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Chin acne has turned into bloody mess. Cat has become unmanageable.

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by twilson, Apr 2, 2020.


  1. twilson

    twilson PetForums Junior

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    I have 2 cats. They both developed acne in the last few weeks.
    We went to the vet around 10 days ago and we were prescribed some Flamazine to apply twice a day.
    One cat (Ollie) is almost cured of his acne and calmly receives treatment twice a day.
    The other (Tiggy) is currently wearing a cone, has stopped eating, and given any opportunity will scratch the affected area, which as I write this now is a weeping, bloody mess. Trying to treat him has become increasingly difficult, to the point now where he flips out wildly when we go anywhere near his chin. He's a small agile cat and will use all his strength to wriggle out of a grip while clawing and biting. Last night after a lengthy, terrible ordeal, we failed to get any of the cream near his chin.
    He is now in a state of permanent distress. I can just about manage to get him to settle down with enough soothing sounds and smoothing, but most of the time he's hiding under beds and keeping well away from us.

    We started putting the cone on him about a week ago (an old one we had lying around, the vet was no help), but he refuses to eat with it on so it was only on during the evening when he was indoors. It seemed to be working for a couple days, until he inevitably scratched it bloody and we were back to square 1.
    For the last 2 days it's been on him all day long, and we've been taking him for walks around the garden with a harness. But as a result he's just not eating and looking extremely sorry for himself.

    We have the added concern that we know he is prone to stress-related cystitis... which if anyone has had the misfortune to experience this, is a terrible ordeal for both cat and owner... Right now he is more stressed and unhappy than I've ever seen him (ignoring his lengthy episode of cystitis), and he's not eating his medicated dry food.

    Due to the Coronavirus, our local vet is now extremely apprehensive about seeing anyone. We phoned them yesterday and were told to send them pictures. In response they prescribed him a steroidal cream that we ordered over the phone. We couldn't see them in person, so on arriving we had to phone them, they put the cream on a table near the door, and we took it. They're refusing all personal contact. If you have an animal that needs to be treated, it has to be caged and left on the table.

    But as I've stated - I don't know how it's even possible to apply the cream without some kind of sedation now.
    He has gotten so bad now I just don't know what to do.

    About an hour ago, I took the collar off briefly to try and get him to eat, as he's not eaten anything in 2 days now. He immediately ran to the corner of the room, scratched his chin and did an almighty yelp. He's now bleeding and in a terrible state.

    This is a horrible situation to be in, personally speaking and on behalf of my cat.
    I don't know what to do right now.

    Pictures taken yesterday:
    https://i.imgur.com/bJh6phn.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/VBqC0u0.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/Zmx90p7.jpg
     
    #1 twilson, Apr 2, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2020
  2. OrientalSlave

    OrientalSlave Shunra Oriental Cats

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    Firstly have you got rid of any plastic food bowls? They can cause problems. Stainless steel, ceramic or glass are fine and can go through the dishwasher.

    Secondly I would try him on a plain chicken diet to see if that helps. @chillminx is the expert here.

    Lastly, you will need to scruff him to apply the ointment. It needs to be done firmly, and will need a second pair of hands to apply the steroid ointment. I think a lot of people are scared of scruffing their cat, but it can be the best way to get things like this done.
     
  3. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    If the chin got worse after applying the ointment I wonder if he is having a bad reaction to it. I would stop using it on him and call the vet.

    The dry kibble you are feeding him is not medicated and a dry diet is the worst thing for him.. A cat with cystitis should be on a wet diet, the moisture is absolutely crucial. I urge you to start now transitioning him to a wet only diet.

    There are supplements you can give him to help with stress. I like Rescue Remedy for pets. I see Zyklene recommended here a lot but have never used it. There are also supplements that can help reduce the inflammation and pain in his bladder and urinary tract. D-mannose is one.

    I agree with the comments about plastic dishes (I recommend glass only, as stainless steel can harbor bacteria as well) and of course if he is sensitive to plastic, the cone won't be helping that either, there are other types of cones-fabric ones, that may be better for him.
     
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  4. twilson

    twilson PetForums Junior

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    I just made another attempt to get the cream on.
    I'm not exaggerating when I say he needs to be sedated. I'd have a better chance slinging globs of it at him from a distance.
    I managed to get a tiny fleck of cream on there but it resulted in an explosive reaction from my cat like I've never seen.
    After banging off the walls and crashing into various objects he had managed to squeeze his front right arm through the neck hole of the cone so it was half way down his body.
    He is crouching close to the floor in a state of shock right now and it looks like he's hurt his right arm.
    I think it's more than likely I'll seriously injure him if I continue treatment.
     
  5. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    As I mentioned in my post above, stop trying and please call your vet. This treatment is not working for your cat.
     
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  6. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @twilson - I agree with lorilu, I would stop trying to give the flamazine cream straight away. It is evidently making matters worse. His chin is very sore from the acne and flamazine may sting.

    Poor Tiggy sounds in a terrible state, shocked, upset, not eating! You can't continue like this, and I am sure it is stressful for you too.

