Check Your Cat’s Paws For Infections Regularly
All cat caretakers want their feline charges to be healthy and happy. It is a good practice to examine your cat’s paws on a regular basis.
- Look for small cuts on the pads.
- Check between the toes for any foreign bodies such as slivers, burrs, or thorn.
- Check your cat’s nails and trim them if they are too long.
Does Your Cat Have Swollen Paw
If your cat has a swollen paw, our experienced veterinary team is equipped to nurse your cat back to health. We offer comprehensive wellness exams, lab work, and x-rays to quickly identify the underlying issue. Contact us today to make an appointment.
At Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic, we are proud to provide compassionate services while empowering pet owners with transparent information in order to make the best decisions for their pets.
Paw Infections Arent Hard To Spot
Most injuries to a cats paw will produce a few common symptoms as the body works to heal the damaged tissue. These symptoms may include:
- Swelling: Swelling may occur across the entire paw or on a single toe or section of the foot. A swollen paw will look noticeable bigger than the other.
- Redness: Swollen paws may also appear red. Redness may be caused by inflammation as the bodys immune system works to seal a wound or fight infection.
- Warm to the touch: Heat on the paw is also a side effect of inflammation. The paw may be warmer to the touch than the rest of your cats body.
- Pain: Your cat may limp, hold the paw up, overgroom the paw or refuse to let you touch the paw. These are all signs of pain.
All of these signs indicate a problem with the paw. Unfortunately, these problems could range from a minor scrape to a severe puncture wound. But how do you know if the paw is infected? Its very difficult to know whats going on beneath the skin by just looking at a wound. Fortunately, a few other paw changes might indicate that your cats paw is infected.
- Lumps or bumps: Paw infections may cause noticeable lumps on a part of the paw. These are typically abscesses, or pockets of pus under the skin.
- Discharge: Yellow, green, white or bloody discharge may be present on your cats pawparticularly if an abscess has ruptured. Pus is caused by a buildup of white blood cells that responded to the infection.
- Odd odor: An infected paw might produce a strange or pungent odor.
Don’t Miss: How Many Calories Do Cats Need Per Day
Check Your Cats Paws For Infections Regularly
All cat caretakers want their feline charges to be healthy and happy. It is a good practice to examine your cats paws on a regular basis.
- Look for small cuts on the pads.
- Check between the toes for any foreign bodies such as slivers, burrs or thorn.
- Check your cats nails and trim them if they are too long.
What Can I Give My Cat For A Swollen Paw
For a cat swollen paw home remedy, feline first aid is essential. Approach a cat with a swollen paw as follows:
Also Check: How Many Calories To Feed Kitten
When To Be Concerned
Unfortunately, some cat leg injuries will take time to heal. You may have heard of athletes suffering from an anterior cruciate ligament tear, but did you know cats can also have ACL injuries? The Atlantic Veterinary Hospital writes that kitty ACL tears usually result from jumping or falling from high places, and are more common in overweight cats. A visit to the vet will confirm if the injury requires surgery, pain medication, or another treatment.
When cat limping is more severe due to an injury or serious illness, it is very important to limit your cats movement and not allow her to jump or run. Consider borrowing a large dog crate to keep your cat contained while she heals. Make sure you get one large enough for her to have space to walk around between a small litter pan, water bowl and bed or blanket. You can also give her a room in your house, away from other pets and children.
Even if you dont give your kitty a private room, youll need to make sure her litter box is one that does not require much effort to get into and out of. A shallow baking tray or a small pan for kittens will keep her from injuring herself further or eliminating outside the box from pain.
It is also important that you never give your cat medication for her pain that your vet did not prescribe. Over the counter medication that is made for humans can be toxic to cats and can make the situation exponentially worse.
When You Should Take Your Cat To The Vet
It is always a good idea to take your cat to the vet for limping to prevent infection or get a proper diagnosis. If any of the following situations apply to your cat make an appointment with your vet:
- You can’t identify the cause
- They have been limping for more than 24 hours
- There is swelling
- An open wound
- The limb is dangling in an odd position
Don’t wait 24 hours if there is a visible cause such as bleeding, swelling or the limb is hanging in a strange way, call your vet immediately to prevent infection or a worsening condition. You should also call your vet if you do not know how to handle the situation, your vet will be able to give you advice on the actions you should take next.
Note:The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s condition, please make an appointment with your vet.
What To Do If Your Cat Has A Swollen Paw Or Limping
On noticing your cat limping or having a swollen paw accompanied by discomfort, provide a means of comfort by wrapping with a blanket while keeping it still. Do not allow your cat to move or jump around. Limit its activities.
