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My Kitty has crusty, sore toes!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi, All-

I've been here quite some time ago. Last year we adopted a senior kitty, Salty, but he left us last March (cancer) so we adopted two more kitties in his honor: Stella (a beautiful black tuxedo girl who loves to talk) and Stewie (a handsome, sweet lad who strangely has similar markings as Salty except he's orange instead of black).

Anyhow, I come with a question. Has anyone here experienced foot problems on their kitties? Can cat litter be a contributer to this (we use the multiple cat Tidy Cat)? Do diabetic cats have foot problems like diabetic humans?

Our Stewie has had dry skin on his feet since we adopted him last year. I thought maybe he just gets chapped skin since he was once a starving stray in the winter (all bones when we adopted him) and was probably malnourished as a kitten...maybe it was frostbite?

Well, it just kept getting worse. We noticed him limping and he had pus on his feet. It's like the skin keeps dying and scaling off--sometimes a whole layer at a time--sometimes getting infected and causing him to limp from the pus. Poor little guy.

When we discovered this last week, we rushed him to the vet. She is really boggled by it. She said cats normally get infections between their toes and in the nailbed, but Stew's is all over his toes. No where else on his body is scaly or pussy--he has very healthy skin except on his feet. She even called a feline dermitologist and prescribed us antibiotics and a shampoo to wash those feet once every other week for about two weeks (not fun).

To top it off, his blood sugar was high--but she is going to take a urine sample from him when they clean his teeth this month to be sure. She said the blood sugar goes up in some cats when they get scared in the clinic so he may not have diabetes (I'm thinking it may be responsible for foot problems if he did). I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Well, I washed his feet tonight for the first time. It was a chore, but thank goodness he has a sweet disposition. When I rinsed his toes I ended up sticking him in the tub with the water up a few inches so we didn't have to deal with squirming. All this litter came off in the tub--I never saw it sticking to his feet (he's long-haired)...so we were wondering if maybe the Tidy Cat is causing his foot problems?

It's a mystery and we just want our little boy to get better, and I welcome input. Thanks!
post #2 of 8
Maybe he's having an allergic reaction to the litter,Is is clumping litter? Try switching to one of the recycled paper litters that don't produce any dust.Its worth a try.Various bacteria in his litter are probably aggravating his condition.
post #3 of 8
If I were you, for awhile anyway, I would not use cat litter at all, but instead use rabbit food- the green pellets. I know it sounds strange, but the litter is more than likely adding irritation to the paws and the pellets won't hurt him, plus the smell will cover the odor of urine and poop. I would also start soaking his paws in a mixture of warm water and grapefruit seed extract at least once a day for just a few minutes. Try 15 drops in a basin of water with just enough water where he can get his paws wet.

My hubby gets this crusty nasty stuff on his feet (he's diabetic) and this soak gets rid of it in a matter of days-

Good luck!
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Oooo... Interesting. I use carefresh and yesterdays news for my rat's and sugar gliders.

I'm sure hoping the little dude comes up negative for the diabetes, but if he is positive we'll definite soak his tootsies in that grapefruitseed extract mix. Thank goodness he's mellow--it would be hell soaking our girl, Stella--she's a spitfire fiesty girl.

I didn't think about rabbit food, but that really makes a lot of sense... I was thinking of adopting a house bunny for years and heard the food makes wonderful bunny litter. Do cats actually adjust easily to it and/or the newspaper mix? Is there anything we can do to help them transition to it smoothly?

I know some cats can be fussy about litter and I'm a little worried about our crew spraying on furniture or pooping in the tub (though I'd rather have stinky furniture or poop in than tub than make Stewie suffer sore toes anymore).

I was thinking of trying Bag Balm, too. I just read it seems to help scaly feet.

It's been a bad month in our house for pets. My rat had a hole in his belly (busted abscess--he healed this week), my favorite sugar glider passed away the day of my bridal shower (he was 10 years old--possibly a heart attack), one of our poms had lyme's disease, and the other pom has just been diagnosed with a hypo-active thyroid (very treatable but expensive). Stella hasn't had problems except she needed her yearly vacinations.