    The only treatment I have used for feline chin acne is a weak solution of hibiscrub, which is antibacterial and does not sting. It has always been successful. I bathe the chin after every single meal, and gently pat dry with a piece of paper kitchen towel. Hibiscrub is what my vet has always recommended.

    https://www.boots.com/hibiscrub-skin-cleanser-250ml-1-bottle-10086267

    The idea is to keep the area dry so the pustules will scab. Once they have scabbed they should be allowed to fall off when they are ready. And they should no longer be itchy to the cat once they have scabbed.

    If you use hibiscrub there should be no need for a cone.

    Feline acne can sometimes be diet related, i.e. due to an allergy. What is the dry food you are feeding him? What were you feeding him when this chin acne started?

    Do the cats eat from the same dish? If so I would cease that arrangement, as one cat may have infected the other cat with the chin acne, with it being bacterial. It would be better for both cats to have their own individual microchip feeders. They can be bought from amazon or Pets at Home.
     
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  7. Polly G

    Polly G PetForums VIP

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    Your cat really does need to see a vet urgently.
     
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  8. gskinner123

    gskinner123 PetForums VIP

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    You and your poor cat have my utmost sympathy. It is hard to imagine how impossible a situation like this is, unless you have owned a cat who behaves in this way.

    I know it's an extremely difficult time for all of us but your vet is not being nearly as helpful as he could and should be for a cat who is clearly extremely distressed and at high risk of stress related cystitis.

    I would seek a second opinion, making sure you get across how very bad the situation is.
     
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  9. Sacremist

    Sacremist Mum to 2 cats and a dog

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    I second hibiscrub, it cured my cat’s acne in no time and it didn’t cause her any distress when applied. It actually cured it to the point that I could stop using it eventually.
     
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  10. buffie

    buffie Mentored by Meeko

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    I would be very reluctant to use Hibiscrub on an open wound .
     
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  11. gskinner123

    gskinner123 PetForums VIP

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    Me too. It certainly isn't for use on open wounds and will potentially, likely even, make the situation much worse.
     
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  12. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Yes, sorry for not being more precise buffie and gskinner123. I should've clarified I don't use it on open wounds, only on the black spots (like blackheads) that are typical of feline acne. I'd clean around open wounds and would also avoid pustules that have scabbed, so as to keep them dry.
     
    #12 chillminx, Apr 3, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2020
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  13. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    What's happening with Twiggy @twilson ?
     
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  14. Silverdoof

    Silverdoof PetForums Member

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    I agree with the wet food suggestion. His prescription diet will almost certainly come in wet tins/pouches too via your vet

    We had to attend a Consultant Veterinary Dermatologist some years ago with a similar issue. She said that there are storage mites (invisible to the naked eye) present in all dry foods. A study was carried out on dry foods from cheaper to more expensive and the mites were in all of them. The vast majority of animals tbey don't affect however some they do. First point of contact with cat or dog is the mouth ie the chin. The mites will bite. Most animals appear immune, however a few appear allergic

    The only way to kill the mites is by freezing. Either freeze the whole bag of food over night and let defrost or freeze the cats daily portion overnight and let defrost. In our case this did work. Chin cleared up in no time.

    i agree with others you need to contact your vet again. Ask if they will see your cat even if you have to leave him in his carrier on a table. They can give him a quick acting injection to help ease his discomfort

    When we arrive at the vets we park then ring and someone comes out takes pet off us and we wait in carpark and they bring pet back out again. If they need clarification they ring us in the car
     
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  15. twilson

    twilson PetForums Junior

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    Very sad to say the situation has considerably worsened and I am feeling utterly hopeless right now.

    After last posting in this thread we've had the collar on him day and night. For 2 days we decided not to apply any of the Flamazine or the steroidal cream to let the area scab up and dry.
    We've been taking him out frequently for walks on a harness, although he mostly just sits on the ground and enjoys the sunshine.
    It's no exaggeration to say we've been caring for him all day and night for the last 3 days. If he's not being taken for walks outside he's either receiving hugs or on a bed sleeping with a watchful eye checking on him regularly.

    A couple of hours ago while I was outside with him, he suddenly became extremely agitated, jumping and trying to sprint away, but I restrained him with the harness and leash.
    On inspection, this is what I saw...

    [​IMG]

    A bump on his chin had exploded and was weeping profusely. A viscous concoction of puss, blood and saliva was dripping from his chin and mouth.
    On returning indoors I immediately phoned the vet and I explained in no uncertain terms what had just happened.
    We were told that it was 'illegal' to see any animal that is not an emergency due to the lock-down, so we were recommended the next best thing - a webcam consultation arranged 40 minutes later.
    On talking to the vet, I knew showing the photo would be a lot more effective than trying to present a highly distressed Tiggy blur via webcam, so that's what I did. I was immediately told that he had an infection.
    I breathed a sigh of relief as I assumed that we could now see a vet directly. They prescribed us antibiotics, painkillers, Hibiscrub, and Clorexyderm gel.
    It was only towards the end of the video call that I realised that it would be the same procedure as last time - we were still not allowed to see a vet and we could only pick up the medication. I was told this was not an emergency, and again that it was illegal to see a vet for a non-emergency in the current circumstances.
    Reluctantly I complied.

