Need advice about badly injured feral I feed
by Amy A.
(New Port Richey, FL)
Let me start by saying, I love cats and will always lend aid, food, cuddles, etc. when I can. I have a feral I've fed for about one-and-a-half years now. He originally showed up sleeping under my car and skinny.
We quickly saw a large, oozing infected wound (I mean big guys! Down to the subcutaneous tissues and covered a few square inches) on his right jaw and neck. I really thought it would kill him.
He was too smart and wild to catch, but I fed him lots and he gained weight. After massive amounts of research online, and because my vet could not help unless she saw him, I purchased some fish-mox and some fish tetracycline.
Do not judge me please! I know it's off label but he was dying and the wound was so infected. I do not, however, recommend doing that in most cases and the dosing needs to be precise.
I added these to his food for 14 days and lo and behold, the infection cleared. If he would have stopped scratching it would have healed fast too, but all in all it took months to finally close.
He has a scar and little fur there but it healed. I'll tell you how deep it was. He can barely meow now. It comes out more hissy and scratchy, but he tries.
BTW, I call him Mr. Grey, because he's a big Big striped grey tabby. He's the ruler of the block and so gets in spats, but knowing he can head here for food and not steal has helped that.
Since then, we have tried trapping him multiple times and like I said, he's sneaky. He gets the queens pregnant, li'l brat, but we're trying to trap the queens now instead.
We have no TNR programs near, and really our rescues and shelters are full. I have a previously stray kitty that I found about six months back. She was covered in mange (bad!), had fleas and was starved. She is now a happy house cat, Kitkat, here because no one could take her.
She torments my two 13
year old cats (Snookie and Zooey). She's even bonded with the orange tabby, Ginger, that decided to move on in to our backyard 2 years ago and now has a li'l cat house back there.
At least we could get her fixed, although she's still a bit feral herself. But she and Kitkat chat through the screen all day, lol.
OK, back to Mr. Grey. He's been healthy now for months, but a week or so ago I noticed another wound on the opposite side. Not as big, but deep.
Sometimes I leave him food on the porch before I head to work and don't see him, so it could have been there longer. It wasn't infected yet and two other females have been stopping by to eat, so I didn't want to add antibiotics in case they grabbed that plate.
Today though, he showed up. I took him a plate and watched from the window. The wound looked worse, so I headed out to check it and see if he'd let me get close under the ruse of adding more food to his plate.
It's bad. It's deep, oozing, inflamed and definitely infected. It smells horrid. I feel so bad for him, but Mr Grey is a no touching allowed cat so I can't even clean it.
Really, my question and what I want advice about, is should I try the antibiotics again? I think it might be even deeper this time?
It almost looks like a severely infected burn, maybe a hot tail pipe? Does anyone have another suggestion or has anyone been in this situation? I know we can't help and save every single stray and feral, but it's hard not to try.
Snookie, my 13 year old, was a Christmas present from my then boyfriend at 20. That began my love affair with kitties! I'm 33 and after moving out of my parents' house, it seems everywhere I've lived over the years they find me and the skinny, pregnant and injured ones most!
Thanks for any advice! He sprays my bushes but I love the big guy and want to help him!