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Red swollen paw.

Species: Cat
Breed: unknown
Age: 5-8 years
My cat's paw is red and swollen. The middle toes are swelling so they appear to be separating. There is also some irritation on the bottom of the paw. I can't tell if it was an injury or some kind of disease. I have been putting peroxide on it daily. She is an indoor cat. I have photos.

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sorry to hear that Gruden is having this problem.

Most of the time if a cat's foot is swollen and red it is because of an infection. Does she go outside at all? Do you have another cat? If so, it is possible that she has been bitten by another cat. Or, she could possibly have a foreign object like a piece of glass or a splinter stuck in her foot.

Peroxide is helpful to clean a dirty wound but should not be used regularly. It will actually slow down healing.

This may sound silly, but check closely up the entire leg. I have seen cats who have a swollen foot because a child put an elastic band on the leg. It can often be hard to see.

It's also possible that a nail has grown around and is penetrating the skin.

It may help a little bit to fill a bowl with warm water and epsom salts and soak the foot regularly. However, if there is an infection then she will definitely need to see the vet in order to get antibiotics.

I hope she is ok!

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---

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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. 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.