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Cat care advice for lacerations

Now off to the vet
Karla Kirby

Lacerations are one of the major causes for feline trips to the veterinary emergency room. They can range from a minor skin problem to an extremely significant major crisis. A laceration is a wound formed by the tearing of body tissue. The edges can be jagged, smooth or irregular depending on the initiating issue.

Depending on the underlying cause, depth and force of the trauma, there can be damage to underlying soft tissues and structures. Muscles, tendons, nerves and blood vessels can be damaged. Penetration into the chest or abdominal cavity can even occur as a result of the trauma that produced the laceration.

Minor trauma may only manufacture skin damage. Deeper or more forceful trauma can cause brutal damage to the underlying structures and could even be life threatening. The traumas that most frequently lead to lacerations are generally associated with contamination from dirt, debris and bacteria.

The most common causes of lacerations in felines are being cut on glass or sharp objects in the house or yard, bite wounds and wounds that break the skin as a consequence of being hit by an automobile. Some cats bleed with a laceration and their owners never know what happened to cause it.

Detailed treatment of a laceration depends on the depth and degree of damage, and also to associated or secondary injuries. The very best thing to do is to take your cat to your veterinarian right away to help resolve the extent of the injury.

You should, carefully assess your cat's wound. She/he could be in pain so take particular care not to be bitten or scratched when examining the wound.

If your feline’s wound is bleeding, take a clean towel and carefully and gently apply pressure.

If the wound is surface and shallow, try to clip around the wound. Take caution not to get fur in the wound. You can put sterile KY Jelly in the wound to protect it as you clip the hair. This permits the hair to stick to the KY Jelly rather than the wound.

Examine the degree of the injury. If the wound is deep – if it appears to go deeper than the full thickness of the skin and is bleeding profusely, or if the wound is longer than an inch, it truly best for you to see your veterinarian. The wound should be examined and almost certainly sutured.

If you see swelling; then remove or loosen the bandage.

Monitor the wound, if it doesn’t get better right away, please take yur feline to the veterinarian.

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