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Avatar universal

Bloody paws

I have a five year old male cat. I moved out of my parents house this last august and he and his sister went from 100% out door cats to in at night out during the day.  Soon after I moved I noticed little bloody marks on the floor. I found that in between his toes was raw and bloody. This isn't just because of the move, I noticed he had bloody paws a few days before I moved and figured he would get better on his own. With the frenzy of moving I forgot all about it until I saw the bloody marks. I put some neosporin ointment on it for a few weeks and when it wasn't showing any signs of getting better I took him to my vet. She was very evasive saying that she thought it was part of a bigger problem, but she never mentioned what any of the possible "bigger problems" could have been. She also talked me into having an unnecessary test done. She told me we wouldn't be able to treat whatever it was he had without it, then after we take the test she tells me that we would have treated him the same way not matter what the test result was..... I'm a college student will bills to pay, I can't afford stupid tests that don't need to be done.  At the suggestion of my boss I contacted a lady who isn't a vet, and has never been to vet school but has had tons of cats and knows a lot about them. She suggested that it might be a food allergy (thank god! An answer!)  so I changed his food and his over all health is so much better, but his stubborn food is still bloody. The foot doesn't seem to bother him, I have never seen him limp on it. I have tried everything I can think of. I've tried wrapping it so he can't lick it and so it would stay out of the litter, he takes the wrapping off. I have used a microtek product for skin problems that would kill any fungus, hasn't helped. I got some vetericyn wound and skin care, hasn't helped. My vet wanted to give him steroids, but I'm very nervous about the idea.
14 Responses
7052683 tn?1392938795
Hi Dee,

Sounds like your little guy may have a condition called Plasma Cell Pododermatitis. Basically dermatitis of the paw pads.

I know nothing of this condition, but it was discussed extensively  just prior to you post.

Look down about 12 posts. You will see the Plasma Cell Heading, posted by OdinLovesLife!

Hope this helps.

CML
242912 tn?1402543492
COMMUNITY LEADER
Here is the thread CML is speaking of.  Just click on the link...

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Cats/Plasma-cell-pododermatitis/show/1666260
Avatar universal
That is definitely one differential (plasma cell pododermatitis), but it can be any number of things. Cats can have extensive and proliferative lesions on the feet that are basically an allergic reaction (called eosinophilic plaques). The cat could also have foreign material stuck in the paws like glass or something that is not allowing them to heal. There could also be a bacterial infection or resistant bacterial infection or yeast infection present. Basically, what should be done is a thorough visual exam of the feet to check for foreign material. If nothing is found, an impression smear of the discharge should be collected on a slide and looked at under the microscope. You an see bacteria, fungal organisms like blasto, yeast, and see what kind of white blood cells are present to give you a clue about why the lesions are there. You may even elect a therapeutic antibiotic trial to see if the lesions clear up. I would request to see a vet that will do this extremely inexpensive test...looking under a microscope...either see someone else in the practice or find a new vet. I'm curious, what test did the vet insist you needed but them said didn't matter? Something must be done..antibiotics at the least for right now...to clear up the bloody paws because the infection can get so much worse and compromise more of the legs and rest of the body if bacteria gets into the bloodstream. It must also be very painful for the cat.
Avatar universal
Also, the cat should be strictly indoors until you can get the lesions cleared up because you are exposing the paws to so many more pathogens and dirt outside. Try using non-clumping litter or newspaper so the pieces don't get in the bloody discharge and make the infection worse.
242912 tn?1402543492
COMMUNITY LEADER
Excellent posts!
Avatar universal
Thank you all for your advice! The test that the vet convinced me to take was for feline Leukemia and the same test checked for feline HIV also. The vet told me that we wouldn't be able to properly treat my cat without knowing the results of the test. She said if he was positive, she would give him antibiotics for two weeks and if that didn't help put him on steroids. Then after the test came back negative she said we would treat him the same way, she just thought I would like to have the peace of mind knowing he didn't have feline leukemia or HIV. I'm not saying that the test itself was stupid, I'm mad at how she sneakily made me think it was necessary and then tells me it's not going to affect the way she treats my cat. I'm defiantly shopping for a new vet right now.  

I really appreciate the step by step of what should be done. I hate it when people aren't straight up with me, especially when I'm trusting them with my pets.  Now I can make sure the proper things are done.
874521 tn?1424116797
COMMUNITY LEADER
oh yeah, I agree...why run tests when treatment won't change anyway....so what if its caused by Felv or Hiv...no treatment avail anyway. only immune system support...

