Cats enjoy exploring, but this can result in them coming home with injuries. Our vets in Ankeny discuss common cat wounds and advise on proper care.
Common Cat Wounds
Accidents frequently occur among both animals and people. Despite the graceful nature of cats, they remain susceptible to injuries.
While a minor wound may not necessarily constitute an emergency for your cat, prompt care is crucial. Neglecting even small injuries increases the risk of infection and can lead to severe health issues.
Here are some types of wounds your cat may experience at some point:
- Hot spots
- Insect bites
- Skin rashes
- Cat burns
- Scratches, cuts or scrapes
- Cat abscesses
Signs to look for
Be sure to inspect your cat periodically for potential wounds.
- Missing fur
- Cut, scraped, or torn skin
- Tenderness or pain
If a wound becomes infected, you may notice:
- Discharge (pus) from the wound
- Signs of a fever
What you should do if your cat is wounded
If you have examined your cat and notice any signs or symptoms of a fresh wound, you should:
- You will need to inspect your cat for any signs of infection – infection can happen no matter how recently the injury occurred. Some of the most common signs of infection are:
- Pus discharge
- Fever or lethargy
- Noticeable pain or discomfort
- Change in behavior
- Assess the wound's severity – If it appears serious and easily identifiable, contact your vet promptly for veterinary care. If the wound is less severe, administer medical attention while managing the injury at home.
- Control the blood flow: If your pet's wound is actively bleeding, slow down the blood flow. Apply pressure directly to the wound using a clean cloth for approximately 5-10 minutes until the bleeding subsides. If, despite applying pressure, you cannot slow the bleeding, contact your animal emergency hospital immediately.
- Flush the wound –Minor wounds can be easily cleaned using a wet cloth, iodine, or a saline solution. You should also remove any debris during this time without rubbing.
- Apply an antimicrobial hydrogel – After assessing and thoroughly cleaning the wound. You should now apply an antimicrobial treatment product such as Vetericyn Plus® Feline Antimicrobial Hydrogel to speed up healing and prevent infection.
- Monitor the wound closely. It is crucial to clean and apply bacterial protection to the wound. After completing these steps, monitor your cat and the wound daily for any signs of inflammation or infection. Ensure your cat does not chew on or lick the bandages or the wound during the healing process.
Your vet may need to remove any fur at the injury site if the wound is severe and requires immediate veterinary attention for your cat.
The treatment methods for your cat depend on the type, severity, and location of the wound and whether your cat is exhibiting signs of infection.
For smaller wounds, glue and a thorough cleaning are typically used, while more profound and more severe wounds may necessitate the removal of foreign objects or debris. A thorough cleaning and sutures may also be required to help the wound stay sealed during the healing process.
If an infection is detected during the examination, your vet may choose to leave the wound open and focus on resolving the infection before applying sutures once it has been cleared.
In the case of an infection, your vet will prescribe medication. It is crucial to follow the instructions precisely and complete the entire course of the prescription.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.