How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Jo Your Own Question

Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 2800
Experience:  DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
36050890
Type Your Vet Question Here...
Dr. Jo is online now

My cat has two face wounds, one on her left cheek, the other

Resolved Question:

My cat has two face wounds, one on her left cheek, the other below her right ear, there are no puncture wounds so not a bite but looks like the top layer of skin and fur has been scraped off. There doesn't seem to be much/any swelling and both wounds seem to be drying up, no weeping, no pus, no smell/heat, she is eating and drinking well, still bright eyed and catching many mice, but she keeps scratching them making them bleed again. She is semi feral so wont be kept in the house and certainly taking her to a vet would practically give her a heart attack I think. She will only let me near her at the moment, I have been checking the wounds several times a day, and have bathed them (slightly) with warm water then applied honey with cotton buds as I know it has antiseptic properties. Is there anything else I can do?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
Dr. Jo :

Hello,

Dr. Jo :

I'm Dr. Jo and I will do my best to help you with your questions about your cat. I'm sorry she is having this problem and has you worried. Good for you for trying to do your best for her.

Dr. Jo :

I see now that you are offline. If you return online we can chat back and forth until you're satisfied with the information I've provided. If you reply after the chat is over, I will be notified via email.

Dr. Jo :

The most important thing for you to do when trying to manage this wound at home is to keep YOURSELF safe. Bite wounds from a cat can get seriously infected and be disabling. Please be careful.

Dr. Jo :

You are correct that honey has antiseptic properties, but I wouldn't recommend applying it to her wounds unless you are also covering them with a bandage and keeping her inside and clean and dry and away from bugs.

Dr. Jo :

A better alternative that won't make a sticky mess that will attract dirt and bugs to the wound wound be sterile saline or contact lens solution.

Dr. Jo :

If she'll allow it, you can also use hydrogen peroxide, but avoid raw tissue.

Dr. Jo :

A tissue disinfectant like chlorhexidine or betadine would be the best choice.

Dr. Jo :

I think it's important to acknowledge that these scratchy looking wounds might be caused by something like mites or ringworm (a fungus). If that's the case they won't get better without medication. I can discuss with you helpful suggestions for taking a semi feral cat to the vet, if you'd like.

Customer:

Hi, I did initially try salt water (only weak solution) but she went mad and the bit I want to put it on is the raw tissue so thats the Hydrogen peroxide out. She has gone outside for the night now ( rarely stays in on summer nights) but was thinking of trying something like Germoline (its what I use, so have some in). The wounds aren't scratchy looking, just like as if a slice of skin has been removed, there are no deeper parts, ie from teeth or claws, the wounds havent got any larger and the flesh at the edges is healing up nicely, nice pink, new healthy looking skin, the unhealed parts have scabs so I didnt think it seemed like mites or ringworm. I am careful when touching her, always hold he by the scruff of the neck and do things slowly so as not to alarm her. Is there anything I can put on it or give her which may ease the itching of the scabs and therefore aid the healing?

Dr. Jo :

You've given a lovely description of the wounds, thank you. That helps a lot. Mites and ringworm don't usually look red or raw (like you described); they are usually dry and scaly.

Dr. Jo :

So that's less likely and a relief.

Dr. Jo :

The fact that the edges are healing up nicely with pink healthy skin is also a good sign.

Dr. Jo :

The good news is that IF these are uncomplicated wounds that aren't infected, you don't need to put anything on them at all to get them to heal. They will heal regardless of what you do. I understand that wounds itch while they heal, and you desire to relieve that, but the itch won't interfere with the healing IF these wounds aren't infected or associated with mites or a fungal infection. If she keeps scratching the scabs off, then something else is going on. That would mean that in order to help her you'd need to find out what it is and use the appropriate treatment.

Dr. Jo :

While not common in outdoor cats, allergies can cause a cat to damage itself in this location. Allergic cats start out with healthy looking skin then break out with raw erosions on the skin (usually on the forehead over the eyes) which they scratch and never let heal.

