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Scab That Won't Fall Off


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My cat received accidental burns a few weeks ago, was rushed to the e-vet, received treatment and was sent home with burn cream and pain meds. The worst area scabbed over and initially it looked like the scab would fall off because the edges curled back, but then the scab grew fur and remains firmly stuck on. I have been applying bacitracin ointment around the edges. Is this normal or do scabs sometimes not fall off?


(Edited to add photos, not for the squeamish):







Edited by Sorcha
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That looks infected. Did you get antibiotics? They can give cats an antibiotic SHOT (I suppose dogs too! But for cats it's much easier). I think they call it "Convenia." My cat had to get a shot because it's virtually impossible for me to give him a pill (can't even catch him!).


Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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I'd be having a follow-up appointment. If the fee is a concern, follow-ups are free at my vet -- maybe they are at yours, too? But even if they aren't, the pricetag will be small. I'm surprised they didn't ask for one within 7 days (or even 14 days) anyway. I have never had to deal with a burn so I don't know how they heal, how they look, etc. All I can do is compare it to a current injury on Summer, which we have also been healing using "open wound management" and which started as a similar size to what your cat has now. Summer's wound never looked like that -- some of the edges of that wound are dark and look necrotic. You didn't mention antibiotics so I'm guessing/hoping that the burn ointment has it, otherwise the lack of antibiotics would be very strange.


Lisa B.

My beautiful Summer - to her forever home May 1, 2010 Summer

Certified therapy dog team with St. John Ambulance

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Overall I think the wounds look pretty good. Of course the scab isn't "pretty", but I don't think the area looks at all infected and appears to be healing properly. Burns are far more challenging to heal than an abrasion or tear due to the extensive damage to the surface tissue. Medically speaking, I would be happy with the scab and other than monitoring for concerning changes in appearance (inflammation, pus or drainage, etc) would just leave it be and give it time (like, another 3-6 weeks).


As always, though, I am not a vet. If you have concerns regarding the wound or if your cat is not acting normally (eating, drinking, voiding, playing) then I urge you to either set up an appt with the vet (or if cost is a concern, see if you can get an email address for them so you could email the pic and get an opinion).


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