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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24379
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience.
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My 3 yr old girl kitten got out of the house and came back

Customer Question

Customer: My 3 yr old girl kitten got out of the house and came back limping holding up her right paw. she is walking and she can jump on the couch but she is eating and drinking less. sleeping a little more. Can't tell if she sprang something or broke something -
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: I have no clue what happened out there I wasn't home at the time, a couple weeks ago she got on the roof of a second story building and couldn't get down without help. We have 8 strays around the neighborhood not sure if a fight could cause something like this she is staying close to me she is able to lay on both of her sides, she is laying on the right side sleeping now
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Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with your 3 year old. Yes, careful examination of her entire limb - shoulder to toes - should be made looking for the tiny teeth marks of a bite wound. Even if I can't find those punctures, I might presumptively treat with a systemic broad spectrum antibiotic in order to avoid cellulitis (inflammation of the tissue) progressing into an abscess which would require surgical lancing, flushing, and debridement. Such an antibiotic is best administered within 36 hours of a bite wound.

Soft tissue injury is also a consideration, of course. Cats sprain, strain, and bruise themselves just as we do. Such injuries generally remiss unaided within the week. Taking her rectal temperature can be helpful in differentiating a bite wound from a soft tissue injury. The bite wounds often cause fever (100.5-102.5F is normal); no tso soft tissue injuries. Any body thermometer placed 1.5" into her rectum for 1 minute should suffice. This is a two person job!

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.