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Dr. Andi
Dr. Andi, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 612
Experience:  I am skilled in small animal emergency, medicine, surgery, acupuncture and complementary medicine.
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Our cats back paw is extremely swollen about 3 to 4 times normal

Customer Question

Our cats back paw is extremely swollen about 3 to 4 times normal size and the swelling extends about half way up the rear leg. The paw is fluid filled and the lymph node higher up in the leg is swollen but about 4 inches from the swelling in the leg. This is an indoor car minx cross about 6 yrs old
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Andi replied 7 years ago.

I am so sorry about your cat's leg. I do agree with your vet though. This sounds like it might be a bad infection or abscess, caused by a sliver, tiny piece of glass, cat scratch, etc. If it is an abscess or infection, it has to be lanced under heavy sedation or anesthesia in order to heal. No matter what antibiotic you give him, if the infection and puss still remains inside the leg, then the swelling won't go down.

So, I would suggest you have him sedated and the leg drained and explored. You can probably save money by not sending out a culture from the wound and not sending out the lymph node biopsy. Because of your cat's age, chances are that this is a bad infection and that is why the lymph node is swollen. Your vet can biopsy the lymph node, and keep it in a preservative solution in case you decide to send it out later. If you don't culture the wound, your vet will probably just put him on very strong antibiotics to be sure to get rid of the infection if there is one. Also, your vet can culture the wound when he is draining it and save the culture for a couple of days. That way, you can see if the swelling goes down after draining the wound before you send out the culture.

Another thought is for you to check with your local humane society or shelter. Sometimes they have extra funds to help with situations like yours.

I hope this helps and your cat's leg gets better soon!
Dr. Andi and 2 other Cat Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Just thought I would let you know we ended up going to another vet, the first one left things so long that the cat is having it's leg amputated today.
Expert:  Dr. Andi replied 7 years ago.
Gosh, I am so sorry about about that. I hope everything goes ok with the amputation though.