Did you read thru the long post that Jade gave you a link too? it rambles some but has good advice and outcomes...click on the following link.

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Cats/Plasma-cell-pododermatitis/show/1666260

good luck with kitty, keep us posted ok
Avatar universal
I haven't read through past the first page yet, my work schedule has been crazy. I have a day off coming up though so I will defiantly read it through by then.
587315 tn?1333552783
Hi Dee,  even though the treatment won't change regardless of the test outcomes, I would want to know.  That's just me, though. The "not knowing" would stress me out and upset me too much.  

FLV and FIV are lifelong illnesses that lower immune systems and bring w/ it many other problems.  These tests will give you a heads up on what to look for in the future w/ your fur baby.

Just my 2 cents......
Avatar universal
I agree, I think there is so much value in the FeLv/FIV test, especially given that the cat spends a good amount of time outside and unsupervised, but it was presented and communicated to you in the wrong way. The cat's status with these two viruses could have been contributing to why the paws present the way they are, but the test was negative. Anyway, I was thinking if you aren't getting any answers with cytology and response to treatment, it would not be a bad idea to take an xray of the feet and make sure there isn't an underlying bone infection or growth that is ultimately draining through the feet. Good luck!
7052683 tn?1392938795
Hi Dee,
Student life is a hectic one, so understandably, it may take a little time.
Just know we are with you in your concern and keep us posted on any progress you make with a diagnoses and suggested treatment. It will actually help others that may have this problem.

Good luck
CML
Avatar universal
Halo seems to be doing alright right now. I haven't taken him to a vet yet for three reasons A) I haven't found a vet I like yet B) I have started a new treatment plan that seems to be working and C) after reading up on Plasma Cell Pododermatitis and reading the suggested forum on the subject, I'm not sure that's what he has. There used to be a little swelling of the large pad in the middle of his paw, but after the food change that's gone. Between his toes looks like it was rubbed raw. I will see if I can get a picture up of it later. There is currently no abnormal swelling of any kind anywhere on him. And the swelling that he had was so subtle that I didn't realize it was swollen until I pressed gently on the paw and found it not quite as firm as it should be.  I have been spraying this stuff called Micro Tek on his paw several times a day.  This stuff is for horses, but was recommended by a lady who uses it on her cats and dogs also. I have been using it for 3 days now and his paw is getting better. The bleeding has almost completely stopped and I have noticed that it has healed a small amount.  I have decided that if it isn't better in 2 weeks I will go to the vet. Within that two weeks if he even gets so much as a hairball we are going to the vet. I think even after it appears healed if I haven't gone to a vet yet, I will still get an appointment with one I trust just to make sure he is alright.  Reading up on Plasma Cell Pododermatitis has got me worried enough that if I feel like he is even a little worse it's vet time.




Regarding the test my former vet had done: I am a college student working two jobs and living on my own, I can't afford the luxury of getting tests done that aren't going to help my cat with his problem. I told the vet this and she still pushed this test. I'm not saying it was useless, or that I just didn't want to know. If I spend money on tests that won't help, I won't be able to afford to have a test done that could help. I probably would have had the test done at some point, especially after I researched it after I got home, but right now all it did was take away money that I could have spent on a test that would be useful in fixing the situation.

Also, that the vet pushed so hard for that test and then told me my cat didn't actually need it to help him, leads me to believe the vet is just trying to get as much money out of the situation as possible. Especially when she practically lied to me to get me to agree to have the test done.  And that automatically makes anything else that she said doubtful because I don't know if she's truly trying to help, or trying to get more money.  
Avatar universal
Hi Dee!  Sounds like your doing a great job on a tight budget and your really smart for avoiding the steroids.  I have a cat that has plasma cell pododermatitis and from your description I'm not thinking that what it is.  Now I'm not a vet but usually plasma cell pododermatitis will effect the pads of their feet, not the space between the toes.  I think you are on the right track with a food change, maybe a litter change would help too.  He may have gotten into some type of chemical during one of his outings also.

Keep up the great work.
7052683 tn?1392938795
WoW! Thanks for the great follow-up. Looks like you have done your research and know more than you did when you got here. That is exactly what we hope happens to the posters. We ALL learn from each other.

Now we are learning from you.

Thanks again,
All the best to you and Halo. Keep us up to date if you would.

Cml
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