After the decision has been made to “stitch or not to stitch,” treatment of most wounds is the same. To begin, thoroughly clean the wound using cold water.
Males, in particular, often exhibit abscesses. Abscesses are frequently the result of fighting wounds such as bites and scratches that puncture, but do not tear, the skin. These wounds become sealed with bacteria under the skin which develop into abscesses. Because the skin of the cat is normally loose, the abscess can spread under skin and fur and go unnoticed until suddenly a large bulge appears. Sometimes the abscess breaks and drains, but more often it will ooze through perforations in the skin and not drain adequately. We recommend having your veterinarian look at this to determine if lancing is necessary and/or if medication is advised. Applying Schreiner’s® to the area will help draw out any infection. Antibiotics should also be administered. Caution: Not all bulges are abscesses. Take care to prevent accidentally lancing a hematoma, causing your cat to bleed excessively.
Stopping the bleeding is the first course of action. This is easily done by applying pressure with a bandage or piece of gauze. If the cat is bleeding severely, a tourniquet should be used. A fresh cut “not more than one day old” may heal best if stitched, but many cuts do not. Cuts that are dirty, over joints or over heavily muscled areas do not heal well when stitched. The outside of the cut should not heal before the inside because bacteria will be sealed in breeding infection. We do not recommend bandaging, as it slows healing and infection can develop within the warm, damp area of the bandage. Apply Schreiner’s® twice a day for best results.
Ear infections are often the result of ear mites burrowing into the ear and creating wounds for bacteria and fungus to enter. A cat with an ear infection may shake its head and scratch its ears with its hind legs. Although this may just indicate an accumulation of wax and dirt in the ear canal, it is important to check. Swab out the ear with a ball of cotton or cotton swab dipped in Schreiner’s® Herbal Solution. If symptoms persist or you see no signs of relief, take the cat to your veterinarian for closer examination.