  3. Sifunkle

    Sifunkle Dis Member

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    What do the wounds look like? Punctures or more complicated? Are you sure it was a cat fight? It's a good sign that she's still feeling well and has her appetite, but you can assume that any cat bite will get infected, so she might get a fever and feel off colour later on. Definitely a good idea to get down to the vet for some anti-inflammatories (+/- other pain relief) and a course of antibiotics. Not sure whether she'll need vaccine boosters... depends when she last had one and the protocols in your country. Is she vaccinated against FIV (feline AIDS)? If she's not and gets into fights every so often, might be worth getting a blood test done in advance of starting the vaccines (assuming FIV is around where you live; it's fairly ubiquitous) - the virus is spread in bodily fluids, and usually transmitted by fighting. Feline Leukaemia Virus is another one to consider vaccinating for if it's around where you live (your vet can advise). Where I am, both of those are kinda 'optional extras' on top of the core vaccine.

    Don't know Neosporin as a particular branded formulation, but having looked it up, the three antibiotics it contains are all used topically (on the surface) in animals including cats. Those drugs would never be injected, as they're toxic if used systemically, but I don't believe they're strongly absorbed from the digestive tract, so you'll likely be safe with the negligible amount she'd ingest by licking (especially if you rub it in thoroughly before she gets a chance). As they're not for systemic use, I imagine the concentration of antibiotics would be the same as an animal formulation (as it's applied locally, the dose only needs to consider action on the microbes present, not caveats of how the animal's body will distribute it to the site of action, etc), but I don't know that for sure as I'm unfamiliar with the brand. I wouldn't worry about the other chemical components of the ointment: they're designed for skin, and I've certainly used other human skin products on animals before (usually for lack of a veterinary version on the market).

    Wouldn't be the first thing I'd use if she'll be getting to the vet tomorrow though (and as I'm sure you're aware, ASAP is wise to get in before abscesses form) -- I'd go with povidone iodine (sold as Betadine where I live) as a simple disinfectant (probably cheaper too). If you can, gently clip her fur down around the wounds (~2cm margins) and give them a good clean out with lukewarm water to get rid of debris (scuppers the iodine), then bathe them with iodine (leave it on to dry). The vet will inspect the wounds more closely and may want to explore them if they look/feel like anything other than simple punctures, but disinfecting is a good start (and something you'll probably want to keep up daily once she's seen the vet; puncture wounds need to heal from the bottom up and if they aren't kept clean so they can drain out the top, you can still get abscesses below while the antibiotics are taking effect).

    I'd advise against hydrogen peroxide. There's a long history of using it for wound care in animals, but it's a bit outdated nowadays. It'll kill off plenty of bugs, but causes inflammation and damage in its own right (it's a strong enough oxidant to bleach hair, so imagine what it does to more sensitive tissues). Probably not going to cause major problems (well... depending on concentration; I assume you'd use something pretty weak) and some old-school vets might still recommend it, but there are so many better options.

    Get well soon Kitty! (Oh, and the standard vet banter here would be something like, 'Fight wound on her butt? Well at least she's not a bully -- she was trying to run away!'. If wound is on face, substitute 'coward' and 'standing her ground' as appropriate.)
     
  4. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    Thanks, all. And thanks particularly for that depth of information @Sifunkle. They're not puncture wounds but more like slashes or scratches. I don't think they're all that deep even though the one on the stomach was bleeding. I got some povidone at the drug store. The cat wasn't keen on letting me clip her fur OR wash the cuts, but I managed to get it done and get the povidone on the cuts. After that she decided she'd had enough of me for a while and went into the other room.

    I'm pretty sure it was a fight with other cats, since I've seen her involved in them, but I don't know for certain. I sometimes think about keeping her as an indoor cat, but she's 8 years old and always been indoor/outdoor, so I feel bad taking her away from the outside environment she loves. I don't like her fighting, though, or the fact that she kills birds in the neighborhood.

    Thanks again - I'll report back when I have more info. That's pretty funny about the bite on the butt. Knowing Molly, I expect she had some part in instigating the fight, then decided to bolt quickly thereafter!
     
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  5. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    Hang in there, Molly!

    And stop fighting, you naughty cat.
     
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  6. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    I used to live in Vancouver and the people at my vet's office were very disapproving that I let my cat go outside, even though I lived in a quiet neighbourhood with little traffic. Then I moved to small town Ontario and the people at the vet's office think I'm a hero because I get regular veterinary care for my cat instead of just letting her sink or swim on her own.

    Regional differences, but mostly big city vs. small town. As we urbanize, I think we lose touch with the farm animal/wildlife connection to nature and start thinking of pets as little people.

    (I'm a total suck about my animals, so I'm fine with the urban perspective. But my country neighbours tend to be pretty amazed at my soft-heartedness. They know someone who's giving away kittens right now. If there's something wrong with my current cat, why not just get a new one?)
     
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  7. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    Molly hasn't been to the vet yet, which is my fault of course. Yesterday morning I checked her wounds and cleaned them again. No more bleeding or anything. I let her out into the back yard to eat while I found the cat carrier, and when I returned she'd buggered off. It's not that unusual that she disappears through the back fence, but first in the morning she usually stays around for a bit to eat. I'd left food out inside the night before, so maybe she wasn't hungry.

    In any event, I had to go to the office. When I got home last night, Molly was back in the yard and seemingly no worse for wear. This morning she also seems fine and is eating normally. Her wounds look good, though she's grown to hate my cleaning of them. The veterinarian isn't open today, so it would be tomorrow before I could get her in. The question at this point is whether there is any need to have her examined. The wounds don't look infected or anything.

