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Merlin's hurt...

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I came home from work tonight, and my mom said that I needed to check Merlin's side. She said that when he was laying with her earlier, she tried to pet him, and he just about jumped out of skin when she touched his side, and that it felt scabby. I just about freaked out, and grabbed Mer and it was clearly visible. He has a dime-sized area of raw skin. It looks like the same kind of injury I get when I skin myself while shaving. It's on his left hip. It seems like it's very sore to the touch, but he's not picking at it. In fact, he's acting completely normal otherwise. It just looks so horrible.

It's scabbed over, but looks clean and healthy. No signs of swelling or infection so far. I'm going to leave it be, but keep an eye on it. I have to wait until Monday to call the vet. (I was all set to call the ER clinic, but once mom calmed me down I realized it wasn't that serious.) I'm assuming I'm doing the right thing by leaving it alone? I can't touch it anyway, I tried to get a better look at it, and he just about went ballistic.

Now for the wierd part - I looks like the area was skinned. But I found the clump of hair he lost, and it was just hair pulled out by the roots. I found it on the floor at the bottom of my bed. The only thing I can think of is that somehow scraped or pulled the hair somewhere on the bed frame, but I went over every inch of my bed and room with a flashlight, and I can't find any signs of where he hurt himself. And I don't think it's from a fight with the other cats. Mom was only out of the house for a few minutes at a time during the day hanging laundry, and she said she didn't hear a thing. Plus, he's still sleeping and eating with the other with no signs of trouble. I just feel so guilty. I swore I cat-proofed my house, and then something like this happens. I was gone for 7 hours, and I don't know how long he's been hurt, and I don't know if I could have stopped it from happening if I had been here.
post #2 of 23
Oh I hope he's ok, It doesn't take much for them to get boo boos
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
He's having problems jumping in and out of the bathtub. It must be really painful... He's also refusing to lay on that side.

It just looks super-scary. Because he has so much fur, and the way the injury is, it makes it look like he has an inch deep hole in his side. It's a scrape, but it's not deep at all, it's just an optical illusion. He's sitting with me on the desk, so the hair is parting just right so I can see his injury with my mini-maglight. It looks worse than I first thought.

I've just never had or seen a cat with this type of injury. I'm just going nuts because it's not like I can give him some chewable asprin and put some medicine and a bandaid on it. I can't do anything to help.
post #4 of 23
I'm so sorry, that must be very distressing for you Please try not to feel so bad - it's like small children, no matter how careful you are, no matter what you do, they are going to find SOME way to do things you'd ever so much rather they didn't. I hope he's feeling a lot more comfortable soon.
post #5 of 23
Please don't give your cat aspirin it will kill him. Can you get close enough to the wound to put your hand over it without touching it? You want your palm down a few inches above the scrape not even coming close to touching it. Move your palm over it slowly and if you feel heat rising up to meet your palm, get the cat to the vet as soon as possible. Heat indicates infection. I wonder if he didn't get into a fight? If it is a cat bite chances are good it will abscess unless he gets on vet prescribed antibiotics.

Don't beat yourself up about this, things like this happen. Just keep an eye on him and if she quits eating, starts running a temperature or gets really lethargic bundle him up and get him to vet. It would be good if you could at least wash it down and put betadine on it.
post #6 of 23
Oh, you must be so upset to see your precious Merlin with this injury. I'm glad it isn't showing any signs of infection. Poor baby, sure hope your wound heals quickly so you can feel better very soon.
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Yes, I know I can't give him asprin, but it's times like this I wish they did make OTC pet asprin.

There's no heat coming from it that I can tell, but I plan on getting a good look at it before and after work tomorrow, and to still call the vet on Monday. (Mom will be home all day, too, in case something happens.)

I was hesitant about getting it wet, since it seems like he cleaned it out well himself. Should I still try and clean it even though it's already scabbed over? And betadine is something I can't get near to because of a severe allergy. (I always keep a bottle of rubbing alcohol handy for cuts and scraps, but I WILL NOT use that on the cats!)

Edit: Once I was able to get a good look at it, I don't think it's a bite anymore. If it was from one of the other cats, they would have had to take huge bite of hair only and rip. (It's teardrop shaped, with hair loss on the point and the wound on the round part.) I'm thinking that he probably scraped it on one of the screws that holds the frame onto my bed. I've already put layers of eletrical tape on them to blunt them.
post #8 of 23
Hmm- if it is all scabbed over and no heat, it should be okay. If it was festering you would feel the heat coming up to hit your hand.
post #9 of 23
Poor kitty!
post #10 of 23
The danger now is that he will take the scab off while cleaning himself or if it gets itchy. Persil did that with a small place on her neck, where some fur had been pulled off - I think in play fighting. I ended up putting a wide cardboard collar on her so she couldn't lick it and it is healing well now. Always the important thing is to keep it clean. Do you have TCP antiseptic where you are? My vet recommended that in dilute solution rather than Betidine, as it is colourless snd safe for cats.
post #11 of 23
awww poor furry, mischka and linx send him belly rubs and you hugs!
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all the support!

