Two weeks ago I had to visit the vet because I noticed that my cat Shyna had several smaller crusty wounds on the back. I maybe wouldn’t even have noticed it, the only reason why I noticed it was that there was also no fur. I was afraid she could have flees, biting lice or mites. I got the idea because my mother and her husband have a chicken coop in the garden that I entered a few times the week before. The evening when I noticed her problem, I researched on Google and thought it could also be an allergy or dermatophyte. I could at least rule out the parasites because I have a special comb here that allows you to find them, you just have to brush the cat and tap the comb on a wet tissue. Flees would be visible on the comb without doing this, but you could detect mites with this technique. But I couldn’t find parasites, and next day when I visited the vet, she couldn’t find them either.
My cat didn’t have any problem with the pet carrier on the way to the vet, but she is already a veteran traveler since we traveled between the city Lübeck and the not far away town Reinfeld several times in the first half of the year. Also I let her use the pet carrier as sleeping place, that means she feels safe in the carrier. Although written in quite bad English at that time, I shared my experience on the blog a long time ago and how you can make it less stressful for the carried cat.
There was also no stress visible during the vet visit, the team knew my cat already from previous visits, but again they were delighted. My cat did not resist, she was only shy but it seemed as if she would still remember the vet team. As said, the doctor couldn’t find parasites, and she did rule out dermatophyte as well, although I am a bit surprised because you would probably need a smear test to be completely sure, but I didn’t want to question her experience, in my opinion it’s a good vet. She told me, my cat would lick the hair off, the spot looked as if the cat mowed the hair off, and the skin was hurt by the “sandpaper” cat tongue.
I was surprised when she said that the anal glands could cause her to do this. She did take a look, and she said “Yes, they are full”. She did empty them manually with her hands, not without forewarning that it could be painful for the cat. It was not funny to see my cat in pain, but then I remembered myself that we humans sometimes have to bear with very unpleasant medical examinations too. She talked with my cat, and said “You cutie, you have a lucky life, there are cats that are regulars in my animal clinic but you always have been healthy!”. I think I was more comforted by the statement than my cat.
Next she explained to me why full anal glands can cause problems, and she told me that it’s probably a bit comparable with the human hemorrhoids, full anal glands would be as annoying she said. I asked her why this would make my cat lick off the hair and skin. She answered that it’s most often one of the both, it’s either a stress reaction or they do this because it’s literally like an itching, a bad feeling somewhere near the back, and they start to lick the hair off. I got told that the issue with the licking should disappear after 2 weeks, as same as the wounds, if not I should come there again.
Today I walked into the animal clinic again, because they said I could get some “wound healing equipment” if needed. I saw how my cat would lick on the wounds again and again, and I remembered that the doctor said “If nothing helps, we might have to annoy your cat with the pet lamp-shade” and referred to the neck collar you can see in my picture of this post. It’s probably the only way to help the wound healing, further I got an ointment that I should apply once a day. If this still won’t help, I have to visit the clinic again together with my cat in a week. My cat does now wear the lamp-shade, and she is not very happy about it, but that would make an own blog post. But to be honest, I can see how it’s difficult to be a cat while wearing a lamp-shade around the neck.