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We have an elderly cat he is about 15 years old.  About a month ago, when we went to clip his nails, we noticed that his left rear paw was a little swollen.  Upon further review, we noticed that one of his toenails was missing on that paw and the paw pad was swollen.  We had also noticed that he was walking a little gingerly so we took him to the vet.  The doctor gave him an antibiotic injection and some pain cream that we put in his ear.  She also told us to start giving him Glucosamine, which we have done.  About two weeks ago, he started acting very lethargic just literally doing nothing but laying around all day.  We also noticed that he was walking more gingerly than before.  However, our main concern was the lethargy.  He was still eating.  However, that is all he would get up for is to eat, so we took him back to the vet.  She did a full battery of tests including x-rays of his feet and belly.  All of his labs (blood, urine, et cetera) came back normal.  The x-ray of his belly showed a slightly abnormal amount of gas.  However, the doctor was not overly concerned.  The exam of his foot revealed that a very small portion of the toenail was still there along with some kind of mass or growth or tumor so she is recommending that we amputate that particular digit to remove the mass in order to have it biopsied in addition to giving him relief from his pain.  At that visit, she gave him another antibiotic shot along with ringers lactate and a vitamin b6 shot and told us to continue with the pain cream in his ear.  She wants to wait 10 days before doing anything further because she is not sure if his lethargy is truly lethargy or if he is just acting lethargic because he simply does not want to walk on his foot.  She wants to wait 10 days to let the antibiotic run its course hoping that his symptoms will improve before she puts him under anesthesia.  Does this all sound right or should we get a second opinion?  Thanks.

this all sounds very good to me. it sounds like your vet has done a full set of tests and is erring on the side of caution regarding operating whilst infection free which the antibiotics will do. this will mean that he is stronger for the operation.

10 days is not a long time to wait and so I would go along with the vets recommendations.

best wishes Kate  


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Kate Tilmouth


I can answer most day to day cat problems encountered by owners. I have a good understanding of cat behaviour and problems which may arise from changes to their daily routine. I can advise on cat training including litter training and general day to day cat care issues. I am not a vet and therefore cannot answer medical questions.


I run my own cat website at and have been a dedicated cat owner for over 20 years. I have encountered many different cat problems and situations and feel that i have a good understanding of cats and cat ownership.

I am a platinum member of Ezinearticles where i write mainly cat related articles.

Educated to High School level and have since worked for many years in a customer support based environment, gaining vocational qualifications.

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