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Skin infection/self mutilation

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I am trying to help a cat that is scratching himself horribly behind his right ear. When he first showed up at my neighbors house both of his forelegs were raw and he had some other sore spots on him. The vet initially thought it might be a chemical burn on the legs. They put him on orbax and put neosporin on the sores. My neighbor can't keep him and I took him to the vet hoping to get him fixed up and find him a new home. He has a very nice disposition but I am sure he's in pain. My vets don't seem to consider pain mgmt, especially in cats. He lays in his litter box all the time. I was using yesterday's news for a while and then someone switched it back to regular cat litter. Some times he will jump out of the box and run to the corner of his cage and roll around like something is biting him. My friend and I have started him on Clavamox and are trying to wipe down his sores with betadyne. His left leg has healed up pretty good and it does almost look like a burn scar, where the hair doesn't quite cover all of the injury. He will sometimes pick at the right leg and just tear the hair out. Now the vets just think he's crazy and that there's something neurologicall wrong with him so they think he should just be put down. The scrathcing at the ear looks like ear mites but he's been at the clinic for a while so I don't know where he would have gotten ear mites from. I cleaned his ears out when he was asleep to be neutered and they were not that dirty and I didn't see anything that looks like earmites, and that was about 2 weeks ago. I refuse to turn him out somewhere while he's still got open wounds. I will probably take him to another vet if I can find one that will work with me for payments, as right now I just don't need another vet bill. He takes his clavamox (liquid) pretty good, he was getting harder to pill and it's hard to scruff him w/o hurting him as his neck is raw on one side. I think he's in pain and that's probably why he's acting funny, he doesn't know how to get rid of the pain. I don't know anything about pain meds for cats. He is FELV/FIV negative. I named him Mau because when the vet asked if he had a name the cat said "mow", but that looks funny in writing so we changed the spelling (pronounced like Mao Tse Tung). Any ideas would be appreciated. I can take him to antoher vet on Tuesday but after that I don't know where I'll put him, my dogs would eat him.

I am mostly involved in dog rescue but frequently take in feral kittens and socialize them and find them homes. Unfortunately for this cat, he showed up at the same time someone had dumped six semi-feral cats on our clinic (left them in a nasty dog crate full of old cat food and who knows what kind of feces besides cat) and someone else had brought in 2 kittens and someone else brought in a deformed kitten. Our Drs get really irritated when we have a bunch of homeless animals at the clinic. I hope I can find someone who will take him and nurse him back to health. If it is something serious that can't be cured, that's one thing, but I think he's miserable and in pain.
post #2 of 11
My grandparents had a cat many years ago that multilated herself because of a severe grass allergy. I have never seen anything like it. What part of Alabama are you in? You need a better vet! This is probably either some type of allergy or mite. Both will drive an animal crazy. This cat probably needs a steriod shot to help the itching! -kd
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
I am taking him today for a second opinion. I just don't know what I'm going to do with him once they've seen him. He's just miserable and I'm sure he's in pain from scratching himself so bad. I wish I had somewhere to keep him, I just can't think of anywhere except the clinic.
post #4 of 11

I have an obsessive groomer here, she was mutilating her back.
After stopping all vet trips and putting her in an e-collar for a month to allow the sores to heal, she stopped.

Vet thinks that cage life at the shelter and the frequent trips to the clinic were stressing her to the point of mutilation.

