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480448 tn?1426952138

Kitten with Swollen face/neck

HI all!

I'd love some input.  My male kitty, Caesar presented this morning with the left side of his face (mostly his neck) all swollen.  He's acting odd too, kind of lethargic, not active and playful like he normally is.  He lets me touch the area, and doesn't appear to be in any obvious pain.  He didn't come at feeding time, so I gave him canned food instead of the dry, which he did eat (slowly and gingerly).  Refused the dry food all together, when normally, he's a ravenous eater.  He's using the litter box normally.  He's about 3.5 months old, not yet neutered, and lives with his sister from the same litter (and has regular interaction with our dogs, who don't bother them too much with the exception of any occasional short chase).  He doesn't appear to be in any obvious major distress, just definitely looks like he doesn't feel well.  He is breathing fine and is purring up a storm like usual when we pet him.  He normally fusses to be held (always tries to get down because he'd rather play), but today, he's like a sack of potatoes when you pick him up, doesn't struggle to get down at all.  He's walking fine.  The swelling seems to have gotten a little worse too since first thing this morning, where it's showing more in his face now than it originally was.

Now, obviously, I know he needs to be seen by a vet, but what I'm struggling with is if this seems serious enough to warrant a trip to the ER vet versus waiting until the morning to see our normal vet.  They're wonderful, they will see him first thing for me I  have no doubt.  I just don't know if it's something very serious that would indicate a need for an urgent visit today.  WHY is it that any time you have something go wrong with your pets, it's always a weekend or evening??  UGH!

Any ideas?  Suggestions?  I was figuring it was probably some kind of abscess?  I know that can happen with a dental issue.  Being that they're so young, I can't imagine a dental issue being likely, unless he injured/broke a tooth.  

They are indoor/outdoor, but because they are so young, they don't wander far at all, pretty much staying on the patio or in the driveway and they're in every night for the overnight.  So, I'm not REAL concerned about him having an incident with a snake or any other animal.  I DO know that they always go after flies and bees, so I would imagine it's very possible he could have been stung by a bee or a wasp.

I really appreciate any ideas...I'm worried about my baby!  :0(

Thanks in advance!
9 Responses
4190741 tn?1370181432
I would certainly think dental problems right off.  And it may not take much to cause an abscess, but after reading that they are indoor/outdoor, a spider bite, or wasp bite might be an allergic reaction that you are seeing.

My girls will eat anything crawling on the floor, beetles, june bugs, spiders, they just love bugs....Most times I see them eating something that I went to get a paper towel to remove from the floor, they are that fast at catching the bugs.

I know what you mean about the weekends, my girls always need attention on a Saturday or Sunday...I am reading this post at 11 am on Sunday and for my own Peace of Mind, would get my baby in today especially in the case of a severe reaction or abscess...

480448 tn?1426952138
Thanks so much for the reply!  It hasn't gotten any bigger, but he's still lethargic.  I just hate this.  There are no emergency vets close to us, the closest is about an hour away.  Probably better to err on the side of caution.  I'd be devastated if something happened and I didn't take him.

Thanks!!  XOXO
874521 tn?1424120397
Sounds very much like a bite' do u have any idea how long ago this may have happened, like last eve. Or this morning? I would just watch him closely if swelling not getting worse or affecting his airway than its not really an emergency.
Do u have an er number to phone and get an opinion? Always trust yr gut instinct better to b sure than loose a kitty

480448 tn?1426952138
Thanks opus!  

He was fine late last night (like 1am) so whatever happened happened overnight or first thing this morning.  I've been watching him closely all day long, the swelling is the same, no worse, but no better.  He's not as lethargic now, which is good.  Using the litter box normally, so those things are okay.  His sister is too cute, she's been grooming him all day!  I think she was confused because he wasn't running around chasing her like normal.

I DO think a bite or sting is probably the culprit, as we have the kitties in our sun room, and during the day, we leave the door open enough for them and our dog to get in and out, so lots of bugs find there way in too, unfortunately.  They both go after the flies and bees.  It's so localized in just that one spot, so I would imagine either that (a reaction to a bite or sting), or an abscess from some kind of infection).  It doesn't seem to be tender to touch, he doesn't pull away or anything when I touch that area.  How can you tell if a cat has a fever?  First thing this morning, when I was holding him, his tummy felt warm, he just felt warmer than normal, but doesn't anymore.  

I think he will be okay and I'll get him into see the vet first thing in the morning.  If he hadn't shown SOME sign of improvement by about 3, I was going to take him today.  He's not a total potato head anymore, he's playing a little and a little more active.  It's SO hard to make those calls, because you don't want to under-react, but also, if you can wait to see your regular vet, I think it's better all around.  We've had plenty of ER visits with our critters through the years and geez, it's SUCH a racket!  

Thanks SO much guys!   You're the best!
874521 tn?1424120397
yes all good signs that it hasn't increased and he is not quite so lethargic...I would think if it is a bite you will see a great improvement by morning.
One of mine got bit once by a bee or wasp...she tried to eat it and it stung the inside of her mouth(I am guessing b/c I really didn't see it happening)..just heard a yelp than later the fat lip, with her the swelling only lasted over night than was mostly gone by morning.
So as you said keep an eye on it and take him to the regular Vet tomorrow if no improvement. those ER's charge an arm and a leg, and if its warranted we gladly pay  however if its a trip we can do without than we are all the better off for it...:) I agree totally those calls are very hard to make..we can second guess ourselves many times over.

If a cat has a fever the tips of his ears and his paw pads will feel abnormally warm....the nose maybe a bit dry as well, if the fever is really high and he is having some dehydration.

so little Caesar be well by morning so mommy can relax....let us know okay:)
480448 tn?1426952138
Great news to report!

He improved more and more last evening, playing, the swelling was getting markedly better.  This morning, he's PURRFECT!  ;0)  NO swelling, 100% back to normal!  Yay!

Do you think I should still take him to the vet?  He's perfectly fine now.  I'm guessing a sting or a bite, and likely a reaction.  I know that if it was an abscess it wouldn't have gone away so quickly.  Just wonder if I should still have him seen or not.  I'll call them either way to see what they say, but I wanted your input as well!

I'm a happy kitty Mom!  Whew!!
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