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Bad wound, no vet - Am I doing the right thing?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
Hi all.

Newbie here with a problem. A highly socialized stray that has been in and out of my yard for several months disappeared - even abandoning her 5 week old kittens - last week. The good news is that the kittens (as the mom trusted me) are fully socialized and now in loving homes. The bad news is that Mom returned yesterday with apparently severe injuries. Mom is a small red tabby with a really sweet disposition - she never eats without first looking for a good head skritching She's not really mine, and I don't feed her regularly. She seems to be quite a good hunter and consumes her prey (most often birds). I was only feeding her while she was nursing her babies... anyways...

First off, as much as I know it would be important, I do not have access at all to a vet. Unfortunately, nothing I can do about that.

So here's the situation. I found her lying down, apparently uncomfortable. She didn't rise at all when I came near. I approached slowly - although socialized she still is a street cat and I suspected injury. I was happy that she responded to my voice and meowed in greeting and sought my hand with her head - and purred. But it was also obvious that both hind legs were in bad shape. Slight movement, but not even an attempt to rise. I have no idea from where or how she dragged herself back to my yard! She ate fairly well. Without doing any probing, I could see what looked like scab on one leg. Having had cats throughout my childhood, I suspected an abcess. ANd after being away for nearly a week, she is also quite thin.

I started trying to give her antibiotics (amoxicillan) - mixing the powder from a capsule with milk and water to make dosis of around 20 mg.

This morning I saw that one leg has a large nasty abcess opened. She seemed more alert, and tried to rise to greet me. I gave her a second dose. She is eating in small portions, and needs to be coaxed a bit. She let me apply a warm compress (even purring while I did so), and after a glob of topical antibiotic ointment. I covered the wound with a gauze pad, and she actually let me tape it loosely. This evening she is licking an area on the other leg - might be another abcess.

On the leg with the first abcess, she has a couple of times put some weight on it to hobble around, but the other leg not at all. So mostly if she wants to move she just drags herself around - which isn't much.

Her nose is cool and moist. She urinated (poor thing, righ as she layed there - can't get up. But she is still dignified enough to scoot over a bit to lie in a clean place. ) Not sure about a bowel movement. Just keeping an eye on those things to try to rule out severe internal injuries if it was a dog that got a hold of her...

Some questions:
Does the dose of Amoxicillan sound right? A small / medium female, about a year old, maybe more, 20mg twice a day?
After applying ointment, should I bandage or keep the wound uncovered? Should I allow some time for air to get to it? What if she lickes the antibiotic?

Well, that's all for now. Thanks for reading and any feedback you might have.

post #2 of 30
I don't know but I would definitely take her to a vet, even if I had to put her in a taxi to get there. That she can't walk makes me think she was hit by a car or something. Poor thing!
post #3 of 30
Thread Starter 
At first I too thought she was hit - but the location of the wounds looks more like animal. And she is stretching her legs - there is movement. As for the vet, I am a missionary in Mexico. Besides availability (not many vets to start with), the truth is I have no access to funds for a vet. I just want to do anything I can.
post #4 of 30
I am sorry, I don't know what else you could do for her.
post #5 of 30
Bathe the area as best you can with warm water and epsom salts at least twice per day, more often if she will let you. The best way to do this is to get a clean cloth and continue wetting the cloth and then applying it to the abcessed area. Ideally, you should soak the wound thoroughly and "debride" the old scab (if you can keep it moist by bathing with the warm water and epsom salts, the scab should be very soft and easy to sort of roll away with the cloth). If she will let you, you want to try to push all the infection down towards the opening of the wound to get it out. Do this while you are bathing the area ... simply take the cloth and apply light pressure in a downwards (away from the heart) motion.

Regarding the amoxicillin ... while I am not a vet and do not claim to be, I do know that the normal dose ranges from 5 to 12 mg per pound (10 to 25 mg/kg), two or three times a day so you may not be giving her enough at the proper intervals to do anything but build immunity to the amoxi.

While your situation is indeed unique, I suspect that a caring vet would be willing to help you in some small way if you were to tell him of your plight. I would offer that while there may not be many vets in the area, you could try to contact the few that are nearby and at least try to seek their assistance. Alternatively, is there a shelter or rescue org anywhere nearby that may also be willing to provide some help to this girl?

I can certainly appreciate that you want to do all you can - but by not doing enough, you could only be prolonging a situation that may not end well for the cat.

Best of luck with this - please let us know how it progresses.


post #6 of 30
Thread Starter 

I will increase the antibiotic, and certainly will see if I can find a vet who will help. Of the few in town, none seem to offer emergency service, so I'll have to start looking tomorrow. On my way to buy epsom salts.

