When the vet opened, I carted Indy off for a consultation.
The vet asked if Indy could have injured himself. I couldn't think of anything except two nights ago when Indy insisted on coming out of the room (to accompany me to watch TV) and I had put the harness on him. The spot where the wound is coincides with a buckle on the harness. The next night, he insisted on coming out, but this time, we closed all the windows and let him out to roam the whole house.
I had not noticed any wound until this morning.
Looks pretty bad, right?
You see that buckle? I think the buckle could have lacerated his tender skin.
The vet said it is definitely not a bite wound. He then took a scrape sample, looked at it under the microscope and examined it for a long time. The wound was found to be already infected (has lots of bacteria and white blood cells), but here's the worrying news - there was also the presence of some mast cells. As such, the vet could not rule out the possibility of mast cell tumour (http://www.petmd.com/cat/conditions/cancer/c_ct_mast_cell_tumor). Mast cell is a form of skin cancer which is common in dogs, but not in cats. Yet, we have seen one such case before previously in 2011 (http://myanimalcare.org/2011/08/23/not-sporo-or-crypto-but-something-else/).
However, there were only a few mast cells in the sample and the vet explained that in some ordinary wounds, mast cells can be present. The plan now is to put Indy on 10 days' antibiotics and he must not aggravate the wound by licking it further. If the wound starts to dry up and heal, then we just proceed with the antibiotics without further investigation and diagnosis. But if the wound does not heal, further diagnosis would be required.
The vet will also consult with a more senior colleague on this and let me know by next week.
I was a little unprepared for this as I had thought it was just a superficial wound. Luckily I didn't take any chances and brought Indy straight to the vet's. The vet says that if it is mast cell tumour, there is treatment with medications or surgery to remove the entire patch.
Meanwhile, I have to stop Indy from licking the wound. The vet said I could put on the e-collar for Indy but agreed that in some cats, it causes massive stress. Indy is a highly and easily stressed cat. In all the previous times he had been ill, he would be so seriously ill and in most times, no vet could correctly diagnose what was wrong with him. The last was more than a year ago when he was hospitalised and on drips.
Indy is a mysterious cat. Has always been so. And he is also very easily stressed.
Based on this, the vet said another alternative would be to put a cat-tshirt on him. Just cover the wound for 2 days to give it a chance to heal.
I have 3 pieces of e-collars.
So we tried the e-collar first. Indy went TOTALLY berserk, jumped 5 feet high (yes, as high as me), flipped several acrobatic somersaults in the air and out flew the collar, leaving us completely stunned. Actually, I was the one who was stunned. Husband was impressed and said we should have video-recorded the whole remarkable "performance".
Verdict on e-collar: No go.
Indy, after the acrobatic acts.
Then, he started licking himself feverishly (yes, because the e-collar had "violated" him so badly, I understand). And there was no point in trying to stop him as he needed to cleanse himself of the e-collar so we left him to groom. Meanwhile, I asked husband to go out to buy him a cat tshirt.
Husband came back saying all the cat tshirts had been sold out (for the CNY?) so he could only get this cat raincoat. He said it had velcro and we could cut it to size and wear it "upside-down".
So we put it on Indy loosely and it fitted well.
It also covered the wound well.
And all was well...
....for less than five minutes.
Verdict on cat raincoat: No go.
Then I called other pet-stores to ask if they had anymore cat tshirts.
Finally, we went out to two more stores.
One only sold dog tshirts and it was ridiculously priced. The second store had more reasonably priced ones. After all, I only need it for 2 days. And so I chose the 100% cotton one.
It fitted very nicely, and not too tightly so that there is room for the wound to "breathe".
The whole idea is to prevent Indy from licking the wound, that's all. And also to prevent the wound from being in contact with the floor as it is on the chest area. If Indy lies down, the wound would be directly in contact with the floor.
I noticed he only licks the wound feverishly when we meddle with it. If we don't, he doesn't too.
Tiger (bless his kind soul) was very concerned about his friend, so he followed Indy around to make sure Indy was okay.
Indy seemed quite comfortable with his tshirt.
Well, maybe he has no choice, because he cannot worm his way out of it.
He seems at home with his tshirt now. It's still intact after 2 hours, so it should be Indy-proof.
I really hope it isn't mast cell tumour. The cause of mast cell tumour is unknown.
Now, to hope the antibiotics (Clavomox) will work and the wound will heal in the next few days.
Get well soon, little Indy.