Cat's infected paw, hibiscrub?

Art Nouveau

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10 days ago our cat came home with a hugely swollen paw. She was given an antibiotic injection and sent home with painkillers. We took her back on Monday as there was no improvement and were given a cone collar and hibiscrub. Took her back on Friday after still no improvement and were given different antibiotics to put in her feed, and tramadol. Told to carry on with the hibiscrub twice a day. Over the weekend she managed to break through the cat flap and was out for about 12 hours and damaged her collar so was possibly able to lick her foot, as well as come home with it covered in dirt.
The new antibiotics have massively reduced the swelling in her foot but the skin is very raw and I'm concerned that the hibiscrub isn't helping. The vet is adamant we continue with it but when I look online it says it shouldn't be put on raw skin or open wounds. Would you carry on? We've been making it up very dilute and dipping her paw in it, then dipping her paw in fresh water and patting dry, or at least attempting to get it dry!
 

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Sussexbythesea

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As long as hibiscrub is diluted properly then it should be fine in most cases. I think it needs to remain on the skin for about a minute before rinsing to be effective.

Alternatively you could wash in warm salty water and use something like Leucillin antiseptic spray on it. It’s supposed to be safe on cats. I’ve only ever bathed abscesses etc. in salty water myself but that paw looks nasty. If in doubt get a second veterinary opinion.
 

Shady

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It's looking quite raw in places and I also wouldn't be putting hibiscrub on it and would personally spray with Leucillin as it kills everything and is safer.
It does look quite nasty and I would be wondering what caused the massive foot to start with. You say it's gone down which is good but if it doesn't improve more in a few days I would probably ask for a second opinion. A bite getting infected could swell the foot but that looks almost fungal . There are raised patches going up the paw
Poor little mite I hope it improves soon. x
 

Art Nouveau

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hm, yes you're right about there being patches Shady, I was thinking that might just be scabbiness from the skin being sore/raw? Before she was given a collar she had licked it until it was sore quite far up her leg. The swelling was huge last week, all four toes were swollen and splayed, and up to her hock (do cats have hocks?). It's come down so well since she's been on the new antibiotics and the swelling is still reducing now. She's been much chirpier since the new antibiotics too.
The vet is thinking cat bite, and then infection. He's saying if the skin doesn't improve we should be looking at x-rays for a bone tumour instead, or testing for multiple-resistant bacteria.

Google isn't helping me as I found a case where a cat had cellulitis then when the swelling went down the skin died and needed a skin graft :oops: If it is/was cellulitis then I think the vet should have given us stronger antibiotics to start with so I'm quite unimpressed with him, especially as he's making a big deal of the collar and hibiscrub now but didn't give those to us on the first visit.
 

Pearlsasinger

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I would be asking for a 2nd opinion by now. I know the cat didn't help by escaping but still - and having lost a horse to cellulitis , at least in part, because the emergency vet didn't prescribe a big enough dose of antibiotics, I would never just accept what is said, if it doesn't seem right to me. We live and learn!
 

Shady

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hm, yes you're right about there being patches Shady, I was thinking that might just be scabbiness from the skin being sore/raw? Before she was given a collar she had licked it until it was sore quite far up her leg. The swelling was huge last week, all four toes were swollen and splayed, and up to her hock (do cats have hocks?). It's come down so well since she's been on the new antibiotics and the swelling is still reducing now. She's been much chirpier since the new antibiotics too.
The vet is thinking cat bite, and then infection. He's saying if the skin doesn't improve we should be looking at x-rays for a bone tumour instead, or testing for multiple-resistant bacteria.

Google isn't helping me as I found a case where a cat had cellulitis then when the swelling went down the skin died and needed a skin graft :oops: If it is/was cellulitis then I think the vet should have given us stronger antibiotics to start with so I'm quite unimpressed with him, especially as he's making a big deal of the collar and hibiscrub now but didn't give those to us on the first visit.
Ok i'm going to backtrack a bit regarding the swollen paw and how I view sudden cat 'stuff'
If the cat went out with a perfectly normal paw and came back with one swollen to that extent I wouldn't think cat bite but rather a reaction to something like a snake bite or sting or break/caught in something etc.

