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Cat skin wound

February 26th, 2004, 11:59 PM
I have a three year old Abyssinian that I have recently taken into my home to try and heal. She has a large circular open wound on her neck that goes all the way through the outer skin and I can see her inner skin. She is not in pain but, naturally, likes to scratch it and rub it. I tried using an anesthetic antibiotic cream, but as that kept the wound wet, it didn't seem to make the wound smaller. I have since tried just using hydrogen peroxide and it appears to be helping, but I'm not sure if it will heal it completely. I also am using a cone collar so that she cannot irritate it any further.

She started scratching and causing this problem when she was about six months old and the person who had her before could clear it up somewhat, but never completely. She has tried bandaging the wound, bandaging the hind legs, trimming the back claws, and using the nail protectors on the back claws. None of these have helped for more than a few days. The wound at some points has been reduced to quarter size, but now is about six inches in diameter.

She doesn't seem bothered by the wound (the collar bothers her the most), and she is very docile when I medicate her with the peroxide. Since I have only had her in my care for only about a week, I am trying to see if I can find a treatment myself before taking her to a vet. I have access to Clavamox pills but have not given her any yet. If there is any advice, or any personal experience, I would like to hear about it. Once she is healed, I am also interested in finding out how to prevent her from doing this again.

Thanks for your help!!

Lucky Rescue
February 27th, 2004, 10:25 AM
Has this cat been seen by a vet in all this time? She needs to go ASAP.

Also, do NOT use hydrogen peroxide, as it actually breaks down and destroys tissue!

February 27th, 2004, 10:39 AM
She was seen by a vet who said that she was doing it to herself out of boredom and self mutilation. We were told to try different over the counter medications and then once it healed to try and prevent her from breaking the skin again. Ha, great advice.......

So, my first thoughts when I set about looking for medications was find something to stop the itch so that she'll leave it alone. Thus the cone collar and the anesthetic cream. However, that was making the wound goopy. Then I figured that the wound needed to dry up so that it could scab over and start healing. I didn't want to use anything with alcohol in it because I know how bad that would hurt. I tried a little bit of the peroxide one night on a test area, and over night it seemed to help in that spot. So I have treated her with it for the past three nights and it has helped the way the wound looks, but I can't tell if its getting smaller or not.

LR, if you don't think I should use peroxide, what else should I use (without alcolhol in it) that would keep the wound dry and heal it? I'm open to suggestions.

Since she's not in pain (I don't think she even knows that she has something wrong with her!) and the wound isn't life threatening, I am going to give myself about two weeks to find a treatment. If she's not getting any better by then, I'm going to take her a new vet and get a second opinion. But I would really like to find a treatment myself so that once I clear her up, if she ever starts doing this again, I will know how to stop/heal it immediately

Lucky Rescue
February 27th, 2004, 10:55 AM
I'm not getting why you won't take her to the vet? A problem does not have to be "life threatening" to indicate a vet visit.

If this wound is the result of a behavioral problem, the vet can prescibe meds to ease the anxiety. They can also give you ointments, such as Panalog, that is appropriate for this type of wound. Peroxide is NOT appropriate for the very delicate skin of a cat.

While the meds and creams are taking effect, the scratching has to be stopped long enough for the wound to heal and the behavior to be extinguished.

Someone here made a great collar to stop scratching. It was made from a margarine tub, cut down one side and the bottom cut out. The sharp edges are covered with tape and the "collar" taped on the cat's neck securely. This way, she can still see and eat normally, but cannot scratch.

Everything that has been done to her - taping her feet, taping her neck, putting covers on her claws, etc is no doubt increasing her anxiety and you really must get her appropriate meds and creams and fix this problem with ONE method and once and for all!

Home methods may be fine for some problems, but not for this one - since they are not working.

JMO, of course.

February 27th, 2004, 11:09 AM
Thanks for your opinion, LR, I really do appreciate it. And I'm not against taking her to a vet by any means, its just that they haven't seemed to help. She's been doing this off and on for two and half years and went to the vet at least a dozen times before I got her. The bandages and everything were the vet's ideas. She is very laid back and doesn't seem to mind any of the treatments. Her previous owners traveled a lot and she was left home alone with a pet sitter coming in occasionally. I think once she heals and is around my cats, she won't be lonely or bored and I'm hoping that will keep it from coming back. I have talked on the phone with several different vets and the answer I get is along the lines of if she's not in pain and it doesn't bother her, then what's the problem.....but for $50 I'd be happy to tell you that in person!

Also, the cone collar that I have on her is like the margarine tub you described. I think its really called an elizabethan(sp) collar. I have also confined her in a large travel cage because I'm afraid that with the collar she will get caught on something and hurt herself. I think the confinement is harder on me than her! :(

LR, please don't think that I'm against vet treatment. Its just that her previous owner did not have any luck with the vets and I posted this question to get suggestions or see if anyone else ever had this problem. I guess I'm hoping that someone has treated something like this before, either at home or under vet care. If another cat has had this problem and a vet treatment helped, then I could take her to the vet and ask for that same treatment. But if she gets worse in the least bit or starts experiencing pain, she'll see a vet immediately.

Btw, I think someone else just posted a similar problem!

Lucky Rescue
February 27th, 2004, 11:59 AM
O.K. What you are saying is clearer now. Since you breed cats, you know many cats seem to have OCD, and that once formed, habits are very hard to break!

I had a cat who was obsessively licking all the fur off her back legs, to the point that they were bare. I believe this was caused by the stress of a having a dog move in, although she was not acting stressed in any other way.

The vet prescribed a med - I believe along the lines of Valium - just long enough to break the habit of the licking. It worked and she never did this again. This MAY work for your cat.

