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20 May 2002 @ 01:32 am
kitty thoughts  
So, I'm debating with my roommate whether I'm a cat abuser. Leonard picked up a scrape 4-5 days ago, which got noticed in the evening. I put some topical antibiotic on it and made plans to take him to the vet the next day. Looked at in in the morning and it had scabbed over, decided it was pretty minor and I'd keep an eye on it. Main scab fell off a couple of days ago, leaving pink skin and two little scabs where the scrape was deeper.

However, my roommate insists it's infected. So I've been picking up Leonard at random moments and poking at it, trying to decide whose construction of reality is correct. The bare area is a bit raised, which is my only concern, but it's not puffy, there's no redness, and Leonard doesn't react even if I poke and prod it.

Thing is, I'm usually the most hypochondriac cat parent in the world -- twice in the last year I've anxiously dragged Leonard to the vet over small things where the vet looked at it and said 'he's fine.' So this is me, trying hard to suppress my hypochondria and make sensible decisions. Head says 'cat doesn't mind scrape being poked and squeezed, cat happy and behaving normally, keep an eye on it but it's okay ', but heart is anxious and upset and now, after another confrontation this evening, I'm feeling depressed and sad in ways I haven't been since I left DC.

It's not that I can't come up with the $80 for a vet appointment, but I'd rather save it for when he needs it. But maybe at this point it's worth it just to relieve the whole household's anxiety. I'm pretty sure that she'll poke at it, say it's fine, and hand me antibiotics just in case, which is what's happened everytime I've taken a cat to the vet for a cut, but... sigh.
Current Mood: distresseddistressed
Current Music: Johnny Cash-One (U2 Cover)
Krisquiet000001 on May 20th, 2002 04:39 am (UTC)
You could just call the vet and explain and see what they think. (I mean, yeah they get money if you bring an animal in and there's not really anything wrong, but a good vet isn't going to encourage you to make unnecessary trips- stressful for the animal, if nothing else.)

For what it's worth, it certainly doesn't sound terribly infected if it is at all, from the way you describe it. If the cat doesn't mind it being poked at any more than he minds any other bit of him being prodded, and it doesn't feel abnormally warm or swollen, and the cat isn't acting as if it has a temperature, then it's probably fine. Also- Cats do have immune systems for a reason. As long as it continues to get better rather than getting worse it's not going to hurt him to have to fight off any minor infection he might or might not have. (This doesn't apply if your cat is known to have some freak cat-immune-system-problem of which I am not aware. :)

The pink skin/raised bare area just sounds like part of normal healing/scar tissue formation, to me. Is the cat licking at the area abnormally much or anything? There might be a little local irritation from the scab coming off or something.

I just don't think it makes sense to stress yourself and the cat with a visit to the vet and a probably-unnecessary course of antibiotics.
Lauratavella on May 20th, 2002 01:43 pm (UTC)
Nope, he's not licking it noticably, unless I put antibiotic gel on it, in which case he annoyedly licks it off. Which sort of defeats the purpose. Damn bastard cats.
Loligololigo on May 20th, 2002 06:26 am (UTC)
Sounds to me like the cat is fine. Furthermore, cats are tough -- if he really does have an infection (which it sure sounds like he *doesn't*), things will eventually get worse and it will be obvious that he's sick, and you can take him to the vet then, and he'll recover just fine.

When something is off with my cats, they either start hiding in closets (poor Bruce and his many sinus infections) or they get sluggish and stop grooming themselves (Willow and the mysterious abcess). They don't breeze through life all perky and normal
Lauratavella on May 20th, 2002 02:11 pm (UTC)
Mine too, if they are sick they show it in behavior. What had me really distressed was that my roommate came home and informed that she had had dinner with a vet, and that he was horrified and informed her that the police could take away my cat. And y'know, I don't really like anyone thinking like that about me, either my roommate or some stranger.

However, today I had my other roommate and a friend look at it, to make sure I wasn't delusional and that there wasn't any pus (which Megan thinks she saw.) So I'll probably call the vet and check about the fact that it's raised, but I'm feeling much better otherwise
hegemony hedgehogagrimony on May 20th, 2002 01:13 pm (UTC)
Dunno if it helps or just makes me out as a monster, but Agnew picks up scrapes all the time that don't even get dabbed with topical antibiotic because I never see them until they're already to the 'scab ready to fall off stage'. They've never once bothered her or warrented a visit to the vet.

I think the best indicator, likely, is the cat's own behaviour. If the behaviour hasn't changed any, it's probably fine.

Many hugs!
Lauratavella on May 20th, 2002 01:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm feeling better, because I hauled the cat over to other roomie and Drew and said 'okay, I want to make sure I'm not delusional, do you see any pus' (which Megan was sure was there).