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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 10869
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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I have an 8yr old black & white cat, weighing about 16 lbs

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I have an 8yr old black & white cat, weighing about 16 lbs who has been bitten by a dog or a fox high on his left hind leg. I also have a partner, 80 yrs old who broke his neck (C1 & C2), which has no bone repair after 7 months, and also had a severe stroke 7 weeks later! I care for him full time and can neither get to a vet or afford expensive treatment. I have worked with animals all my life, farmer's daughter, and I am used to treating them.

Shenzi (the cat!) had a large contusion, no broken skin but showed no sign of discomfort except when examined. Now that he has licked a lot of hair off I have found several bite marks, 2 of which have burst and are oozing puss and I have gently, to his indignation, expelled one them. Should I be worrying about anti-biotics? Concerned, Jenny.

Hello Jenny. I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help you today.

I'm sorry for this concern for Shenzi (and the issues with your partner) but glad that he's in the hands of an individual experienced in caring for wounds.

The best thing which could have happened is that the two abscesses ruptured and released their contents. Hopefully, the other wounds are either quite superficial or will soon follow suit and also rupture.

More than likely, you'll be able to treat him without the benefit of systemic antibiotics. In fact, many vets do not dispense antibiotics these days for cat abscesses since the majority of them will heal just fine with topical treatment alone and we're starting to worry about drug resistance.

My suggestions would be as follows:

1. Clean the wounds at least twice a day with dilute betadine or iodine (to the color of weak tea) rather than antibiotic soap. I wouldn't use peroxide either since studies have shown that it actually can retard healing but this may be something you already know.

2. You can apply a very small amount of over the counter antibiotic cream or ointment but try to distract Shenzi to that absorption can occur. I'd try to prevent him from licking it off since these products can cause gastric distress in some cases.

3. You might have to use a cone on him to prevent access to the wounds if he's excessively licking them. A small amount of grooming to keep himself clean and to lick off any discharge is fine but you don't want him to worsen the situation with his very rough tongue.

You should start to see improvement within just a few days for the abscesses which have already ruptured. I'd continue to monitor the other bite marks for evidence of puffiness which might indicate that they, too, need to be gently squeezed and released of their contents.

Cats are amazing healers and if he's like most of his brethren, he should be just fine in about 7-10 days.

I hope this helps. Deb

Dr. Deb and 4 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Very many thanks, XXXXX XXXXX follow your advice. Don't suppose you are an expert on stroppy, stubborn old men whose main aim is to get back to the workshop? He has done amazingly well but the neck will be a continuing concern as a fall would be catastrophic. Regards, Jenny

You're more than welcome.
Unfortunately, you're on your own when it comes to stubborn old men:)

I'm curious to know how you make out with Shenzi, so I'd like to check back in with you in a few days to see how he's faring.

Even after you've rated (if you do, of course), we can still continue to communicate at no additional charge to you.


Good luck:) Regards, Deb