Yes, I know what Elizabethan collars are, but what I'm talking about goes on the neck only, and the cat can function in a completely normal way and there is no need of confinement. I'm going to ask if the person who posted the pic originally can re-post it!

Edited to say I FOUND IT!! Scroll down the page and see the collar made from a sour cream container. This can be kept on indefinitely and certainly until the wound completely heals!:)

February 27th, 2004, 12:40 PM
Thanks for the pictures LR! That was a good idea. The collar she has on now is pretty small and she's not having any problems eating or drinking, I just hate it for her! I may try the sour cream thing, but I don't want to completely cover the wound. I feel like the wound needs open access to air to help heal it. That's why I'm trying to even avoid using guaze. But I play around with containers to see if I can't make one that is tight enough to stay on her neck, but away from the wound. Again, thanks for the pictures!

March 4th, 2004, 01:17 PM
I think I have found a wonderful vet! I took Tiki there two days ago and he said that immediately he knew what was wrong. She has Eosinophilic Granuloma Complex, which basically means that bumps will form on her skin and she'll keep scratching at them and cause the sore like she has. She stayed overnight and he sedated her and shaved around the sore and somehow made it look 200 times better. He also gave her a steroid shot that is suppose to stop the itching and an enzyme for me to put on it topically. I'm also giving her clavamox twice a day. He said that so far I had been doing everything right, but that the other vets who were just diagnosing her as having OCD or self-mutilation were taking the easy way out. When he gave me the diagnosis, he gave me pages of lab results to support his findings. I was thoroughly impressed. He also told me that this isn't heriditary, so she can still have babies and they won't be affected.

So, here we are $260 later. Tiki is still a little groggy and does not like taking pills at all, but she already looks much better. And once she heals, I just have to keep an eye on her and if a spot that she's wanting to itch shows up, all I need to do is take her in to get a steroid shot and she won't itch and it will go away. It would have been so nice if we could have found this doctor a long time ago!!!

March 5th, 2004, 10:20 AM


who'd u find this vet? word of mouth, calling around, FLUKE?

March 5th, 2004, 10:22 AM
A friend of mine goes to them. I actually saw the new vet. He has an Aggie ring (96) on his right hand and nothing on his left....can you just imagine how much money I would save if I married a vet?! Lol, just kidding. I mean, first I'd have to get him to ASK me out, right?

March 5th, 2004, 10:29 AM
:eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

so THAT's where mr. right will be that all pet lovers are searching for!!!!!

:eek: :eek:

;) :p GOOD LUCK!

Lucky Rescue
March 5th, 2004, 10:53 AM
Second opinions can certainly be well worth it!!:D

March 5th, 2004, 11:02 AM
We go back in two weeks so that he can just check on her progress, its a complimentary visit, lol. My friend told me to flirt back with him b/c he was way flirting with me. But something about those sterile rooms just makes me uncapable of flirting :confused: !

March 5th, 2004, 11:31 AM
OMggggg, what have u got to loose but so much more to GAIN, ESPECIALLY if HE started flirting with you first!


go for it :)

March 6th, 2004, 08:54 AM
You go girlfriend.....LOL

Is he cute?;) :p

March 8th, 2004, 10:05 AM
Yes, he was very cute. We had to go back on Saturday because Tiki had a reaction to the clavamox. Found out he's married. Why he wears his Aggie ring and not a wedding ring, I don't know, but its not right!!! :mad:

March 8th, 2004, 07:37 PM

what's an Aggie ring??

March 8th, 2004, 07:45 PM
Ok, what kind of Aggie are you? In Texas (and I though the world) an Aggie is a Texas A&M University student. Its a very big Ag school with one of the best vet colleges in the world. And our Aggie ring is a huge deal - its how we identify one another. So, I'm guessing you're not my kind of Aggie, huh? lol

March 8th, 2004, 07:51 PM
well, u did put a smile on my gloomy day...

my NAME is Aggie...

March 8th, 2004, 08:04 PM
ohhhhh, well that makes sense, doesn't it, lol! A&M is a school that's very big on tradition and our Aggie Ring is one of our biggest traditions. When one of us finally get our ring, we go down to the Dixie Chicken (the oldest bar in town) and 'dunk' the ring. Dunking is where you drop your ring in a pitcher (girls can use chuggers) of beer and chug it. You then carve your name and time on the wall or a table in the bar. I know it sounds barbaric, but its a lot of fun! Its a really important milestone for an Aggie. My whole family came to see mine. Here's a picture of me doing it. I chugged in 47 seconds!

March 8th, 2004, 09:16 PM
now that's a different kind of story, alright!!!!

interesting, none the less, lol!! thanx for sharing... A&M sounds like it's quite popular, I'm sorry I haven't heard of it... til now.

but I'd sure like an AGGIE ring of my own! :P ;) :D

I also read somewhere Aggie is short for people who deal w agriculture?


March 8th, 2004, 09:19 PM
Yes, you're right. A&M stands for Agriculture and Mechanical. Its always been THE best vet school and all other kind of ag things. Many a times I had to walk through cows and sheep and other farm animals on campus to get to class, lol. Not they they are grazing on campus or anything, they're just raised and housed in several buildings (barns?) there!

March 8th, 2004, 09:24 PM

ya, ok... so.. when u think of Aggie, think of cows & sheep raised in a barn... rather than ANYTHING else a woman would like to be remembered by...

;) :D

March 8th, 2004, 09:29 PM
No, when I think of Aggie, I think of honor and respect, of family and tradition, of caring for animals, and (oh damn I'm gonna cry) of something I'm so proud to be a part of! :D

March 8th, 2004, 09:30 PM
aww... how sweet!! sounds like one of your great loves!!

that's wonderful :)

and ty ;)