Cat Blood Blister
by Lisa B
My 4 year old (indoor/outdoor) cat is limping. When I took a look, it seems there is a blood blister on her foot pad. Is this serious?
Sorry I'm answering you a few days later than normal but I was out of town.
Blood blisters are minor injuries that happen when the skin is pinched without breaking the surface skin. When the skin breaks, there is bleeding and when it stays intact the blood is confined and forms a blister. While a normal blister fills with a clear fluid, this type fills with blood.
Treatment is simple. Don't break the blister, it will heal by itself. If the blood blister pops by itself then blood will seep out. In this situation use an antibacterial ointment to lightly coat it. Do not use alcohol or iodine because it will slow the healing while the ointment will do double duty by preventing the bandage from sticking. Don't remove the empty skin flap. Try to apply a piece of gauze with tape to the injured area to keep out contaminants.
Although blood blisters can be an indication of more serious problems such as diabetes or cancer, those are usually accompanied by other health indicators such as loss of appetite, lethargy or even a fever. Since your cat is both indoors/outdoors the more probable possibility is that the paw was damaged by getting it pinched.
If other blood blisters become evident then you should take your cat to the vet, but if this is the only one then I would guess all is well and healing will just take a little time.