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Dr. Jacki
Dr. Jacki, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 26
Experience:  9 years in clinical practice with cats and other small animals
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My cat jumped on a hot stove burner and burnt his paw. He

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My cat jumped on a hot stove burner and burnt his paw. He is getting around okay, but it is quite pink...raw looking and he is favoring it. Is there anything I can put on it to help it heal?
Hi Lu and Will-

Sorry to hear about your kitty. I understand that the area looks worse today than it appeared yesterday. This is fairly typical of thermal burns. Sometimes it appears 'not so bad' for the first day or two, then worsens with time. This is because during the burn, the surface skin cells are killed (how many layers are killed depends on the temperature and exposure time). Then in the next few days, inflammation will worsen due to cell death, fluid accumulation, and infection. The treatment of a thermal burn depends a bit on severity, so if it continues to worsen, I would recommend you see your vet immediately.

In the meantime, so can do a couple of things:
1- If possible, keep your cat from causing further damage to the area. If it is a rear paw, you may be able do this by purchasing an Elizabethan collar at a pet store or your vet's office. If you do, make sure a qualified employee fits your cat with the appropriate size. However, it may be hard to keep your cat from the area, as cats are pretty flexible and sometimes can get to their paws despite use of collars.
2- The area needs to be cleansed gently with a clean, warm, wet washcloth twice a day. This will also give you a chance to examine the area to determine if the problem is worsening.
3- A topical antibiotic ointment can be applied to the area twice a day. But again, it may be difficult to prevent your cat from licking it off.

If the area continues to worsen despite your first aid, then your vet needs to examine the area right away. Also, if the area looks dark, is oozing, or is peeling, your vet needs to see it. This is because burns are very susceptible to infections. Many burns require one or more of the following:
1- Sedated debridement (cleaning and removal of dead tissue)
2- Prescription topical antibacterial ointment (Silvadene)
3- Repeated bandaging
4- Systemic antibiotics given orally
5- Pain medications

Hopefully your cat's problem is mild and can be managed at home. However, if you become concerned, please take your cat to the vet so that he can get immediate care to prevent infection.

I hope this has helped.

Dr. Jacki
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