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Can anyone help please, long term open sore on cat? Any vets here?

(21 Posts)
topsyandturvy Thu 14-Mar-13 07:58:30

We got a rescue cat 6 months ago. After a few weeks we noticed a very small hard lump in her fur and finally realised it looked like dried blood or an old scab.

Since this time the wound has got bigger and bigger, from the size of a match head to now the size of a large finger nail.

It it wet and red, slowly dries to dry and vivid red, than takes far too long to scab over with an odd looking scab. It then looks like the wound is getting smaller, the scab falls off, and with 2 or 3 days the wet, bloody wound is back but always bigger than before.

She doesnt bite the wound, she isnt bothered when the vet fiddles with it. The vet says it is superficial and not in the tissue.

She has been to the vets 3 times now. First they tried hibiscrub (no effect), then a tube of antibiotic/steriod cream (fuciderm) with no effect.

Both times the vets have no idea what it is and have suggested it is an overreaction to fleas.

Taken cat in a third time as she has now had this sore for 6 months and it is continuously worsening.

Vet has unimaginatively given us more of the same flea treatment and given no treatment at all for the wound saying they dont know what it is but come back if we are still worried.

Obviously we are worried, it is also quite gross. It is not normal to have bleeding skin for 6 months that wont heal.

Does anyone have any ideas? I wondered whether vet should try an antibiotic injection and course of tablets?

topsyandturvy Thu 14-Mar-13 08:34:59

Sorry, I should have made it clear in this thread, the cat does have a small number of fleas and seems to be particularly sensitive to the few she has. The vet has suggested that perhaps the sore results from flea allergy.

topsyandturvy Sat 16-Mar-13 07:44:54

small bump, anyone treated their cat for slow healing sores?

cozietoesie Sat 16-Mar-13 07:58:51

Hi topsy

I posted on your other thread if I remember. You'll need to get rid of the fleas in any case so that should be a first objective. I can't help but think that I'd be trying a different vet practice though. An open sore for 6 months is really not on.

One of the vets who post on this board may also have an idea and be able to advise. Poor puss.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 16-Mar-13 08:01:42

Try messaging toomuch2young, she's a vet nurse, very helpful and very knowledgeable about cats.

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 16-Mar-13 08:39:30

I have seen several cats with similar sores. We investigate these cats fully skin work up and allergy testing. The vast majority of these cats have complex allergies often involving a range of foods, house dust mites, storage mites and on some occasions external allergens.
Immunotherapy really helps these cats ( vaccine to the specific allergens), but also the cat wearing a babies T-Shirt to stop them being able to get to the area ( whilst you never see the cat lick or scratch they invariably are). Even with all of this it can take 6 to 8 months to get a resolution.

cozietoesie Sat 16-Mar-13 08:53:12

Thanks Lone.

topsyandturvy Sat 16-Mar-13 11:10:42

okay, so a short term plan I am thinking could be next dose of advocate PLUS 6 month course of program. Then after say 6 weeks (cos I dont know how long it takes for the program to become effective) I deflea the house with a dyson and 2 cans of the vets house spray.

In the meantime ask vet for some more fuciderm or something similar to aid healing. Any other ideas what I could ask for instead of this?

Plus sort out a baby t shirt as you are right, the sore is struggling to self heal as it is and then every now and again it looks huge and raw and this is directly after I have seen the cat cleaning it.

Then if at any time it looks worse instead of the same go to a new vet, and also go to a new vet if it hasnt improved after all my defleaing and tshirt wearing?

topsyandturvy Sat 16-Mar-13 11:11:41

But what is still odd to me is, when it finally scabs and the scab drops of naturally, why does it go all gammy and bloody again instead of getting better and better each time scab comes away like on a human?

Samvet Sat 16-Mar-13 11:21:33

Ok, so flea allergy is common and will result in non healing wounds like this. So first things first - as you planned treat all animals in house and treat house. Does she have any other lesions at all on her?
You can try the t shirt but usually not well tolerated!
I would start with managing fleas and fuciderm is not a bad plan.
If you are sure in a couple of weeks that is isn't healing, then as a vet I might consider a biopsy as there are other causes of non healing wounds.
How old is the cat?
Do you see her scratching/biting it and/or other areas?
Any other red bits anywhere? Or missing hair?

