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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28434
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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Dr. Salkin.I found my cat this morning not able to put much

Customer Question

Hi Dr. Salkin.I found my cat this morning not able to put much pressure on her front right foot. It looks like the actual paw is what hurts. I couldnt see any puncture marks but she is defintiely hurting. She is pretty aggressive so any time I get close, she goes NUTS! I tried to take her to my local vet but cant even get close enough to grab her. She has been sleeping all day, barely eaten and no water. no litter either. It doesnt really look swollen and she is whimpering. But it has been a couple of hours and no luck. At one point I chased him around the house and he was able to walk away from me on his but you could tell he was trying to keep off that foot. I feel especially terrible because he is already a 3-leged cat (long story - we had to amputate his back right leg). So it's especially difficult to get around. Any ideaS?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
If Frank is an outdoor cat or tussles will other cats of yours, my first thought is always a cat bite wound and these should be addressed with a systemic antibiotic at your earliest convenience - prior to cellulitis and abscessation arising. Unless he/she (you marked gender as male but have used both male and female pronouns in your conversation!) remisses unaided within 24 hours, I don't see any alternative to throwing a blanket over her and bundling her into a cardboard box. I don't want your getting bit so don't try to grab her with your bare hands.
I can't rule out a simple soft tissue injury - sprain or strain - from here; hence, my willingness to give Frank 24 hours of observation. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It's is a HE...sorry. He is an indoor cat for the most part but pretty adventurous and we let him out, as we did today, every morning. It was when I went to let him in that I noticed he couldn't really walk. I tried the towel thing and it doesn't work. He fights it! And does so aggressively. He has always been pretty aggressive after the amputation. Again, don't see any swelling or bite marks. What weird is that his collar is missing. So either he got stuck somewhere and injured himself getting out, and lost collar in process, or...I just don't know. I just sat with him and he licked my hand a bit for the first time. Still not putting pressure on that foot. But I would imagine that if it was something more serious than a sprain or twisted "ankle" that he would not be able to avoid me by wobbling around the house like he did very successfully earlier today.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
When I say I can't see any swelling, I'm saying so without being able to feel his leg, paw. Just by vision. It certainly doesn't look "swollen" as it did when I compare it to what I saw that led to his amputation earlier in life. The only thing I can see with my eyes is that the actual paw is straightened out a bit and doesn't look to have that "bend". That same area also looks like it is pointing ever so slightly to the outside when I compare it to how it should look.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
I understand how difficult it is to evaluate at this time. If bitten, swelling isn't always apparent - at least initially. His missing collar is the clue that he got in a fight or got hung up by the collar and fought it, hurting himself.
You can mix aspirin (NOT ACETAMINOPHEN) at a dose of 10 mg/lb into wet food just once for now and see how he is tomorrow. I'd like to check back with you tomorrow but I'll be on planes until evening at which time I hope to have access to a computer again.

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