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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 22615
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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Hi, one of my cats has arrived home with her tail bleeding

Customer Question

Hi, one of my cats has arrived home with her tail bleeding & it looks like her tail is broken 5" from the tip of her tail is there anything I can give her to ease the pain until I can get her to the vets? also should I bandage her tail to stop it bleeding? please help.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.


The most important thing to do for Penny is to apply pressure any active bleeds on her tail. Tail bandages are more irritating to cats then useful. Often they spend so much time shaking them off or pulling off that you end up causing the tail more trouble then the bandage was worth. So, really good pressure on the wounds. After they have settled, salt water (1tbsp salt to a pint warm water) bathe them.


Otherwise, in regards XXXXX XXXXX I afraid that there are no over the counter human pain medications that are safe for cats. In fact, all of our common anti-inflammatories (ie tylenol, paracetamol, ibuprofen) can be dangerous to animals and can cause ulceration (and sometimes perforation) of the stomach. It isn't strictly dose dependent, so even one small dose can cause these signs. Dogs and cats just don't metabolize these medications the same way we do, and not only does it cause these problems but they don't even provide great pain relief for them. Even aspirin which we use occasionally in cats (for ones with heart disease causing blood clots), is not advisable here. The reason is because the pain relief it gives is poor, it causes blood thinning (a bad idea when you are trying to stop her bleeding) and if you use it then the vet can't use cat safe NSAIDs until the aspirin is out of her system (about a week).

I do agree that pain relief is a good idea for her considering what she has been through, but she needs a cat-friendly anti-inflammatory (ie Metacam, Rimadyl, etc). We don't want to add the above risks of damage to her issues. Therefore, ring your vet right now to get her seen (since most vets are still open just now) or consider an emergency vet tonight. They can address the tail, dispense proper safe pain relief and antibiotics. And if the tail is broken, then she may need an amputation tomorrow. This will be safest thing to do for Penny and would ensure she got proper relief from her discomfort without further risk to her life.

So, do give your vet a ring now. Even if they are closed, most veterinary practices here do have contingency plans for emergency care for their patients even when they are not open. Therefore, it is worth ringing the practice. If they are open, you can get her seen today. If they aren't, then they will likely have a message to direct you on how to contact their out of hours service. And if you don't have a vet you can find one local to you, you can check you can check the RCVS Register (HERE) to find your local Vets Now (LINK) who are open all nights/weekends.


I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.


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