Jenny, what is TCP? I'm trying to think of what that could stand for, and I'm at a loss.

The skin is a little more pink this morning, but still no heat. He wouldn't sleep on that side at all last night, but he's jumping up and down (from the desk and bed) with no problems. He gave himself a bath when I woke up, and cleaned everything but that area. I think it's still too sore for him to want to clean. I figured there was a risk of him picking at it and causing more harm, so I'm keeping an eye on it and him.
post #13 of 23
TCP is the brand name for an antiseptic available in Europe. It has a clean fresh but very strong smell, and is very flexible - you can put it on cuts, bites, stings, gargle with it and it also takes the itch out of rashes and insect bites. It is made by Pfizer but the bottle doesn't say what the active ingredients are and I don't have the box it came in.
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
The vet said it looks like a burn!?

He was able to get a really good look at the spot, and said it looks like the skin has been burned. He doesn't think it's a heat burn, because the hair is intact, and it would have taken a long contact to cause that much damage. And while he said it really resembles a chemical burn, there's no damage to Merlin's mouth, like he had been licking something caustic off of his fur.

I hope to heck that the vet was completely joking when he asked if I tortured Merlin.

After telling him my theory of Mer getting caught on the screws under my bed, he did say that the burned appearance could have been from Mer licking the skin raw. There's also a lot of bruising of the skin, and the hair loss forms a groove that looks a lot like a tongue swipe. So he was willing to say that the reason it looks so gruesome is because of Merlin picking at it.

There's no chance the initial wound was caused by one of the other cats, or by Merlin himself.

The good news is that there is absolutely no signs of infection. The vet was really shocked about that. I am to give him Clavamox for a week, and to keep a close eye on it. They'll be calling back on Thursday to check in, and of course I can call before that if there's a problem or f it looks worse.

I did ask about an e-collar, but because of Merlin's size, and the fact I have three other cats, the vet wants to wait and see what happens. While there is some self-inflicted damage, it looks like it was done that night, and he's left it alone since then.
post #15 of 23
Oh goodness, well at least he is getting treatment and hopefully it will clear up soon. On the vet visit, I know how I felt when they asked me if I had kicked Persil, or thrown her hard across the room. And they weren't joking! You may find that he picks at it more as it heals and the scab is itchy. Persil did that and I had to make her a wide cardboard collar to stop her scratching. She doesn't mind it at all, though she freaked at an e-collar.

Good luck.
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
I figured that the vet asked about the torture thing because it's procedure. If I were to react funny, then he'd know there was something wrong. He knows I'm paranoid about my kitties, and willingly in debt to keep them healthy. I've probably put his first born through college single handedly.

Mer's calmed down since the vet visit, and surprisingly isn't fighting me about the antibiotics. Which I'm really happy about.
post #17 of 23
I can't believe he asked you if you tortured your kitty.
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
Once he pulled the fur away (I wasn't brave enough to do that myself) I saw that it was the perfect size and shape of a cigarette burn. There's some sick people out there, and it's hard to tell who the good and bad guys are, unfortunately. I don't mind that he said it, it just really shocked me.
post #19 of 23
I would be too.
post #20 of 23
Golly, having read through all of this thread, I have a few thoughts. You say he has a lot of fur - do you think he could have had a wound there for a while that you may not have noticed? I don't mean to imply that you have been neglectful, only that fur is very good at hiding things. What made me wonder that, is that you say the 'burn' mark is the shape of the cat's tongue. I wonder if he'd had a little wound, and licked it raw, making it bigger? You may never find out how this all started, but I'm glad the treatment is having some effect. I hope he's feeling better soon.

post #21 of 23
I hope he feels better soon!
post #22 of 23
A week after we adopted Ziv, we took him to the SPCA vet clinic to get his weepy eye checked out. On the way to the clinic (about 30 minutes driving), he really worked himself into a tizzy in the carrier, to the point where he scratched himself pretty badly on the nose and split one of his nails. As soon as we took him out of the carrier, the vet asked very sternly, "Who is fighting with this cat?!" At the time, Ziv was our only cat, and we never let him outside--we knew that we had done nothing wrong, but we still felt put on the spot!

Anyway, it seems to me that it really is a sort of procedural thing to pointedly ask if the human could be responsible for the cat's injury. While the idea of "torturing" our cats makes all of us here sick to our stomachs, I have to say that I'm glad vets are on the lookout for potentially abusive situations.

But most importantly, I'm glad that you got Merlin to the vet and that he's taking his meds easily. Best wishes to you both!
post #23 of 23
Thread Starter 
MillyandDaisy, I had brought home a cat that had been exposed to ringworm two weeks ago, and I do daily checks of each cat to make sure they're not showing signs of it. Ear and face, and then I run my hands over their fur, and dig in, and check for any lumps or scabs. It wasn't there that morning. But I do agree it could have been a small injury that he picked at until it became huge. Andit's probably not ringworm. The vet said that he had never seen a cat react to having ringworm by rubbing it raw. But, I am checking on it a few times a day, and I'm still checking the rest of his body for ringworm spots.
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