6-Year-Old Black Cat Attacked by Animal
Doc Truli answered the phone.
“Doc, Shadow might have been in a fight last night,” said Brad, Shadow’s thirty-something human. Brad always checks to make sure Shadow has everything he needs. Vaccines, heartworm preventative, quality cat food, hypoallergenic toys. Now Brad called to check if Shadow should come in to see Doc Truli, or if he could ride it out at home.
“Why do you think that?” Doc likes to check on the objective evidence.
“I heard yowling and cat screeching, then Shadow came shooting in through the cat door. He’s been under the bed ever since. I know I shouldn’t let him out, but he likes it so much,” said Shadow’s human. Yeah, he’s loving it now…
“You should bring him in for a physical,” said Doc Truli.
Doc Truli’s advice regarding cat bite injuries, suspected or confirmed:
“Your cat needs a physical. He or she needs wound care, antibiotics as quickly as possible, painkillers, and a rabies vaccine unless you live on an island where rabies has not infiltrated,” says Doc Truli
“Do you think it’d be okay to wait a few days and see how he does? You know how much he hates the car ride,” said Shadow’s dad. I’m a doctor. I’m never going to say it’s okay to hide under the bed instead of getting your problem checked. I ethically cannot condone ‘wait and see’ as a medical approach.
“Brad, I recommend you bring him in right away,” said Doc.
“I’ll think about it,” said Brad.
One week later, Shadow sat on Doc’s exam room table with a giant hole in the side of his face.
Typical Cat Bite is Difficult to See the Damage
Shadow stayed under the bed for a few days, coming out only at night to eat, drink, and use the litter box. Meanwhile, a giant lump formed on his face.
“I swear I would have brought him in sooner, but I just saw the lump this morning,” said Brad.
Doc Truli reached for the surgical scrub and a good electric clipper blade. “Let’s see what’s under the matted, sticky fur.”
The hole you see in the picture is what remained after Doc removed the pus, dead skin, and stuck-on fur. Shadow may just be the calmest cat on earth. He allowed the whole cleaning process to occur without anesthesia. While the skin over the sore was already necrotic and dead, with no agitated nerve endings, still, having your face shaved with a buzzy electric shaver is nerve-wracking for the average cat. Shadow sat still like a champ!
Shadow’s dad, Brad, swooned and turned pale at the sight of the wound. He readjusted his glasses, Clark Kent style with his index finger on the bridge-piece, because his sudden profuse sweating caused the glasses to slide off his nose.
“I had no idea! I’m not a cat abuser. I would have brought him in right away if I had known this would happen,” said Brad. Live and learn…
After a Cat Bite
So here is Doc Truli’s advice regarding cat bite injuries, suspected or confirmed: your cat needs a physical. He or she needs wound care, antibiotics as quickly as possible, painkillers, and a rabies vaccine unless you live on an island like the UK, NZ, Australia, Hawaii, Japan, or a few other privileged places where rabies has not infiltrated.
Shadow healed 100% without surgery. No kidding! That giant wound on his face healed by natural means. The antibiotics and painkillers helped break his fever so he could eat and sleep and rest after his trauma. Two months after the incident, we tested him for feline leukemia and feline aids viruses. It can take 30-60 days for a cat’s immune system to mount a response that is measurable on current tests. Shadow was lucky, he did not contract a deadly virus. (There is no follow-up picture because Shadow was feeling antsy that day and kept jumping around the exam room.)
Check VirtuaVet next week to read about strange symptoms of a hidden cat bite wound.