Cats and Open Wounds
Answered by: Kerry Hackett
Question from: Rynda
Posted on: November 27, 2006

One of my five cats got in a fight last night. We don’t have the finances to see the vet. The cat has a wound down between his legs and is limping. We have treated his wounds with black ointment (an herbal remedy), peroxide and bacitracin ointment.

Other than internal injuries (of course, I can’t see), is there any other herbal remedy you know of?

I mixed a little quinine in milk and lobelia to soothe inflammation and pain....

The major problem in a cat fight related injury is the harm that has occurred internally. Given cats are still relatively close to wild animals, their skin has the ability to close immediately after being punctured or torn, in an effort to help the cat get away from its predator. This is useful on one hand but on the other, bacteria can become entrapped under the skin, resulting in an abscess. It can also hide internal damage caused by teeth, claws, etc.

Black ointment contains: Chaparral (Larrea divaricata), Comfrey (Symphytum officinalis), Red clover (Trifolium pratense), Pine tar (Pinus spp.), Mullein (Verbascum thapsus), beeswax, Plantain (Plantago major), olive oil, mutton tallow, Chickweed (Stellaria media) and Poke root (Phytolacca decandra).

It was formulated as a drawing salve and for old ulcers, tumors, boils, warts, skin cancers, hemorrhoids and burns. It has the reputation as a healing ointment which may be a problem as you may find it heals too quickly. Normally in a situation such as this herbs such as Comfrey would not be employed until the danger of infection had passed as this herb can heal with such speed that bacteria can be trapped inside the wound therefore allowing an abscess to form.

Should the wound still be open, you might want to try flushing it out with a lukewarm tea of either Calendula (Calendula officinalis) or St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) two to three times a day to ensure the area is clear of bacteria.

Internally, you could look at employing a glycerite of Calendula as well as a good, solid diet such as those discussed in the works of Richard Pitcairn, "Natural Health for Dogs and Cats", "The Complete Herbal Handbook for the Dog and Cat" by Juliette de Bairacli Levy and "The Barf Diet" by Ian Billinghurst. Vitamin C may also be helpful at a rate of 250 mg twice a day, crushed into food.

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