Sounds like this guy sorely needs foster care, not a cage.
post #5 of 11
Addition to the above, try clipping his back toenails, I doubt it will eliminate the scratches, but I am sure it will help at least a little.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
I took him to another vet. He told me to continue the Clavamox that I had started him on for another 20 days and then switch to clindamycin (sp?). Also put an app of Revolution on him and am using Otomax in his ears. I also started giving him Feline Duralactin and I'm going to order some metacam (sp) for him also. I'm still searching for a foster home but a friend of mine knows a "cat lady" that might take him as long as he's not contagious to her cats. He's been on this course of treatment since Tuesday. His wounds are less inflamed looking. He had a temp of 104. We discovered that he likes to have his tummy scratched so I try to scratch his tummy with one hand while I'm trying to squirt Clavamox in his mouth a little at a time. Takes more time that way, but less stress on him. He consistenly tries to push my hand away from his head but he very rarely extends his claws. I'm going to try and take his temp tomorrow or Monday. I hope if I can get him a foster home he will stay out of the litter box because right now he sleeps in it and stays dusty. Vet also told me to feed kitten food because the higher protein might aid in healing. He said it might not make a big difference but that he could use all the help he can get. He is concerned that the infection may cause kidney problems but I am determined to see it through. I think he's feeling better and he doesn't seem to be scratching as much. We did clip his back claws and tried rinsing his neck down with a betadyne solution.
post #7 of 11
Fred scratched all the hair off his poor little head, and left huge, bloody gashes. Poor baby was miserable. For 2 years, we tried everything to find the problem. We switched food, meds, different vets. I took him to an old country vet who took one look and figured out he had a severe allergy to fleas. He had very dry skin, which apparently makes a difference with some flea treatments, so we treated him with Advantage. It works better than some other very good treatments for cats with dry skin and coat issues. He was fine after that, his fur grew back, but he never got over the incessant licking that he had done trying to get some relief. He had a head injury once, and was OCD from it.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well after 2 weeks he is healing up good. What used to be raw/bloody skin is now pink skin on the outer edges. The part in the middle is still red but it's really just scabs trying to come off. I discovered that this crazy cat likes Feline Duralactin (liquid) and clavamox drops, he just doesn't want me to use a syringe to give it to him, so I just mix it in a bowl and he laps it up like its a special treat. He still fidgets and gets mad when I try to put the Otomax in his ears or ear cleaner. I bought ear cleaner from Oxifresh because it has no alcohol in it so it will sting less if at all. His temp is down to normal. I finally had a conversation about him with my vet/boss. Both vets still think it is a neurological problem or auto immune, depending on when you ask them. I told the Dr yesterday that I respectfully disagree and that he is improving. He agreed to try for 2 more weeks but if it doesn't continue to improve or if it reoccurs, then it must be neuroligical! Sigh. Baby steps. He even agreed that I only have to pay 1/2 the cost of the medication, which would be 1/4 the retail cost. Im going to try and take him back to the other vet this week just so he can see how he is doing. I never did take pics of him initially, I wish I had so I could prove he's healing. But I am going to take pics tomorrow so I can compare them in 2 weeks.
post #9 of 11
Bumper will bite his paws when he is nervous, it is not neurological (although it took a while to get my vet to agree with me on that one) and easy to stop him just cradle him like a baby until he calms down, perhaps it is something similar in your case?
post #10 of 11
An ear cleaner you might try is Zymox with 1% Cortisone in it. I use it in my cats ears [he has food allergies] and it stopped the itching right away, it's something you might try anyway.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well I switched the antibiotic to Clindamycin as directed by the other vet. Now he is pooping outside of his litter box (he sleeps in his litter box) and he got it all over him the other day. It wasn't really runny, but he is in a small cage and he managed to wallow in it. We tried to bathe him w/o sedation, and I got stabbed and bit, so we knocked him out and I really cleaned and dried his ears out. I even tried putting him in the cat room's bathroom so he would have a nice kitty bed to lay in and he made a mess in there so he's back in his cage. He's spending more time upside down in the corner of his cage like he was when we first started treating him, like something is getting him. We found a lot of dead fleas on him so I guess the Revolution is doing that. I didn't see any fleas on him the last time I bathed him so some cat must have brought in fleas. He still drinks his Duralactin and antibiotic soup readily. He's supposed to use 2 bottles of clinda cure drops and then go back shortly before they are used up for a recheck. He's still chewing on his leg some, the vet thinks it's probably because it's healing so it's itching and feels funny. We cut his nails again, they grow fast.

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