Cat not putting any weight on paw - abscess?(17 Posts)
Six days ago my cat return home limping badly, holding up his back left paw. He's had X-rays which have ruled out any fractures - so the vet suspects an abscess. He had an antibiotic injection two days ago, and I thought that would have started to work - but he is still not putting any weight down on his paw. If it is an abscess, it still hasn't come to a head - his paw is just a bit swollen, and there is a tiny hard bit / scab which I guess might be it.
I'm having to keep him inside, which is really stressing him out. We're having building work done, so it is all a bit of a nightmare right now! I feel so bad for him... I've also had to stop the pain meds as he was getting bad diarrhoea.
I know very little about cats and abscesses (he's my first cat). We've spent £400 at the vet's already this week, so I'm loathe to take him back if they can't do anything further to help... Do we just need to wait it out?
What does this 'building work' consist of eg is there any possibility that he could have got a small splinter embedded in his paw? Did you mention the work to the vet?
We are having an extension built - so major building work! I did wonder if he had injured himself somehow. He was sedated and checked over at the vet's, but they couldn't find anything stuck in his paw - a small splinter could have been missed I suppose? The hard bit is on the top of his paw, near a toe, and the second vet who saw him seemed to think it was an abscess. I am just surprised it hasn't come to a head, yet is still causing so much pain.
We had an identical problem with one of our cats a couple of months ago. After X-rays and a joint tap they found he had been bitten (probably by his brother) and this had infected his joint and bone. Took over 3 weeks and two types of antibiotics before we saw any improvement. Vet did think he might have a permanent limp but he's fine. Hope your cat improves soon.
Thanks Icequeen - I hadn't heard of an infected joint, but that might explain things! There is no obvious abscess (unless the antibiotics have stopped it developing further). However they didn't see anything on the X-rays, apart from soft tissue inflammation.
I will take him back to the vets if he doesn't start to improve soon. Glad your cat made a full recovery!
I hate keeping him in, but am not sure if hopping about on three legs would make him susceptible to further injury...
Definitely take him back if there is no improvement as we had to have different antibiotics when they diagnosed it was a bone /joint infection as the original ones wouldn't have helped apparently. I did post all about it on this forum but I'm not clever enough to paste the link. Here's a photo of my boy when came home from having his X-rays and joint tap with his little poodle leg. As you can see he was still unable to put weight on his leg.
Ah, what a handsome boy. Mine is a ginger boy too!
If it's a joint infection that might explain why the antibiotics don't seem to be doing much. I will try and find your other thread and give it a read.
The vet marked him down as the maximum score for lameness in that paw - it seems surprising that an abscess could have come on so suddenly?
I think abscesses can come up quite quickly but, like you, the vet thought that an abcess hadn't appeared on Angus's leg because of the antibiotics, although in the end it turned out the problem was never an abcess. I have just remembered that when they did the joint tap they took some fluid off and sent it off to be cultured so they could make sure they were giving him the right antibiotics. In the end all the treatment and procedures cost us nearly £600 so we were very pleased we had pet insurance!
Angus's limp was so bad that we honestly thought he had been hit by a car. Poor thing hopped about for weeks and was exhausted from it.
How funny that your cat is a ginger as well. I love gingers, seem to have so much character. I do hope you see an improvement soon. Keep us updated.
Here's my ginger boy, looking rather sorry for himself!
There is a small scab which I assume is the puncture wound, with a bald area around it (sorry if the photo is tmi!). The photo makes it look more pronounced than it is... there is nothing to 'squeeze' and it isn't getting any bigger. Could still be an abscess I suppose, but will check out the other possibilities.
Thanks so much for posting, Icequeen - I am going to take him back to the vets now and try and get some answers. Will keep you updated.
If your taking him back to the vets then hopefully you will get an answer.
When I have dealt with abcesses before I have found you need to clear away the scab the let it drain (vet advised this). If they are on anti-biotics that will hopefully deal with the infection, but letting it drain helps
Oh and any 'hole' you may see or not if its scabbed over is usually where the abcess has burst. The first few time I saw one I thought the cat had been shot
Oldraver, thanks. We saw the vet - she is concerned that the paw is no better. She took off the scab to examine underneath, and Giles was so upset he sprayed her (he's never done that before!). There doesn't seem to be anything to drain, but he's not letting anyone touch it, so it looks like he'll have to be sedated again to have it investigated properly. Fourth visit to the vet's booked on Tuesday! Thank goodness we have pet insurance...
She gave him some different pain killers and antibiotics, so hopefully they might have some effect.
So sorry to hear you are no further forward. After seeing the photos of your gorgeous ginger boy I can see his injury is lower down than Angus's was. Did you ask about a possible joint infection? Angus's was more on his shoulder. Oh dear about spraying the vet!! but I'm guessing it's very painful for him so just his way of telling the vet to back off. You will get to the bottom of this I am certain but I know what a worry it must be for you.
Well today he seems a lot better! He is starting to put his foot down after eight days of hopping about on three legs.
We did ask if it could be a bone infection, and the vet said it could have spread to the joint, so she wanted to hit the infection with everything she could. It seems the new antibiotics are starting to work, which is a huge relief. Especially as the builders are going to be knocking down walls in a week or two... I'm really hoping he's on the mend and can start to go out again soon!
We have another vet appointment booked for Tuesday to see if the wound needs draining / further investigation.
Thanks for the support - have been so worried!
I'm so pleased to hear he is starting to improve now. It's such a relief the first time you notice they are starting to put their paw down isn't it? My DH and I got so excited that we scared our poor cat and he shot off (well hobbled off as fast as his 3 good legs would take him!). I'm sure your cat will come on in leaps and bounds now as his new antibiotics are obviously working.
They give us so many grey hairs don't they
Thanks Icequeen - they certainly do know how to worry us! This is Giles' second major episode since we've had him, and he's only 2.5!
We just saw the vet again and she was pleased with his progress. She thinks it looks very much like an infected cat bite that began as cellulitis and spread to the bone. However, seeing as the antibiotics are working she didn't feel that doing a joint tap was necessary now. She has doubled the dose of antibiotics and given him another week's worth, as she said that treating a bone infection can take a lot longer than an abscess.
She did say that sometimes they have to amputate the toe with this condition, so thank goodness these antibiotics seem to have caught it in time!
Yesterday a lady saw him in our window, and knocked to ask if he was our cat! Apparently he was spending a lot of time round their house (we did wonder where he'd been going...), and they weren't sure if he had an owner. They'd seen him limping badly and then were worried when they hadn't seen him for a few days.
We thought he must be going somewhere as he was spending a lot of time away and not always coming back for his food (although still looking very well fed)... The little rascal! Got to keep him in now for another few days so that we can be sure he gets his antibiotics.
What a little tinker! I can't believe he's been going to someone else's house for a bit of tea and sympathy. So funny that your neighbour saw him and dobbed him in!
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