Hi there, my name is ***** ***** I have 15 years of experience working both in clinic and with animal poison control where I studied animal poisonings.
I'm happy to help you decide if you need to get your pet into a clinic, or if you're able to manage an issue at home. Sometimes it takes me a bit of time to type out a longer response, please be patient!
There are a lot of possible causes for inflammation around the nails in a cat. Are you seeing any pus or discharge, or does the nail beds just seem swollen and red?
Did the swelling seem to start at the same time as you switched the litter?
Luckily, this is not something that you need to rush her to the ER clinic for, so even if she does need some antibiotics, it can safely wait until your normal vet opens.
There are some things you can also try at home to see if it helps while you wait to get her in!
Please do send over a picture!
The base of the nail bed there looks fairly yellow in color. Is that a moist discharge from the nail?
Okay, that most likely is a bacterial infection then. This is something that will likely need oral antibiotics from a vet clinic. Does she seem feverish, or have any other signs of illness like vomiting, lack of appetite, or anything like that?
Just to check, can you look at her gums and make sure that this isn't a skin color that we're seeing in any other parts of her body?
Okay. I would keep her isolated to an area where she doesn't have to walk around a lot to get to her food and litter box, and then get her in as soon as you're able tomorrow. Infections like this tend to respond really well to oral antibiotics, which you unfortunately cannot get over the counter. But once she's started on medications, it should help alleviate the inflammation and the pain.
Don't try and give her any over the counter pain medications, as the human meds we use are all varying levels of toxic to cats.
Okay perfect. All in all, this is something that definitely needs to be treated, but it's typically not life-threatening or anything that we need to panic over.
Did you have any additional questions or concerns I can address for you?
Unfortunately, it is illegal to prescribe medication for an animal over the internet when you've never done a physical examination, so that's not something anyone on the site would be able to do. I wish there was something easier that you could give over-the-counter, but in this situation, an antibiotic is going to be your best bet. My apologies if you were under the impression that we could prescribe here.
If anything does change, and you need to ask anything further, please don't hesitate to reach out to me again here.
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