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Bleeding nipple on male kitty?

September 4th, 2010, 09:46 AM
I'm puzzled. :confused: My husband and I noticed very faint, very "diluted" little reddish spots on some upholstery where our 8 year old male kitty sleeps. We had given him Laxatone that day, so we figured it was stains from the Laxatone that got smeared on his face. But yesterday I noticed the same spots on the bed where he sleeps with us - little diluted-looking spots in a very faint reddish/brown color on the sheets. We gave him the once-over (my hubby put on white gloves and handled the kitty all over to see if there was a wound or something on his body that was bleeding), and checked his stool and urine - no blood. He just had his teeth cleaned last winter, and his teeth/gums are fine. I'm so confused. Where is this stuff coming from?

Cut to this morning - ANOTHER little spot on the sheets! This time it was a bit more red - a tiny, reddish brown spot, still kind of diluted-looking. I was petting him this morning, trying to look over every spot on his body, when I noticed that one of his nipples has a little scab on it. This has happened before - this same nipple seems to get scratched now and then, and now there's a tiny little scab on it. It would make sense - he sleeps on his stomach - but that would mean that he's agitating his little nipple in some way before he sleeps, in order to make it bleed or ooze. There's no discharge around the nipple, no lumps or bumps, no swelling, etc. It looks completely normal save for the tiny scab.

Any ideas? The kitties have an appointment next Saturday for a yearly exam, so they'll get looked at by our vet then - do you think there's any need for worry, that I should take him in sooner? Everything else is normal - he's eating, using his litterbox, sleeping, playing, purring, - he's not acting funny at all.

Any thoughts are appreciated. :)

September 4th, 2010, 10:06 AM
Believe it or not cats will suck their own nipples, like a kid sucking his thumb. Yes and with their rough tongue irritate it so it could bleed and scab over as you've described. Put a tube top on him or something similar to discourage sucking with folded tissue over the sore nipple, to see if it's still leaks. If it is, mention to the vet at his upcoming visit, as there may be something else going on there. After it scabs over and he continues to suck it, you may have to put something distasteful on it, like lemon juice.

September 4th, 2010, 11:22 PM
AAAAHHH it's his FEET! He was in bed tonight and I saw another smudge on the clean sheets - I messed around with his back toes/paw pads and saw little open sores on the center pad (not in the center of the center pad, more towards the top of the pad, where you'd only see if he opened his toes all the way up). It's on both back feet. :( My poor baby! What should I do? It's not oozing blood, but there's a little piece that looks scraped away, very pink and raw and just bloody enough to leave a light tinge when he puts his paws down. :cry: I had no idea - I touch his paws regularly, I'm always messing with his toes, so this is definitely new. We haven't changed litters - we use Scoopable Feline Fresh ( in their litter box, and the litter is cleaned constantly and changed regularly.

I feel so badly for him - obviously he's annoyed by it because he's been cleaning his back toes more, but otherwise he's been acting completely normally. What should I do? My vet is closed tomorrow - I'll call first thing on Monday, unless you think this is something that needs immediate attention, in which case I can take him to the emergency vet tomorrow. But in the meantime, is there anything I can put on his toes to help him out? Vaseline? I know he'll just lick it off, but is there anything?

My poor baby. :(

September 4th, 2010, 11:30 PM
What is he eating? He may have an allergy to something in the food. Common allergies are corn and chicken. Are there multiple protein sources in his food or just one?
Is it possible he has had any contact with anything that is caustic? Something that may have burnt his paws? But that would not explain why it's only the part you can't see.
Do you have a cone around? Maybe from when he was neutered? You could put it on him to keep him from irritating his paws more. It would be a good idea to take him to the vet for a checkup. You could also work on eliminating parts of his diet that may be causing problems.

September 5th, 2010, 07:05 AM
What is he eating? He may have an allergy to something in the food. Common allergies are corn and chicken. Are there multiple protein sources in his food or just one?

He eats Avoderm Sardine, Shrimp, and Crab Meat ( wet food and Natural Balance Green Pea & Duck ( dry food. He does have an allergy to chicken, so both foods are chicken and grain-free. He's extremely picky about his food and we have to rotate a variety of foods, but they're all chicken/grain free (when he'll eat it we give him Naural Balance Green Pea & Duck ( wet food). He's been eating all of those varieties for a while, so unless it's a new food allergy that we don't know about, I don't think it could be that.

