The owner can cope with some diseases on his own without going to the veterinarian. But if the cat swells, it is urgent to deliver it to the clinic. Edema is not an independent ailment. Swelling of the paw, face, or other part of the body is a symptom that indicates a serious health problem for the pet. If you notice a cat’s swelling, do not waste precious time - immediately seek qualified help.
Regardless of the reasons, edema is an accumulation of fluid in the intercellular space of tissues, but the nature of the fluids can be different - lymph, pus, blood. Externally, the swelling of the paws of a cat, like swelling of any other part of the body, looks like a hard or soft, as if filled with liquid, swelling. No matter how experienced the doctor, it is impossible to understand the cause of the formation of edema based on the results of a mere examination. Therefore, it is important to fully examine the pet in order to take control of the underlying disease.
Edema is common and local. With local edema, fluid accumulates in a limited area, with general swelling visible throughout the body. The first case is easier to recognize in time: if the cat's paw is swollen, in comparison with healthy limbs it looks swollen and enlarged. General edema is sometimes noticed only when a lot of fluid is already accumulating in the body (especially if the pet's coat is long and thick). Swelling of the tissues is noticeable during palpation, in the place of light squeezing, a depression from the fingers remains.
Causes of edema
Traumatic edema - the result of crushing of tissues upon impact, fractures, cracks in the bone, sprains, dislocations. Paw edema in a cat may be the result of a bite of an aggressive animal, the presence of a foreign body in the tissues (splinter, glass). Often, one of the lips swells in cats after being bitten with a fang - cats do not chew, but tear food, moving their jaws sharply and with great force. With edema associated with trauma, the cat avoids touching, and the area of edema is inflamed (hot, reddened).
In a cat suffering from breast cancer, a paw closer to the tumor may swell. The accumulation of fluid occurs as a result of compression of the lymphatic vessels by the tumor. In addition, cancer of any organ can cause a tumor, giving metastases that disrupt lymph outflow in the area of localization of the tumor.
Swelling of the cat's face it is often a sign of an acute allergy of any nature, although usually it is a food reaction or contact allergy (stained a muzzle in a chemical, dye, etc.). A reaction to a bee sting or flea saliva is possible: catching parasites with teeth, the cat touches the allergen (flea saliva and bowel movements) with the mucous membranes of the lips. In most cases with allergies, edematous tissues do not differ from healthy ones (except for swelling), do not hurt, the skin does not change color or slightly redden.
If your cat has swollen hind legsare suspected of heart or liver failure and other diseases associated with impaired function of these organs. As a rule, the edema is symmetrical and painless, sometimes cats do not notice swelling of the extremities at all and move as usual. With joint diseases, stiffness and accuracy of movements are expressed - the pet is limping, does not allow touching the sore spot, edema forms around the inflamed joint, i.e. strictly localized. In renal failure, edema in a cat begins from the lower part of the paws, gradually spreading to the entire surface of the body. The cause of edema can be a blood clot, which blocks a large blood vessel, an inflammatory process in the tissues and blood vessels, excessive permeability of the vessel walls.
As mentioned above, only a veterinarian can understand why a cat swells. The owner’s task is to provide first aid and deliver the pet to the clinic:
- if the swelling to the touch is hot, the skin is reddened and looks inflamed, apply a cooling dressing;
- if the swelling is cold, the skin is pale or bluish, you need to carefully massage the paw every 10 minutes to improve blood flow in the affected area;
- if allergy is suspected, give the pet half an execan cube (contraindicated in pregnant cats and diabetics). With severe allergic edema - an injection of suprastin or diphenhydramine, and urgently to the clinic.