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Discussion Starter #1
I adopted my 2 new girls - Pansy and Trixie - from the county shelter and had them spayed this past Tuesday. I brought them home Wednesday afternoon and both of them have been eating well and have adjusted to their new home. Pansy is still very much a baby ... running and playing and having such a good time. Trixie is much more sedate ... just a lap baby really who wants to be petted.

I didn't like the look of Pansy's incision site and took her in this morning. The verdict ... it's infected! :( I took Trixie in too ... just to be on the safe side ... and the vet said her incision is infected as well. :( :( I've never had a cat whose incision got infected so I'm wondering why on earth this happened. What did I do wrong? They are both indoor only cats.

Poor Pansy has to wear the plastic collar thing because she keeps licking at her incision. Every time I take it off, she makes a beeline for the suture. My main question is the vet told me to use OTC antibiotic cream on the sutures for both Trixie and Pansy ... if they do lick at the suture, will the cream hurt them?

Any suggestions on how I can make the collar thing more tolerable to Pansy? She seems wary of everything while wearing it ... I guess it must affect her depth perception or something since she walks very strangely with it on, lifting her paws high or walking backwards. :(

How long does it normally take for the spay incision to heal? Both girls have dissolvable sutures ... I'm to take them back on Tuesday for a follow-up. They are both on an antibiotic and got a short-acting steroid shot today which was supposed to help the inflammation in the incision site.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Deborah
 

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If they are both on oral antibiotics i don't see why it is necessary to apply a topical ointment. I'd be very cautious about doing so, and be sure to check the warning labels on whatever you buy to be sure it's not toxic.
 

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I think it would be a good idea to get a second opinion. You don't have to take them to another vet, but I'd call around to see if any other vet's offer you the same advice or different. The ointment may be meant to help it heal more quickly or even soothe some pain or itching that's coming from the infection... but it may not be the best thing for you to be using. I have no idea what it is, so can't offer any advice from experience. See if you can find any info online about if its pet friendly, or what is pet friendly that you can be using instead.

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the suggestions ... I'll discontinue using the ointment until I get a chance to talk to one of the other vets on Monday. I'm sure her goal was to speed the healing but I don't want to make Pansy or Trixie even sicker by ingesting a topical ointment that isn't meant to be taken orally. Hopefully, the oral antibiotic will do the trick.

Thanks again for your help!

Deborah
 

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Sometimes I question the use of over the counter ointments anyway.
I don't think it's hurting me, but I have yet to notice a time where a minor cut of mine has healed faster by the use of such products.

My concern about the ointment for your cat of course is if it would be toxic for the cat to lick it.
 

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It is very odd to give steroids in the face of infection. Steroids strongly suppress the immune system and will inhibit and delay the healing process. Oral antibiotics would have brought down the inflammation in a day or two. Inflammation is a normal and appropriate response of the body to infection and generally should not be interefered with unless it is excessive or abnormal such as in auto-immune disease.

Re topical antibiotics, I almost never use them on cats since they only last about 3 minutes on the wound before the cat cleans them off! However, I do remember being taught in vet school that they improve healing. It probably won't hurt anything but if it causes the cat to irritate the wound, then you should not use it. The oral antibiotics should be sufficient.

I also like to use warm compresses (5 minutes twice a day) to increase blood flow to the area; that works very well in most cases. Increased circulation brings more antibiotic into the area as well as immune cells that will fight the infection (once the immune system recovers from the effects of the steroids!).

Your cat's behavior with the e-collar is normal. Hopefully she'll only have to wear it for a couple of days.

Dissolvable sutures take several weeks to dissolve, but a normal spay incision should be fairly well healed in about 10 days. However the infection and the steroids are likely to cause a delay in this case.

Altogether, giving three drugs for an infection that should never have occurred would make me consider finding another vet.

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks again to all for your support ... and Dr. Jean, thanks also for your invaluable input! I'll start the girls on warm compresses ... if I can get them (particularly Pansy!) to sit still long enough! I take the e-collar off Pansy while she eats canned food ... it's a bit messy if I leave it on ... but the minute she's done eating, she starts licking her incision site so the e-collar has to go back on. :(

The vet that performed their surgeries is new to my vet's group. I didn't know that a steroid shot was bad for them ... I really worry about their recovery since they were probably not in the best of shape anyway, having been up for "adoption" at the county shelter for several weeks.

They are continuing to eat and drink well and took their antibiotic without too much objection ... I'm hopeful this bump in the road for them will smooth out before too many more days.

Deborah
 

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Hope it turns out well but the cat walking backwards b/c of the e-collar is totally normal. Twinkie walked around like that for awhile.....bumping into things with it and scaring himself. But eventually he liked having it on. :lol:

 

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Kitkat, Pansy has graduated to one of the soft collars like your baby had ... she likes it much better. Her first one was like the one you used, Addfran ... rigid plastic that surely rattled Pansy's skull every time she ran into something!

I took both girls for their follow-up yesterday. Pansy's incision has come "unglued" and partially unsewn but the vet doesn't want to restitch her. She thinks the incision looks much better, although to me it actually looks worse! Trixie's is healing beautifully. The goal is for Pansy's incision site to scab over, the vet said. I hope she isn't left with a horrid scar that will irritate her ... poor baby!

Completely off the subject, I finally got in the canned Merrick cat food I ordered. Of course, only from reading the other posts do I now realize that fishy foods aren't best for my girls. What did I order? A case of New England Boil in the 3 1/2 ounce cans. All the girls LOVED it. The ingredients looked good, although there is a fair amount of vegetables/fruit in it which I guess is unnecessary for cats? We'll finish out the case and try another flavor.

Deborah
 

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my kitten right now is in the hard plastic collar... the instant i take it off whether she is eating or sleeping she immeadieatly goes for the stitches... i hate having to keep her in it as she really hates it... she keeps trying to groom her front half and only succeedes in licking the collar and hissing at it because she cant get around it... the only time we have ever heard her hiss was when we intruduced my roomates ferret before, we had just brought her from the shelter that we got my kitten from... kiki didnt like the ferret at first... untill we bathed her then kiki was fine and just wanted to cuddle with it... but back to the collar... she also walks backwards and lifts her paws really high when walking forward... i couldnt help but laugh at my poor baby when i saw this little dance she was doing... she has gotten the hang of it today no more hissing... but still hates it... i cant wait untill i can have it off of her without her trying to rip open her tummy... your vet doesnt sound very good to me... wanting your other baby to scab over... that will mean a much much much much longer healing time... you should bring them to an emergency vet clinic and tell them that your vet is incompitent and ask them to re-stitch her... she will heal much faster and the incicion wont get all infected again... which it most likley will if its left to scab over... well all the luck to you and your two little ones...
 
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