    What do you guys think? The cleaning and povidone might have done the trick here, and the cat doesn't act hurt.
     
  8. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    How much does she hate the vet? I generally put off taking my cat in whenever possible not because of the expense but because she's SO miserable about going there and sulks for several days afterward!

    Does your vet give good advice over the phone? Mine are pretty great about it - I can leave a message and the vet will either give a message to the staff to call me with or sometimes calls himself. No charge, no stress for the cat... it works well. Might be worth trying? They'd know your individual cat's health better than we would...
     
  9. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    Molly loathes the vet, loathes the car, and loathes her cat carrier. In fact, she's not a fan of others generally. She sits nicely with me and purrs and rubs against me, but she's prone to bite other people. My kids call her "demon cat," even though I think she's sweet.

    Good idea about calling them to see what they think. That's what I'll do :)
     
  10. Sifunkle

    Sifunkle Dis Member

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    If the wounds seem like fairly superficial lacerations, there's no chance of deeper penetration and Molly still seems well in herself (other than being ticked off with the wound care, which is inevitable unfortunately) -- no limping, no lethargy, no inappetance, no abnormal reclusiveness, nothing else out of the ordinary -- it's probably safe enough to let them heal on their own. Obviously I'm saying that without having seen her for myself, so you're trusting your own judgement.

    If they're superficial scratches rather than puncture wounds, the 'keep it open to drain; heal from the bottom up' thing doesn't apply, and it'll be less important to clean them thoroughly every day, so you can can slack off in order to save your relationship ;) Should still check them daily though, dab some iodine around if any sensitive tissue is exposed (by which I mean anything other than skin/scab), and monitor for any signs that she's feeling worse.

    A reputable clinic should be happy to advise over the phone (but they should also be aware to what extent that's sensible). Definitely worth calling if you're ever worried, and at this point still worthwhile to discuss her vaccinations (in general if you've lost track, and particularly FIV/FeLV in light of cat fights) -- they should have records of what she's had. (Having said that, a yearly check-up is never a bad idea; particularly if she's got some years under her belt [consider from 7+] it can be worth having some blood/urine tests done to screen for various conditions cats commonly develop as they age -- diabetes, kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, etc are all far easier and cheaper to manage if detected early, and even if screening is all negative it's good to have a baseline for future reference.)

    I can empathise with the indoor/outdoor dilemma. An indoor lifestyle is certainly no trouble for a cat that's been raised into it, with signicant advantages for their own and the local wildlife's safety (extent varies geographically), but it's definitely a big shift to their lifestyle if they're used to outside time. For what it's worth, my cats to date had all been indoor-outdoor, but it's been a long time since I've adopted; if I were to get a new cat now I'd probably settle her straight into indoor-only life. But it's a personal decision; everyone's circumstances differ.

    Regarding Molly's aversion to travel and the vet clinic: some clinics offer home visits. Probably more expensive, but could be easier (or not, if Molly's not a fan of other people; can't say I blame her ;)). Another possibility is feline facial pheromone (branded as Feliway) -- helps some (but not all) cats relax considerably. A lot of clinics would have some around (some even spray it routinely in advance of feline visitors), and it's something you could potentially use to help with the carrier/car/etc too. Something to ask the vet about trialling with her -- might be a miracle, might do nothing. Another trick can be to train cats to like their carrier (although you'll be starting on the back foot if she already has negative associations with it; it's easier to do from kittenhood) -- leave it lying around, set it up comfortably, leave tasty treats in there, (spray Feliway in if that's something that works for her,) just generally do what you can to make it seem appealing and part of the scenery rather than a seasonal torture device. If your carrier is one of those 'pull apart' type ones, you can start with just the base and progressively build it up as she gets used to it (but cats also naturally like dark hidey holes, so draping a towel over the top can also encourage some to use it -- great trick for catching freaked out strays). That's probably a long-term project though, and you may have your work cut out for you if she's already come to hate the carrier.

    Anyway, sounds like positive news for Molly at this point :)
     
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  11. Sifunkle

    Sifunkle Dis Member

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    Uh-oh... ;) Nah, happy to help if ever I can.
     
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  12. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Benevolent Ochlocrat Staff Supporter Contributor

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    My sister's a vet, but I'm not going to hit her up for thirdhand advice. However, one piece of general advice I can relay to you pet-owners about getting Fluffy or Rex to the vet is to leave the carrier out all the time. Keep it in the living room or den, put some soft towels or pillows in it, drop some treats in there occasionally. The animal will begin to think of it as a place to relax and rest, so when it comes time to go to the vet, they're easy to get inside, and have no clue that something horrible is going to happen until they smell the rubbing alcohol and disinfectant, by which time your evil scheme has almost come to fruition.
     
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  13. Lea`Brooks

    Lea`Brooks Contributor Contributor

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    I second this. When I first adopted my cat, he hated the carrier. Cried and cried every time. Well, when I decided to move from Illinois to Virginia, I needed to take him with me on the plane. I bought a new carrier and put him in it every day for a week. Just for a little bit, didn't zip it closed or anything. I left it out at all times too. When it came time to fly out, I sprayed a little calming spray inside the carrier (smells like lavender) and headed out. He didn't cry the entire trip. It was awesome. Now he loves that carrier. He'd sleep in it all day and night if I let him.
     

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