Wound Care for Cats: What You Need to Know
How to Treat a Wound
Wound Care for Cats: What You Need to Know: Cats, like any other animal, are prone to minor injuries. Many wounds, bruises, and abrasions (scrapes) are not hazardous and heal rapidly. Other wounds may require sutures and more immediate emergency care.
What to Look out For
Fresh wounds typically exhibit one or more of the following characteristics:
Hair is missing
Skin that has been cut, scratched or torn
Tenderness or discomfort
If a fresh wound is not seen, it can grow infected. In addition to swelling and discomfort, you may have the following symptoms:
- The wound's discharge (pus)
- Affections (a collection of pus under the skin)) and the hole in the skin that results when the abscess ruptures and drains
- Fever symptoms (e.g., lethargy and ears that feel hot to the touch)
The Root Cause
Wounds can result from being hit or bumped by hard or sharp objects, dodging cars, being attacked by animals, or other risks.
Your cat will ultimately define what you can accomplish at home. You may only be able to wrap your cat in a towel or place him in a carrier and take him straight to the clinic.
However, if your cat allows it, you may do a few things, particularly if going to your veterinarian takes some time.
Applying direct pressure to a bleeding cut is the most effective approach to halt it.
After covering the incision with sterile gauze or a clean towel, apply pressure to it.
It may take 5 to 10 minutes for the bleeding to stop. When this happens, tape the gauze in place since removing it may cause the clot to dissolve and the bleeding to restart.
Look for any more wounds.
If there is no bleeding and the cut (laceration) or abrasion (graze) appears small, clean the wound. Gently clean the wound with an antiseptic solution or plain water, then flush the solution over the wound's surface with a syringe or similar equipment.
Diluting concentrated store-bought solutions containing the active ingredient povidone-iodine or chlorhexidine diacetate yields antiseptic solutions.
Because they induce tissue damage, alcohol and hydrogen peroxide should not be used on wounds. Povidone should be diluted to the consistency of weak tea, and chlorhexidine should be diluted to the consistency of pale blue.
If the laceration is long or deep, or if it is a puncture wound, clean the edges as described above, but do not aggravate the incision. Allow the veterinarian to take care of it.
Take your cat to the vet after you've done everything you can.
Your veterinarian will examine your cat thoroughly and assess any wounds that are identified. Your cat will also be examined for any symptoms of the disease. The cat's hair must be shaved for a comprehensive examination. X-rays may be required for some wounds. The test may also necessitate sedation.
Treatment's key goals are to prevent infection and speed healing. Different sorts of wounds demand different techniques to achieve these objectives. In most cases, sedation or anesthetic will be required to heal the wounds safely and painlessly.
For minor scrapes and cuts, a thorough washing and sometimes a little skin adhesive to hold the wound borders together is usually all that is required.
Prolonged and deep wounds require careful cleaning to ensure there are no foreign bodies in the wound, as well as a complete assessment to determine the degree of injury.
If the incision is less than 12 hours old and not heavily contaminated, suturing is likely.
Puncture wounds, especially those caused by animal attacks, frequently involve significant damage beneath the skin that is not visible at first. Following the removal of foreign bodies, these wounds must be thoroughly investigated and meticulously cleaned with large amounts of antiseptic solution.
To repair tissue damage that has occurred at deeper depths of the incision, surgical intervention may be required.
Meanwhile, puncture wounds and wounds that are more than 12 hours old, contaminated, or showing signs of infection, abscessed, or lacking considerable skin are not routinely sutured.
Instead, they are bandaged until the wound heals or becomes healthy enough that sutures can help the wound instead of trapping infection in it.
Large or deep wounds, contaminated wounds, or wounds with several punctures may necessitate the use of a Penrose drain. This flexible rubber tube drains excess contaminated tissue fluid while allowing an antiseptic solution to flooding through the wound.
Your veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics and possibly pain medicines for your cat, which you will need to provide at home.
The vast majority of cats are released within 24 hours of their arrival.
The most essential thing you can do for your cat after you get home is to provide proper care. Fortunately, it normally only takes one to two weeks.
Good Care Involves
Avoiding your cat licking, biting, or scratching at wounds, stitches, bandages, or drainage This may need the use of an Elizabethan collar.
Keep dressings clean and dry, and replace them as directed by your veterinarian. At first, this could be up to two or three times per day.
If your cat is refusing to cooperate, you may need to return to the clinic to have them replaced. If the dressings become wet, or if you notice an odor, rubbing, or an increase in drainage (or if the drainage persists), take your cat to the vet.
If the cat is unable to lick it away, apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment to the wound edges once or twice daily.
Ascertain that your cat is receiving all prescribed medications. If you are experiencing trouble administering it, contact your veterinarian.
The typical post-vet regimen is as follows unless the wounds are serious or there are complications:
Penrose drains are removed 3 to 5 days after installation.
Sutures are usually removed 10 to 14 days after they are put in.
Antibiotics are normally prescribed for a period of 7 to 10 days.
If pain medication is required, it is normally given for 5 to 7 days.
Dressings may be applied for 24 hours or several weeks, depending on the severity of the lesion.
The dressing is changed at least once daily at first; later in the healing period, longer intervals between dressing changes are possible.
If a wound, particularly a puncture wound, is not identified and antibiotics are not administered, an abscess may form, resulting in the symptoms described above.
Abscesses form in 10 to 14 days and are usually not visible until they rupture. An abscess needs another trip to the vet.
Because cats are more prone to be injured when they run around uncontrollably outside, the best preventative measure is to either keep the cat indoors or confine it to a safe, confined area.