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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20837
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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Need some quick advice about a bad neck wound on my cat. He

Customer Question

Need some quick advice about a bad neck wound on my cat. He got in what appears to be a bad fight, but this was nearly a week ago.
We have not taken him to the vet, as we really can't afford it, and when this happened , we simply didn't see any such visible wounds. My cat, Maverick, has been hiding out and eating drinking very little ever since this happened. However, he actually appeared to be getting better, and appeared in the best of condition today when he tried to get back outside, ate, etc.
Then, of course on this late Saturday night , early Sunday morning, I awoke to hear the worst sounding gag coming from him. Noticed his neck was wet again, around where I thought he got bit. There was blood. I know this sounds crazy, but up until just now, I was not able to spot a wound. Well, that's changed. He now has a finger length gash across his neck , and it's through the skin such that I can see part of his throat. I'm actually amazed he has gotten this far with this sort of wound.
When this injury first occurred, he had the wet spot on his fur on the neck, and I assumed it was saliva, and did not wipe it. It dried, but my wife noticed it reappearing. We are now finding blood splatter is his hiding spots around the house.
I do have a local vet that will take payments from me, but I'm sort of upset and panicking now, as I'm not sure what to make of all this. Also, no vet other than a very expensive ER vet will be available til Monday. He's been making a funny noise from his neck when he eats/drinks, and I assumed there was internal injury in there from a bite from possibly a dog with dull teeth. Turns out , he got cut bad, but possibly he opened the wound from scratching and shaking over the past week?
Also of note, is that after the injury, his 3rd eyelid in one eye was covering half his eye. I read this was caused by trauma. That did recede in about 2-3 days. His eyes looks fairly normal, but I suspect he's ill or maybe even anemic from this injury.
Thanks for any advice , other than the obvious that he needs to see a vet very soon. I don't believe he's losing lots of blood, as he's been living this long with the injury, but this seems to be pretty bad.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner. If you would still like assistance, can you tell me:

Are his gums pink or pale/white?

Any changes to his breathing?

Any odor or pus from the wound?

Can you take a photo of this wound for me to assess? If you can do so, this will let me see what you are seeing. To post them online, you can use the paperclip icon on the tool bar above your text box. Or if you can't see that on your computer/phone, then you can post them on any other site (ie Flickr, Photobucket, imgur, etc) and paste the web link here for me to check.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

​Hi again,

That seems odd since you did ask the question (but I am certainly am not a computer expert as you are). Maybe customer service can allow you to access the question? :)

In any case, it would be ideal to have a photo to assess the severity here since gaping or deep wounds often need stitching (if the tissye doesn't lie in apposition it tends to need stitching). . As well, since you noted a sound from the neck when breathing, we have the risk of tracheal perforation. So, if you can do so at its next cleaning (which should be every 8-12 hours) that would be grand.

In regards ***** ***** wounds, if there is active infection, then that does need to be treated before stitching. Otherwise, and based on what you have described, this sounds like a wound that will need stitching. And if there is perforation of the trachea, this needs closing since not doing so would lead to air trapping under the skin even if it does heal on its own.

Otherwise, this black stool is a real concern here. It isn't likely related to shock but instead suggests that he has swallowed/digested blood. And with Maverick's history, I'm concerned that this could be another sign of throat damage (which is sound more then what another cat would do). And just to note, we don't really get hernias in this area of the body.

Overall, a photo is really important here. The description you are giving me has me quite concerned that this will need stitches and especially that we may need to check the trachea and esophagus for traumatic damage (and repair any found).

All the best,

Dr. B.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hi again,

Yea, I haven’t had a category block since we switched to PQA. But hey ho, hopefully they will sort that glitch alongside making the system work for Ipads.

Anyway, I do apologize to have worried you,but your description worries me as well. Which is why I have pestered (sorry!)for a photo so I can see how severe this actually is. And again if we have perforation of either the trachea or esophagus, you are correct that it would be a serious surgical undertaking but also is something we’d just not be able to safely leave if you know what I mean.

Are you not hearing air type noises from the throat?

Gulping is totally allowed here (it will just be secondary to inflammation/irritation but I had been under the impression you were hearing air from the wound.

Otherwise, the significance of the stool is hard to assume. Shockiness can increased gut motility and reduce transit time. So, it could have represented post-wound bleeding. But if he perhaps is a hunter and ate some wildlife first, then we could see their blood being digested and thus black stool. In any case, we don't want to see any more of it. And in regard to the limping, I agree that that is likely was just strain/bruising from the altercation where he got the wound.So, no a worry if it settled.

Last but not least, I have just now seen your photo. It actually doesn’t look as bad as I was expected (my last neck wound patient was nearly ear to ear…from a collar injury of all things). That said, its not fresh, so it was likely here from the start. Furthermore, the connective tissue would have just been what wasn’t torn away when the area was grabbed by his attacker. Still with those wound edges being as aged/granulated as they are and the wound appearance, this is one that does need stitching. Not intensive operating, but 3-4 stitches to facilitate healing and closure + antibiotics +/- kitty safe anti-inflammatories (ie Metacam).

That said, it isn’t clear from the photo if it goes any deeper. So, are you seeing any wounds within the exposed muscle? If you aren’t then we may be lucky here and not have tearing of the trachea or esophagus. And that would make this a much more straight forward operation for whichever vet you choose (which it sounds like you may want to ring around alternative vets and make a trek if the local one is questionable).

All the best,

Dr.B.