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Cat Abcess On Paw, Cannot Go To Vet

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I cannot go to the vet with my cat. I simply cannot afford the cost in my current state of living, so please do not suggest that I consult my vet. I can't.
Anyways, I have a young, male cat who gets into fights with the neighborhood kitties. He usually just comes home with some cuts (hes an outside cat, he can't stand my dogs) that heal up in a few days. But, one day his paw swelled up, and got so he could not walk on it. Then, it went away and he was fine.
This has happened about 3 times.
But this last time, an 'abcess' formed on his paw, and has not gone away. The fur is getting gross between his pads, but when I go to inspect it, he bites and claws. Is there a way to calm him down, or sedate him enough so I can get to it?
post #2 of 18
First: Have someone help you. Get a big thick towel and wrap him tightly in it (cover the teeth as well) only leave out the paw you want to see. He will NOT be happy about this, but since you have no access to vet care to sedate him, this is your best choice.

Next, you can use hydrogen peroxide to clean out the wound. This works as well as alcohol but doesn't burn. It will bubble up, and that means it is doing it's job. Once the bubbling slows down, gently wipe the foot and try to see if the infection is down to the bone. If it is, you really,really,really need to try to get him to a vet. Most vets will except payments over a period of time for an acute infection which could be life threatening or limb threatening to remain untreated.

If the infection is still on the surface, use antibiotic ointment that you can buy over the counter neosporin. (Do NOT use triple antibiotic, it is NOT SAFE FOR CATS!) Use neosporin on the foot. This is safe even if he ingests some of it.

Hope this helps, Tamera
post #3 of 18
Nothing we can tell you can replace adequate vet care unfortunately. What Tamera said can help, but your cat most likely needs antibiotics to fight the infection.

If you can't afford vet care, you really need to consider pet insurance - you can get it pretty cheap and it will help in these situations.
post #4 of 18
Having seen an abscess untreated - IMO there is nothing you can do for it that will replace the medical care he needs from a vet. And it is possible that the resulting infection from the abscess will kill him.

I know that's probably not what you want to hear - but I had a kitty disappear for 2-3 days. He came back with the abscess, and almost died because it hadn't been treated.
post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
Having seen an abscess untreated - IMO there is nothing you can do for it that will replace the medical care he needs from a vet. And it is possible that the resulting infection from the abscess will kill him.

I know that's probably not what you want to hear - but I had a kitty disappear for 2-3 days. He came back with the abscess, and almost died because it hadn't been treated.

From experience, my Freya doesn't had to have her tail amputated at 8 months old because she was stray and had an untreated abscess.

Tamera's suggestion will likely help, but if it's come back a few times already it's very likely you cat will need antibiotics to completely beat that infection.

Sorry, I know that's not what you wanted to hear.
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhenidelirium View Post
Anyways, I have a young, male cat who gets into fights with the neighborhood kitties.
Is this cat neutered? If not, and you cannot afford to do this you should probably consider rehoming or turning him over to a rescue that will do so - and see to his infection. If your male isn't neutered and is left intact he will keep fighting and every time he gets in a fight there's the chance he could get something like FIV.

Since you mention that the abscess in the paw keeps coming back I wonder if there could be something IN the paw? A broken off tooth, some foreign material picked up from running around outside, a claw growing wrong? It really needs vet treatment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
I know that's probably not what you want to hear - but I had a kitty disappear for 2-3 days. He came back with the abscess, and almost died because it hadn't been treated.
I had a childhood cat die this way. He sprayed so my father wouldn't allow him inside and didn't like him. When he came home with a terrible neck wound that needed vet care my father refused. All it would have taken is some TLC and antibiotics from the vet - me cleaning it up, with the cat not being allowed inside, wasn't enough to save him. Just one of those little things I'll never completely forgive...
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
Is this cat neutered? If not, and you cannot afford to do this you should probably consider rehoming or turning him over to a rescue that will do so - and see to his infection. If your male isn't neutered and is left intact he will keep fighting and every time he gets in a fight there's the chance he could get something like FIV.

Since you mention that the abscess in the paw keeps coming back I wonder if there could be something IN the paw? A broken off tooth, some foreign material picked up from running around outside, a claw growing wrong? It really needs vet treatment.


I was going to ask the same thing.

Even if your cat is neutered, he's still obviously getting into trouble by being allowed outside. Making him an indoor-only kitty would keep him healthier and safer, and would certainly prevent situations like the one you're in now. Less worry is always a good thing.

