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Can you bandage a cat's neck?

Question:
My 3.5 year old cat must have gotten a small scratch on the back of his neck, because a lesion of sorts showed up over the course of a day. The real problem is that he won't stop scratching it, and keeps tearing off the scab and healed flesh. He's been to the vet once, it was infected, and he was given two weeks of antibiotic. I was surprised the vet didn't recommend some way of covering the area, and I really didn't think that it would heal exposed. He's almost done the two weeks of meds, and it looks no better. He does have a vet appt this Friday the 14th, and I'm sure it won't have improved by then. I know for a fact that he won't leave his sore alone as long as it's either bothering him, or accessable to him. He did leave it alone periodically when I had it bandaided, until the bandaid fell off. The vet also recommended putting Polysporin on it, which hasn't seemed to make a difference either.

I guess my first question is, are there any suggestions for a way of bandaging his neck so that they'll stay on, or bandage brands that might work, or any other way to cover it up so he can't get at it? It's too low for the Elizabethan collar.

My second question is, are there any suggestions for brands of creams etc. that I get/ask the vet for, to put on the sore that will *seriously* stop the itchiness and irritation? He waits until we aren't looking then scratches himself silly.

Many thanks in advance to anyone who can help me with this!

Bonnie

Answer:
Someone here had a great suggestion.

Take a margarine tub of appropriate size and cut down one side and cut the bottom off. Tape up the cut edges so they won't hurt your cat.

Place the margarine tub around your cat's neck and tape the two edges together. Depending on where the lesion is, this should keep him from scratching it, but he will still be able to see, eat, drink, etc.

There is a cream the vet sells, called Panalog, that should stop the itching.

Answer:
Bonniejean,

My 2 1/2 yr old cat had a very similar problem. She got her wound from too much play fighting with her sister. Anyway, her wound was also infected, got better and scabbed over but she would lick the scab right off leaving a bright red bare spot...by this time it was over 2" in diameter.

Here's what worked for her:

Buy a cat harness. Get some old, soft t-shirt material. Cut a square of the material big enough to fit/fold over the top/front of the harness, and under the strap to the bottom/back side of the harness. Stitch it with quick easy stitches and place the harness on the cat. Cut some other pieces the same size, because you will probably want to change it every 3-4 days.

It totally kept her from scratching or licking the sore, and now she is completely healed and almost all the hair is back in.

Good luck,
Diane

Answer:
Well, whatever this lesion is, or was caused by, it's still very itchy. The vet theorized that it might have been an allergic reaction to the parasite drop that the Humance Society would have given him, which is apparently placed on his neck in about that place. Though she's never seen a reaction to these drops before.

We did get the cone for him, and it just barely covers the lesion when he tilts his head at the angle he uses to scratch, so we're lucky. We were also able to cut the cone down very short, since he only needs to have restricted access to the part of his neck that the base of the cone covers, and not his face. He's much happier than when it was at its full size, I believe it was making him depressed. He can now see and eat and jump much easier.

For medication, as I said, the vet started out with 2 weeks of just an antibiotic, but still he was itchy, and repeatedly tore the scab off, even when it looked almost healed.

After the 2 weeks were up, the vet (a different one) prescribed another 2 week course of the antibiotics, as well as 2 weeks an anti-itch/anti-inflammatory/etc. pill, Panalog cream, and the cone.

When that was up, he was still itchy, but the infection was now gone, so we got another 2 week prescription for the anti-inflam pills, and continued to use Panalog and the cone. We scratch the now-healed spot gently a few times a day so maybe he won't feel the need to.

Over the last two weeks we have tried to increase his time out of the cone as a break, but putting large Elastoplast (very sticky) bandaids over the spot until he begins to scratch them off, then we put the cone back on. He's gone almost an evening sometimes before he begins to scratch. It's not the bandaids that are doing it either, as when we try without, or he pulls one off, he'll still want to scratch the area, even though a couple milimetres of hair has grown in by now. We have mostly stopped using Panalog in the last week, as there is too much hair in the area now for it to get in there quite as well.

The vet called the other day to check in, and hearing that he was still itchy, would like us to try Prednisone. He will be given two weeks of this when his current meds are up.

I am sincerely hoping time, Prednisone, or some other miracle drug will come along to finally help him out. He's been suffering from this since the beginning of May. We've even been forced to consider that, if months go by and it doesn't clear up, we might have to do the ultimate most horrible thing and have his one "scratching foot" declawed. This is very upsetting to me, as I am, on principle, against declawing. However, I think this might classify as an extraordinary circumstance. Faced with the rest of his life in a plastic cone, or with one back foot declawed, I'm sure he would not choose the cone, were he able to make that choice for himself. However, this would be a very, very last resort. The poor boy barely even fights his twice-daily pills anymore.

If anyone has any further advice or recommendations for Jake, please don't hesitate to post! I'll post an update on how the Prednisone is going, or if anything else changes. Thank you so much everyone!

Bonnie

Answer:
Try my suggestion above, it has worked very well for my cat. Her hair is "almost" all grown in, which is saying alot since she had a 2 1/2" diameter patch of bare skin.

I will give more specific details about my "harness bandage" if you would like.

Good luck.

Answer:
Yes, actually, that might be good Diane. I didn't think I could use that idea, because his patch is right at the base of his skull, and I was thinking that if you meant for the harness frame to cover it, that it doesn't go that high. I do have a harness for him already, so yeah, how do I get it to cover his upper neck with the fabric?
Thanks!
Bonnie

Answer:
The scratching might by now be more habit than necessity. Cats do seem to get compulsive that way.

If it's habit, and not itching, the Prednisone may not stop the scratching. You might need to try a different drug - one that alters behavior - and use it just until the scratching stops.

I would not put anything sticky on the spot. Cats hate anything sticking to their fur and will always try to either pull or scratch it off!

Answer:
>The scratching might by now be more habit than necessity. Cats do seem
>to get compulsive that way.

Yes, that certainly seems to be what it is. We were also thinking that the bandaids would partially pull off and just be pulling on a few hairs, which wold make him want to scratch it off.

>If it's habit, and not itching, the Prednisone may not stop the scratching.
>You might need to try a different drug - one that alters behavior - and use
>it just until the scratching stops.

I hope Prednisone does it! What kind of drugs alter behavior?

>I would not put anything sticky on the spot. Cats hate anything sticking to
>their fur and will always try to either pull or scratch it off!

Actually, he's taking it pretty well now, probably because it's been a few weeks. I think he realizes now that he gets the cone or the bandaid. He's gone two nights so far this week with just a bandaid overnight (due to my sister removing his cone in some stupid place and tossing it on the floor where no one could find it, and then not coming home until 4am ), and he's still had it on and covering him in the morning.

Bonnie

Answer:
Bonniejean,

I don't think my "bandage" idea will work if the wound is that high, it did work great on a "between" the shoulder blades" wound.

Sorry, and good luck.
Diane

Answer:
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