Feta’s Claw Conundrums (and minor PT update)

Poor Feta Cat just can’t seem to catch a break!

After all of this time working hard at our PT, a bit over a month ago we were confronted with a new challenge: poor Feta had an infected claw. This could have something to do with the claw caps we tried, or may also be due to her habit of biting at her feet (which had been under control, we thought? but perhaps had simply become better hidden).

Whatever the cause, the nail bed was infected, and it was not good. Her toe became extremely swollen and she was no longer able to bear weight on it without severe discomfort. Additionally, the quick of the nail retracted almost all the way, so her claw had to be trimmed down to practically nothing. This is not helpful for traction!

After two rounds of antibiotics over about a month (as well as numerous foot soaks, toe scrubs, and some NSAIDs; not to mention vet bills!!) Feta’s toe was finally back to normal(ish; the claw still needs to grow back out). However, we had to put a stop to our major PT work while she recovered, which set us back significantly. While we were able to maintain her core strength reasonably well, her bum leg is stiffer than ever 🙁

That said, we’re back on track again – more or less – with healed toes and more PT work. In another post I will share some of the videos and exercises that we have been working so hard on. Essentially, we are focusing on “gait training” to teach Feta how to use her bum leg to hop rather than butt-scoot.

One example here:

To keep her entertained and working at least a little bit while on “medical leave,” I picked up a couple of puzzle toys for her to force her to work for her food (even if she wasn’t using that leg).

Here you can see her using it, with the “help” of one of my foster kittens!

(Also during this month I had a foster cat and her four kittens who all came down with ringworm! While actually a fungus, not a worm, ringworm is highly contagious and not species-specific, so it was a super fun month of daily laundry/bleaching, excessive disinfections, frequent cat/kitten baths, and complete paranoia over spreading the fungus through the rest of the house! Fortunately, they all recovered and the babies are all in new homes now. I still have mama, who needed some additional socializing, as well as a new litter of 6 orphaned babies! Plus Chewy, featured above, who is an only child. It’s a full house, but it’s a lot of fun! Pictures of all the cuties can be found on my instagram, as seen above, and sometimes on the Facebook page of the group I foster for 🙂 )

5 thoughts on “Feta’s Claw Conundrums (and minor PT update)”

  1. Oh Feta ,
    Quit chewing you foot girl! Mom is doing everything possible to get that leg working! No chewing on it! Glad to hear you fixed up and back to PT! Looks like you are making progress! Glad to see the puzzles are a hit!
    And ringworm in the house, foster home house ugh sounds like your had your hands full! Full house now sounds like fun! I would have a hard time letting the sweet souls go;)
    You are doing a great service!
    Chin & ear scratches to Miss Feta!
    Holly & Purrkins

    1. Thanks!! Yes, it’s been “exciting.” Still, it’s a lovely menagerie, and I’m glad I’m in a position to help. Just look at these little buggers – https://www.instagram.com/p/BTRztPrjgKC/ – ringworm is a huge pain, but in many shelters they just euthanize the poor little things because they aren’t able to treat it. And how these goofy critters get to have full and happy lives! A great reward <3 I just wish I could cure Feta as quickly!

  2. Poor Feta! Seriously, what is up with all these challenges? Clearly though you two were destined for each other. If it wasn’t for you who knows where she would be…I don’t even want to think about it!

    For now I’m glad she’s on the mend. What a ton of work to get there. You are amazing!

    Thank you for sharing your IG images and video, I went over and found you there. Meanwhile can you tell us more about that puzzle game? I’ve never seen it and would love to share with the community. Feel free to PM me if you don’t want to write a separate blog post about it. Thanks so much.

    Keep up the amazing and life saving work you are doing!

    1. Thanks!!! Great idea on the puzzle game post, I’ll try to get something up soon. This is what is featured in the video: https://smile.amazon.com/Trixie-Mad-Scientist-for-Cats/dp/B003TOO5PA/ – I bought two things from that brand and I’ve been impressed with both. They make things specifically for dogs, too! I’m also a big fan of treat-dispensing balls, though poor Feta tends to roll them out of her reach and then get very sad, and they frighten my dog, so we donated ours to our local shelter.

      Animals, go figure! It’s always something!

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