Treating Chilly the cat for cellulitis
Can you spot the difference??
Chilly came in to see us after she was attacked by a stray cat in her own house! Her leg is very swollen, this is due to cellulitis likely caused by a bite or scratch. She was a model patient whilst we cleaned her up, and even forgave us and posed for some photos afterwards!
Cat bites and cellulitis/abscesses:
Cats have very small but sharp teeth. A small wound from a cat bite can seal up within a day or two, while the bacteria continue to multiply underneath the skin.
Cat bites on the limbs or tail often cause drastic swelling known as cellulitis, as seen in this photo, and bites on the body or head often result in abscesses. Cats may also develop a fever, lose their appetite, be reluctant to move, depressed, or lethargic. You may notice heat and swelling over the affected area, which may also be painful when touched.
If limbs are involved, the cat may develop a limp in the affected leg. Abscesses can rupture spontaneously, at which point you will probably notice a lot of foul-smelling pus and blood on your cat’s fur around the site of the abscess.
Treatment may include surgical drainage if an abscess has developed, thorough exploration and cleaning of any wounds, and antibiotic therapy to help resolve the infection.
The best ways to prevent cat bite abscesses/cellulitis are to keep your cat indoors. If it is not feasible to do so permanently then at least between dusk and dawn, and to have male cats neutered to reduce territorial aggression.
If you think your cat has been in a fight and been bitten or scratched, bring him or her to us at VSL Veterinary Clinic – the friendly Vet Clinic in Phnom Penh, Cambodia