If you have a cat, you probably know they love to explore. Unfortunately, this can sometimes mean they come back home with injuries. Our vets in Roswell have put together a guide on some of the common types of wounds your cat may experience, as well as tips on how to properly care for them.
Common Cat Wounds
Animals and humans alike are prone to accidents, and even though cats are known for their grace, they can still sustain injuries.
While a minor wound may not be a cause for alarm, it is essential to provide prompt care for even the smallest injuries. Neglecting proper treatment of minor wounds can lead to infections and serious health complications.
Below are some common injuries that your cat may experience at some point:
- Hot spots
- Insect bites
- Skin rashes
- Cat burns
- Scratches, cuts, or scrapes
- Cat abscesses
Signs to look for
It is important to regularly check your cat for any possible injuries, such as the following:
- Missing fur
- Cut, scraped, or torn skin
- Tenderness or pain
If a wound becomes infected, you may notice:
- Discharge (pus) from the wound
- Signs of a fever
What you should do if your cat is wounded
If you have examined your cat and notice any signs or symptoms of a fresh wound, you should:
- You will need to inspect your cat for any signs of infection – infection can happen no matter how recently the injury occurred. Some of the most common signs of infection are:
- Pus discharge
- Fever or lethargy
- Noticeable pain or discomfort
- Change in behavior
- Assess the wound's severity - If the injury appears to be severe, it's important to seek veterinary care immediately. However, if it's a minor wound, you can provide medical attention at home.
- Manage the flow of blood – If your pet's wound is actively bleeding, then you will need to slow the blood flow. You can easily do this by using a clean cloth to apply pressure directly to the wound for approximately 5 - 10 minutes until the bleeding. However, if you have been applying pressure and cannot get the bleeding to slow, you should contact your vet right away.
- To clean minor wounds, it is recommended to flush them with a wet cloth and either iodine or a saline solution. It is important to avoid rubbing the wound and to remove any debris that can be easily taken out.
- Apply an antimicrobial hydrogel – After assessing and thoroughly cleaning the wound. You should now apply an antimicrobial treatment product such as Vetericyn Plus® Feline Antimicrobial Hydrogel to speed up healing and prevent infection.
- Monitor the wound – Cleaning and providing bacterial protection for the damage is of the utmost importance. Once you have done this, you should continue to monitor your cat and the wound daily for any signs of inflammation or infection. Ensure that your cat does not chew at or lick the bandages or the wound itself during the healing process.
If your cat has a severe injury and needs immediate veterinary attention, your vet may have to remove any fur around the wound. Treatment methods will depend on the type, severity, and location of the injury, as well as whether there are signs of infection.
For smaller wounds, glue and cleaning should suffice, while deeper and more serious wounds may require the removal of foreign objects or debris, thorough cleaning, and sutures to ensure proper healing.
If an infection is detected during examination, your vet may leave the wound open and focus on resolving the infection before suturing it up.
If your cat has an infection, your vet will prescribe medication, and it is important to follow instructions and complete the entire course of the prescription.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.