Question about wounded 15-year-old cat
Mickey was a feral kitten and has been fearful all his life. For 15 years, he's been an indoor barn cat, living in several adjoining (heated) rooms in our big barn. He used to have cat companions, but one by one they have all passed on. I think Micky must have had mixed feelings about this because even though he's a large cat he was always the lowest in the feline pecking order. Now he's alone except for when my son or I are there; I take care of Mickey's food, water, and litter, and my DS is in and out often since much of the barn is a work area for him.
Even so, my son has never been able to get close to Mickey. I'm the only one who can lure him out of hiding and pick him up. Once he's in my arms, Micky presses his face against me and purrs and purrs. But it can be hard to get him there.
Last weekend I discovered that Mickey felt noticeably lighter and hadn't eaten much of his dry food. I switched him to canned, and made it soupy, thinking he might have a problem with his mouth. He ate it all up. But then I saw a large wound on his leg. A full 2" of hide was missing. It looked as though he'd had the injury for a while, and it appeared to be healing. But I called the vet on Monday.
The vet put a rigid plastic cone collar on him and said he'd have to spend the next couple of weeks in a place where there was no chance of him hiding and getting the collar caught in a place where I couldn't get to him. Also, I'd have to clean the wound every day and administer a daily antibiotic pill. So I set Mickey up in the house, in the downstairs bathroom--away from my house pets and in a space with no hiding places.
That was on Monday. Today, Thursday, I'm thinking he was doing better in the barn. He's using the litter box and the bed that I put in the bathroom for him, and he always purrs in response to being picked up or petted on my lap. But he seems to be eating less that he was a couple of days ago. And even though the wound doesn't look any worse to me, I'm noticing that it smells. It's not a strong smell, but I didn't detect it all all before.
The vet told me to wipe the wound with antibacterial soap and water. Should I be doing anything further with it? She said Mickey's mouth was fine, so she didn't know why he was rejecting his dry food. He has been eating cat treats, though.
My son suggested that he close off one of Mickey's old rooms in the barn--a space with no hiding places. He's going to install a door there tomorrow, so perhaps Mickey will perk up if he gets back in familiar territory. But I also wonder if that cone collar might have him thoroughly spooked, too.
Also, giving him the pill is quite a struggle. I'm wondering if I can mash it into a powder, dissolve in a little liquid (water or tuna juice?), and administer it with a syringe type device. The collar makes everything hard!
Thanks for letting me share. I have no idea how Mickey got hurt in the first place, but I hate seeing this sweet, timid cat so...