For the swelling to be that extreme, a bite would have been one or two days before and I would expect some sort of visible limp or minor swelling /heat before a massive reaction like that.

Vet went with cat bite so given the extent of the swelling that means a pretty bad infection is present and I would hope for an antibiotic jab straight away with an anti inflammatory , followed by a strong course of anti bacs . NOT a jab and hibiscrub. That is a pretty weak response and i'd like to know what the antibacs were and was it a long duration one, which I think it was. I hate these and always refuse. If your cat/dog reacts to them you are screwed and they don't hit quick enough.

So original antibacs didn't work which also suggests the wrong one was given so infection was still very much present.
I'd like to know what the new antibacs are and why in the food. That is also a hit or miss option too, but luckily they are working.

I think your vet treated it too lightly given that he thought it a cat bite. I always think abscess head/body, cellulitis legs/ paws.

It is a little difficult for me to see paw properly but I would either carry on as you are minus hibiscrub and get some Leucillin on it. That kills all sorts of nasty things. Review in a few days or ask for a second opinion on the skin issue/ take a closer look. The trouble with a different vet seeing the cat now is he/she didn't see it to start with and won't know what's been given unless you can say exactly what the cats had.
I would still do it if you are worried.

Most importantly....don't panic. I think your vet responded poorly but the meds are working, which is great , cat is happy, also great.
Keep us posted? xx
 

SusieT

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There are no such thing as 'stronger' antibiotics - just different ones so dont read too much into that - if its responding to treatment - great. Dilute Hibiscrub is used a lot for infected stuff - just not on clean wounds hence the label warning.
Leucillin is dilute bleach.
 

Shady

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There are no such thing as 'stronger' antibiotics - just different ones so dont read too much into that - if its responding to treatment - great. Dilute Hibiscrub is used a lot for infected stuff - just not on clean wounds hence the label warning.
Leucillin is dilute bleach.
I didn't say there was a 'stronger' antibiotic SusieT though I can see how you could interpretet it that way. I don't like anti biotic injections being given for a massively infected paw if it's a long duration one .I would expect an antibiotic jab to be given at the time of examination with a course of antibiotics to follow. That is the stronger approach I meant.
Whatever the vet initially gave didn't work.
Leucillin contains hypochlorous acid and is 100% safe for open wounds . The cat has an open weeping wound so Hibiscrub should not be used
 

deb_l222

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Willow (dog not cat) is still recovering from a horrendously infected foot / toe and I was advised by my vet to soak in epsom salt or just normal salt for several minutes a few times a day to draw the infection out. She then has antibiotic spray (can't remember the name) to spray on when the foot is dry. She has also been on two different lots of oral antibiotics and painkillers.

Cost me a bloody fortune but it is on the mend now and she won't lose her foot. It was touch and go at one point, it was that bad.
 

SusieT

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' I don't like anti biotic injections being given for a massively infected paw if it's a long duration one .I would expect an antibiotic jab to be given at the time of examination with a course of antibiotics to follow' why - what evidence is there that this is any stronger or more appropriate?
 

Shady

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' I don't like anti biotic injections being given for a massively infected paw if it's a long duration one .I would expect an antibiotic jab to be given at the time of examination with a course of antibiotics to follow' why - what evidence is there that this is any stronger or more appropriate?
It's not stronger . You keep fixating on this word.
I have had cats for 40 years and I would want an initial injection to get the antibiotics started then start tablets the next day to continue the course , probably for up to 10 days. This is my preferred choice and what all of the vets I have ever used would have done if presented with a probable cat bite and swollen paw.