Observe and try to look for the pain site when your cat is relaxing. Place your hand on the legs and feel for where is sensitive, by the cats reaction. Do this gently. Check out the toes and look for foreign bodies like glass, thorns, shape sticks. See if there is a cut, bruise, and puncture.
Also, see if there are breaks on the toenails and the presence of infection. Apply pressure gently and take note of painful areas and observe for retraction of paws on touching a spot with sore. Move upwards, starting from the toes checking for sensitive areas and where tender.
Ensure you note where swelling is. Try to bend or flex the joints. Observe if your cat resists such action.Any resistance indicates pain on that part. Do some form of comparison of the affected paw/leg with other legs.Observing any sign of serious pain in your cat? Theres no need to examine it.
Trying to manipulate joints, bones, and swollen parts can be very painful and cause more severe damage.It is best to leave it for the veterinarian. Dont make any attempts to give any form of medication to your cat that wasnt prescribed by your vet.
What Should I Do If My Cat Is Limping Suddenly
If your cat is limping, it’s important that you wait for them to calm down before you take any action or try to access their leg.
When your cat has had some time to calm down after suddenly starting to limp, assess their paw carefully by running your fingers down the site for any sensitive areas and keep an eye out for any potential causes of their limping. This can include open wounds, redness, dangling limbs and swelling. Start at their paw and work your way up their leg.
If it is something such as a thorn or nails that are too long just gently pull the thorn out with tweezers or cut their nails as usual . If you are unable to figure out the cause of the limp and your beloved kitty is still limping after 24 hours make an appointment with your vet.
It may be difficult to tell if your cat’s leg is broken because their symptoms could mirror other injuries or a sprain , Because of this, if your suspect a broken limb , contact your vet as soon as possible.
While waiting for your veterinary appointment, you have to limit your cat’s movements to keep them from causing further injury or making it worse. Do this by keeping them in a room with low surfaces, or putting them in their carrier.
Make sure they are comfortable by providing them with a comfy place to sleep/kitty bed and keep them warm with their favorite blankets. Continue to monitor their situation.
Read Also: Dawn Bath For Fleas
How To Treat Your Cats Swollen Paw
Noticing any swelling or limping in your cat should make you visit your veterinarian. A vet is in the best position to offer quality treatment for your cats condition. Ensure you discuss the wellness of your cat before any form of treatment, especially the ones done before the vets appointment. Some medications can cause death to cats when taken with the necessary prescription.
Well, there have been advancements in the approach to treating injured cats. The Use of Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory medications has helped in pain and inflammation relief. Arthritis seen in older cats can also be treated.
Insect bites or stings can be effectively treated with the use of antihistamines, administered by your vet. Lancing, drain, and use of antibiotics will use for any occurrence of an abscess. If there is a Fracture suspected, an x-ray can be done to ascertain the severity of the break.
Management of such cases can be done surgically or without. Fractured bone can be supported with splints or cast, and in other cases, surgery can be done. Well, providing the necessary care for swollen paws and limping, can come in various ways. The best thing is prompt first aids given and seeking good veterinary care, all leading to a goodchance of recovery.
READ NOW: How To Stop Cat Nail Bleeding Instantly
Swollen Cat Paw Treatment
Once it becomes apparent that your cat has a swollen paw, you need to take a trip to a veterinary clinic. There, the vet will determine the cause of the swelling, as well as treatment options.
- Injuries and trauma These will be determined through an examination, sometimes requiring an x-ray, then treated accordingly.
- Insect bite or sting Once identified, your vet will likely administer a steroid or antihistamine to reduce the swelling and discomfort.
- Pododermatitis Treatment will vary for this condition, depending on the underlying cause. Oftentimes, therapy and a change in diet will be necessary.
- Nail Overgrowth Cuts and infections caused by nail overgrowth will be bandaged and treated with antibiotics.
Also Check: Rose Leaves Toxic To Cats
Cat Limping May Indicate A Veterinary Emergency
If you notice your cat limping, it could be an injury or other medical condition impacting a muscle, joint, bone, paw, or other tissue. Cat limping can result from trauma like jumping, falling from a high surface, or being hit by a car. If your cats leg is hanging at an awkward angle and they cannot and will not walk on it, or if there is an open wound, bleeding, or if your cat has been limping for more than 24 hours, it could be a veterinary emergency. Please call us or bring your cat in immediately to our 24/7/365 vet hospital in Castle Rock.
