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Cat Wound Care

Cats love to explore, but their curiosity often leads them to come home with injuries. Our San Mateo veterinarians discuss some common wounds that your cat may experience and how to take care of them.

Common Cat Wounds 

Accidents can happen to both animals and humans. Although cats are known for being graceful, they can still suffer from injuries. Even minor wounds need to be treated as soon as possible, as they can become infected and cause severe health problems if left untreated.

Here are some of the common wounds that 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

You should be sure to occasionally examine your cat for any of the following potential wounds:

  • Bleeding
  • Swelling
  • Missing fur
  • Cut, scraped, or torn skin
  • Limping
  • Tenderness or pain

If a wound becomes infected you may notice:

  • Discharge (pus) from the wound
  • Abscesses 
  • 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:

  1. You should inspect your cat for signs of infection, which can occur regardless of when the injury happened. Common signs of infection include:
    • Pus discharge
    • Abscesses
    • Fever or lethargy
    • Noticeable pain or discomfort
    • Change in behavior
  2. Determine the severity of the wound—If the wound is serious, which will be easy to determine, you should contact your vet immediately for veterinary attention. If the wound is less severe, you will still need to administer medical attention, but you should be able to care for the injury at home.
  3. Manage the flow of blood—If your pet's wound is actively bleeding, you will need to slow the blood flow. You can easily do this by using a clean cloth to apply pressure directly to the wound for approximately 5 - 10 minutes until the bleeding stops. However, if you have been applying pressure and cannot get the bleeding to stop, you should contact your vet right away.
  4. Flush the wound –Minor wounds can be easily cleaned using a wet cloth and iodine or a saline solution. During this time, you should also remove any debris without rubbing. 
  5. Apply an antimicrobial hydrogel—After you have assessed and thoroughly cleaned the wound, you should apply an antimicrobial treatment product, such as Vetericyn Plus® Feline Antimicrobial Hydrogel, to speed up healing and prevent infection.
  6. Monitor the wound—Cleaning and providing bacterial protection for the wound is of the utmost importance. Once you have done this, you should continue to monitor your cat and the wound daily for any signs of inflammation or infection. Ensure that your cat does not chew at or lick the bandages or the wound itself during the healing process. 
If your cat begins to develop signs or symptoms of infection you should contact your vet immediately.

Veterinary Care

If your cat suffers an injury, the treatment method used will depend on factors such as the type and severity of the wound, its location, and whether your cat has an infection. 

For smaller wounds, glue, and thorough cleaning are typically used, while deeper, more severe wounds may require the removal of foreign objects or debris, thorough cleaning, and sutures to help seal the wound during the healing process.

If an infection is detected during the examination, the vet may leave the wound open and focus on treating the infection before applying sutures once it has cleared.

If your cat has an infection, your vet will prescribe medications. It is crucial to follow the instructions carefully and complete the entire course of the prescription. 

In severe cases, the vet may need to remove any fur from the site of the injury to provide immediate veterinary attention.

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.

Have you noticed a wound on your cat that you are concerned about? Contact your San Mateo vet immediately to have your cat assessed. 

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At South Hillsdale Animal Hospital, our experienced vets are passionate about the health of San Mateo companion animals. Get in touch today to learn more about our services and becoming a new client with us.

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