If you have a regular vet for your cat, call the office and see if a payment plan can be worked out, as another member has suggested. It's possible that the cost for treatment will be affordable. Also call local shelters and humane organizations - ask if they can recommend any vets who may offer discounted medical services. If you have a local university with a vet school, they may offer greatly reduced or even free care.

Your vet may prescribe a course of antibiotics for you to give without an office visit, but he'd have to guess at which one would be effective, since he hasn't been able to examine your cat. From what you're describing, it sounds like the wound/abcess needs to be thoroughly cleaned out, and the paw and leg examined to see if the infection is spreading.

From the sad example strange_wings gave about her childhood cat, you can see how serious such a wound can become.

I hope you'll be able to get your cat the help he needs. Best of luck to you & your kitty.
post #8 of 18
I know what it's like to not be able to afford good vetrinary care for your animals, but no one here can replace the care of a well qualified vetrinarian.

Knowing that you can't afford it, is there any way you can call around and perhaps find some charities or a vet willing to work cheap or free? Sometimes if you explain your situation they will sympathise and help out. Maybe try looking for a FELINE ONLY vet, since they specialize in cats (in my experience) they often sympathise more with owners on a tight budget.

Another thing you *should* do is keep your cat indoors. I know not everyone has the same opinions on these things, but it is a scientific known fact that indoor cats have a longer lifespan than those who are outdoor. Also, an indoor cat is far less likely to suffer from even minor injuries.

If your cat is not comfortable around the dogs, designate a room for the cat and put up a gate that he can clear but the dogs cannot. Sometimes your happiness has to be compromised for the wellbeing of your animals, and it sounds to me that when it comes right down to the nitty gritty...You chose your dogs over your cat and therefore your cat may be happier if he was rehomed. Have you ever considered a friend or relative in a dog-free home that may want to take him in? This way you can still see and visit him and know that he is in a much less stressful environment.

Sometimes the answers aren't what we want to hear, but they are what we need to hear. And the fact is that you can perform basic medical treatment on your cat as AlaskaKatz stated, but if that doesn't help he will need vet care, sooner or later he will need it, and a responsible owner finds a way or makes the impossible decision to rehome their pets to someone who can afford the care.
post #9 of 18
Sorry, but I doubt if any of the members here will not tell you to see a vet. An abcess is nothing to mess with and in order to debreed it, you have to know what you are doing and have a strong stomach besides. Peroxide will burn that is what the bubbling is and the tissue is already inflamed so peroxide is not the way to go. Your cat needs the right antibiotic, a vet to debreed the wound and clean it out. He could be running a fever as well hard to say if you can't apparently get close enough to him to treat him. Abcesses quickly lead to secondary infections and yes, even can lead to death if left untreated. Please get your cat to the vet- I am certainly one who knows about the cost of vets, but I also know about the dangers of abscesses. I clean my own but only because a vet taught me how to do it step by step. I then call my vet who sends me the antibiotic needed to stop the infection. Don't mess around with this, not if you really care about your cat.
post #10 of 18
If you know your cat is becoming injured outdoors, and you can't afford vet care, it seems that the logical solution would be to keep him indoors. Abcesses can get quite bad. We had an indoor/outdoor cat who nearly died from the infection. He was an indoor cat after that.

ETA: I just read the bit about your cat not getting along with your dogs, and agree that perhaps you should partition off a section of your home where kitty can be alone. It may be inconvenient, but it isn't imposible.

If you don't have money for a vet, try calling around the local vet clinic and ask if you might qualify for any programs? I read somewhere that AAHA member vets can apply for some sort of funding on your behalf. Maybe ask about a payment plan?

(You could always sell some of your things for extra cash, offer to do odd jobs, recycle, etc. Recycling is a good way to get some extra cash, especially if you can get friends, family, and neighbors, to save some of their bottles and cans for you. I've raised hundreds of dollars that way.)

Your cat really should see a vet.
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhenidelirium View Post
The fur is getting gross between his pads, but when I go to inspect it, he bites and claws. Is there a way to calm him down, or sedate him enough so I can get to it?
Odds are that he bites and claws because it is hurting him a LOT. Poor baby.

Yes, money is tight, for most of us..... but if it is so tight for you that you can't afford to get your baby into the vet, then please do the right thing and either talk to a vet about a payment plan or sign him over to someone who can see that he gets vet treatment. See if there is a no-kill shelter near you, or a rescue group that can help.