I don't like long duration antibiotics because if an animal reacts badly to it there is nothing you can do
There is plenty of evidence if you choose to look regarding fatal reactions to long duration antibiotics such as Convenia. I have almost certainly lost one to this drug when it was prescribed against my wishes after dental surgery.
I have also lost one to Metronidazole so I am extremely careful what antibiotics are given to my cats.
 

Art Nouveau

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Thanks for all the comments, it's given me lots to think about. I don't think we're in an adder area. The paw initially presented as just being ridiculously swollen. It may have come on slowly, she was out all day and came home late in the evening so I guess it could have been coming on from the night/day before. The raw skin developed later as she wasn't initially given a cone so she licked it lots.
It's looking a bit better today. The swelling is continuing to go down and the skin/surface is drying out and the raw patch looks smaller. I gave it a gentle wash in very dilute hibiscrub as she's picking up carpet fluff so it was hard to see what's going on.
I think when I take her back I'll ask for the vet who gave the effective antibiotics, as she has also seen the paw when it was bad so will know the change in it to now.
 

Art Nouveau

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She's going back to the vet for a check up today. I think it looks like it's healing but she's figured out how to lick it still ☹️ it's a hind foot and she wedges the edge of the collar against her leg and then pushes down. This morning is the first time I've seen her do it. Should it be bandaged perhaps? I've been reading about moist wound management but I don't know if that would be appropriate in this case.
 

windand rain

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Pleased it is improving once had my cat to the vets for an abscess on his leg went several times as it kept refilling. Finally bathed it in warm salt solution and the scab came off with a small spurt of pus the tip of a tooth came out too it healed then. Could there be a foreign body in there in which case it will reoccur
 

Pearlsasinger

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Willow (dog not cat) is still recovering from a horrendously infected foot / toe and I was advised by my vet to soak in epsom salt or just normal salt for several minutes a few times a day to draw the infection out. She then has antibiotic spray (can't remember the name) to spray on when the foot is dry. She has also been on two different lots of oral antibiotics and painkillers.

Cost me a bloody fortune but it is on the mend now and she won't lose her foot. It was touch and go at one point, it was that bad.

I agree but you are a better cat handler than me if you could persuade a cat to keep its foot in a bath of epsom salts water for more than a couple of seconds! :p


OP, I'm glad Puss seems to be on the mend.
 

deb_l222

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She's going back to the vet for a check up today. I think it looks like it's healing but she's figured out how to lick it still ☹️ it's a hind foot and she wedges the edge of the collar against her leg and then pushes down. This morning is the first time I've seen her do it. Should it be bandaged perhaps? I've been reading about moist wound management but I don't know if that would be appropriate in this case.
Willow was a cow bag and even with the biggest most mahoosive collar on we could find, she could still get to the end of the toe. I did mention this to my vet and he wasn't overly concerned as log as she didn't lick it for hours on end. He never suggested bandaging. I don't know why but I'm assuming it's better drainage when open???? No idea, just guessing.
 

Shady

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She's going back to the vet for a check up today. I think it looks like it's healing but she's figured out how to lick it still ☹️ it's a hind foot and she wedges the edge of the collar against her leg and then pushes down. This morning is the first time I've seen her do it. Should it be bandaged perhaps? I've been reading about moist wound management but I don't know if that would be appropriate in this case.
I wouldn't wrap it personally. It needs air on it. Licking it a little is ok if the wound is now healing more naturally and it's looking less angry and raw. If she is obsessing over it and makes it worse you will have to stop her...somehow, other than a cone I am not sure how except a deterrent spray like Bitter Apple could be tried. I have never used it but perhaps others on here have.

I have to say I am still not convinced it's a cat bite due to it's location. Nearly all paw cat bites are on fronts and behind would mostly be base of tail/tail itself, not back paws.
Still I guess it does happen and as long as it's healing well that's all that really matters. I would keep a good eye on it when the antibiotics are finished. x
 
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