A swollen cat paw can be a sign of injury, disease, sting, bite, or infection. Your cat likely will protect the paw, lick it excessively or avoid bearing weight on the painful foot. If your kitty will let you examine her, you may be able to identify the problem and implement basic care at home; however, cats in pain are prone to scratching and running, so veterinary attention is usually a necessity.
How to Treat a Cat With a Swollen Paw
Says Hanen Abdel Rahman Treatment. Call your veterinarian as soon as you notice any swelling on your cat’s paw or elsewhere. Until your cat has been examined by your vet, don’t attempt to give it any medications. Cats are very sensitive to painkillers like aspirin, and giving your cat acetaminophen, such as Tylenol, can be fatal.
Possible Injuries in cats
Says kristina.karelina When examining the hurt paw, it is helpful to notice if the paw is swollen. Soft tissue swelling could mean a few things: insect bite or sting, infection, an abscess, or blunt tissue damage.
Bee stings can produce a huge swelling very quickly but aren’t usually too painful. (Cats are generally more prone to getting insect bites/stings on their paws from batting at bugs, whereas dogs typically get swollen lips from trying to snap at the bugs.) This is an allergic-type of reaction, and if it doesn’t get infected, the swelling will go down in 24 hours or less. Your veterinarian can administer or recommend medications to help reduce swelling and stop the allergic reaction.
What is Paw Inflammation?
in cats Presently, no predispositions for plasma cell pododermatitis have been identified in regards to breed, sex, or age. It is likely that this condition occurs on a seasonal basis, but this has not yet been proven. Inflammation of the paws in cats – also known by its technical name, plasma cell pododermatitis (FPP) – is a condition which causes the pads of the paws to swell. This can affect one pad or multiple pads at a time. This condition is quite rare in cats, and little is known about what causes it. However, it has been shown to recur in many cases.
Symptoms of Paw Inflammation in Cats
While plasma cell pododermatitis is generally not life-threatening, you’ll want to ensure that you take your cat to the vet as soon as you notice any of the following symptoms in order to reduce their pain and prevent the condition from progressing.
- Excessive grooming of the paws
- Signs of pain when walking
- Red, inflamed, and/or swollen skin around the paws
- Blisters or draining sores
Foot or Pad Injury
A broken or sprained foot or toe can lead to paw swelling. Your cat may hold her injured paw at an odd or unusual angle. Puncture wounds from things like nails or sharp objects can cause swelling. Examine your cat’s paw closely for visible signs of trauma and check for anything that might be wrapped tightly around a foot or tow, such as string or plastic, and remove it to restore circulation.
If your cat has a sharp object lodged in between her toes or embedded in her paw, it could lead to pain, swelling, and tenderness. You may notice a discharge or feel the paw is warm to the touch, which is signs of infection that likely will require prescription antibiotic treatment. If you can, safely remove small objects such as pebbles or thorns, wash the paw and apply a topical antibiotic ointment. If swelling persists or an object is deeply embedded, seek a vet’s attention.
Sting, Bite or Environmental Injury
Swelling can be a sign your cat was stung by an insect or bitten by a rodent or other small animal. This can trigger a potential allergic reaction or lead to infection. Your cat also may have come in contact with a toxic substance, such as a lawn chemical or cleaning product, that irritated her sensitive footpads. If you think this is the case, gently wash the footpad and seek medical attention. If your cat shows signs of allergic shock, such as vomiting, loss of bowel and bladder control or respiratory distress, seek medical help right away.
While regular scratching keeps most cat nails at a suitable length, overgrown cat claws can puncture paw pads and lead to swelling. Puncture wounds can be prone to infection, so veterinary attention is advised. Overgrown claws also can be a sign of chronic disease, so if this is a regular occurrence for your cat, talk to your vet about potential causes and treatment options.
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Diagnosis and Treatment
Your vet may be able to determine the cause of your cat’s paw swelling through a physical exam. Sedation may be necessary if X-rays are needed. Treatment options will vary based on the underlying cause of the swelling. Infections are often treated with antibiotics and topical ointments or anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain and swelling. Torn ligaments may require surgical repair.
Once home, your vet probably will instruct you to apply ice to your cat’s injured paw to help reduce swelling. Crushed ice in a plastic bag or a bag of frozen vegetables works well. You may need to limit your cat’s physical activity if she suffers a serious injury, such as a broken bone, or requires surgery to treat her condition.