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What to do about sores on the underside of a cats tail?

Customer Question
My cat has an open...

My cat has an open sore on the underside of his tail near the base. I thought it was an abscess at first because that is what it resembles but its a re-occurring thing and doesn't ever seem to heal completely.

He will be fine for a few months and then it comes back. He is an outside cat otherwise in good health.

Submitted: 5 years ago.Category: Cat Veterinary
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
2/18/2012
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Gabby, Cat Veterinarian replied 5 years ago
Dr. Gabby
Dr. Gabby, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 13,078
Experience: Veterinarian in Practice 19 Years
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Is the wound directly above his anus or off to the side?

Have you caught him licking the wound?

How are his stools?

Does he ever strain to have a bowel movement or drag his hind end across the floor?

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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

It is directly above his anus. He does lick it sometimes and he doesn't like me looking at it so I'm assuming it must be sore. At first the hair was matted around it and you could more feel the sore than see it.

Now he has opened it and its pretty painful looking. His stools are normal. As for straining or dragging his hind end, I've never seen him do so but he is primarily outside.

Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Gabby, Cat Veterinarian replied 5 years ago

I bet you are correct. It is an abscess or a localized pocket of infection. If it is not healing, there is a possibility that when it gets close to healing, that it starts to itch and then he licks it open again. There is also a possibility that he has a foreign body, such as splinter, stuck in the skin there, and it is never going to heal until the foreign body is removed. In addition, the bone could be infected there or he could have a bone chip there.

But that is less likely in that location. So I am guessing you are trying to avoid the vet. If that is the case, he must wear an Elizabethan plastic cone collar until the wound is completely healed over. You can purchase one at any larger pet store. Make sure it extends past his nose or he will still be able to reach back there. He will have a "temper tantrum" for the first few hours but then he will get used to it. He can not go outside with his e-collar on. You can also try a "bite not collar." Bitenot collar website.

It will be easier to treat the wound with his e-collar or bite not collar on. Clean the wound twice a day with the iodine. If you see a hole, flush the wound with a syringe. Try to get the iodine into the hole. Hot packing the wound, with a warm wet wash cloth will bring the infection to the surface. Then apply Neosporin triple antibiotic cream twice a day. The wound should be completely healed in two weeks.If the wound is not healed, then he needs to see the vet.

The wound will probably have to be explored under anesthesia to make sure there is not a foreign body in there. He will also need a oral antibiotic as well. If you want, you could just start with an oral antibiotic for a week and if there was no improvement, then spend the money on the wound exploratory.

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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

Ok, abscess seems likely then. The only issue is that this has been going on for like 6 months or so. It will heal and the will open up again in like 2 months or so. I don't always notice right away because like I said, unless I'm feeling down there I don't always notice the matted fur that starts off first.

I'm not above taking him to the vet, I've done so before for an abscess that was on his leg. I just didn't know since it had been going on for so long. I thought maybe it was parasite related or something.

Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Gabby, Cat Veterinarian replied 5 years ago

The good news is, there is not a parasite that would cause that. There is a type of fly, that lays a larvae, that grows to about the size of you pinky nail, under the skin but it would be difficult for the fly to get under the tail long enough to lay the larvae. Then there are maggots, or house fly larvae, but you would see the maggots squirming around. If you are open to seeing the vet, that would be my first choice since I believe there may be something stuck in his skin.

Unless he just keeps opening it himself. It will heal faster with oral antibiotics and an e-collar too. There is also a slight chance he has a fungal infection back there and it will not respond to antibiotics and he will need oral ant-fungal medication instead. But my feeling is that any non-healing wound should be checked for a reason it is being prevented from closing.

Dr. Gabby
Dr. Gabby, Cat Veterinarian
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

Alright, I will be taking him to the vet to get him some help and hopefully it will heal. Thanks for your info.

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Dr. Gabby
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