Good luck, I hope you can get the help for your kitty that he needs.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
See, the abcess is on the underside of the paw, not on the top.
And, today, I finally got close enough and made an inscision on it. All that came out was blood, lots of it, which I cleaned out. I tried to get another look, but he ran off. And, yes, Im trying to convince my mother to figure out a payment plan to get him to the vet. No, he is not neutered, Im waiting for the Neuter Commuter van to come into my town again. Should be soon Okay, is there a way to wrap it so I can stop him from getting dirt into it, and keep the medicine on it (Once he comes back home again)? I feel horrible that he has this injury, I know it is my/my familys responsibility to keep him healthy. He was a stray who wondered up and stuck around. Ive tried rehoming him to someone who wanted barn cats, but they said they wouldnt take males. So maybe when hes neutered Ill call them up again. But, thanks for the help
post #13 of 18
Yes, there is a way to wrap it, but it must be done professionally. If you do not know exactly what you are doing your cat is on the way to serious, possibly fatal, blood poisoning from an infected wound that you have made worse. PLEASE find a way to get him to a vet.
post #14 of 18
You need to convince your parents that this cat should be seen by a vet. Not trying to be hard-nosed here, but I have been working with strays for a lot of years and have seen up close and personal so many abscesses. I also know what happens when they are treated by those who do not really know what they are doing, but they just want to help the animal. The best help you can get is to get the cat to a vet. Call some rescue organizations around you. I don't know what part of Florida you are in but I do know of several feral cat facilities that might help you out in return for you volunteering at their place. You are talking about $60.00 here- which most vets will do with a half up front and half in 30 days. Please do not wrap the paw and please do get this cat inside and keep him there until his neuter. Depending on how old he is, he may possibly be right now adding to the stray kitten problem in Florida which is already out of control.
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhenidelirium View Post
See, the abcess is on the underside of the paw, not on the top.
And, today, I finally got close enough and made an inscision on it. All that came out was blood, lots of it, which I cleaned out. I tried to get another look, but he ran off. And, yes, Im trying to convince my mother to figure out a payment plan to get him to the vet. No, he is not neutered, Im waiting for the Neuter Commuter van to come into my town again. Should be soon Okay, is there a way to wrap it so I can stop him from getting dirt into it, and keep the medicine on it (Once he comes back home again)? I feel horrible that he has this injury, I know it is my/my familys responsibility to keep him healthy. He was a stray who wondered up and stuck around. Ive tried rehoming him to someone who wanted barn cats, but they said they wouldnt take males. So maybe when hes neutered Ill call them up again. But, thanks for the help
That's a tough one. I lived with my mom when our indoor/outdoor cat required surgery for his abcess. She was of the opinion that cats should be outdoors, and was reluctant to spend a significant amount of money on the surgery he required. I know what it's like when money is tight, and how difficult it can be to convince a parent that vet care is a worthwhile way to spend limited funds.

I wish I could offer some better advice on treating the abcesses at home. When Grim had his surgery, they sliced open his hind quarters, scraped out the infection, and then stitched him back up. It was a pretty long incision, and they left a plastic tube sticking out either end. We had to squeeze some disinfectant (provided by the vet) at the top of the opening and it drained out the bottom. It seemes more complicated than anything I could have done at home.

Good luck. I hope things work out somehow, and you're able to get your kitty to a vet. (I really do think you should look into recycling as it's a quick and easy way to raise a little bit of money.)
post #16 of 18
Bottom Line:

GET YOUR CAT TO A VET!!!!!!!!!!
post #17 of 18
I found these websites with links to groups that might be able to help you get vet care for your cat. I haven't checked out the links on these pages, hopefully there's something in your area.

http://www.floridapets.net/petaid.html

http://www.hsus.org/pets/pet_care/tr...t.html#Florida
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snake_Lady View Post
Odds are that he bites and claws because it is hurting him a LOT. Poor baby.

Yes, money is tight, for most of us..... but if it is so tight for you that you can't afford to get your baby into the vet, then please do the right thing and either talk to a vet about a payment plan or sign him over to someone who can see that he gets vet treatment. See if there is a no-kill shelter near you, or a rescue group that can help.

Good luck, I hope you can get the help for your kitty that he needs.
I completely agree. Do you ever watch the SPCA programs on Animal Planet? If you do, you know that you can be charged with animal cruelty if your pet is suffering and you don't provide vet care. Being poor isn't an excuse. If you can't afford to care for your animals properly, you need to surrender them to a shelter that can provide care and a new home.

Call your local SPCA or Animal Shelter and ask for advice. Perhaps they have a low cost clinic or can refer you to one. Whatever you do, nothing is not an option. Your cat is suffering. Please take care of him as if he was your human child.
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