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Andrea Scheer
Andrea Scheer, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 128
Experience:  DVM
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My cat has a bite infection on his leg. I've heard so much

Customer Question

My cat has a bite infection on his leg. I've heard so much of what to do and what not to do, it's crazy. Betadine or Bactine? Triple antibiotic cream like neosporin ? bandage it or not? I think he can get to it even with the collar on and don't want to take the chance of him ingesting anything that can harm him worse. Right now my family is in financial crisis so the vet is not an option. Makes me sad, but I believe if someone will just help me out with some straight answers we can get through this.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
Actually, topical treatment of bite wounds can be avoided altogether. There's no value to such treatment. Infection was introduced under the skin by penetrating teeth and so systemic antibiotics are the hallmark of treatment. If these antibiotics aren't administered within 48 hours of being bit, these cats will go on to develop cellulitis and abscessation which then requires surgical lancing, flushing, and debridement.
I understand your financial constraints. I wish there were an effective home-care alternative but that isn't the case. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
This was exactly the bs I expected. Just a way to sucker me into spending money I don't have to tell me to go to the vet, with money I don't have. When I got my pets, I had a great job, so I'm not an irresponsible pet owner. Since then I have become disabled and having a hard time adjusting. Too bad I didn't get hurt on the job or in an accident, right? Anyway, PLEASE CANCEL MY "FREE MEMBERSHIP" . Next time I'll stick to YOUTUBE!
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
I can't imagine that you wanted me to make up a story. If there's nothing that can be done of value at home, I'm not going to lie to you.
You're not out any money here. You don't need to leave a rating and you don't need to respond to me. Contact***@******.*** to have your deposit refunded.
Expert:  Andrea Scheer replied 2 years ago.
Hello this is Dr. Scheer and I have read your post about your cat with the bite wound. I see Dr. Salkin has offered you the ideal treatment and I agree with him. However, I also understand ideal treatment is not always obtainable. I can go over with you some of the options you have to treat him at home and the risks involved as well.
The best thing to do for a wound like this is keep it clean and open. Clip the hair away the best you can and lavage the wound. Betadine or iodine solutions are fine. I prefer chlorohexidine solutions. Both of which you can get a human pharmacy. When cleaning with these products use A LOT. Iodine solutions can be diluted even. The idea is not only to get the disinfectant on the wound but flush away bacteria and debris in the wound. If the wound is deep, try to get solution down into and out of it. If you can get a syringe, that would be helpful in hitting the area with a little force. Wash the wound once a day for two days. Keep him moving and walking around for the next few days and try to keep the wound open. You want all the yuck inside to drain out. Wipe away any blood, pus or other discharge with a clean wet paper towel to pull infection away from the bite site. I don't recommend putting any antibiotic cream on it. Once the antibiotic in the cream loses its effect, the cream can actual hold dirt and bacteria at the site of the wound. Also do not wrap it for this same reason. If the bite hole heals before all the infection is flushed out, your kitty will end up with a nasty type of abscess that often don't heal without surgical debridement and systemic antibiotics.
Another important note is to be very careful when treating your cat. Even the nicest kitty can become quite aggressive when you are doing something to it that hurts. You don't need a matching bite wound! Some tips for restraining are to have someone help you and wrap the cat in a towel or scruff him very tightly. Trim his nails before ou get started. Veterinary staff are trained in restraint to avoid injury to themselves, the vet and the animal.
Often these type of wounds will appear to heal and then a mass will develop at the site that is a walled off abscess. Sometimes it takes months for them to appear. Those are the really difficult ones to successfully treat at home.
I hope that information was helpful to you and please let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.
~Dr. Scheer