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Dr. Christian K.
Dr. Christian K., Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10015
Experience:  12 year of veterinary experience in surgery, medicine and behavior
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Newborn kitten has a flattish, scaley/cruddy paw. What could

Customer Question

Newborn kitten has a flattish, scaley/cruddy paw. What could cause this? Three weeks old.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Christian K. replied 4 years ago.
Chat Conversation Started
Dr. Christian K. :

Hello,


This is Dr. Christian. Welcome to JustAnswer.

Dr. Christian K. :

Is there any pus or bleeding? Does it seem painful?

Customer :

No. The paw seems fine. At first I thought it was a deformation. Since they are just starting to walk, I wondered if he could walk on it, but he can just fine.

Dr. Christian K. :

It sounds like there is an infection causing the crusting. The fact that it is flatter than usual makes me worry that there may have been some loss of blood supply. That would also cause scabbing and infection as the skin became damaged. An insect, bite wound or other trauma are also possible. Try soaking the foot in warm water for a few minutes to loosen the crusting. You might find raw skin underneath. Gently rinse that too then dry it gently and apply some triple antibiotic ointment. It's best to have him seen by a vet to determine whether oral antibiotics are necessary. Keeping the wound clean and dry will help it heal quicker.

Customer :

But how do I know that it is a wound? The whole paw seems affected, and even the claws seem to have some of the crusty residue. The little pads seem affected the most. The kitten's other paw seems totally unaffected. I can soak that paw, but i don't know how an insect could have gotten to this paw. It's been pretty protected by its mother. This little boy is the largest of the litter weighting a whole pound at almost three weeks.

Dr. Christian K. :

It may not necessarily be a wound now but a badly infected paw that is causing a generalized skin infection and scabbing. To be honest its very possible that you will not figure out the initial cause of the wound since it certainly occurred several days ago and has now progressed to this.

Customer :

hi im am maggie!! my mom is soaking the kittens paw and i am 10. i thank you so much for your help.This means a lot to me!!

Dr. Christian K. :

You are welcome Maggie. Good luck with the kitten.

Dr. Christian K. :

Make sure to ask your parents if they have any more quesitons. Since the question was left open I'm assuming that they do.

Customer :

The soaking doesn't seem to affect the texture of the paw (this is the mom typing--got a worried little girl helping me). The texture almost seems like an adult cirrhosis (sp?). The pad are seems most affected on this one section. My biggest worry is that this might be some contagious crud that can infect the whole litter, the mother, and perhaps even our house dog.

Dr. Christian K. :

I don't think this is contagious. I'm worried that the paw is necrotic and dried out from lack of blood supply. Think of it like mummification. Any crushing injury could cause that. Once the blood supply is damaged the tissue dies and dries up and gets crusty.

Customer :

But wouldn't that type of injury render the paw less useful in walking? It is his right front paw and he doesn't seem maimed in any way in attempting to walk (especially in comparing him to his litter mates). I mean psoriasis, not cirhosis (as in liver). I hate to say that it might be just a birthing injury, but at this point I prefer that to a contagious skin affliction.

Dr. Christian K. :

There aren't really any contagions that would spread from cat to cat like that. If the whole foot is not affected then he may not limp at all.

Dr. Christian K. :

Did you have any more questions?

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Dr. Christian K.
Dr. Christian K.
Veterinarian
1782 Satisfied Customers
12 year of veterinary experience in surgery, medicine and behavior