Help Heal Cowboy the Cat

Campaign Created by: Michael Solley

The funds from this campaign will be received by Michael Solley.

Goal: USD $2,000
Raised: USD $ 1,085

My family has been working with feral cats for about 20 years. We have found homes for dozens of kittens, and spayed/neutered hundreds of cats (TNR - trap neuter return). They are also vaccinated in this process. Additionally, we have rehabilitated many cats from various ailments and deformities (mange, entropion, parasites/worms, fleas, mites, other injuries).

One of the cats, Cowboy, was attacked by a group of vicious raccoons (not rabies) this year. His best friend, Cowgirl, has not left his side through the whole ordeal. Once I was able to catch them, we started anti-parasite treatments and set a vet appointment for his injuries. Over the course of 5 months he has been given multiple antibiotics, as well as topical sprays, ointments, soaks and massages to clear up the infections and scar tissue.

His injuries cover his entire right side. There are dozens of puncture wounds starting near his spine and wrapping around to his belly, as well as on his right front leg. In spite of the pain and depression, Cowgirl gives him the moral support to eat and continue on. It's really a shame to see such a mild mannered and caring cat suffer these injuries.

We have been hoping to avoid surgery, and still may be able to, but the costs have already cost a couple thousand dollars, and the new tests, biopsy and cultures will be an additional couple thousand dollars. This does not include his potential surgery (cutting out the affected skin and grafting good skin in its place).  The current goal might not even cover his future visits and medications even if he does not have surgery. We have never asked for money before, but the combination of the costs for this cat and recent loss of income, we have no other choice in order to save his life. He cannot be released back outside with these wounds and survive.

Please help us save this little furball.

6/11 $478.88 exam, Convenia, Onsior, Praziquantel, Revolution, Metronidazole; 6/24 $433.40 exam, Gabapentin, Orbax, Idexx aerobic culture, Convenia, clip/clean wound; 7/6 $219.30 Orbax, Gabapentin, Idexx fecal DX profile; 7/20 $68.00 Orbax; 8/5 $68.00 Orbax; 8/20 $190.81 exam, Hills Gastro Biome bag & cans, Proviable; 8/22 $57.76 Vetericyn Plus Antimicrobial Wound & Skin Care Spray; 8/24 $5.61 Hills Gastro Biome cans (last in stock); 9/7 $175.50 Idexx comp diarrhea profile; 9/13 $121.49 Tylan powder, Vetri Science Entero Health Pro Chews, SP Feline Immune Support; 9/16 $173.80 Tylosin liquid; 9/28 $57.76 Vetericyn Plus Antimicrobial Wound & Skin Care Spray; 10/19 $344.31 surgery consult, Idexx CBC/Chem/Lytes; 10/20 $1,968.16 Doxycycline, IV catheter/T-port/line/set, Plasmalyte, Idexx Snap FIV/FeLV, radiographs, soft tissue biopsy, parathyroid hormone assay IDX, priority biopsy w/DESC IDX, aerobic & anaerobic culture IDX, Midazolam, Buprenorphine, Propofol Blue, soft tissue sedation; 10/24 $80.79 Vetericyn Plus Antimicrobial Wound & Skin Care Spray; 10/28 $94.24 check-up, Doxycycline, Marbofloxin; 10/31 $59.95 Amoxicillin; 11/1 $8.59 gauze; 11/11 $131.90 checkup, Doxycycline, Marbofloxacin, Enro/Doxy solution; 11/18 $139.90 Enro/Doxy solution (x2); 11/20 $37.49 Azathioprine; 11/22 $38.50 SP Feline Immune Support Tabs; 11/25 $40.67 exam, Azithromycin, Doxycycline; 11/26 $165.69 Pradofloxacin (2x emergency vet); 12/12 $187.50 Pradofloxacin (3x regular vet); 12/14 $53.98 Vetericyn Plus Antimicrobial Wound & Skin Care Spray; 12/15 $69.95 Enro/Doxy solution; 12/28 $69.95 Enro/Doxy solution; 12/30 $87.42 exam, Azithromycin, Doxycycline; 1/5 $257.45 Pradofloxacin (3x), Erno/Doxy solution; 1/9 $159.20 SP Feline Immune Support Tabs, Cerenia, Famotidine; 1/13 $69.95 Enro/Doxy solution; 1/20 $26.59 Imuquin Feline; 1/24 $69.95 Enro/Doxy solution; 1/25 $174.60 exam, Idexx urinalysis, discount; 1/27 $165.69 exam, Pradofloxacin (2x emergency vet); 1/27 $286.99 Hills C/D 8.5lb bag, x-ray, tech appointment; 1/27 $19.99 Doxycycline; 1/27 $14.99 Azithromycin; 1/31 $62.97 Cerenia; 2/2 $48.28 Pradofloxacin; 2/3 $63.27 Azithromycin, Pradofloxacin; 2/14 $123.03 Hills PD C/D 8.5# dry (2x), 2.9oz/24; 2/16 $44.87 Nutramax Proviable; 2/17 $19.99 Doxycycline; 2/25 $48.28 Pradofloxacin

