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ASK THE VET

Care and Treatment of a Feline Brawler

May 17, 1990|DR. GLENN ERICSON | Ericson, a practicing Orange County veterinarian, is immediate past president of the Southern California Veterinary Medical Assn

Q: My 7-year-old cat has just gotten over his third abscess from fighting, and I need to know if there is another way to keep him from getting into fights or treating his bite wounds. He was neutered at 1 year of age and has been a good pet except for the fights. He is both an indoor and outdoor cat. It really upsets me that he gets into fights, which make him look so ugly as well as sick when he gets infected. Do you have any suggestions on treating him?

Mrs. Robert Kern, Fullerton

A: Since abscesses are the result of fight wounds, it would ideally be best to eliminate the source of the problems by keeping your cat indoors and letting him out only when you are around to prevent confrontation with the neighborhood cats. If the other combatant is a stray, you might try using a humane trap and capture this cat and take him to the shelter. If your cat's opponent is a neighbor's pet, it may help to talk to the owner and make some sort of arrangement to prevent the two pets from meeting. I'm sure they are equally tired of their pet's wounds.

If your cat gets into a fight, check him over for any wounds or patches of hair loss. You can clean these wounds with hydrogen peroxide or an antibiotic soap. If your pet limps, has a swollen area, or stops eating, seek veterinary care right away. Make sure that your cat is current on his vaccinations, especially the feline leukemia virus vaccine.

Q: My 13-year-old poodle, Zorro, has had several seizures within the past month, and I'm becoming worried that he might not recover from the next one. They seem to cause him a great deal of pain as he cries and acts very upset. Can dogs get epilepsy? What is the best way to treat him? What should I do when he has one of these seizures? I don't want him to get hurt but I don't want to get bitten either.

Mrs. Samuel Vance, Seal Beach

A: Any seizure disorder is serious and should be investigated by your veterinarian. Seizures can range from mild tics or tremors to full convulsions with possible loss of consciousness. The causes for seizures are also numerous and could take a fair amount of time to eliminate some of the potential etiologies.

Your pet should be checked out thoroughly by your veterinarian. Blood tests, X-rays of the skull or thorax, EKGs, as well as a complete neurological examination, should be done. Special tests such as analysis of the spinal fluid or CAT scans may be necessary to help locate the cause of your pet's problem.

Treatment will be based on the findings of these tests. In the case of epilepsy, if your pet does have a seizure, keep him quiet. You might cover him with a blanket or thick towel and keep him from hurting himself until the convulsion is over. Never attempt to put your hand in his mouth or physically try to restrain him.

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