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Infection? Help!!

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
This involves a cat which isn't mine. That's the start of the problem.

My neighbors are my aunt and uncle. Lots of kids, big hunk of land, etc. etc. They also have two unspayed and uneutered cats - one male, one female. (The chances of them spaying and neutering are slim to none though, and the post isn't about that anyway.)

Anyway, the male is a big friendly red tabby, good condition...about one and a half. His nam is Tiger. Just yesterday when I went over to babysit I noticed him limping. However, I wasn't able to find him to check him over. Today, though, I was was able to track him down (he was snoozing in his kitty bed) and got to look at him. His left foot is hurt, but I'm nearly 100% positive it's not a break, thankfully. The area right behind the paw pad is swollen. I touched it lightly and he growled at me. Obviously it hurts a lot - I had barely brushed my finger over it.

So, any ideas oe what it could be? I would take pictures but my camera's not here. I'm also thinking it could be a bee sting since the wasps are out. Since these people are my relative I do take care of their cats somewhat - I wormed tem, feed them often, give their owners advice, etc. and would like to take care of him as best as I could now to. The poor guy hurts. The thing is, they won't take him to the vet unless they're positive they absolutely need to since aft all Tiger is 'just a barn cat' (not in my opinion, but theirs). Should I leave him be? Try to cleanse the paw as best as possible? Does anyone have anything I can do, home remedies so to speak, to help ease the discomfort? I'm not able to bring him to the vet on my own as my mom will refuse to take the neighbor cat and I'm definitely not able to drive, but I'd like to help him.
post #2 of 18
Oh boy, this is frustrating. I'm not sure why you're mom won't drive you and Tiger to the vet since your neighbors are actually your relatives...???

It doesn't sound like Tiger will let you do too much to his paw since it's painful, but you can try cleaning it gently with warm water and Betadine solution. Let the Betadine (diluted on a cotton ball with a little water) sit on the wound for at least a few seconds before rinsing it off. Try to get a good look to see what's going on with the paw - is the skin broken?; does it feel abnormally warm? (a sign of infection), is there a lump under the skin?, etc.

If the paw is infected it may abscess and/or the infection may become systemic, depending on how nasty it is. Antibiotics are the only thing that will fight a bacterial infection and most vets will not dispense those without first examining the cat.

I know your post is not specifically about the fact that Tiger and the other cat are unneutered, and I don't have to point out to you the obvious problem of having an unneutered male and female cat. Since it sounds like you're already responsible for at least part of the cats' care, why not offer to get the cats neutered (or at least one of them) - Tiger's paw can be examined at the same time. See if there's a low cost spay/neuter program in your area and make the spay/neuter a gift to your relatives.

You could approach the subject by telling them how much aggravation this will help them avoid. If they don't neuter, they'll soon have their own cat population explosion. Neutering will prevent unwanted kittens who will inevitably make more unwanted kittens. Many of the kittens will be sick and die because of being inbred. Neutering will help keep Tiger and the other cat healthy and strong and able to perform their "barn cat" duties. I know I don't need to convince you of this, but you need to convince your relatives. With only two cats to neuter, this is a very easily remedied situation. Sorry to go on about this but I've seen the tragic consequences of cats who are allowed to keep having litter after litter of kittens.

Thank you for caring about Tiger - I'm glad you're looking out for him.
I don't know how old you are, but do you have a friend who would be willing to drive you and Tiger to the vet if your mom absolutely won't?
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
My mom won't drive me to the vet since she thinks that since they're not our cats I shouldn't worry about them, and no, I have no friends that are able to drive...otherwise both would have been already spayed and neutered. Claws (the female) is around eight-ten months old and hasn't gotten pregnant though, so if I'm not able to get her fixed I'm hoping somehow that she's infertile. I have a fairly good idea of how to convince them right now though - with my aunt I have to be extremely subtle, but I've managed to get them to take better care of their cats...adequate food, etc....by dropping little hints, and I think I might be able to get her spay Claws if I'm careful. I love these two like they're my own and it would really hurt to see Claws have to go through the multiple litter business that many barn cats have to suffer through. (Mine are all spayed/neutered - I am 110 pro spay and neuter.)

I'm going to head over there tomorrow morning and clean his paw, my aunt said I'm free to help him however I can. Thanks so much for the suggestion, I'll definitely try that. Oh, and it's not open, which was why I was thinking it was possible a bee sting.

Thanks for the lovely reply!
post #4 of 18
Hi, you are in a bit of a position here really. I was wondering if your Mothers reservation of taking you to the vet is the due to the fact that she doesn't want to be lumbered with the vet bill if there is something wrong? A suggestion could be that maybe if you rang an animal welfare centre in your area and see if you could have any financial support under the circumstances? Even if it was just a check to assess whats up. I am not sure of any organisations that might be in your area though. It's just a thought, if you could look online and call. Good on you for looking after them as best you can in the circumstances and all the best.
post #5 of 18
Aww... thank you for caring about this poor kitty. Please give us an update on how he is doing. Sending prayers your way
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Update: I think it's broken, and there's no possibility of getting him to the vet for it. I know it's preferable, but my uncle wouldn't care if he died and says cats are a dime a dozen...so there's no way he'll get there. Is it at all possible to bind/splint the leg so it would mend on its own? My aunt would have a fair idea of how to do it as she's a nurse (I know vet care is much more preferable though!)

Thanks so much for your vibes. It really, really hurts knowing that he's in pain and I can't get proper care for him.
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cocoalily View Post
Update: I think it's broken, and there's no possibility of getting him to the vet for it. I know it's preferable, but my uncle wouldn't care if he died and says cats are a dime a dozen...so there's no way he'll get there. Is it at all possible to bind/splint the leg so it would mend on its own? My aunt would have a fair idea of how to do it as she's a nurse (I know vet care is much more preferable though!)

Thanks so much for your vibes. It really, really hurts knowing that he's in pain and I can't get proper care for him.

I was going to PM you about this, but I see that unfortunately, you have no contact info.

If you are willing to pay for Tiger's vet care, there has to be a way to get him to the vet. If your mom, friends, and relatives can't or won't drive you, is it possible to go to the vet by bus or taxi? If not, contact the local humane society, shelters, or rescue groups - tell them about your predicament. See if they have a volunteer or employee who lives in your area who would be willing to drive you to the vet. Offer to pay for gas. Call the vet too, and find out if anyone on staff lives near you.

Also put a thread in the "SOS" forum asking if any TCS members live in your area (I know there are others from MN on here) and could help you get to the vet. Ask the mods if you could put this same thread in "The Cat Lounge" too since lots of members will see it there. If you can't contact a moderator, let me know and I'll help you with that.
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KTLynn View Post
I was going to PM you about this, but I see that unfortunately, you have no contact info.
I'm not allowed to use the PM system since I'm a minor - it's a bummer sometimes, bu there's your asnwer as to why I'm not able to recieve any PMs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KTLynn View Post
If you are willing to pay for Tiger's vet care, there has to be a way to get him to the vet. If your mom, friends, and relatives can't or won't drive you, is it possible to go to the vet by bus or taxi? If not, contact the local humane society, shelters, or rescue groups - tell them about your predicament. See if they have a volunteer or employee who lives in your area who would be willing to drive you to the vet. Offer to pay for gas. Call the vet too, and find out if anyone on staff lives near you.
I can pay for some of it, but I'm 14 and that means very low amount of money coming from my side. I'll definitely be calling around though to see what the costs are, but even if I have the means to pay for his care by myself, my mom won't drive me - in her opinion Tiger isn't our cat so we shouldn't need to worry about anything that happens to him. Fortunatly my view is completely different...since they don't take adequate care of their cats, I suppose it's up to me to.

I'm going to work on my dad to bring me - while he's not a large animal person, he's more open-minded about things like this and if there was a choice between me taking the bus or him driving me he'd rather drive me.

Quote:
Also put a thread in the "SOS" forum asking if any TCS members live in your area (I know there are others from MN on here) and could help you get to the vet. Ask the mods if you could put this same thread in "The Cat Lounge" too since lots of members will see it there. If you can't contact a moderator, let me know and I'll help you with that.
I'm afraid this is out of the question - while I trust most people on TCS, my parents are very close-minded about even possibly meeting someone they/I have met over the internet. If they were more open-minded (or if I were older) I would have posted there, originally.

On Monday I'll start calling clinics. Non in my area are open on Sunday or at this time of day on Saturday. Monday I'll be able to reach them though.

Thanks so much for your help and support, KTLynn...I'm praying that I'll be able to get Tiger to a vet ASAP!
post #9 of 18
Cocoalily, you fooled me - I knew you were a young person, but I figured you for a high school junior or senior! My apologies - I would not have suggested the SOS or Cat Lounge threads if I'd known exactly how young you are.

I also apologize in advance for this reply - it's a long one.

You're probably way ahead of me on this, but I think that all you can do is to sit down with whichever parent you think will be the most receptive to your desire to help Tiger. Pick a moment when they're relaxed and in a good mood. You're obviously a mature and articulate young lady for your age, so speak with your mom or dad as calmly as possible. Tell them you appreciate the values and morals they've instilled in you. They've given you the privilege of having 4 cats of your own. This has taught you kindness, and responsibility, not just to your own cats, but to any innocent animal who needs help.

Perhaps you could explain to them how distressing it is for you to see Tiger in obvious pain. No one will take responsibility for him, though physically and (I'm assuming this to be true) financially your aunt and uncle could help him. At this point, Tiger can be considered a cat who belongs to no one, since his injury and pain are being ignored. For someone like you who loves cats, this is terrible to see. You can't just ignore him.

Maybe if you told your parents how much it would mean to you to help him, they would understand. Offer to give up privileges - an allowance that could be put toward Tiger's vet care, for example. Tell them you'll do extra chores. Let them know that you'll be happy to forget about the new CDs, jeans, or anything else you've been wanting as long as you can get Tiger to the vet. If your parents see how much more important Tiger's care is to you than anything else you may have wanted for yourself, it may help them understand how deeply you feel about helping him.

Tell your parents that you'll be so grateful if they let you help Tiger that you'll remember this for the rest of your life, and someday will pass on this lesson in kindness to your own children.

From what you've written, I think that even if you convince your parents to help Tiger, you may have to be satisfied with just getting his paw taken care of. I don't think they'll agree to much more than that, so I'm afraid that neutering him will not be feasible. I hope I'm wrong, because it would be wonderful, of course, if you could get that done at the same time. The procedure is only about 15-20 minutes and is far less money than a spay. At this point, just getting Tiger to the vet will be a major accomplishment.

Your parents should be very proud of you. You're an exceptional young lady. My fingers are crossed for you & Tiger that you'll get him the care he needs.
All good wishes and blessings to you both.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
KTLynn, thank you so much for responding again! I'm currently waiting for my dad to come home and I'll ask him then - meanwhile I'm going to see if I can get over to see Tiger and take another look at his paw. Even if it is healing I'm still going to see if I can get him to the vet, but I don't have my hopes up.

Instead of getting Tiger neutered, do you think it'd be best to try get claws spayed? There are other unneutered male cats around, and I have a gut feeling that while she's not pregnant now she will be soon (I've seen two males so far, one definitely unneutered, the other most likely unneutered, and one that I don't know whether it's male or female) - that's not counting Tiger, either. I also think I could possibly be able to convince my dad to bring let me bring her in to get spayed if I tell him how my cousins would treat the kittens if Claws ended up getting pregnant. At the moment I'm thinking Tiger is infertile though as he's been around several unspayed female cats and none of them have ended up pregnant despite the fact that they were well over six months. (The only unspayed female that I know of in my area right now is Claws - my female is spayed and the other is RIP I'm not worried about more litters being born.)

I'm going to try all of the ideas you suggested, and although I'm not a very needy person, they should help. Again, thank you! If you weren't here trying to help me (and Tiger) through this mess no doubt he'd never be to the vet.

Oh, and it's funny that you said that you thought I was older - many people seem to think that before I tell them my real age. I take it as a compliment...in my opinion tending to sound older is better than sounding younger!
post #11 of 18
Cocoalilly,

I am so sorry to hear of your situation, and absolutely applaud your kindness. I also have some relatives who felt the same way about cats as your uncle. It's frustrating when an animal person just can't get their point across to someone who doesn't regard animals as highly.

Do your best to persuade your parents to help out. Perhaps a parent of one of your friends could drive you to a low-cost clinic. After explaining the circumstances to the clinic/animal welfare agency and discussing it with your parents, of course. Maybe a solution can be agreed upon.

Wishing you the best of luck -- and bless your heart!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cocoalily View Post
Update: I think it's broken, and there's no possibility of getting him to the vet for it. I know it's preferable, but my uncle wouldn't care if he died and says cats are a dime a dozen...so there's no way he'll get there. Is it at all possible to bind/splint the leg so it would mend on its own? My aunt would have a fair idea of how to do it as she's a nurse (I know vet care is much more preferable though!)

Thanks so much for your vibes. It really, really hurts knowing that he's in pain and I can't get proper care for him.
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cocoalily View Post
I also think I could possibly be able to convince my dad to bring let me bring her in to get spayed if I tell him how my cousins would treat the kittens if Claws ended up getting pregnant. (The only unspayed female that I know of in my area right now is Claws - my female is spayed and the other is RIP I'm not worried about more litters being born.)
if you can only do one or the other, i'd go for the spay - unspayed females can sometimes develop pyometra [not to mention oodles of kittens!] altho that's more common in females that go in & out of heat w/o pregnancy.
post #13 of 18
Abby, I'll be very glad if anything I wrote turns out to be helpful.

I'm surprised you asked about getting Claws spayed, because I thought there was no chance of that, but yes, if I *had* to choose, I would get her spayed rather than have Tiger neutered. Just wondering about the other "unspayed females" you mentioned - what happened to them?

I'm also curious as to how your aunt and uncle acquired Tiger & Claws. Did the cats just wander onto their property at some point? Are the cats allowed to stay in your aunt's house at all? It sounds like Tiger is friendly, how about Claws? You'd also mentioned something that sounding disturbing, regarding how your cousins would treat any kittens that Claws might have. Do you know if your cousins are cruel to the cats in any way right now?

I hope this doesn't come down to a choice between getting Tiger's paw examined, or having Claws spayed. Another thing I can suggest is to do a Google search to find some local animal/cat rescue organizations who *may* be willing to bring Claws and/or Tiger to the vet. You can also call the local vets/animal hospitals and ask if they can recommend an individual or group who helps cats. Many times organizations work with local vets at special discounts for medical care. If you explain your situation to them, they might help. Let them know from the start that you're willing to contribute in any way you can - either by helping to get Claws or Tiger into a carrier and ready to go to the vet, or with a monetary contribution towards the cost of vet care.

I hope Tiger is ok - I feel bad knowing his paw hurts him.

Good for you for being so persistent. And as always, best of luck and lots of good wishes to you, Tiger & Claws.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Tiger and Claws are allowed to live there - they're supposed to catch mice. I don't condone getting cats just for being live mouse traps, but this was what they got them for (from a neighboring female's litter). Tiger is a year and a half, around there, and claws is around eight months. The female that Claws came from is spayed now thankfully. As for the other females, one was my girl Twix (before I realized spaying was the only way to go) and the other was Tiger's sister, Sally - she disappeared around a month after they got her.

No, they aren't - I've talked the issue over with them (the kids) and they understand now that Tiger and Claws have to be treated nicely. However, I'm worried about young kittens with them...cute new baby animals are always a temptation to hold, and kids don't always know what is and is not the correct way to treat them.

I really hope it doesn't come down to that either. I have no idea what I'd choose - probably getting Claws spayed would be the way to go, depending on how Tiger's paw is doing now (I wasn't able to make it over to check it over today, and yesterday he wasn't around when I looked for him).

I'm a step ahead of you I've been google searching low cost vet facilities and places like you were describing already, but the closest one I found was an hour and a half away from where I live and there's no way I'd be able to get my dad to drive me there. However, the vet I go to has reasonable vet prices - 60 for a neuter, 90 for a spay - that's not a terrible price, though of course it'd be nice if it were lower. As my mom is out of town I've been helping out around the house more and haven't found the right time to talk to my dad about getting Tiger to the vet, but I have mentioned it in passing a few times and he hasn't really said much about it.

