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Caring for cat after surgery

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Spoonty (11 yo.) was bitten by another cat on his face a few days ago which got infected very quickly and had to go in for major surgery, getting a lot of his face cut off. He has a drain pipe coming out the side of his head and one of those big plastic collars around his neck to stop him rubbing it. I can't stand seeing him like this, but that's not the point of this post.

What I'm worried about is that he keeps putting a lot of pressure on the collar which pushes up against the wound, making it bleed a bit. He also tries to get into a position where he's able to rub his face against things without the plastic in the way. The vet said that it should be fine, but that hasn't really convinced me.

I've never had a pet which has been like this, so I really don't know what to expect. I thought that the vet would've put some sort of bandage over it to stop this happening, but it was just left exposed. Is what he's doing just making it even worse?
post #2 of 9
A bit of oozing and bleeding is normal at wound sites. Chances are the wound also itches (normal during the healing process.) Some scratching or rubbing of the wounds would be expected and normally shouldn't affect the recovery.

If you're not comfortable with how things are going, or you believe he is making his wounds worse, I would suggest taking him back to the vet for a follow up. Your vet is the one most familiar with this particular situation and is the best one to make an evaluation of how things are going.

post #3 of 9
Bandages usually aren't used in this type of injury/wound because there is a drain tube in place, and if the wound was debrided and sutured, this will be sufficient, it has to have a way to drain infection.

However, you can call your vet and ask about gauze pads soaked with Nolvasan to help keep the wound area clean and free from dried blood, etc.

The e-collar is necessary to prevent him from scratching/aggrivating the area, which could induce further bacteria and he could also tear out the sutures. A recheck should be scheduled around 7-10 days post-op for drain removal and suture removal, but if you feel there is an increase in infection (pus), or the swelling does not subside, if there is bruising, or necrotic tissue forming, don't wait, get kitty back to your vet immediately for re-evaluation.........................Traci
post #4 of 9
Bite wounds & abscesses are usually left open to heal so they heal from inside out & bacteria that would thrive in a dark space with little air don't get growing. If your cat is used to wearing a harness you can possibly attach the Elizabethan collar to the harness to hold it down & back.
Most wounds go through a stage where they itch as they heal. Hopefully he will be past that stage soon!
If he is a cat who "mellows out" with catnip, a little herbal therapy might be called for
Deb E
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies. I might just leave it and see how it goes then, he's booked in to the vet again in 5 days. It's just not very nice getting up in the morning and seeing the collar almost red from the blood. As I said before, I haven't had a ny sort of pet which has been injured like this so maybe I'm just being over paranoid
post #6 of 9
I hate to say it, but maybe you can put him in a room without any edges to rub against? It must be somewhat relieving for him to itch a little, but he cant help it. poor baby.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
I wouldn't be able to lock him in a room and leave him there. He's really sad as it is, he just sits in the middle of the room for hours on end staring into space. Even if I walk up and sit next to him, he doesn't even look over at me. During the night he walks around crying and knocking on the front door trying to get outside. Anyway, I don't think there's any room that would stop him being able to rub his face. Everywhere has some sort of corner or an object sticking out that he could get to.

I can't wait until he goes back to the vet again, it's depressing to see him acting like this.
post #8 of 9
I had a cat with an injury to the face and had the same problem until we padded the inside of the collar with a piece of elastic bandage. I had to go to the vets to get a bigger collar so that Barstow wouldn't choke, but it worked for the cat and he quit rubbing because the softer material wasn't as irritating to him.
post #9 of 9
Lichen, I'm sure you're aware of this, but watch him closely and don't confuse his 'sadness', or other physical inabilities, if present, with actual depression. With a wound of this type, and if infection is not accurately draining or if it is persisting and not responding to antibiotics, the first sign would be depression or seeking to withdraw and hide, plus poor appetite, and visual signs of infection near the suture/drain area. In that event, don't hesitate to get him rechecked immediately so your vet can determine if further debridement may be necessary or if the antibiotics need to be changed, etc.................Traci
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