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Candy R.
Candy R., Veterinary Technician
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 11612
Experience:  Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
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Hello, I have a 5 year old female spayed cat who gets vaccinated

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I have a 5 year old female spayed cat who gets vaccinated every year. She's very much an outdoor cat and is used to getting scratches and wounds of all sorts. Before I would just put some iodine on it and she would heal herself quite fast. Now i is no longer the case. Now she has a cut in her paw, and I noticed a few days ago that she was limping, but I could not see the cut itself. Now, it is very swollen (her paw) and has only a little bit of puss coming out. It is a bit dirty as she gets soil in between. She has no fever and is behaving normally. I have been cleaning it with warm water and iodine. She licks the iodine straight off, and keeps licking and licking the wound the whole time, regardless. I am not able to get to the vet now as I live far away and I have no car for the next week. Is there any way I can treat this wound, without having to go to the vet? Is salt water and bandage a solution for a few days? She is obviously in pain, especially after I treat her paw.

Thank you so much!
Hello, My name is XXXXX XXXXX I have been a veterinary nurse for 26 years.Thank you for allowing me to assist you today.

I am sorry to hear your girl is having some trouble. I just have a few questions.

Will she allow you to properly clean and treat the paw?

Would you be able to keep her in for a few days?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Candy,


thank you so much for your answer. It's so so, really. I know it hurts her, and the smell of iodine is driving her crazy and she just wants to lick it. Other than that she allows me to rinse the wound unless it is too painful and if its for a short time only.


Keeping her in is very difficult, as she doesn't use a litterbox. She loves being outside and becomes troublesome if she stays in :)


I appreciate your help, and hope for a quick answer to this problem :)


All the best,



Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello again Candy,


I just rinsed her paw in warm salt water (it was not easy) and the paw is clean and looks fresh, though still painful and swollen. Is this something I ca keep doing? :)


And can I ask you why she wants to eat the iodine? :)


Thank you so much once again!


PS: I hope this does not cross my other answer to your email. Thanks so much for this!



Thank you for the additional information.

This is going to be tricky to treat if you can not keep her in doors but we can try. It is possible this is an abscess ( very common in outdoor cats) from the bite of another cat. Bites or scratches heal very quickly trapping bacteria inside so it is not uncommon not to see the actual wound.

What I would suggest is the following.

*Soaking in salt water was great and if she will allow it,soak the foot twice a day before cleaning in a warm salt bath.
Warm compresses on the area 2-3 times per day can also help draw the puss out.

*After soaking Clean the area twice daily with antibacterial soap or wound scrub which ever is available in your area. I would not use the iodine straight. Not only does this burn ( which is likely why she is licking it right off) this can be very irritating to the skin to leave it on and just like people some pets can have negative reactions.

After soaking and cleaning try applying an antibacterial ointment.

These types of infections can spread to the blood stream making cats very ill so I would keep a close eye on her if she stops eating or seems lethargic then you should keep her in and try to have her seen by a vet right away.

I would not apply a bandage as these tend to tighten and cut of circulation. It can also get caught on things when she is outside.

I hope this helps. Please reply back if you have additional questions or concerns and I will be happy to continue.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Candy,


you are so helpful! Thank you so much for your time and effort!


I have one last concern, as recently discovered that there is no cut (or I can't see one) but rather sore skin on two of her toes, those that are infected. It looks like...blisters or some skin infection. But I am not sure. Is salt water still ok? she keeps licking her paw and I'm not sure what to do about that.


I felt a small lump in her thigh, in the same leg she has the infection. I am afraid it is a lymph node and has to do with the infection. Will this disappear if the infection disappears?


Thank you for the advice on iodine. It should have made sense to me, really. How about diluted iodine, in water? Just until I find a good antibacterial soap.


Vets here don't want to answer my questions on the phone, I am so thankful for your help. :)



You are very welcome, I am happy to help. Any sore can heal quickly on cats so not surprised you can not find the wound. It could also be something stuck in the paw.

Yes it is very possible that the small lump you are feeling is a lymph node and that is very common with infection.If the infection clears then this should return to normal.

Yes you can use the iodine diluted with water to the color of tea, you can add a few drops of dish soap to help turn this in to a scrub and then just rinse well.

Stopping the licking is going to be difficult unless you can cover it and keep her in the house. You can try a baby sock and just tape on if you have something such as that available.
Candy R. and 4 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.



you are wonderful. Thank you again. Thank you so much!


All the best,



You are very welcome. I am on everyday if you have any more concerns over the next few days please do not hesitate to come back to this thread and I will be happy to help.

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