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Wound on cat's leg.

Species: Cat
Breed: Alley
Age: 2-5 years
Sydney is an indoor/outdoor cat. Last week he got a cut on his front leg. I was out of town and my cat sitter put peroxide on it.
It is about 1"long and 1/2" wide. It has a redder spot in the center and is pink around it. He licks it alot so it doesn't seem to be healing.
It doesn't bother him. It is not swollen or tender. He is acting and eating normally. I put some bacitracin on a bandage and taped it around his leg the last 2 days. It took him awhile to get it off. What should I do?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sorry to hear that Sydney has an injury. This is a tough question to answer without seeing the injury.

I do find that in most cases, a wound like this will need antibiotics stronger than the topical bacitracin. You're right, it doesn't sound like it is infected. But an open wound like this can very easily get infected. I am a little bit concerned about the pink center...if this gets darker or starts to have some discharge then he's definitely going to need some antibiotics and you will definitely need to see the vet for that.

A wound that is this size could possibly need surgery to heal. But, I have found that most cats are pretty good at healing up even large wounds provided they don't get infected.

I'm not a huge fan of bandaging cat legs as sometimes I find that we can do more harm than good with the bandage.

So, what do we do? Ultimately the advice that is best is to have a vet look at Sydney. If there is infection (and sometimes it's hard to tell), if we wait too long, it may need either a very long course of antibiotics or a hospital stay with intravenous antibiotics.

If this is not a possibility for you, one thing that often helps speed up the healing of a wound is something called hydrotherapy. This is, if Sydney will allow it. What you do is put him in the bathtub or sink and use a an attachment that allows you to gently spray a stream of lukewarm water over the wound. If you can do this for 5 minutes at a time, 3 times a day it will speed up the healing.

A wound like this may take 2 weeks or so to completely heal.

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.