I just got married last week but had to rush to the clinic the day before to get drugs for an Upper Respiratory Infection (it was in my chest and I didn't want to croak "I do"). The receptionist thought I was insane when I cheered "YAAAAY!" at the $50 bill. I thought it was the best health bill I payed for all month--1/10 of what we spent on our two cats earlier that week...1/2 of my rat's bill (he had to be left at the vet's while we went out of state to get married--his abscess burst right before we were supposed to drive up). I'm happy everyone seems to be doing okay now...but we're rather broke.
post #5 of 8
Hi - I have a cat that gets the same thing. She's allergic to Tidy Cats! When I used it, her paw got scaly and infected, and her whole leg swells up. It was a real deep infection. She was on antibiotics for almost a month. I switched to anything natural or that was made from pine. I don't use anything with dust or that consistancy anyway. Good luck!
post #6 of 8
I am at the tail end of dealing with pus filled toes with one of my kitties. I'm sure your kitty doesn't have what mine did though. (You don't want him to have it). My cat also had pus filled ears and around one eye affecting half his face. anyway, I think I can give you some good advice though. If your cat will tolerate it.

Put a rubber mat or a hand towel in the bottom of your kitchen sink and fill it with a few inches of water as hot as you think the cat will tolerate it without burning him. Add a cup of epsom salts and mix it around with your hand to disolve. Then stand the cat in it and hold him there for at least 10 minutes and preferably 20. Just hold him firmly and talk softly to him to reassure him it's ok. The epsom salts draws out all the pus and gunk and will help his toes to heal faster. Then I would take my cat out, wrap him tightly in two towels from head to tail just so his little face would be peaking out. Then I craddle him on his back like you would an infant and take one paw out at a time. Take QTips and gently clean around his toes and just inside. (You know how they have a covering like a sheath that takes their claws back inside.) I also squirted a little Band-Aid antiseptic into his toes. If you can do this at least once a week and preferably two, I think it will help temendously! It really helps draw the infection out. It's a lot of work but it's worth it! I probably waited to long before I started this but fortunately it's turning out well! Good luck!
post #7 of 8
Just another note. I would hold off on the bag balm. It's stickly like a petroleum type thing and I'm thinking it may breed more bacteria. Really, you want the toes to stay as dry as possible and you want all that pus to come out.
post #8 of 8
My cat, Miss Kitty, has a very rare disease that causes her feet to get all scaly and pus filled. She also has "empty" feet. It is like her pads on the bottom of her feet have nothing in them. There is a name for the disease but I don't remember what it is. I can find out for you on Monday if you would like. I will have to call the vet and ask him. He showed me a picture of it in one of his medical books and sure enough that is what Miss Kitty has. She was either pregnant or nursing babies at the time she had the episode with her feet so he put her on amoxil. He said there is no real cure. The only thing that he could do is put her on very large doses of cortisone. Anyway, she has had no more episodes of infection and she walks fine. Her feet are still "empty" and that scares me but otherwise she is healthy and happy and very much loved.(AND she has also been spayed ). No more babies for Miss Kitty.(I can't believe this either...the girl who dumped Miss Kitty on me when she was very pregnant actually came over to my house about a month ago and asked if she could have her back. I told her no way. THEN she had the nerve to ask for one of her kittens. Of course I told her no. She wasn't too happy about it but hey she was just going to put the poor cat out and leave her to have her kittens outside all alone. What is wrong with people??
I will call my vet on Monday and find out the name of Miss Kitty's disease. I have to call anyway and make an appointment for my other cat, MomCat Rose, who has glaucoma. The vet wants to see her after she has been taking the medication for 10 days to measure the pressure in her eye.
It might be a few days before I can get back here. As usual, my daughter is haveing all kinds of trouble with her computer. Sometimes I can get on this site, sometimes I can't.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your kitty.
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