Category Archives: Pets

Dealing with Animal Scratches…

It is the beginning of the month, and therefore hubby and I begin the bi-monthly routine of capturing our two indoor cats and trimming their claws.  We are well used to doing this job, but sometimes, despite our best efforts, we get scratched.

kitten scratch

My reference book for this NaBloPoMo is “Home Remedies from a Country Doctor”.  They first explain why it is important to consider animal scratches as potentially dangerous.  Even if it is not a gaping wound, Tiddles’ scratch could harbour all manner of nasties.  Apparently cats, and sometimes dogs and monkeys, carry something known as Cat Scratch Disease.  It is essentially a bacterial infection, but if it is not caught and treated it could develop into something much worse.  The other websites I have read have also suggested that you need to think about Tetanus and Rabies.  Luckily, the Rabies angle is not really worrisome in the UK as we are a Rabies free nation, and even Tetanus would be a really rare complication.  If you are at all worried about a wound that has not healed and you are feeling really rough, then go to the Doctor and you might need a tetanus booster.

 

So, how do you know if you have cat scratch disease from your beloved Fluffy?  First sign is a blister at the site of the cat scratch.  You might also find that the lymph glands close to the scratch site might also swell up.  You will probably run a fever and you might feel rather draggy and headachy as a result.  In the very, very worst infections (which are exceedingly rare) there might even be convulsions.

cute cat

Blimey.  I am looking at my fluffy companions in a slightly different light (but only slightly…!  They are still cute and furry and purring like mad!)  So, if you do get scratched, what is the best way to deal with it?  Wash the wound with soap and water.  If it is a deep scratch, immerse the wounded area in hot soapy water for 10-15 minutes and swish that water around to wash out any bacteria that might be lingering in the wound.  If you are still not sure it is okay, then you might want to consider flushing the area with a 50/50 mix of water and hydrogen peroxide.

 

I would also consider putting on a salve or ointment made with Lavender and some tea tree oil.  Both of these essential oils are antibiotic and antibacterial.  Lavender is also known to speed healing.  You might want to add a drop of each oil to some pure aloe vera gel as well.  Aloe vera is absolutely fantastic for skin on all occasions, and especially if it needs to heal.

crazy cat lady

The main thing to remember is that the cat is still safe to fuss and play with.  Cat scratch disease is very rarely dangerous except for people who are immuno-suppressed.  Though it is always sensible to remember that Puss might be cute and purry… but by nature they are a hunter and natural born killer.  I still love them though.

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Do you have pets at home?

Our house is home to 3 animals.  No, I am not including the husband in that count.  I have two cats and a dog.  The two cats are Mo (15), Alfie (5) and the dog is Dotty (2).  Flea treatments are important to us, but I really do not like using the chemicals available.  So what natural remedies are there for use on animals?

lemon

My research has come up with several.  Citrus skins are useful.  Rubbing a small amount of lemon or orange juice on the skin of your pets, between the shoulder blades can really help.  As can using Brewers Yeast in their food.  A small amount of garlic in the dry food daily can help, but it should not be used for cats because it can cause anaemia in them.

This is NOT either of my cats!

This is NOT either of my cats!

You could always attempt to dip the animal in water.  You could use a gentle shampoo as well.  I am thinking the cats would definitely not appreciate that (first I would have to catch them.  They move fast!), and the dog… well, even though she is part Labrador, she is not wildly keen on water.  Mind you, the past two weekends, we have had to give her a bath because she has rolled in something disgusting.  So those Labrador genes will out somehow!

hoovering

One thing I do all the time with 3 animals in the house, is to vacuum.  If we keep the floor clean with a natural disinfectant (steam cleaning is brilliant!) that can also stop the reinfection of  fleas.  Make sure to regularly clean the bedding and to vacuum round their favourite hangout spots.

rose geranium oil

If you have ticks in your area, then you can make a tick collar, by putting a few dabs of Rose Geranium Essential oil on the fabric of the collar, and ticks will avoid your beast.

chamomile

If your cat or dog still has an itchy and irritated skin, then you can use Chamomile tea in a spray bottle.  Make the tea, put it in the spray bottle and then put it in the refrigerator.  Apply to the itchy and uncomfortable part of the skin.  Vitamin E oil is great for Dogs dry skin.  But you can also use baby oatmeal.  Add a little water to make a paste and then rub it into the itchy areas.  Leave it for 10 minutes and then rinse with warm water.  And that Chamomile tea bag?  You can use it on irritated and infected pet eyes as well.

 

Hmmm… all the pets have disappeared somewhere.  I wonder if they know I am going to be chasing them around with lemons?!

 

Have a great Sunday!