Dr. Jo :

If she has allergies, that is another problem - unfortunately - that would require a trip to the vet. The good news is that if it is allergies and she is no longer around whatever she is allergic to, the sores will go away on their own without any treatment at all.

Dr. Jo :

Common allergens are flea saliva, molds, dust mites, pollens, and some food ingredients.

Dr. Jo :

But the quick answer to your question is no. There isn't something you can apply to the wounds or give her that will relieve this itch and allow the sores to heal.

Dr. Jo :

It would be safe and you would do no harm if you tried to give her an antihistamine, but it is not likely to be effective and you would have to repeat it every 8 hours or so as it wears off.

Dr. Jo :

I know this is a lot of information, but you have to understand I am a veterinarian and am therefore trained to prescribe treatments based on a diagnosis. My twenty years of experience allows me to have a lot of familiarity with how wounds heal, and I am trying to give you very accurate information, even though it may not be what you want to hear.

Dr. Jo :

Because in the end, my goal is to help you help the cat.

Dr. Jo :

Oh! But I forgot to tell you the Germolene ointment will not be harmful to the cat. It's another good choice of something to try using.

Dr. Jo :

The chlorehexidine in it is a very good antiseptic that I mentioned above.

Customer:

I understand, and what you have said is only what I thought, that as long as she still appears healthy the wounds will eventually heal, I was concerned about her scratching them but just realised I have not seen her scratching but she has always done a lot of nuzzling things, table legs, gate posts, me etc and she may be knocking the scabs of when she is doing this

Customer:

The reason I contacted someone was to put my mind at rest, I have always kept lots of animals and luckily had very few problems but am confident in my ability to judge when there is something which needs extra help, but a neighbour has been on the phone complaining about the wounds on my cat and insisting she takes her to the vet herself which I have vetoed as she has already lured one of my cats to live with her (I say lured, I mean locked her in for 4 weeks) so I just wanted to check if there was anything else I could do. Thanks for your help

Dr. Jo, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 2800
Experience: DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
Dr. Jo and other Vet Specialists are ready to help you

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found ""JustAnswer"" on my Google search -- you are now in my ""Favorites"" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George
< Previous | Next >
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found ""JustAnswer"" on my Google search -- you are now in my ""Favorites"" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr Scott Nimmo

    Dr Scott Nimmo

    Small Animal Veterinary Surgeon.

    Satisfied Customers:

    137
    BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
< Previous | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.co.uk/uploads/VE/VetAnswers/2013-4-5_8257_prof10.64x64.jpg Dr Scott Nimmo's Avatar

    Dr Scott Nimmo

    Small Animal Veterinary Surgeon.

    Satisfied Customers:

    137
    BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
  • http://ww2.justanswer.co.uk/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    2572
    2003 Graduate
  • http://ww2.justanswer.co.uk/uploads/AN/andrewDVM/2012-4-27_12585_iStock000011751407XSmall.64x64.jpg Dr. Drew's Avatar

    Dr. Drew

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1840
    Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
  • http://ww2.justanswer.co.uk/uploads/doggfone1/2009-07-16_133633_vet_pic.jpg Dr. Scott's Avatar

    Dr. Scott

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    865
    15 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet experience in medicine and surgery.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.co.uk/uploads/DR/DrRalston/2011-10-18_1611_Vet.64x64.JPG DrRalston's Avatar

    DrRalston

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    169
    Over twelve years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.co.uk/uploads/VE/vetdeb/Debbie Headshot 500.64x64.jpg Dr. Deb's Avatar

    Dr. Deb

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    104
    I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.co.uk/uploads/PE/petdoctor09/2011-12-14_51529_Picture1.64x64.jpg petdoctor09's Avatar

    petdoctor09

    Board Certified Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    72
    Veterinarian, General Practitioner