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Cat covered in creosote!

April 30th, 2006, 04:18 PM
Hi people. Another dilemma urgent for advice! As you may or not remember I adopted my neighbours cat Balfont, a few months ago. He was an unfixed Tom who just wondered around endlessly getting himself into trouble. So we took the initiative to get him done and hoped he would eventually settle down and live with us and my other 5 cats.
Thing is he still likes to roam and the best I can do is keep him in overnight! And even that is a right pain. There is a lot of searching and calling and shaking biscuits to get him in at night time! I suppose he is still so used to roaming and unfortunately it is in his nature now even though he has been fixed!
Anyway my problem is, He came in yesterday afternoon absolutely covered in Creosote (fence varnish) He is a sticky, unbelievably smelly mess! I phoned the vet straight away and we even got him in the cat box ready to take him. But the vets said there is not a lot they can do and that we need to keep bathing him with washing up liquid! Yeah right OK!! We have done this now 3 times and both again (we have been through this before when he was covered in something less sticky before) look like something that Freddie Kruger has got hold of!!! We are scratched to absolute pieces!!
The thing is, we cannot wash him properly!! My hubby holds him by the scruff of the neck and I sponge him down, whilst dunking him in the bath! IT IS STILL NOT CLEANING PROPERLY!! He looks like a cat shaped toffee apple and smells so potent I hate to the think how he is coping with it being just 2 inches away from his nose!
what can the vets actually do to help us? I felt like they really have just passed the buck!!! Surely if he was sedated they could possibly clean him properly??
They have taken my eldest cat in before and sedated him whilst they removed lots of nasty painful furballs under his belly..........why not do the same for my poor Balfont? I will phone them again tomorrow as we have tried our damnest to get this crap off him, but just cannot get it all off! And I am so worried about him licking this awful toxic stuff!!!!!!
What else can I do?????

April 30th, 2006, 05:23 PM
I'm no cat expert but I think I would consider shaving this off.

Varnish can only be removed by using another toxin. Your cat is not only absorbing this toxin through the skin but licking it off and this could cause severe health problems which may end up being life threatening.

Washing this will only make things worse I would think. If you have grooming clippers I would think that would be the best solution or call a groomer immediately.

Please don't wait!

April 30th, 2006, 07:15 PM
Poor baby. I would get him to a vet (different one if possible) right away. Let us know the results.:pawprint:

May 1st, 2006, 12:33 AM
i agree, sounds like you should shave him, the best way to get off the silly varnish. just make sure you don't clip his whiskers, 'eyeborows' or the whisker like things on the unders side of his legs near his paws, i did that once as a little kid and poor kitty walked funny for weeks(i didn't know any better)....:evil: but u may just want to take him to the groomer just to be safe

May 1st, 2006, 07:50 AM
Definetly he needs to be shaved under sedation.
I don't kniow what your vet was thinking of.:confused:
Short of dunking him in Varsol,there is no way you could clean it off him.
I would take him to another vet,before he gets seriously ill,cats have been shaved for lesser problems. Good Luck!!

May 1st, 2006, 08:44 AM
Just an update! Balfont is now at the vets as I type. He started limping this morning and just generally looked unwell. So I phoned a diffrent vet and demanded to take him in. He is going to be sedated and shaved and have a drip (as he was seriously dehydrated) and is running a temp! I am not surpried can you imagine licking varnish!!!! They are phoning me at 5 to let me know how he is!
I can't believe I was fobbed off for 2 days by another vet! As if bathing him was going to get rid of it!!! :mad:

May 1st, 2006, 09:05 AM
Poor Balfont, I hope he'll be OK. Good for you taking him to another vet. Maybe he should fax Balfont's chart to the other vet, for information, but really to let him know how wrong he was not to treat the situation as an emergency.
If the first vet is one of long-standing, don't let that fact stop you from considering a change. We would do the same for family members of the two-legged variety, why not our furbabies?

May 1st, 2006, 10:34 AM
If advice doesn't seem logical follow your gut feeling.
I hope he will be okay, pls update us!
Sending him positive healing thoughts.

