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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20615
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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My kitten has a swollen paw and s outer toe is poking out,

Customer Question

My kitten has a swollen paw and his outer toe is poking out, he is limping but when I move the paw and his toes he shows no sign of discomfort. What should I do?
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 with your wee one today.

How long has the paw been swollen?

Any sores, ulcers or discharges between the toes? Any odor?

Any exposure to other cats? Any chance he swatted a /spider/wasp/bee?

Can you take a photo of this? If you can do so and post them online, it will let me see what you are seeing. To post them, you can either use the paperclip on the tool bar. Or if you cannot see that on your phone/computer, then you can post them on any site (ie Flickr, Photobucket, Imgr etc) and paste the web address here for me to have a peek.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It has a slight discoloration on the paw. It has only become swollen today, he could of swatted something as we live the country. We have an older cat.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is the picture to show you the size it has swollen to and to show his toe is poking out.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Poor Tygra!

Based on your photos, we have a few concerns for this fat paw. Since you noted that he isn't painful when you palpate it, this does make swelling secondary to a fracture thankfully less likely. With that aside, our 2 main suspects here would be a possible allergic reaction to a stinging insect (forepaws are often affected because of cats being inclined to smacking things; where dogs tend to end up with swollen noses or faces) or an abscess (usually due to an altercation with another cat, again paws are a popular site for bites). And I would note that even if they aren't overly painful, limping is expected because of how odd the paw will feel when they use it.

With this all in mind and since Tygra isn't sore, we can consider first trying to treat for our allergic concern. To do so, we can start by trialling him on an antihistamine. Most commonly we use Benadryl/Diphenhydramine (More Info/Dose @ A low dose (ie. 0.25mg per pound of their body weight twice daily) can just be enough to reduce any allergic reaction. Alternatively, you can also use Cetirizine (just 5mg for a cat) once daily. For either, we like to keep the dose low, since it can cause drowsiness (just like people). And of course, these shouldn't be used if your wee one has any known health issues or is on any other medication without speaking to your vet first.

Now if it settles, we are happy and know that our lad has been smacking the wrong bug. Of course, if it doesn't' settle within 24 hours of using an antihistamine (or starts to drain pus), then we'd have to be wary of infection. And in that case, we'd want to plan to follow up with your local vet so that they can dispense antibiotics, cat safe anti-inflammatories, +/- drain the infection to get this foot back down to size for him to use properly.

Please take care,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. *Please remember to rate my service afterwards, as this is the only way I receive credit for helping you today. Thank you! : )

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. B.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.


**I would be very grateful if you can rate my recent answer to your question, as this is the only way I am credited for helping you (this is at no extra cost to what you have paid already). If you have any lingering questions, please reply to me. I will be happy to continue further and do everything I can to provide you with the service you seek. Thank you. :)