Plasma cell pododermatitis, also known as pillow foot, is a condition of severe inflammation on cat’s paws. The exact cause of it is still unknown and there are not many cases of it. Pillow foot is associated with immune reaction when the plasma cells produce high amounts of antibodies that they start to attack the cat’s healthy cells, in this case it happens in the cat’s paw pads. The symptoms include swelling and puffy paw pads, purplish and bruised paw pads, excessive licking of the paw, and painful and bleeding of paws. It usually affects more than one paws and rarely affect just one paw. That’s how the pillow foot can be differentiated from other paw inflammation.
Cat with pillow foot can have difficulty to walk because of the inflamed paw pads and pain. It can even refuse to walk at all if the issue gives it so much trouble. There is still no exact treatment for pillow foot since the cause is still unknown. The vet usually gives the cat antibiotic or steroid to help to relieve the inflammation process. Pillow foot usually may heal on its own, although there are also more serious cases such as involvement of other underlying health issues. It may take up several months for the cat to recover.
Cat owner may need to give special care and attention to cat in recovery period and keep it healthy. Beside of medicines, there are also some natural treatments for plasma cell pododermatitis (pillow foot) in cats. These natural treatments may not have fast and better effect like medical drugs, but it can soothe and help the recovery of pillow foot on cat. So here’s 5 natural treatments for plasma cell pododermatitis (pillow foot) in cats.
1. Epsom salt
Epsom salt or magnesium sulfate is the first of 5 natural treatments for plasma cell pododermatitis (pillow foot) in cats as it can reduce swelling and inflammation. It can also improve circulation, have soothing effect, relieve the pain from swelling, and draw toxin out from body. To use Epsom salt to treat pillow foot, we can soak the cat’s paw in the Epsom salt solution for around 10 minutes daily. It is better to use the warm water. The Epsom salt can restore natural PH balance of paws which help to kill the bacteria that can cause inflammation or itching by neutralizing the bacteria’s environment. Don’t rinse the paws after the footbaths since the healing properties of the substances needed to remain on the cat’s paws to give the best effect. We can use povidone iodine as a substitute of Epsom salt. It has antibacterial properties and you can easily get it in pharmacy.
2. Omega 3 fatty acids
To help the cat to battle the inflammation and recover from it, we may need to give cat any supplement. Omega 3 fatty acids is the right choice for the pillow pad issue. It acts as a natural anti-inflammatory and can improve skin health in general. The dose of it may be depend on the cat’s weight or we can just follow the instructions of the product.
3. Aloe vera
Another 5 natural treatments for plasma cell pododermatitis (pillow foot) in cats is aloe vera. The pulp of this famous herbal plant can reduce pain and inflammation, and also help to promote healing process and tissue repair that is needed for treatment for pillow foot. It also has soothing properties to relieve the pain and itchy paws.
Oatmeal bath with warm water can help lessen the inflammation. It can also moisturize dry and cracked paw pads that sometimes happened in pillow pad. To have the oatmeal bath, soak the cat’s paws for around 10 minutes. After that don’t rinse the paws to let the oatmeal properties to work.
5. Apple cider vinegar
Unpasteurized apple cider vinegar and warm water solution can help treat infection and sooth irritated paws. It has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral properties. To make this solution we can add 1 cup of unpasteurized apple cider vinegar in 1 gallon of warm water. Soak the cat’s paws for 30 seconds and allow the paws to air dry. Another solution we can make with unpasteurized apple cider vinegar is to add it with warm water, lemon juice and peppermint oil.
The solution can ease irritation and has cooling effect to inflamed paws. You can make the solution by mixing 1 gallon of water with 1 cup of apple cider vinegar, a juice of 1 lemon, and 20 drops of peppermint oil. Soak the cat’s paw for 30 seconds and pat them dry with towel. It also has slightly anesthetic properties from peppermint oil. The golden seal can also be used to treat itching. But it may cause brain damage if ingested by new born kittens. Do not use tea tree oil and hydrogen peroxide since it is dangerous for cat.
To use the natural treatment at home, make sure that all of the substances you use is safe for cat. Although pillow foot is not a life threatening condition and self-healing, it still can give cat pain and trouble for cat. The excessive grooming on the affected area can cause further inflammation even ulceration. This ulceration may bleed and split open which is harmful if it is infected. The condition may also come with more serious disease. That’s why it is important to treat the pillow paw as soon as possible to prevent for more serious issue. If ulceration is formed, the cat may need to undergo surgery to remove the lesion. We also need to prevent pillow foot to happen in the future. Even if the exact cause of pillow foot is still unknown, to keep the cat’s environment healthy and clean is a good way to prevent any problems from cat.
Pay attention to cleaning product we used around the house as it can be bad for cat’s paws. Remember that cat naturally grooming itself, so anything on its paws will be ended in its mouth. Check the cat’s paw pads regularly for any sign of health issue. Go to vet to check up the cat’s health regularly and if there is anything wrong with the cat. Remember that natural and home care treatment can help but it’s the best to follow and have the professional treatment.