    I was recommended not to treat the area directly for today, but to start using the Hibiscrub and Clorexyderm tomorrow.
    However I've been told to give him his first dosage of antibiotics and painkillers today, and I've just tried with the latter using a syringe directly into his mouth.
    With 2 people, one holding him in a towel and another to administer the painkiller, he simply would not keep his head still and hissed and yelled.
    We tried for several minutes, with much wriggling and wailing, until he forced his way out of his collar, at which point we frantically tried to get it back on before he could harm himself further.

    That was about half an hour ago.
    Me and my family are completely at a loss what to do.
    It's not just Tiggy who's yelling at others and in a state of permanent distress.
    Regarding the pain medication and the antibiotics, our only hope I feel is to get him to eat it by adding it to his food - the recommended method... but he is an incredibly picky eater and only started eating again yesterday. He's had about a third of a pouch today and yesterday.
    We have some left over appetite enhancing pills from a few years ago when he had cystitis. We are considering using these so we can get him to eat his medication.
    When he had cystitis we had no trouble giving him the same painkiller (Meloxidyl) by syringe into the mouth, however due to the close proximity of his wound he is understandably extremely defensive whenever anyone goes close to it or his mouth.

    By tomorrow we're expected to administer all of this medication, some twice a day, and some of it is dangerous if not administered properly.
    But every attempt to treat him recently has been an ever worsening ordeal, and I don't see that improving any time soon.

    It's a terrible situation to find ourselves in. I'm feeling utterly hopeless right now and don't know how we're going to manage on our own.
     
    #15 twilson, Apr 5, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2020
  16. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    The pain killer has to be squirted only into the mouth., it does not need (and is not supposed to) go down the throat. It is absorbed through mucus membranes. Wait until he is asleep and slip the syringe under his lip and squirt. Once he is free of the terrible pain he will be easier to manage. What purpose is the cone supposed to do anyway? If he has an allergy to plastic this is only going to make it much worse.
     
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  17. twilson

    twilson PetForums Junior

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    The moment we removed the cone last time, he scratched his chin, opened the wound and began bleeding profusely.
    If we take of the cone, he will do it again.

    I understand how to give him meloxidyl, I've done it many times before without issue. However the circumstances are different that make it extremely difficult, without securing his head somehow.

    If he had an allergy to plastic surely we'd see evidence of that other than his chin.
     
  18. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    OK
     
  19. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @twilson - I am so sorry your poor cat is suffering so much. Personally with his chin in such an awful state I would have thought it was an emergency. Is there another vet at a different practice you can try who might be more sympathetic maybe?

    The antibiotics should help a lot as will the pain relief as long as you can get it into him of course. ;) I can understand he doesn't anyone going near his mouth when he is in so much pain.

    Is there a strong smelling food he would eat, to which you could add the meloxdyl and the antibiotics? Will he eat tinned tuna? Or mashed sardines in oil or water (but not in brine). Or would he eat pilchards in tomato sauce?

    To calm him you could add Zylkene supplement to his food or as he is not eating much you could put a calming spot on, on the back of his head. That would at least help calm his distress a bit so you can give him his medicine.

    The Beaphar Calming spot on takes about 2 hours to work and the effect lasts about a week.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pack-Beaph...aphar+calming+spot+on+for+cats,aps,137&sr=8-2
     
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  20. twilson

    twilson PetForums Junior

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    Good news!! (finally)

    My dad decided to have a go at holding him this time.
    Tiggy has always been a bit afraid of his presence, like a scary headmaster type figure. But I think this really encouraged him to behave and submit.
    While he was fast asleep we crept into the room without disturbing him. My dad swiftly put a towel around him and managed to tightly and effectively swaddle him.
    I realised the cone was a big obstacle in getting anything near his mouth last time. With all his limbs neutralized it seemed like a safe bet to remove it.
    After plenty of wailing and wriggling I managed to get the antibiotics and painkillers into him.
    I only intended to do as much, but as it was going so well I quickly made up some diluted Hibiscrub and managed to clean & disinfect his chin with some saturated cotton wool.
    Any other time we've gone near his chin recently, he would have exploded, but by now he'd become surprisingly submissive, keeping his head perfectly still once the cotton wool was applied.
    I finally finished up with a bit of Clorexyderm gel on some more cotton wool, which almost appeared soothing.
    We put the cone back on and let him go. Instead of flying off like a rocket as I expected, he listlessly flopped out of the towelly grip and onto the floor, where he stayed for a few minutes.
    While we managed to keep his bones intact, in the process I think we may have broken his spirit. He's walking around now like he's just been mugged, but he's not hiding from anyone or acting defensive.

    After a massively stressful few days me and the family celebrated with some cheap champagne, while Tiggy went to each one of us for cuddles, like a loser graciously accepting defeat.
    A few hours ago I was truly hopeless about the whole situation, but I think we can handle this now.
     
    #20 twilson, Apr 5, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2020
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