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 16-Mar-13 11:22:10

Topsy this dry scab dropping of to reveal we nastiness is exactly what I have seen. I would encourage you to bathe the area vigourously removing the scab regularly as the opportunist secondary bacterial infection hides beneath that scab festering away.
If you think your cat is allergic to fleas I would stick with Advocate as it does household and adult fleas I would not use program in a flea allergic cat as it only does household control.
Household wise use a spray that is effective against house dust mites such as Acclaim or Indorex. Empty to the dyson really regularly during hoovering to ensure you are not recycling house dust mites. If the cat has a bed wash it at 40degrees every 4 days to bust the house dust mites there.
Buy very small quantities of dry food kept in sealed storage containers to deal with storage mites.
I would steer clear of fuciderm as it contains steriod and may actually inhibit cleaning in this case.
Are you insured? If you are and have a one year limit per condition I would push really hard for investigation as I have really only seen significant improvements when the immunotherapy is used.

Samvet Sat 16-Mar-13 11:22:21

Also your cat might be messing with it and aggravating it at night etc when you are not there hence the non healing after scab.

cozietoesie Sat 16-Mar-13 11:27:14

I can't comment on the allergens etc - that's more Lonecat's province - although a real useful tip on the T shirt but I would guess that it goes nasty again partly because she's having at it.

On the fleas, I'd recommend that you vacuum thoroughly both before and during spot-on treatment - not just 6 weeks after she's been medicated. (Spraying as appropriate.) Fleas are a complicated beast but they can last an awful long time depending on the life stage so there might be only limited effectiveness in defleaing the house at the point when the medication might be starting to wear off. You could get an overlap.

Look on the bright side - all that vacuuming is going to get you very fit!

cozietoesie Sat 16-Mar-13 11:46:47

PS - be sure to have good ventilation going when you spray things (it's powerful stuff) and pay particular attention to edges of rooms and cracks eg between floorboards if you have wooden floors.

topsyandturvy Sat 16-Mar-13 11:57:33

Only the one sore, no other red patches or scabs whatsoever.
Very normal in every other way except she may wee more frequently than other cats, but not sure about this.

I have had cats most of my life and her fur is a bit "scraggy" looking at end of her back base of tail, which I think means intolerance of fleas?

She has had nearly a whole tube of fuciderm over last 4 months so am not sure it is ideal to repeat this.

How will the wound heal if I keep removing the scab? Isnt the scab normally designed to come away when healing has taken place? Sounds awful.

I was going to use advocate and program together as a double blow to the fleas, followed by house defleaing with Indorex stuff.

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 16-Mar-13 12:02:29

This type of wound often needs to heal from the underneath up rather than from the top down.
I would echo doing the spot on the same day as the household treatment.

topsyandturvy Sat 16-Mar-13 15:37:28

What can i do to help it heal from bottom up?

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 16-Mar-13 15:42:00

What I have explained earlier.

topsyandturvy Sat 16-Mar-13 22:02:30

how often should the scab be "removed", do you mean soaked off?
is there anything I can put on the wound, preferrably over counter but prescription would do, to aid healing and help prevent infection since there will be no scab?

Thanks everyone for all advice, especially pushing us to a second opinion

topsyandturvy Sat 04-May-13 16:26:17

Update for anyone with a similar problem - I decided to try an additional flea treatment in case it really was some bizarre overreaction to fleas.

So I bought oral program ampules from the internet (to add to the advocate spot on) and within a few weeks of the first dose the sore started to become smaller.

Also, instead of a thick odd looking crusty scab forming every 10 days and falling off repeatedly, cat now has an ordinary scab which has been there for about 6 weeks and is getting smaller every day.

As well as the Program I started to spray the area with a licking repellant (something with apple bitters in it), dont know if this has made any difference.

She has had this sore for over 6 months getting bigger and bigger to the size of an index finger nail, now after 6 weeks it is the size of a match head. So I am hopeful that it will heal completely.

cozietoesie Sat 04-May-13 18:45:55

Thanks for the update, topsy. Glad it looks to be under control.

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