Is it possible he has had any contact with anything that is caustic? Something that may have burnt his paws? But that would not explain why it's only the part you can't see.

I was thinking about this last night - we use the less harsh "environmentally friendly" cleaners around the house, and a very dilute bleach/water solution in the areas around his food bowl. We haven't changed cleaners or anything like that - and he doesn't walk on wet floors until they've dried. We haven't switched laundry detergent or anything - I really can't think of anything that could be the culprit. A few years ago he had crusty/peeling paws (like little hard pieces of paw skin were flaking off), and that's when we switched to a non-clay litter. We've been using this current litter for at least 6 months. What else...I need to brainstorm here....

Do you have a cone around? Maybe from when he was neutered? You could put it on him to keep him from irritating his paws more. It would be a good idea to take him to the vet for a checkup. You could also work on eliminating parts of his diet that may be causing problems.

He never had a cone, oddly enough. Last night my husband held him and I used a Q-Tip to apply a little tiny bit of Vaseline to the sore spots on his paws, and he didn't even seem to care. We figured if he did end up licking the Vaseline off, it's basically what we give him periodically to fight hairballs (Laxatone), so it wouldn't be a huge deal.

I'm going to see if my vet has an answering service so I can try to get a hold of him today - if not, I'm just going to keep an eye on him and call the vet first thing tomorrow.

Thank you for helping me brainstorm this - I know there has to be some reason, I just can't fathom what it is.

September 5th, 2010, 07:43 AM
There's so many things it could be from some fungus infection, allergic reaction, whathaveyou! Do you use scented litter? Sometimes that can cause an allergic reaction. Give us an update of what the vet thinks it is.

September 5th, 2010, 08:16 AM
Their litter isn't scented. We try to use unscented everything - laundry detergent, no dryer sheets, etc. I'm going to call the vet as soon as I get home this morning - I have to go drop something off. I'm hoping there's an answering service. :fingerscr

September 5th, 2010, 09:49 AM
Cats, like people, can develop allergies over time. Great that you are taking him to the vet! :thumbs up

September 5th, 2010, 12:12 PM
His feet smell funny. I'm calling the ER vet. :( There's no blood or pus, just raw pinkness - but his feet never smell like this.

September 5th, 2010, 02:55 PM
So...we took him to the emergency vet, and they told us...nothing! The vet examined him and so did some specialists, and they said it's not bacterial, it's not fungal, it's not ulcerous or infected - it's just a raw pink area in the same exact spot on both back center pads. They watched him walk, thought it may be the way he was walking - it was completely normal. His temperature was normal, his exams were all normal, he's eating/peeing/pooing normally. Everything is totally normal, except for his little raw pads. They told us to keep an eye on it - a close eye. That the pads were very clean, my kitty is keeping them clean, so all we need to do is make sure that there's no litter getting stuck in there and that nothing changes.

I asked them about taking samples - they said that there's nothing to take - no oozing, no matted hair, no blood, no pus. That in order to get a skin sample they'd have to hurt him, and that right now it's not necessary. If things change and get worse, they said they may want to do a needle biopsy to test the cells, but that it doesn't look cancerous or like lupus or anything.

Soooo...good news, I guess? But outrageously frustrating - not having any answers. :wall: The ER vet is faxing all of the notes from the visit to my regular vet, and we'll see the regular vet for a full yearly exam next Saturday morning. So all I can do is watch and see.

This is so weird - my cat is acting like nothing happened. :headslap: He came home, jumped out of his little crate and asked for a treat. Then he ate a big serving of wet food. :crazy: Anyone have any thoughts? I trust this ER vet - they're specialists, they're who the regular vets refer to when there's an issue (radiology, oncology, etc.), so I know he was seen and examined by good doctors. But it's just so puzzling!

September 5th, 2010, 03:04 PM
Well that must be very disappointing for you. :grouphug:

Are you able to get a close up pic to post, perhap Dr. Lee may have some ideas?