Cats tend to hide their pain, so if your cat is exhibiting signs of trauma or pain, their condition is likely severe enough that a vet should examine your cat right away. If you do not think that it is an emergency, call us to make an appointment with our veterinary specialists.
If not due to major trauma, your cat limping could be for several reasons.
Common Causes Of Limping In Cats
Limping is a general term that refers to a walk with reduced weight-bearing on one or multiple legs. In some cases, they may put light pressure on the injured leg, allowing only their toes to touch the ground, and in other cases, they will hold the leg above the ground and completely cease using it. If your cat is limping, there is a good chance that your cat is in pain.
Even the slightest reduction in weight-bearing on any leg will cause your cats gait to change, often making their motions look jerky and less smooth than normal. This is a limp, and it can appear in a variety of ways since it is the result of a variety of conditions. Lets take a look at the usual causes behind cat limping.
Wounds are known as damaged areas of the skin or bodily tissues. Most people are familiar with wounds like cuts, scrapes, and bite marks that are visible from the outside. There are also wounds that can be less obvious because they are closed and lay within the skin or underlying tissues.
Regardless of what kind of wound it is, this form of damage on a leg or paw pad can easily generate pain. Similar to the cuts or scrapes we experience, wounds on cats hurt more if pressure is applied. To avoid intense pain from a leg or paw pad wound, your cat will likely reduce pressure on the affected limb, causing it to limp.
2. Nail Damage
Its worth noting that you can reduce your cats chance of nail damage by keeping their nails well-trimmed!
3. Strains And Tears
Recommended Reading: Blue Buffalo Weight Control Wet Cat Food
Preventing Problems With Cat Paws
There are a few things you can do to prevent your cat from getting an infected paw or other foot problem.
- keep their nails trimmed so that they dont catch on something and get pulled away
- have your cat spayed or neutered so as to reduce chances they will get in a fight with other cats
- have regular yearly check-ups with your vet to ensure other possible causes are kept under control
The best thing you can do is to make sure you know your pussy, keep an eye on her so that if anything happens during the course of an ordinary day, you catch it quickly. Minor problems can become major problems if left undiagnosed and untreated.
Signs And Symptoms Of Swollen Cat Paws
Obviously, swelling is itself a symptom of something. However, cats can experience other signs as well, depending on the root cause of their swollen paws.
If your cat is suffering from pododermatitis, in addition to their mushy, pillowy footpad, they can also experience symptoms like:
- Bruised appearance of the footpad
- Ulcerations and splitting of the pad
- Bleeding from their paws
- Excessive licking of their feet
- Tenderness and pain when you touch their paw
- Limping and lameness
Recommended Reading: Blue Wilderness Canned Kitten Food
How Do You Tell If Your Cats Leg Is Swollen
Cats paws are covered with a good quantity of fur. A good amount can hide any form of irregularities, making it seemingly tasking to know if the paw is swollen. Noticeable features are mostly external. More so, you can proceed to apply water to each paw. Wetting the paws helps in the easy comparability of sizes. Some signs can easily tell when a cats pattern is swollen.
Look out for these and go ahead to check the affected paw.
- Obvious limping. Bearing weight on the paw affected seems difficult
- Biting or licking the paw
- The surrounding area feels warm or heated up due to infection/inflammation
- Showing concern and favoritism for the affected paw
- Offensive odor from the paw
- Visible wound, bruise, and swelling on the skin
- Howling one sign of pain
- Refusal to eat
- Reduced activities: unable to run and walk
Some of these signs are also associated with a broken bone or sprain in the body. Seeing all these will lead you to take the next step. Your cat is in obvious pain but can be difficult to determine as cats are stoic in nature. Settling down to examine your cat will go a long way if its cooperating. Finding it difficult will make you require veterinary services.
Lameness Might Still Need Veterinary Help
If your cat has something stuck in their paw pads or if they have a minor muscle or other soft tissue injury or strain, it could be enough to cause them to limp. Note that most cats will not walk on a broken leg or dislocated joint. If your cat is clearly in pain, do not try to examine them for broken bones or dislocations.
If your cat is lying down and calm, you may try to inspect the paw on the leg that is causing the limp. Stop if there are indications of pain . Do you see signs of:
- excessive licking
- lameness ?
If any of these conditions are present, please call or bring your cat to our vet hospital.
Even if you do not see anything but your cat is limping for more than 24 hours, please contact your family veterinarian or make an appointment with Veterinary Specialists of the Rockies. There could be a soft tissue injury, broken bone, or infection that needs treatment.