A bad fur day

Last week we noticed that Pixel’s foot problems were back. He gets this pussy infection around his front 8 toes and all this green and black waxy stuff accumulates there. It’s really gross. Worse, he had an ingrown toenail that looked like it really hurt. One of the pads under his toes was punctured by his nail and it was bleeding. Nasty.

He had it a while ago, but it seemed to get better and I stopped checking since he didn’t seem to be limping or unhappy in anyway. But now it was worse than ever.

This morning I had to bring him to the vet. Here’s the drill:

1) Pull the cat carrier out the night before, putting it in a small room, the front opening standing up
2) Witness the cat find it a half-hour later and run away in fear
3) Grab a crappy blanket and cover the carrier
4) Pretend to want to show affection to the cat
5) When he gets close enough, grab him and throw him in the small room, closing the door
6) Grab the blanket and lay it out on the floor
7) Wrap the cat in the blanket and drop him in the carrier
8) Turn over the carrier and listen to a cavalcade of desperate cries

We arrived at the vet and they took some vital stats. While we waited for the doctor to come in, Pixel found the only possible place to hide – in a closet full of dog food. The vet came in and checked out his nasty toes. This was a different guy than last time and he said he had never seen anything like this on a cat. Great.

They brought him in the back to do what they did last time – trim his nails and wipe out off all the gook. A few minutes later the vet came back to say that he wasn’t cooperating. It must have really hurt because he was trying to scratch their eyes out.

He told me that they would have to put him to sleep… for a few minutes while they cleaned his feet. I went to work and they said they would call when he was ready. I left about 9 am.

I thought it would be just a few hours. They called at 3. I guess it took a while for the sedative to wear off. He was groggy when the brought him out. I, on the other hand, woke right up when they handed me a $318 bill. That covered the cleaning, sedative, examination, a cone to keep him from licking off the ointment, and three types of medicine. They gave him some stuff for pain, some cleaning fluid for his feet and some antibiotics.

The latter two are what they gave us last time. Getting 2ml of antibiotics down his throat is a challenge that takes two of us and we don’t always win. Actually getting in there to clean his toes will be close to impossible.

Pixel jumped right out of the box when we got home, but was surprisingly affectionate. After being at the vet all day, I think he was happy to be out of there. He’s not liking the cone much though. He keeps running into things and scaring himself when it rubs into walls. We’ll be able to remove that tomorrow.

I went back to work and came home again about 7:30. Pixel was about, but Signal was nowhere to be found. We started to get worried, so I looked around and found him hiding behind the couch. I wasn’t sure what was wrong with him; he wouldn’t even come out and play. Later he poked his head out, but scrambled back behind the couch as soon as he saw Pixel. Apparently he doesn’t like the cone either. Or perhaps he has a fear of cats dressed as clowns.

It’ll be at least 4 weeks of antibiotics for Pixel and lots of fun for us. The vet still doesn’t know what’s causing this. They took a culture and should get results back from the lab in a few days about what it is. Hopefully if we’re diligent about it, this will be the last time.

Having cat medical issues is enough to deal with. I can’t imagine having to deal with unhealthy kids!


  1. Hello, I have learned a lot about cats and their health through experience. I chose to become more informed when someone pointed out to me that not all vets graduate the top of their class. It was more true when my vet was finished diagnosing my cat (she was giving me a “I don’t really know, wait and see and come back” diagnosis) and I had to point out that my cat’s gums were white, and therefore she was anemic… my vet kinda let out an oops and then continued to do a more thorough examination. A lot of times, health problems can be caused by food or environment. I’ve heard that some chemicals like those used in the Swiffer Wet Jet can cause problems with cats’ feet as well as their liver. Minor food allergies can cause major problems. If it is not the environment you might want to look into diet… try all natural foods or even raw meat diet (as gross as that may sound). I am not a vet, so you might want to check with one before pursuing any of these suggestions. Thanks.

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