How can we heal our cat's tail?
June 27, 2009 9:19 PM   Subscribe

Our cat has a wound on his tail. How can we help him heal it?

Our cat has been losing weight (yay!) and recently lost enough weight that he could lick his butt for the first time in ages. To celebrate this, he has been licking his butt like crazy and has created a small raw rub mark approximately 1/4" by 1/2" at the base of his tail, about 1/2" from his anus.

Our vet says it is no big deal and will "heal on its own" but we think it hurts him when he pees. We've been regularly applying neosporin and vaseline, but he tries to lick it off and continues vigorously grooming his tail.

Any suggestions as to more effective ways to help his tail heal?
posted by arnicae to Pets & Animals (6 answers total)
Let nature take its course. Anything you do will likely just be interference in the natural healing which will come soon enough.
posted by jayder at 9:53 PM on June 27, 2009

My cat had this. It was gross but it went away on its own. I think he got into a positive feedback loop where he'd lick the sore, it would get more irritated, leading to more licking, etc. But this did at least keep it clean, and eventually natural healing processes won out.
posted by oceanmorning at 10:15 PM on June 27, 2009

How about one of those big plastic collars? Veterinarians usually give these to cats and dogs when they are healing from some sort of surgery to keep them from getting at their stitches. I think they're also available at pet stores.
posted by HeyAllie at 10:25 PM on June 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

We've been regularly applying neosporin and vaseline

I would not do that -- it will just encourage him to lick the area to remove that foreign matter. Cat saliva has antibacterial properties, so that will help to minimize risk of infection. Depending on where it is located on the tail, you could put a bandage on it, but you must have that done at the vet's. DO NOT put a bandage on your cat's tail yourself -- if you apply it too tight it will cut off blood supply and the tail will die.

HeyAllie's suggestion of an Elizabethan collar is a good one as well.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:10 AM on June 28, 2009

to piggyback on the collar idea, they also make stiff fabric collars now as well. But the other posters are probably right, natural healing will take it's course once the novelty of licking his butt has worn off.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 8:29 AM on June 28, 2009

When our cat had this the vet told us to put 3% solution of Hydrogen Peroxide in a spray bottle and spritz the wound a few times a day. It worked for us because it just foams up and turns to water and then there's nothing to lick off.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:52 AM on June 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

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