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Stitches and itching

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
My 10 week old kitten, Shaedi, has approximately 10 stitches on the back of her neck due to a wound she sustained before we took her in and we are having trouble keeping her from scratching them. They are in such a place that an Elizabethan collar couldn't be used, because it would sit directly on the stitches.

I consulted a Vet tech who is a friend of mine and she suggested putting something on her back paw to make it impossible for her claws to get near the stitches and tear them out. So, we put a tiny doll sock on her back paw and wrapped duct tape loosley around it, going up onto the fur of her lower leg.

My question is, is there anything I can do to keep the amount of itching due to healing down so she is less likely to want to scratch it. Also- how long does it normally take for the skin to 'knit together' so the danger of tearing it open again will have passed?

Oh yeah....how the heck do we get the duct tape off once the danger has passed??

post #2 of 11
Sounds like you found a good solution but if the duct tape is wrapped around the sock that is on her leg.. I dont see that it would be that difficult to get off
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Its on the sock, but also goes above the sock onto the fur of her leg. Its stuck fast to the fur. I wanted as little of her foot as possible touching the actual tape, but I had to put some of it on the fur, or she'd have yanked it right off.

Shes walking around here like having duct tape on her foot is a normal thing
post #4 of 11
No ideas on the itching, but you might have to cut the duct tape off if it is really stuck to her fur. One of mine had a run in with a strip of duct tape and while we got most of it pulled away, the last of it had to be cut off. Clip the fur carefully close to the tape.

Poor baby! And good for you for taking in one that was injured!!
post #5 of 11

I would suggest that you try and get the duct tape off NOW before it really sets. Don't pull on it, you will have to cut the sock off with a pair of bandage scissors and then slather the portion that remains on her leg with the duct tape/sock material with crisco shortening not oil. Leave the shortening on for at least 5 minutes, or longer if she tolerates it, then take a soft cloth and gently wipe it away hoping the adhesive will give way and the tape will come off. Whatever you do, don't pull on it, the shortening will work as a loosening agent and then the cat will be oily. If the cat is scratching her stitches then trim her claws so she doesn't do damage or take another sock and wrap it with bandage tape around the sock, not on the fur.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Wouldn't she just pull the sock off? There is very little of the actual tape touching her fur and its not touching her paw pads at all, I planned on cutting the tape away by trimming the fur (shes got a LOT of fur- very long hair)once the stitches were completely healed. Duct tape wasn't my first choice- but it was late at night and was all I had at the time. I thought if I could get her to keep it on there for a few days while the stitches were finishing up healing it would be a good idea? Maybe I shouldn't have taken the Techs advice without getting a second opinion first
post #7 of 11
Putting the sock on her paw was a good idea. Putting the duct tape on her fur is where you went wrong. If you put the bandage tape just above her ankle, not tight, but not loose enough that it can be pulled off, that will hold. Since she accepted the sock with the duct tape, she won't pull this one off.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm taking her to the Vet in a little bit to have them remove whats on there and put bandage tape on her. It was a quick fix, that worked for last night when I needed it.

Edit to add: I trimmed the fur on her leg carefully and the tape bandage is now off- her nails are trimmed and I put polysporin on the sticthes to soothe the itching. I'm going to get the materials from the vet today to put on her paw if she goes around it after this.
post #9 of 11
Depending on the extent of the wound, in the past when the skin starts to itch (because it is healing) I have put oraljel (the mouth gel for toothaches?) on the skin surrounding the sutures. It deadens the skin and takes the itching away and doesn't impede the healing process. I do not touch the area stitched itself, just surrounding it. A gal who works at the wildlife rehab center near me told me of this trick when Ripley got injured. It worked great and just a tiny bit is effective.

Glad you got the tape off the cat.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Orajel never occured to me- thanks for the tip. I'll pick some up at the store today, and I'll make sure not to get it on the actual stitches.
post #11 of 11
You might ask the Vet Tech about Children Benedril (sp). I was told that 5ml for a cat will help calm them and stop the itching of a spay or neuter recovery. I have never had to use it on my cats but have it ready if needed.
Hope your kitty feels better soon.
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