any experience with kitty that has crackling rice crispy skin? UPDATE

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by zzGypsy, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. zzGypsy

    zzGypsy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    so a kitten showed up in the yard yesterday, looks to be about 4 months old, scrawny and underfed, fearful, but not wild. took it in to quarantine (the spare bathroom) to make sure it's healthy before letting it either join the indoor cats, or the oudoor barn cats. it's thin and scruffy looking, hair is rough and it needs a bath, but seems otherwise healthy - eyes clear, temperature normal, no cuts or bruises, doen't mind being handled anywhere, no obvious injuries or health problems, eating and drinking and using the kitty box.

    but... when you pet it on it's ribs or neck or behind it's front sholders, it crackles. like rice crispies.

    so I was aware of that symptom from blackleg in cattle, I know it means air/gas under the skin. looked up the condition online for cats, it's called subcutaneous emphysema, but apparently cats are resistant to the microbe that causes blackleg in cattle, so it has to be another cause. leading on-line contenders are injury that ruptures a lung or windpipe allowing air to leak out, puncture or open wound that allows air under the skin, or air introduced when sub-q fluids are given (poor medical technique).

    checked the kitty all over, no wounds, no sore spots, ribs seem fine, no indication the kitty's been given fluids (like a shaved spot or mark) that I can find.

    the theory is the air will be absorbed over a week or so and the rice crispies will go away. so kitty will be staying in quarantine for a while.

    just wondering if anyone else has experience with this, or can think of another cause for the air under the skin?
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011
  2. LyonFuzz

    LyonFuzz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The kitty has subcutaneous emphysema, which is air escaped from his lungs building up under the skin and tissues. He has had some type of trauma to his lung, whether it was hit by a car or whatever, air is leaking from his lungs and gathering under his skin. This is a serious condition. Hopefully his lung will heal and the airleak will stop.
     
  3. zzGypsy

    zzGypsy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I poked all over him pretty thoroughly, he's not reactive or sore anywhere, and I went over his ribs, chest, belly completely... ribs all feel normal and intact, no knots, no sore spots, no swelling... do you think it's possible to have a pulmonary leak without broken bones or sore spots? he's new here, so maybe someone tossed him from a car window... could a fall do this without breaking bones or leaving ouchy spots?
     
  4. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    Because there is evidence of chest trauma, keep the kitten confined for at least 2 weeks,as there may also be internal bleeding and bruising, especially dangerous if in the lungs.
    probably should see a vet asap. Good luck.
     
  5. Peaches Lee

    Peaches Lee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would take this cat to the vet and get it checked out (and also tested for Fel Leuk). [​IMG]

    Glad you saved the little thing, people think cats are so disposable...[​IMG]
     
  6. LyonFuzz

    LyonFuzz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There does not have to be outward, visible trauma for this to occur. He could have been hit, kicked, and blunt force to his lungs, or he simply could have had a weak spot on his lung caused by illness, pneumonia, congenital, etc that popped and is now leaking air every time he breathes in. Hopefully with rest and time it'll close up on it's own and he'll be fine. If there is no way you can take him to a vet, keep him in a quiet place where he can rest and not exert himself. His body will eventually reabsorb the air unless the leak continues....and then the outcome will be poor. If you took him to a vet and the x-ray showed a leak, they would want to put a small chest tube in him to allow the air to escape and then he would heal.
    I commend you on taking this little fellow in and trying to help. He surely would have suffered without you. Thank you:)
     
  7. Glenmar

    Glenmar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Does not sound good.
     
  8. zzGypsy

    zzGypsy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thank you for all the detailed thoughts here, blunt force trauma or a congenital or illness releated leak seems most likely. no local vet available on the weekends, so it'd be at least tomorrow before there's something to do.

    today kitty seems much more lively, starting to groom him/herself more and show a little shine on his coat (and less dirt) and is eating like... well, a starved kitten... chowing down on kitten kibbles and some milk. the crackling area seems somewhat smaller today, so I'm hopeful this is progress and indicates a healing trend. we'll see how things look in the morning, if he/she's continuing to look better, I may wait another day. if not better, vet call it is.

    I decided to hold off on the bathing task for a few days, enough stress already without that I think. gonna have to wait for the bath to check the gender, the little creature has long fur and mats making gender-checking not possible at the moment.

    I'll post as things progress.
    thanks for your help!
     
  9. zzGypsy

    zzGypsy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    here's the update... kitty is MUCH more active today, 90% of the crackling is gone, just a little area behind one shoulder, center of shoulder blades, and next to one ear. MUCH better... I think kitty's going to be fine. [​IMG]
     
  10. LyonFuzz

    LyonFuzz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Awesome! What a great outcome.....thank you for helping it:)
     

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