So, it is better not to cover the wound? Better to let her continue to lick it?

Thanks again for the help, and for understanding the situation. Will keep you posted!

post #7 of 30
Sharon, I suspect this lovely girl has been hit by a car. That is the feeling I get when I read your post. She really does need a vet, because there are more than likely internal injuries that you cannot see to treat. Whereabouts are you located? I have a wide network of sources, perhaps someone in your area that I know might reach out to help you with this. One way to tell if the cat has been run over is to examine the claws- if they are torn, missing, bleeding or scabbed, she has been hit and she again, truly needs a vet if that is the case.

Gaye is right on (as always) with what to do about the abscess- but the amoxy depending on how old it is, may not be enough to help this girl. Also the amoxy is dosed out according to the weight of the cat- and again, if she has been hit by a car then she really needs to see a vet, and if she survives the encounter, she should be spayed.

Please let me know the town/state you are located in and I will see what I can do for you if anything- other than that, try and keep her in a warm dark place, keep her quiet and let her see if she can regenerate a bit-

Best of luck!
post #8 of 30
Hissy, it seems that Sharon is working as a missionary somewhere in Mexico ... this really is a unique circumstance as I see it.
post #9 of 30
Ok, I only read the first posting before responding. Sorry my contacts don't go into that area-
post #10 of 30
Thread Starter 
Thanks all for the help. I will see if I can find a vet willing to treat her...

Today she is bearing a bit of weight on both back legs. It doesn't appear as if there is anything with her claws... The large wound on one leg is open - no scab left. Is it best to leave the wound covered or uncovered?

As for possible internal injury - what symptoms might she be showing given that I suspect that whatever happened happened a week ago?

The good news is that she lets me close and cleanse the wound somewhat - although she won't let me irrigate it, she is happy with a moist warm compress.

Thanks again, i'll be keeping you posted.

post #11 of 30
Originally Posted by SrBuzz
Thanks all for the help. I will see if I can find a vet willing to treat her...

Today she is bearing a bit of weight on both back legs. It doesn't appear as if there is anything with her claws... The large wound on one leg is open - no scab left. Is it best to leave the wound covered or uncovered?

Thanks for trying to help this poor mommy
I'm not sure about the wound - For now, If it is an abscess I would probably leave it open to drain unless its being bothered by flies or she is lying in a mucky area.
Keep checking back here if you can though - Someone may have a better suggestion.
Good luck with her!
post #12 of 30
Precious baby, you're in my prayers. Bless you, Sharon, for helping her.
post #13 of 30
Warm compress the would as often as you can and I would not let her lick it. I would also not cover it. Is there any way you can fashion an elizabethan collar for her? Cat mouths contain a lot of bacteria so her licking it will not help. Keep picking the scabs off to let the wound drain. As Gaye said the dose of amoxi does not sound like enough. I don't want to post the dose here so I will PM it to you.
If she is able to bear weight that is a good sign. She may have a broken pelvis though so I would keep her confined. She likely is dehydrated and possibly septic. Get as much water into her as you can. If you have any access to medical supplies/training I can describe how to give fluids under the skin. Also make sure she is getting lots to eat.
She will need a vet eventually. I hope you can find someone to care for her. Good luck.
post #14 of 30
Thread Starter 
Wow! Thanks so much!

Today's update: good news and bad news. Last night while I was compressing and wetting, something hurt her (maybe too salty the water... i'm not sure). She growled loudly and jumped around. She has hissed at me before, but never growled and become agitated like that. As we were in a cramped corner under a table and between two buckets, where she has taken hiding, I thought it best that I retreat! The bad news is that later she left... I only just now found her new hiding place, 12 hours later. Of course, the good news is that I did find her!

I guess I'll have to not be as aggressive in cleaning the wound... and hestitate to move her yet: she does tend to try to disappear when she is "upset" with me for any reason.

I would agree with the kind doctor that she may have a broken pelvis. As for more water intake, I do have syringes, and while I don't have specific training, i learn easily with diagrams. Short of that, she never has taken much water from me - right now I am trying to sneak it into her:soaking bits of bread in it, adding it to some tuna, mixing it with a bit of milk... any other suggestions for getting her to drink more water?

The larger wound is open and raw, sometimes bleeding, but not much visible pus. The smaller wound on the other leg is now open, but doesn't seem swollen or hot.

Her nose is still moist and cool, her appetite seems fine, and she still enjoys being petted, and purrs. She is cleaning herself as best she can. In my past experience these are at least promising signs for now.

