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Stop cat from licking wound

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi...I'm new to the board and have been browsing. There's such great information here!

I've got a 9 YO cat, a beautiful long haired tortoise shell humane society kitty named Dusty who must have some Maine Coon in her since she's SO big! I've had her for two years and we get along great...she's easily the coolest cat that I've ever had the joy of living with.

During one of our petting sessions, I felt a lump near one of Dusty's nipples so made a trip to the vet who advised removing the lump and having it biopsied. So on Thursday Dusty went under the knife and had the lump removed. The vet tech said the procedure went well (the vet wasn't there...car trouble, I guess) and gave me minimal instructions for Dusty's recovery - don't let her climb any stairs, give her a little of food that night and then regular amounts of food the next day. I didn't get an E-collar or instructions about what to do if Dusty starts licking her wounds from the vet, so I went home not really knowing what to do if she did start licking her wounds. (Yep...should have asked before I left...but I was in such a hurry to get home and make sure Dusty was comfortable and safe that I didn't ask as many questions as I should have before leaving the vet's.)

Well, she did start licking her wounds...and actually looks like she pulled out one of the stiches. She's not bleeding at all and when I look at the wound it looks OK (not very inflamed, not overly warm to the touch, etc). I made a quick trip to Petsmart last night and bought her an e-collar so that she wouldn't lick her wounds during the night...I've taken it off her this morning because I'm able to keep a close watch to make sure that if she grooms herself she doesn't groom her belly area.

So the problem: Dusty HATED the e-collar. I think she finally got a bit used to it, but I doubt she slept more than 3 hours last night (I know because I slept even less...being worried about the sounds of bumps and scrapes and such as Dusty tried to walk around the house), she wasn't comfortable jumping up onto the bed or chair where she usually sleeps and she positively refused to jump down once up on the bed (I think because her depth perception was messed up). I'd like to find something other than the e-collar for her to use. Looking around here, I notice that folks have suggested making a sweater type thing from a sock...unfortunately Dusty is entirely too big a cat for that. I tried cutting off the sleeve of a long-sleeved shirt of mine and using that as a sweater, but it was a very tight fit and Dusty was really bothered by my attempts even before I got to the part of her belly with the incision. I finally gave up (I'm a softy and I REALLY don't want the incision to open up because Dusty was fighting my attempts to put it on her) but can't think of anything else to try and it looks like tonight might be another e-collar night.

Does anyone have any other suggestions for how to ensure that Dusty doesn't lick at her cut?

THANK YOU so much for your help! Now I'm off to give Dusty some much needed cuddle time.
post #2 of 7
AS a temporary measure you could actually use a crepe bandage and wrap it round her, not too tightly but enough so she doesn't get it off. ANchor it in place by putting two cross-pieces under her front legs. I did that when Persil had an abscess that she kept licking, and it worked a treat. Another thing is to trick her by bandaging a paw, to distract her from the real problem. Welcome to the site - there is great information, and much love and friendship here.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions! I'll try the crepe bandage and see how she copes with it...she's a pretty low key cat, so I'm certainly not expecting her to be running through the house trying to rip it off!
post #4 of 7
when my dog was neutered he also licked and pulled at the sutures.. but it led to an infection. SO we ended up getting the collar for him. He hated it... but it really was for his own good. I slept on the floor with him, because he couldn't jump onto my bed.ANd we rearranged the furniture so he could get around.

I would try the suggestion that Jenny made, and if it doesn't work then call the vets and ask what you can do.
post #5 of 7
Scroll down to... The Bonafido Company
post #6 of 7
That's a great thing (the soft collar) ! I might get one to keep on hand --- just in case.

As a stop-gap measure, knowing how large Coons and Coon mixes can get --- Do you have a large sweatshirt that you can sacrifice a sleeve from? Or a nearby thrift store where you can pick one up for a couple of bucks? It'll be considerably larger than a sock and may work more comfortably. If the bandage doesn't stay put, that would be my next step (meanwhile probably ordering the soft collar.)
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. I cut up the sleeve of one of my long-sleeved t-shirts and tried that, but it was a touch too tight...so I made it into a kittycat corset (cut down middle, put holes on both sides and laced it with a stray shoelace) that has worked rather well....I only keep it on her when sleeping because I keep a close (almost neurotic) eye on her when I'm home and awake.

Also, the vet called today and said that Dusty doesn't have cancer but rather has valley fever which normally affects dogs but can sometimes also affect cats. It's a pretty serious fungal infection (lead to death if not treated) but there's a treatment for it that can clear it up pretty effectively. So YAY! for that news!

Thanks again for the suggestions made by everyone. Dusty is feeling better every day (although I think she's still acting cranky in hopes that I'll continue to feel guilty and feel her tuna) and soon enough she'll be right back to her normal ways.
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