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Infected claw

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I've posted this somewhere else, but can't find it.

Cuddles, 6 month old neutered tom, isn't cleaning his claws. He was getting clay litter and fecal matter/urine caked around the claws, and they were red and very infected at the cuticles, some with puss.

I was soaking them once a day and removing the buildup, and then treating with hydrogen peroxide solution, then drying, rinsing, and applying Neosporin (without pain meds). His claws were improving greatly, but he still wouldn't clean them. WHich of course was prolonging the infection and preventing it from fully going away.

So, I tried a new approach. If the litter was the root of the problem, why not try changing that? I switched to Arm and Hammer Essentials. It's a corn based litter, and it actually works REALLY well. It's a clumping litter, but it doesn't get sticky like clay does. It might track a bit more than clay, but it doesn't stick to his claws, and what clings to him falls off quickly, after 3 steps or so.

His claws are looking a lot better, and I'm thinking about getting him declawed, only because he REFUSES to take care of his claws. Anyone have any other ideas?
post #2 of 13
If his claws are looking a lot better, why are you even considering a declaw? This is an anti-declawing site as we consider declawing as inhumane to say the least. Declawing can cause other issues such as refusing to use the litter box at all because the cat associates the litter box with pain after the operation. Some cats resort to being biters.

I'll repeat what I say in every declawing thread, and that is when any human thinking of declawing their cat will allow me to cut off each and every one of their fingers to the first knuckle, then talk to me about declaw after I've done my cutting.

Kittens learn from their mothers and if your kitten was taken from his mother too soon, she didn't have a chance to teach him how to groom himself and his claws. Keep up the good work of cleaning/treating his paws and perhaps when they are all healed he will start cleaning them himself.
post #3 of 13
Have you talked to your vet about the problem?

IMO - if you declaw him won't solve the problem, as he still won't clean his toes - you'll just have the litter & junk building up without the claws there. (and actually it might just increase his risk of infecting & complication post declaw because he doesn't clean them)
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
That's what I was wondering, if whether declawing would make it better or worse. As for being taken too soon -- HA! I still have his mother, Loudmouth, and it's a struggle to keep him or his two (finally spayed) sisters from nursing from her. The two girls have no problems taking care of their feet. I think Cuddles is just Lazy.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
and no, I haven't had a chance for the vet to look at him, and they don't really wanna say anything over the phone. So I'm waiting til his upcoming apt.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Here's another idea, and since my vet seems to be COMPLETELY air-headed, I want some advice from dedicated cat people. (read -- cat slaves) I've found some nail caps in a pet supply magazine. They are vinyl, I think, and come in different colors or clear. Basicly, you trim the kitty's claws, apply a bit of glue then the cap, and it keeps the nails dull and keeps them from scratching anything too. I was wondering, does anyone use these? And also, does anyone think these will help with his claw infections by providing a barrier, or just make things worse? ANy advice would be great.
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamhainBorn View Post
His claws are looking a lot better, and I'm thinking about getting him declawed, only because he REFUSES to take care of his claws. Anyone have any other ideas?
WHAT????
I am assuming you know that declaw is AMPUTATION? A VERY PAINFUL and CRUEL procedure??? that can result in lifelong behavior issues???

The problem with peroxide is that it also burns healthy tissue, sometimes making the problem worst. Try using Colloidal Silver instead, and NOT putting neosporin, so no litter sticks onto the paws, and the cuticles breath, allowing it to heal better. You clean the wound with an wound wash (you can buy at any pharmacy, it is like a saline solution, very mild), dry it, and apply colloidal silver - liquid, not ointment. This is the one I use - it is GREAT http://www.evitaminstore.com/Colloid...PPM-31166.html

Do NOT use Soft Claws (the glue on nail caps) for this issue - it should not be use on inflamed nails.
post #8 of 13
I hope his nails continue to get better! I'm with everyone else: DON'T DECLAW, please!! I hope the litter continues to be a success! I've thought about using one of the more natural types of litter (wheat or corn) myself, just to see if it works as well as the clumping clay stuff that I've always used. I'm sure it is probably healthier for the feet (and the noses!). I wouldn't even consider declawing though, because aside from the fact that it is a horrible thing to have done to a cat (IMO), it will only compound your problems and possibly add additional problems like not wanting to even use the litterbox! (poor little toes!!!) Best of luck!
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Now that everyone is convinced I'm a terrible evil person...