Running total: $7,284.69 (Feel free to check my math.)


Update #7 - Progress
April 6, 2023
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He had another vet checkup on 3/25.  Prior to that we had started bathing him with Malaket.  He has been getting at least one bath every week.  A week or so prior to the vet visit we also started applying Banixx and Nu-Stock that we found at Grifs Feed & Pet Supply.  Prior to using these horse products, he had skin maceration that the vets were not addressing, so we stopped the other topical treatments and switched to these.  The wounds have almost completely healed, and his hair is coming back.  The attached picture is from the vet visit two weeks ago, and he has continued to improve since.  After seeing the progress, and due to causing nausea, the vet said we could stop giving him the expensive Pradofloxacin.  He has another checkup on 4/29.  We are hoping that the wounds will be completely healed by then, and that surgery will be unnecessary if the plaque areas are reduced.  We have also started using a Chlorhexidine solution to do some wound cleaning between baths.  It is typically used for cleaning before surgeries.  The vet has switched mentality to permanent care rather than healing, mostly based on the previous visit.

I will be rolling back the donation amount to $1,000.  That will help me return some of the money that was lent to me for his care.  Hopefully I can get help with that much.

We have also used some of these products on another cat who has extremely bad skin injuries, and she is making massive and fast improvements as well.

Update #6 - Some good, some bad
March 1, 2023
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2-25 - He had a check-up with the emergency vet / surgeon.  The wound areas on his back, side and leg looked better, but he has an area on his belly that looks bad, or worse, which is finally causing the vet to become frustrated.  The vet thinks it could be from him scratching.  The sock experiment to keep him from scratching failed.  The vet/surgeon will contact the dermatologist.  If he is not healing better by the end of March, then we will have to look at a permanent treatment regimen for the rest of his life.  This means he becomes an indoor cat.

In the evening, some of his side and back wounds opened up some more.  This seems to be cyclical.

2-26 - He got another bath, and we have added betadine (povidone-iodine) to his medication routine.  I also trimmed his claws to prevent him from irritating his skin, and to make medicating him less dangerous.  He is also losing weight.  We are trying to find other ways to stimulate his appetite.

Update #5 - Ups & Downs
January 30, 2023
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Had a website error, hopefully I can remember what I typed...

1/27 - He saw both vets last week, but the main vet/surgeon was on Friday.  The thickened skin area has decreased.  (I thought he said it was gone before, but I can find the edges of it myself now.)  He was getting a custom compounded topical ointment as a Hail Mary to try and attack the bacteria externally.  Against his & the first vet's directions, we started applying Neosporin to hold the runny solution in to the wounds.  It turns out that Neosporin is a stronger version of what was prescribed and that he didn't want to used Neosporin in case Cowboy licked himself, but he is wearing a cone so that he cannot lick himself and aggravate the wounds.
The visit to the first/local vet was for urinary stones.  He cleared the one he might have had and is feeling better.  He is also on special food now as a preventative.  That vet also said that his skin is looking better.  We are working on a way to get him outside for some exercise and sunlight without risk of him running away.

Costco is probably way cheaper for pet meds than your vet(s) so try and get them there if you can.  They will not fill meds labelled for dogs to an animal listed as a cat though, even if the vet prescribed it.

Cowboy has had a taller cage to move around in for a few weeks now, but he only used one other shelf once, as seen in the picture.  It is next to the window so that he can get more sunlight, and also have some entertainment.

The vet said it could take 5 months of treatment for him to heal.  We are starting with December since that is when they finally got his meds sorted out.

Update #4 - Check-up & Progress
December 30, 2022
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12/30 - The vet said that all of the thickening of his skin is gone and that he's 50% improved from when he first saw Cowboy.  The larger plaques or scabs seem to be minimal, if not gone.  We are continuing on with everything as we have been doing this past month to see if or how he improves, with a slight tweak in the process to optimize the absorption of the topical antibiotic.  The vet says the area is still too large to consider doing surgery.  We got another month of Azithromycin and Doxycycline (allegedly, I did not count it while I was there, but the nurse today seemed more on top of things than previous nurses).  I will have to get refills on a couple more meds from the local vet and compounding pharmacy before the month is up.

His next check up is 01/27.

Other updates: The wound under his right front leg, which grew pretty large, looks like it healed up on its own.  He still has stitches in from the biopsy.  Most of the other bite wounds are still present and in various states of healing.  He has been getting feistier the past couple weeks, so he's probably starting to feel better.  We're almost 1/6 of the way to the new funding goal, so thank you to everyone who has donated so far!  I am still looking into getting a larger cage for him to live in.  I will also be putting him in the carrier and letting him relax outside when I can make the time.

Update #3 - Check-up and More Medicine Changes
November 28, 2022
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11/25 - The vet said that the thickening of his skin in the general area is mostly gone, if not completely gone.  Turns out there were errors in their submission to CVS so the Azathioprine that he got the previous week was incorrect and they mixed up the Azithromycin in their pharmacy.  They "un-charged" us for the new medicine since the previous one was a mistake.  We also asked for a smaller cone so that the cat can maneuver in the cage more easily, and they begrudgingly obliged.  So far he has not "gotten around it" to groom and cause damage, and his living situation has been more sanitary.  He goes back on December 30 for his next check-up.  We should have enough medicine to get us through, except for the topical solution which we have a refill already available locally.  Cowboy is much happier with the shorter cone (easier to eat), and even feels good enough to try and escape when we take it off temporarily to clean it.

11/26 - The vet called to say he did some more research and would like to put him on a third antibiotic to try and attack this infection from as many angles as possible, and that he had found an antibiotic that would work with the other two.  I made the hour drive the next day to get the Pradofloxacin (Veraflox) because they could not call this one into CVS or the compounding pharmacy nearby.

Update #2 - Check-up and Medicine Changes
November 22, 2022
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11/11 - There were some mix-ups at the vet's office.  The vet took him off the Augmentin that the other vet in the office put him on, and put back on Marbofloxacin.  The Marbofloxacin is supposed to help with the weird growths/scabs around the would holes.  We are also resuming a warm, wet compress to help with softening and breaking up these growths.  He was also given an enro/doxy custom compounded topical solution for his wounds.  We were also told that the biopsy stitches are the dissolving kind, so we are not waiting for a check-up to have those removed, and hopefully be able to take his cone off.  He may need additional stitches for other larger wounds that have not healed.

11/19 to 11/20 - The vet called to say he found a new antibiotic because the biopsy results show that the bacteria are resistant to the Marbofloxacin (which is why the other vet at that office prescribed Augmentin).  He is now back off Marbofloxacin and has been put on Azathioprine.  Hopefully this change works at least as well as the Marbofloxacin seemed to be.

His next check-up is 11/25.  Hopefully we are not playing medicine musical chairs anymore.

Update #1 - Post Biopsy Checkup
October 28, 2022
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10/28 - Not all of the lab results are in, but we are narrowing it down to a zoonotic bacteria (we can catch it) that was likely on the racoons' claws.  (Hopefully not cancer related.)  The vet said that he is very lucky to be healing as much as he is after only a week on Doxycycline because this bacteria is hard to kill.  He was given Marbofloxacin and more Doxycycline which he will have to take until he heals, plus another month.

He is leaving the biopsy sutures in for another 2 weeks and will remove them on November 11.  If the underarm wounds do not heal by then, he will have to do surgery to repair that area since it is a difficult spot to heal.  It is too soon to tell for now.

He is starting to regrow hair in the wound area for the first time in 5 months.  The cost for the antibiotics was $94.24 (invoiced 10/31).

The culture results came in on 10/30.  He has Actinomyces sp., Staphylococcous epidermis, and Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA).  The Marbofloxacin will be stopped and Augmentin will replace it (10/31).


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