September 5th, 2010, 05:15 PM
That's a great suggestion - my husband and I will try to get pics of his feet tonight.

He's sitting next to me on the couch - I love the little guy, stinky feet and all - I just want to know what's going on. :crazy:

September 5th, 2010, 06:11 PM
Don't rule out the possibility of allergies. He may have developed one to the shell fish. I would stop feeding that for a while and see what happens. I think six weeks to get the toxins out of his system but I'm not sure on that.

September 7th, 2010, 11:57 AM
We just got back from our vet - and I'm feeling a bit better about the situation. One of the paws is healing, and the other hasn't gotten any worse. The vet thinks that the most likely cause was that he had some physical trauma to the pads. We tried to think of everything - the only thing we could come up with was that we washed the upholstered cover on one of our chairs and the chair itself is a very rough material, and he spends a lot of time on that chair. If he was messing around on the chair (which we saw him do, I think the cover being off was a bit of a novelty), it's possible that he irritated his paw pads on the material, then aggravated the situation by licking them.

In any case, he said basically the same thing the ER vet said. He looked over all the paperwork from the ER visit, too. I have a compromised immune system (long story), so I need to be sure that this little paw irritation isn't bacterial or fungal or can get me sick - and the vet said again that he didn't think that was a concern, but that if his paws haven't improved by the weekend that they could do a culture on some of the hairs around the sore on the paw.

For now, he gave us a topical drop to put on the sore spot on the paw, he said it's antibacterial and should also help with any itching he's experiencing. We have another appointment for him and his sister on Saturday for their yearly check-up, so the vet said it would be a good time to follow up and make sure the paws were healing.

So I feel a little bit better. The fact that one paw seems to be healing is a good sign, and our vet was reassuring in that he didn't think this was a sign of a larger problem such as an auto-immune disease or cancer or anything. I'm going to go get a new litter box and some newspaper "litter" so his little feet won't be irritated.

:crazy: My goodness - if I ever have a two-legged child, I can't even imagine how neurotic I'd be!

September 7th, 2010, 10:27 PM
You're not being neurotic! You're looking out for your kitty. :thumbs up That's definitely a good thing!

I hope his paws heal up quickly! :goodvibes:

September 8th, 2010, 01:03 PM
His paws are already healing - he doesn't have stinky fish feet anymore! :D I'll check them out again tonight when we put the drops on him again, but this morning I sniffed his little toes (which I usually do anyway, his little toesies smell like warm kitten :o) and I didn't smell anything.

Just to be safe, I'm trying to wean him off the seafood Avoderm - I know that poultry is best, but he's just so damn picky that we ended up with that variety when he went on a hunger strike a few months ago. :rolleyes: I bought him some grain-free turkey wet food (Merrick) and a grain-free duck food (Instinct) to try, and he seems to like the turkey. Fingers crossed. :fingerscr

Thanks for the support and advice. I'll update again when his toesies have officially healed. This whole thing is so weird. :crazy:

September 8th, 2010, 08:16 PM
Non-stinky kitty toesies are always good! :cat:

Glad he seems to be on the mend!

September 30th, 2010, 09:17 PM
Update! The toesies are completely healed. :party::clap::D We never did definitively figure out what caused the toesie issues, but Fitzy's yearly exam went well and everything is normal. The last thing the vet told us was that he believed it was from Fitzy irritating his paws on a rough surface, and we think it was the chair he was playing on when we took the upholstered cover off.

In any case, I was able to switch him back to a poultry-based wet food - they're now both eating Nature's Variety Instinct Duck ( I don't want to jinx myself - but it's the first time they've eaten the same food in ages. These guys go through weird love/hate cycles with their wet food, but for now they're enjoying it. We stayed with Scoopable Feline Fresh ( and haven't had an issue.

All is well here - Fitzy wanted me to post a picture of his sweet-smelling NON stinky fish feet (sorry the pic is so big)! Thank you guys for your help. :pawprint:

October 1st, 2010, 06:52 AM
Yay! I am so glad he is doing better, thanks for the update and the pic of that wonderful boy of yours. :cloud9:

October 1st, 2010, 03:15 PM
What a great update! :highfive: Thanks for sharing!! He's a handsome dude!! :flirt: