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Kitten Vs. Cactus

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
My friend called today saying he found a kitten trapped in a GIANT cactus bush. I picked the kitty up and the poor thing is literally covered with cactus spines...and fleas.

I've bathed her which made the spines easier to take out and I managed to get out most of the ones covering her back with a light and tweezers after a few hours. But she still has a fair amount in the pads of her paws, legs, and belly.

Is there an easier way to get these spines out? I'm picked up a flea comb tomorrow to help with the fleas-would that catch some of the spines?
post #2 of 12
Hey, it might be a better plan to take her to a vet, just to ensure that all the spines are out (and not risk infection) and because it's possible a few have broken off under the skin. With a flea comb, there is a risk you could accidently push spines further in whilst combing her.
post #3 of 12
please take this kitten to an ER vet - it is got to be in extreme pain... it needs to be sedated in order for all the spines to be removed...
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
I took her to the humane society right after I picked her up. I have her on some antibiotics just in case of infection.

She doesn't appear to be in that much pain, she had no complaints other then purring and licking me against the removing of the stickers. I should clearify too...they're not the large spines, but smaller. She's eating, drinking, and sleeping.
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by shorty View Post
I took her to the humane society right after I picked her up. I have her on some antibiotics just in case of infection.

She doesn't appear to be in that much pain, she had no complaints other then purring and licking me against the removing of the stickers. I should clearify too...they're not the large spines, but smaller. She's eating, drinking, and sleeping.
Thanks for taking her in - just so you know, purring is a major sign of pain... Cats purr out of pleasure, but also from pain and stress... Just to clarify
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinalima View Post
Thanks for taking her in - just so you know, purring is a major sign of pain... Cats purr out of pleasure, but also from pain and stress... Just to clarify
That is a scary tid bit of information. Wouldn't she be struggling to get away from me then if she was in that much pain? She just sat there while I did my best to get them out of her. She seems more comfortable now and purrs whenever I walk into the room and say 'hello.'

I'm going to give her another bath tomorrow and call the Human Society vet and see what she says. I'm doing the best I can for her right now-it's pretty hard taking in rescues as a college student.

She's in a warm bathroom right now with blankets, toys, food, water, and litter box. She's still crawling with fleas even after her bath today. Also, if I keep her quarantined the whole time from my other two male cats is there still a risk of passing fleas to them?
post #7 of 12
When you took her to HS, the didn't take the remaining spines from her? They didn't do anything? Just gave you the antibiotics and sent you home??? You think there is still stuff on her?
Yes, fleas will jump from her onto the floor, carpet, than into the nearest warm body - hers, or another kitten...
How old is she? Can she be treated for fleas? Is she old enough? I strongly advise treating the other kitties, to be on the safe side. Ask the vet tomorrow about treating her for fleas - you don't want an infestation at your house, and fleas can make her sick too... No matter what you do, don't use the supermarket stuff, and stay away from flea collars. Maybe the HS can sell you frontline for really cheap...
I understand how hard it is.... Thank you so much for doing this!!
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by shorty View Post
That is a scary tid bit of information. Wouldn't she be struggling to get away from me then if she was in that much pain? She just sat there while I did my best to get them out of her.
"One theory is that it is not a sign of showing love but attempting friendship, for example, when a cat is nervous (at a Vet perhaps) it may purr to avoid being hurt."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purr
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
People shouldn't get thanked for simply doing the right thing. : ) Plus I love doing it!

HS was just about to close as I rushed in, the vet had already left. They looked her over and didn't think she was in immediate danger, but I'm still getting her checked out. If anything they can help me remove the stickers and slightly sedate her to make it easier.

I used a natural flea wash on her, she's probably about 7-8 weeks. It has cedar oils, and other tea tree oils safe to use on youngsters. She's only been in the bathroom so I think the chance of fleas getting around the house are somewhat down. And the neighbor who found him ( who happens to be my landlord) has been nice enough to have my carpets cleaned and pay for any flea repellents/killers I need for the house. And keeping all a secret from his boss
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by shorty View Post
I used a natural flea wash on her, she's probably about 7-8 weeks. It has cedar oils, and other tea tree oils safe to use on youngsters.
Cats are extremely sensitive to essential oils, because they're such a small animal even small amounts can make them very sick or kill them. Tea tree oil is well known as not being safe for cat use - I have no idea about cedar, but it can't be good for a baby. I suggest you rewash the the kitten in plain old blue Dawn dish detergent to remove those oils. If you can consult a vet, even call, to make sure this didn't do more harm than good it would be a good idea.
There have been a few threads lately for safe and cheaper flea control options if you care to poke around the care and grooming section.

ETA: I double checked and, yes, cedar oil is highly toxic to cats. Both are absorbed through the skin as well as being licked off so you really should consult a vet ASAP.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Took kitten to the vet yesterday, everything looks great.

I've gotten almost all the stickers out of her, she seems much more comfortable. I asked if the flea treatment I bought was okay to use and they said it was perfectly fine, even when I brought up the oil question. I'm guessing that because it's in such low concentrations that it is safe for the kitten.

But they helped me out and gave the little girl some kitten flea treatment, and even gave me some Advantage for FREE for my two resident cats just in case.

She's going to her forever home soon-which happens to be the apartment next to mine lol.
post #12 of 12
A bit about tea tree oil. As also mentioned on that page, vets do not always know that it is bad. I hope there's no ill effects from it but I suggest you don't risk using it on any cats any the future.

You got lucky with the free Advantage! Good luck with her potential home - I hope that works out, too.
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