May 1st, 2006, 02:13 PM
Just to let you know that Balfont is OK and well. He is staying overnight at the vets as he is still abit miserable. They have had to shave him and give him antibiotics and he is still on a drip to try and rehydrate him. But he must be feeling so much better now that awful sticky, smelly stuff has finaly gone!
I will seriously think about changing vets now as I am quite appawled with their advice. Obviously because it is the bank holiday weekend they didn't want the work! And as for telling me to smother him in washing up liquid, apparently that isn't good for the cat either as they obviously lick themselves to bits!! NOT IMPRESSED that my little baby had to put up with that for nearly 2 days when he could have been treated ages ago! :mad:

May 1st, 2006, 03:19 PM
Why are they giving him antibiotics? Is there sign of infection?

I am really glad he is okay and thank you for doing the right thing and taking him to the vets. If I were you I wouldn't use the other vet any longer.

Maybe you could buy him a new toy for when he comes home, I'm sure he feels miserable!

No matter how bad he wants outside you cannot let him out now while he is shaved unless you put him on a leash and take him out yourself.

Imagine how vulnerable his skin is at this point.

May 1st, 2006, 03:35 PM
All the vet said was they will give him an antibiotic injection because of his high temp. So he could have an infection?? Someone said about it getting into his skin, so maybe thats what it is. The fact he could barely move his legs makes me think this might be the case! He was so thorough with him!
I will have to keep him in from now on! Day and NIGHT!!!!!
He may actually decide to stay in now as he is so ill!
I have already bought him his own cat bed and catnip toy for when he comes home to me tomorrow!! Even the kids are annoyed that they have to go to school and won't see him till the afternoon! So he will have such a great welcome! :angel:

May 1st, 2006, 03:35 PM
Smeagol,thank's for the up-date,I hope he will be Luba said I would try to keep him inside for now,if possible.
As for your regular vet,he/she needs to get his/her priorities straight,especially if you are a long-time customer,I would stick with the vet who helped Balfont.
It sometimes takes an emergency to find out what your regular vet is all about.
I would love to see a pic of Balfont and thank's for taking such good care of him:thumbs up

May 1st, 2006, 03:39 PM
I'd give him his own space a quiet space for a little while without much fussing over him of the kids and such. He's gone through quite the ordeal.

I think he's probably experiencing signs more of toxin exposure then infection.

May 1st, 2006, 03:42 PM
Just a little note about the catnip.
I'd wait quite awhile as that can stimulate his central nervous system. Something you don't want to do right now.

May 1st, 2006, 03:53 PM
Smeagol,do you have any idea how this happened?
Some evil person must have poured it on him:evil:
When I paint or varnish anything,my cats stay away,don't like the strong smell.

May 1st, 2006, 03:59 PM
At first we thought this had happened by someone deliberatly, but after bathing him it is more on his belly and back legs, so am now thinking he could have jumped down and landed in a tin of it!!! I hope no one would do this to a cat, but am reminded everyday that there are nasty people in this world!! He is a very unlucky little boy and has had a tough old 3 years on the streets! I am hoping this may be the end of it now though and if we can keep him in it will mean this never happens again!
As for the photo I hope this works. My camera takes such rediculously large photos I haven't managed to upload one small enough yet! But have edited and shrunk one so hope it comes up!
Thanks for all your replies!! xxx

May 1st, 2006, 04:04 PM
Awww,what a sweetie,hopefully he'll come out of this adventure ok:fingerscr and yes,there are a lot of people out there that would think nothing of hurting a poor little innocent cat.

May 1st, 2006, 04:18 PM
Oh what a treasure! You hold onto him and give him love like he's never known :D

I am concerned about how much he injested and absorbed. I am really hoping all will be well!

May 1st, 2006, 04:47 PM
Just last year someone brought in a cat they found to my vet clinc. some unkind cruel person spray painted him with green paint!
He was a mess, I can't remeber exactly what my vet did but I think she used mineral water :confused: to take out the paint. She thought for sure she would need to shave him, but she kept washing him and eventually the paint came out.

When he was no longer green, she found him a great home.

May 2nd, 2006, 02:48 AM
Just spoke to the vet and unfortunately it looks like Balfont injested a lot more creosote than first suspected. He has been on a drip all night, but is still quite lifeless and miserable! They are keeping him in this morning and I am to ring at lunch time to see if I can go and get him then.
I know he is in the best place possible. But am missing him terribly!

