I made a larger e-collar for Tango. His old one was too short so he could still reach his wound if he tried. This made the wound initially worse because of the constant digging and the friction of the cone rubbing his stomach. I made his new cone 2" longer so he can't reach his stomach at all now. We have to do supervised eating, though, because he can't eat with the new cone. At least, I don't think he can. It's awfully dirty like he's *tried* eating, but I'm not sure if he was successful.
I also bought some calming spray which seems to have eased his nerves about the whole process. I adjusted the cone and napped on the couch with my legs thrown over top of him and he napped with me. Such crowding behavior typically scares him and causes him to panic.
I looked into his illness a little more. It's apparently a hyperimmune response. It said it could be fleas, environmental, or food related. It could also be genetic and have no physical trigger. We don't have fleas. The cats don't, either. (Hur hur) We've gotten rid of his environmental allergens (the old apartment) so the last culprit (unless it's genetic) is his food.
Getting rid of cheap food helped his swollen lip, but now he has the ulcers on his skin. Sort of. They're oozy, raw, and swollen. My understanding is that his body is sending out cells to respond to triggers. The cells are supposed to go, fight the allergen, and leave... much like in humans with mosquito bites, etc. His problems arises from the cells lingering around one particular area on his body so he starts itching like mad. Then he bites and digs so much that they become open sores.
Through internet research, it has been suggested that we try an antigen or limited ingredient all natural food such as Blue Buffalo Limited Ingredient, or Natural Balance Limited Ingredient. Another tip was that chicken is a fairly common food allergy in cats. In trying the antigen approach, you feed the cat something it's never had, or hasn't had in a long time so we're going to try the Natural Balance Duck and Pea formula as it is a limited ingredient formula and an antigen to our cats. They've been exposed to turkey, chicken, beef, fish of all sorts, but not duck or rabbit, and I'd be weary of rabbit based dry food. I'm not sure why. The thought just weirds me out. I know they commonly eat rabbits in an outdoor life, but it's me. I'm complicated.
We will also stop giving them canned food because we can't afford the really good stuff so I'm sure the impurities are setting off his responses.
I guess I'm going to go soak him in an epsom salt bath.
Silly fact about Tango. As long as I'm standing in the tub with him he doesn't panic as much. I have to be careful because his claws are terrifying sharp and long. I also (obviously) don't sit in the water with him. I hate wet cat hair sticking to me. I don't even want my feet in there with him and his oozing stomach, but I want him happy and healthy so that what I'm gonna do.
I hope you have enjoyed your Memorial Day! And I hope you've thanked a veteran <3