Will still look for a vet.

post #15 of 30
Thread Starter 
Hello all! Update:

This afternoon I will take her to a vet! Found a contact who was able to find one for me. She's still hanging in there... yesterday I was worried: she wouldn't let me near except to bring her food... I think she got fed up with my trying to treat the wound and decided NO. Today she is in much better spirits, and knowing that I can take her to the vet, I haven't attempted compresses today - trying to keep her in as good a mood as possible for when I have to trap her to bring her in. She also seems to have more energy today. She's never been captured or in a car, so I'm in for a bit of work. Tuna is her VERY favorite, so I'm hoping she crawl into the box with that as bait... I don't want to force her or make her struggle...

Will update again later tonight. Keep up the vibes!
post #16 of 30
I will be thinking good thoughts for both of you. Bless you for caring!
post #17 of 30
You are a really good hearted person. Major vibes coming your way.
post #18 of 30
Im so glad you found a vet!!! Ive been so worried about this poor kitty! Have you named her?? hehe Im hope she's better soon and its something treatable.
post #19 of 30
Thread Starter 
Good news!! Went to the vet today!

He thinks that she was hit by a car.

At this point, the large wound on her leg does not seem infected! And the smaller one has not abcessed at all, just simply scabbed over. But we'll continue antibiotics for another 5 days to be sure. She does have a broken hip. We decided against surgery as she would not allow me to attend to her afterwards (cleansing and treating the incision), opting instead to keep her quiet and largely undisturbed. Left alone she stays still and quiet, but if I attend to her "too much" she gets agistated and even tries to hide. Given that we ruled out surgery, the vet didn't do an x-ray, but pretty much rules out any internal injuries. She has been eating and drinking, urinating and even had a good poop yesterday, and he said that if she had had internal injuries, she would be in much worse shape. She doesn't seem dehydrated.

SO - we're in business! Except that right now she is one PISSED OFF cat! (pardon the languange! ;p) She's never been trapped, in a car, or touched by anyone but me (ahem, and the father of her babies...) - and today she had all three experiences!

Royal asked if she had a name yet... no. And I probably won't give her one - she will have to remain a stray after she is healed enough to go back to hunting. But we´ll give her all the time she needs. I usually just call her "baby" or "mi chiquita."

Well, thanks all so much for your suggestions and support! Glad to have found this site, and will check back often.
post #20 of 30
I thought that was what happened to her. Glad that she has survived- if you are going to keep her in a room, keep the room dark, play classical music endlessly softly and give her a cavelike dwelling to lie in. Only disturb her for food and other needs- cats do have an incredible way of regenerating themselves sometimes. I had one cat a few years ago, the owners ran over him intentionally and left him in the garage to heal thyself The neighbors heard him crying and intervened a few days later- he had a broken pelvis- but he is doing fine now in his new, loving adopted home-
post #21 of 30
I am so glad you were able to get her to the vet and help her get taken care of. You are a very kind person!
post #22 of 30
Mi Chiquita es muy bonita Its perfect!! Im so glad she's going to be ok... Maybe she'd rather listen to spanish music rather than classical though? lol I know I do!
post #23 of 30
Thread Starter 
Hello all!

Just thought I'd log in with an update: "Mi Chiquita" is every day more like her usual self! Slightly flaky, occasionally VERY affectionate, sometimes loud and demanding, other times completely aloof as if we were total strangers - just like before!

The wound is completely scabbed over, with no swelling or heat. She is getting around on three legs, and spends most of her time lying down, but no longer seems to be in pain.

Well, that's all. Just wanted to share the good news!
post #24 of 30
Good to hear!, I was hoping she was well.
well done finding a vets!!
post #25 of 30
Thread Starter 
Hello all!

Just wanted to post an update, especially in gratitude to the many who responded when my little stray (Mi Chiquita) was injured...

I was away for two months and just a few days ago came back home, wondering how she had recovered... well, was I pleasantly surprised!! Despite a broken hip, she has no limp at all! Only a slight hestiation when she gets up if she's been sleeping, and the back leg splays out ever so slightly... no scar whatsoever where she was wounded. Her hunting skills have not diminished, still living off her prey (plus an occasional treat ).

So, just wanted to update and say thanks to all!

post #26 of 30
I just read your entire story. And I'm so happy to hear Mi Chiquita is doing so well. You have done a really wonderful thing caring for her.
post #27 of 30
i'm so pleased for you! i love a happy ending.
post #28 of 30
Wonderful..thank you for letting us know
post #29 of 30
I too am glad to read she has recovered. Sounds like you might just have a cat all your own now!
post #30 of 30
Sharon...thanks so much for the "good news" update.
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