When you are a cat with extra furry toes, you tend to spend a lot of time cleaning said toes. So much so that when you give yourself an accidental claw-ectomy your people might not even notice the difference between your booboo licking and your regular, daily toe licking. Especially if you didn’t bleed or make a mess when you ripped your claw off. Which is what happened to Sally last week.
However, Mr. Man did notice that Sally was spending an inordinate amount of effort on his front right paw. When it comes to our cats, Mr. Man is the worrier and I am the taking care of it-er. After the tenth time Mr. Man commented on Sally licking his foot too much, I picked him up to see if anything was going on.
Usually when you push on a cat’s paw pad, their claw extracts. But this time there was nothing to push on. And boy howdy! You should have heard the “OWWWWW!” when I touched it. The rest of his toes are all fine, but that front, right, index finger claw is completely gone.
Of course, it was 6pm on Friday night when we made this discovery.
After a sleepless night and anxious morning, the vet was able to squeeze us in. Going to the vet during Covid times is a different kind-of experience. At our vet, you call when you arrive, they come out to collect your animal, and you wait in your car. After Sally was examined, the vet, Dr. Smith, came out to talk to me about his condition.
Yes, Sally had given himself a claw-ectomy – he had ripped his whole claw off. The good news was that the quick was still intact so it will grow back eventually. The bad news was that it was starting to get infected and needs a lot of care to ensure that the infection clears up and doesn’t spread. The worst-case scenario is if the infection spreads to the bone, they will have to amputate his finger.
With an arsenal of medications and instructions, we headed home. You know how when you don’t feel good and you go through a stressful situation, when you finally get home and can relax, you can’t? How you are sort of wound up and wiped out at the same time? Well, that was how Sally was. It took a long time to get him to settle down and once he relaxed enough to lay down somewhere, he still wouldn’t fall asleep.
So, we are on a regime of antibiotics and antiseptic washes for the next several weeks. I’ll take him back in a week or so for Dr. Smith to check on his progress.
As of today, he seems to be doing alright. He fought me hard when it was time to clean his paw but didn’t yell when I touched it. And he’s not compulsively licking on it which is a really good sign. Hopefully, he won’t stay mad at me about taking care of him for too long.