May 2nd, 2006, 07:22 AM
I was afraid of that:sad: Poor Balfont,lot's of postive thoughts and good wishes to the poor little guy:fingerscr :love:

May 2nd, 2006, 11:03 AM
Has the vet talked to any specialists or done any research on how to treat this specific problem?

There may be other methods to help in this situation. I would push push push for further investigation and remedies to assist.

The toxins could very well kill him. I 'am' saying this to scare you. The vet may think the IV drip for hydration is the only method to treat.

Insist they call and get advise from a specialist clinic and you call as well.

Imagine what it feels like to be poisoned, and as well to have that stick gooey mess coated on your tongue, throat, stomach and other organs.

Don't just 'settle' for what your vet is doing, get on the phone and make some calls.

Edited to add:
Call your local poison control centre they may have suggestions!

May 2nd, 2006, 04:13 PM
I was thinking about poor Balfont and did a little digging around for you. Not to scare you but just to advise and provide information.

Here is hugs to him, and prayers to pull him through this! :angel:
Tar and products such as creosote and tannic acid contain phenol. Although this product is not usually ingested it poisons animals the same way that antifreeze does. Symptoms of phenol poisoning include muscle tremors, breathing difficulties, depression and coma. There is no antidote -- Seek veterinary care immediately.

Are you in Sussex UK?
I know the ASPCA has a poison control centre line, maybe your local spca affiliate does too?

May 2nd, 2006, 04:59 PM
So sorry to hear about Balfont. Luba gave you some good advice. Do hope everything works out.:fingerscr :fingerscr

May 3rd, 2006, 04:15 PM
Hi everyone. Just thought i'd give you another update. A VERY possitive one actually!!!! :thumbs up Balfont eventually got home yesterday afternoon. He is absolutely fine! He has had a lot of his fur shave off from his belly and back legs, but is up and about. Eating, drinking. He is very affectionate with us and seems to be quite alright.
He is using his litter tray, that we have set up in our bedroom (as there is nowhere else in our house that he can get some piece and quiet) and has had some decents poos. He is eating normally and drinking water. We have set all of this up in our room. (Bed, food, litter tray etc..) and check him all the time. I had to go to work today, but my husband stayed at home to work today to keep a check on him.
He is now showing signs tonight of wanting to go out again, but thats just tough!!!!! He has let us tickle his belly and seems to be really doing well!
He has another vets appointment again tomorrow, just as a safe check!
Thanks for the info Luba. I did read it and can positively tell you he wasn't showing any of those signs. The only signs he was showing of distress was just limping and general lying down and looking very, very sad! Oh and weepy eyes!
His eyes are looking very clear, he is still shaking his legs every now and again, but that could be because he has has so much fur shaved off??
As i say he is back to the vets tomorrow, so will let you know!

I know it doesn't matter to us, but I tell you what...............I don't know about Canada, but this country (Britain) if your pet gets ill over a holiday weekend or even a weekend for that matter, the cost of all this was doubled to nearly 400!!!!!!! I know he is worth every penny, but at the same time, don't you get a bit annoyed when the vets seem to think that animals only get ill on the normal 5 day week!! It really pisses me off! :confused:

May 3rd, 2006, 04:33 PM
Smeagol,that's the best news I've heard today,thank's!!
Money you can always get more of,but there is only one Balfont:love:
It does seem,whenever anything goes wrong,it happens in the weekend.:sad:
My vet has evening and Saturday hours,but not Sunday.
I was sooo worried about Balfont,hope he keeps on getting better:fingerscr

May 3rd, 2006, 04:59 PM
OH thank you for updating!

I sure hope he keeps improving!! :grouphug: That was a close call, next time may not be so lucky!

You stay inside mister!! If later he wants to go out, put a leash on him and take him out to the garden for a walk and roll in the grass just like you would your dog!:D

May 3rd, 2006, 05:49 PM
Smeagol, I am so happy that Balfont is doing well and hope he continues to do so.:fingerscr He was one lucky boy and the picture is absolutely adorable.

And chico was right...."money you can get more of but there is only one Balfont":love: