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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16170
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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A soreness has developed and he does not want you to pet m

Customer Question

Customer: HI, A soreness has developed and he does not want you to pet him from the mid point of his back to his tail. If you do he displays an automatic reflex as if he is going to snap at you, the soreness gets more sensitive the closer to the tail area
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the cat's name and age?
Customer: BlackJack and he is a little over 5 years old
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Blackjack?
Customer: He is a little on the over weight a bigger male cat, he walks fine, he eats fine, it is just when you go to pet him that this area has become off limits
JA: Did Blackjack have a fall?
Customer: NO
JA: The Veterinarian will ask you more detailed questions to find out what is causing this. It might be a fracture. The Veterinarian will know what to do. OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian & I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How long has Blackjack been showing these signs?

Does he go outside?

Any history of trauma or injury at the tail base?

Any swellings or sores? Any changes to the skin here?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
A couple weeks with the soreness, He does not go outside, ever, no trauma that I am aware of, walks around fine, does not usually get up on anything to have to "jump" down (his weight keeps him from being a jump on stuff cat) I can not see swelling because he is a "bigger cat" and his fur, yet I feel like I can feel inside swelling. I can not see the skin due to the fur.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.

Thank you,

First, I am glad to hear that he is an indoor cat, as that makes severe traumas from cars or other cats thankfully less likely for Blackjack. In any case, based on his behaviour (which is common pain based reaction in cats) and the swelling you feel we'd be concerned about a possible abscess (if he has scratched the skin enough to allow in infection), soft tissue inflammation (from an injury he hasn't told us about), or a possible growth in the deeper tissues. As well, just to note, his signs also fit with allergic skin irritation (some cats do appear sore with this), nerve inflammation, hyperaesthesia, and joint discomfort; but none of these would cause a swelling to appear.

With this all in mind, it'd be ideal to have this checked by your local vet. They can sample the swelling to check for an abscess or growth but most importantly they can dispense a cat safe anti-inflammatory like Metacam (which is ideal since OTC human options are either poor pain relief or dangerous in cats because of their different metabolism). As well, if an abscess is confirmed, then antibiotics would also be indicated.

Otherwise, we are limited in what we can do at home since again we don't have any safe pain relief options and topical treatments aren't likely to help since this does sound like a deeper based swelling. Still, if he will allow you could warm compress the area. If you don't have a compress, then you can make one by filling a clean sock 2/3rds full with uncooked white rice. Tie it closed and microwave (approx 1-1.5 min). Before use, do make sure to shake to allow the heat to distribute before using as a compress. (If it cools, you can re-warm as required). Otherwise, if Blackjack tells us the area is just too tender for that, you could offer him a heating pad as these can reduce inflammation and generally help them feel comfortable.

Overall, based on his signs, the swelling, and the length of time it has been present, we do have a few concerns here. Therefore, since this has been present for weeks without improvement, we are at a stage where it'd be best to have his vet trial him on cat safe pain relief +/- sample to see what is present. That way we will be able to confirm which issue is causing him bother and address it properly to get him feeling more comfortable and less grumpy with this.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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