Thank you all for the thoughts - I'm doing my best to get care for Tiger and Claws - let's just hope I can soon!
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Update: good news on Tiger's paw! There's no soreness left, the swelling is gone, and he's walking on it beautifully again. I'll keep an eye on it, but I don't need to bring him in to the vet in the mean time.

Now to work on getting Claws in to be spayed.
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cocoalily View Post
Update: good news on Tiger's paw! There's no soreness left, the swelling is gone, and he's walking on it beautifully again. I'll keep an eye on it, but I don't need to bring him in to the vet in the mean time.

Now to work on getting Claws in to be spayed.

Great news about Tiger!!! I felt terrible about him possibly being in pain all this time, so I'm very relieved to hear that his paw seems to be alright now.

Abby, continue to try to find a local rescue group who may be willing to pick up Claws and take her to the vet for a spay. *Sometimes*, depending on their funding and/or proximity to where you live, they *may* come to you. It's not normally what a rescue group would do - usually they will help by connecting you with a low cost vet and/or lending humane traps for feral kitties and teaching you how to trap. But because of your unique situation, they may make an exception. Most towns, even tiny ones, will have a resident or two who have taken it upon themselves to rescue or TNR (trap/neuter/return) local felines. If you haven't already done so, do call all of your local vets and ask the receptionist if they know of someone like that whom they can refer you to.

Also take a look at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary website (they're a wonderful no-kill shelter in Utah, the largest in the US) www.bestfriends.org
They used to have a national list of people who help/rescue animals. You might want to contact them about your situation and see if they have some suggestions.

Another one to see is www.alleycat.org Though this organization is dedicated to helping feral cats, (and I know Claws isn't feral) they have a Feral Friends Network of people all over the US who help outside kitties. Maybe there is someone in your area who belongs to the network who would be willing to help.

Fingers (still) crossed that you can convince your parents to let you get Claws spayed.
And please give Tiger a hug from me!
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Update - good news and bad news. While I still am not sure if I can get Claws spayed, I certainly will take a look at those links! They sound really helpful.

Now onto the bad news. My aunt and uncle are very possibly moving. That's terrible because as I'm not old enough to get a job they're my only source of income (babysitting). However, it would mean that I'd be able to take in Tiger and Clawsto live with me and my cats, which would mean they would both be spayed and neutered - it's both my and my mom's policy I'm not positive that my parents would go for two more cats...however, I'm fairly sure I'd be able to take them. (If I didn't I know my aunt and uncle would take them to the local animal shelter which. I know it isn't preferable but it's better than being left behind by themselves.)

Thank you everyone who's been reading this topic, whether you've posted or not. It helps knowing that Tiger and Claws are in people's thoughts.

I'll update again as soon as I have more facts.
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cocoalily View Post
Now onto the bad news. My aunt and uncle are very possibly moving. That's terrible because as I'm not old enough to get a job they're my only source of income (babysitting). However, it would mean that I'd be able to take in Tiger and Clawsto live with me and my cats, which would mean they would both be spayed and neutered - it's both my and my mom's policy I'm not positive that my parents would go for two more cats...however, I'm fairly sure I'd be able to take them. (If I didn't I know my aunt and uncle would take them to the local animal shelter which. I know it isn't preferable but it's better than being left behind by themselves.)
Abby, I have to say that losing your source of income is a pretty good trade off for having Tiger & Claws come to live with you! I truly hope that this will happen - you'd be a great mom to them!

If unfortunately your parents don't permit this, then I agree with you that taking the kitties to the shelter is a far better option than leaving them behind to fend for themselves. At least they will be cared for, and have a chance at being adopted. Some shelters have better reputations than others; they usually have waiting lists. If you know for sure you won't be able to take Tiger and Claws, encourage your aunt and uncle to put the cats on the list ASAP.

You've been doing a terrific job of keeping us updated.
Sending lots of good thoughts and prayers that you'll be able to bring Tiger and Claws home!
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