I am usually very very against unnecessary ear trimming and tail docking in cats or dogs, and against declawing. I do not think these procedures should be done for vanity's sake, but sometimes it's Medically necessary.

All the same, Snip and Tip procedures for feral cats is a lot more humane to me than catching the same terrified feral 100 times because you can't tell it's been altered. Sometimes a cat will have an injury to its tail and needs to have the tail docked, as well. Again, a Medical procedure.

The fact that his feet stay infected was the ONLY reason I was considering it. I realized there were risks involved, but until I tried the new litter, I wasn't seeing many alternatives or treatment options.

His little paws are looking much better everyday, and since I've changed the litter, he now only has one little claw that is inflamed, but no longer any puss or ooze. As soon as everything is healed up, do you think it would be ok to use those nail caps?
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamhainBorn View Post
Now that everyone is convinced I'm a terrible evil person...

I am usually very very against unnecessary ear trimming and tail docking in cats or dogs, and against declawing. I do not think these procedures should be done for vanity's sake, but sometimes it's Medically necessary.

All the same, Snip and Tip procedures for feral cats is a lot more humane to me than catching the same terrified feral 100 times because you can't tell it's been altered. Sometimes a cat will have an injury to its tail and needs to have the tail docked, as well. Again, a Medical procedure.

The fact that his feet stay infected was the ONLY reason I was considering it. I realized there were risks involved, but until I tried the new litter, I wasn't seeing many alternatives or treatment options.

His little paws are looking much better everyday, and since I've changed the litter, he now only has one little claw that is inflamed, but no longer any puss or ooze. As soon as everything is healed up, do you think it would be ok to use those nail caps?
Honestly, I personally would rather see someone clip nails than use nail caps. I say that and maybe I'm just ill-informed, but I don't believe in fake nails on women either. Too many people have gotten bad infections from unsanitary salons. I would think that if your kittie is prone to claw infections, those nail caps may well cause infections to get worse. That's just my opinion though and I have no proof to back it up.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
You could be right. I talked to the vet about it, who gave him a steroid and an antibiotic shot, and she says it's really about 50/50 on whether it could help or hurt.

It could either put a protective coating on the outside of the claws, and possibly cause him to groom his claws more, since there's something funny there. (Though I doubt it because there was plenty of "something funny" there--which is why he got the infections to begin with)

Or.

If his claws aren't 100% infection free, or if the glue comes loose and something gets between the cap and his claw, he could get an even worse infection and I wouldn't know.

So. Still in a no-win situation. And this kitty is costing me a fortune. Anyone have any idea of any other ways I could help him? Other than washing his paws everyday, which he's finally getting used to...
post #12 of 13
Here are my thoughts. First decalwing is never the answer, but I won't rehash that.( Except to say that "snip and clip" is not even remotely the same thing, there is no comparison between a neuter/ taking a snip out of the ear under anesthesia and amputation/mutilation of a cat's toes.)

The nail caps are not a good idea because stuff can get under them and fester.

My recommendation is that you keep Cuddles's nails trimmed, and simply clean them for him once a day. It can be a special bonding time for the two of you, and will keep his nails in good condition. He may even take over from you eventually, but I see nothing wrong with just making nail cleaning part of your daily routine with him.

And I agree about the peroxide breaking down tissue. It's okay to use in an initial infection to keep bacteria, but not for more than a day or two.
post #13 of 13
You have to make sure the litter box is kept sparkly clean, too, since him walking in fecal/urine is what is causing the problem.
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