(AZ – USA)
My orange tabby was attacked by a coyote or dog a couple of days ago. He was missing and showed up on my doorstep with a serious wound that appears infected.
I have cleansed and bandaged the wound. I’m pushing fluids. Due to money trouble at the moment I cannot afford to go to a vet.
I am wondering if anyone can give me some advise on how to care for him at home.
Hi Corene…Sorry to hear your story. It seems that your cat is beyond the bleeding stage. That has stopped. Stopping bleeding and preventing infection are the two important things to do.
Your cat has an infected wound. The wound may need further cleaning. I don’t know. Don’t use hydrogen peroxide to clean the wound as it is toxic to tissues.
Your cat needs antibiotic treatment for the infection, which is a bacterial infection. It may be the case that your cat needs to take antibiotic pills and you can apply topical (at the site) antibiotic ointment. You’ll need to get both from a vet but these are not expensive.
Make sure your cat does not lick or bite the wound. Elisabethan collars can help as can bandaging your cat’s feet (to cover the claws). Covering the wound at this stage may make the infection worse. If the wound is draining pus it is best left open to help drainage.
Infected wounds that are draining pus require the application of “moist sterile compresses’. Topical antiseptics are effective “in treating superficial wound infections”. Your cat’s wound seems to be more serious than superficial however.
Topical antiseptics include: Betadine, Funacin, I percent Silvadene cream and triple antibiotic creams. Apply the topical antibiotic cream direct to the wound. You cat will feel pain so retraint is required – common sense.
The dressing should be changed 2x per day.
It may be that there is dying tissue at the site of the wound. This needs to be removed. You can read about Sealy a cat who had his left ear chopped off by a car fan blade. The story by Elisa may provide some tips. There is more than one page so go to the home page and use the search box to search for “sealy fan blade” (or read this). Removing dying or dead tissue requires a vet really as you have to tell the difference between living and dead tissue.
The last issue is whether the wound should be closed. This can only really be decided by a vet. But if it is infected it should not closed in my opinion as it needs to drain and be treated. Closing an infected wound will make things worse. If the tissue is clean and uninfected then it can closed.
I will ask Elisa to comment as she has first hand experience in dealing with open wound injuries.
This sort of injury can be life threatening due to infection I would think. Antibiotic treatment must be the first call and a vet is really the only person to provide best advice.
But the best of luck to you both.
Source: Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook