Thursday, September 01, 2005

Who got your cat's tongue?

OK, there are going to be some really gross pictures in this post, so if you don't want to see them don't scroll down. DON'T SCROLL DOWN! They are very graffic and I don't know how to make it so you can't see them unless you click on them. So, just go on to the next site if you don't wanna see.

An outdoor only kitty who hadn't been eating well for a few days was panting outside when the owner noticed his tongue was bleeding and had something seriously wrong with it. (It is abnormal for cats to pant even in this obscene Texas heat). The poor cat obviously got his tongue caught on something that seriously cut it up. There was a dangling necrotic piece that clearly had lost its blood supply and now was dying a odiferous death in his mouth. Although it was late in the afternoon, we immediately sedated him and took care of it.

Here's the first gory picture, rather artfully taken by my nurse. You can see the dead portion of the tongue as it lays on the surgical drape.

I removed the dead part and debrided the rest of the tissue. There was a deep laceration on the bottom of his tongue (not full thickness) and a shallow one at the top that I sutured closed.

The post-operative results.

Cat tongues really are amazing to look at with those thick grooming spines. After some pain medication and antibiotics, I sent him home. He was affectionately rubbing his face on my hand when I discharged him, just 1 hour later!


Mudpuppy said...

I wanted to thank you for taking the time to post photos and entries like this. I learn so much from reading your blog, and I think every little tidbit of information you post helps make me a better pet owner.

I invite you to check out my wonderful "cat butt abcess" photo as posted in my blog: . No one else seems to appreciate it -- heathens!

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh! I'm so glad you were able to operate on the cat.. before its tongue got any worse!I'm also glad to hear this patient paid you the proper "respect" lovin' on you then biting your face!

Way to go Dr. Jenn!


Jess said...

Wow! Those are amazing pictures! That is absolutely crazy what happened to his tongue! I cannot believe it!

Aunty Norma said...

Wow and Wow again...I am no sadist,Jennifer, but those pictures are superb and I never knew that a Cat had those 'grooming'spines on the tongue..we took our Jack Russell dog to our Vet. because she has a 'lump' under her chin (runs in the Family I guess) :o) the Vet told us that it is pure FAT (after pushing a needle in to make sure) OUCH!!she has now been on brown rice and a small amount of dry dog food (chicken and country veg) she has lost weight but the 'lump' is still there!! any 'free' advice? love your Blog. A.Norma.xx

Julie said...

poor kitty! Will he be able to eat normally, or will it cause problems? Cats are so resilient, I can't imagine he wouldn't be ok.

Anonymous said...

i'm so glad i found your site! when we returned home to Dallas from Thanksgiving, i noticed our kitty wasn't acting like her normal self. today she spent the day outside, but as soon as i got home from picking the kids up from school, she was meowing and wanting to come inside (very unusual for her). i noticed her mouth was "drooly" or "foamy" and had a bad odor.

after searching on the web, i didn't find much help at first. then, when i was making lunches for the kids,the kitty started begging for ham (her usual treat when i make lunches). i noticed as she meowed that her tongue is severely cut! looks a lot like the pictures of your cat's tongue, except hers is more on the side.

so is this something that has to be operated on, not something that will heal naturally?

thanks again for your help and your blog!


Jennifer said...

I hope you find this reply. I have not been on the computer for a few days, and you didn't leave me an email to contact you.

You should definitely take your cat to the vet to have her evaluated. Most tongue lacerations, although they can heal with time, will heal MUCH MUCH faster with a surgical repair. Also, as was the case in the cat I took care of, there may be significant dead tissue which needs to be removed. Please take your cat to your vet for an exam as soon as possible.

I hope things turn out well, and let me know what happens.

jay Jay said...

I noticed ur blog and I thought it was very helpful. Do you have any knowledge of what to do for a cat that has cut part of the tongue. what I mean by cut is like a scrape and is lightly bleeding. the scrap is lengthy starting from little above the bottom of the tongue to midway on the right side. Are there any ways to fixing or helping it in some manner before bringing it to the vet????

Clare Findlow said...

Thanks Vetmommy, this was really useful for me as my cat also had cut his tongue. He was acting strangely and very lethargic so was clearly in pain. I wasn't sure at first what was wrong as there was no blood but he wasn't grooming himself and his mouth was a little dirty which was very unusual. When he yawned I could see something was red in his mouth so we took him straight to the vets who stitched up his tongue. The stitches may not take in which case he will have to loose this part of his tongue, he hates wearing the cone on his head & I hate to see him struggle with it but feel it is worth a short period of distress it if saves his tongue.