I saved one of Julie's nails to take a picture. The bloody middle part is where it had started growing into the paw. Keep in mind that we clipped after the quick - this is not the whole nail, just the over-grown part. (I actually just held the nail up to my own cat's claws to make sure I wasn't exaggerating, but yes, the blood marks where the nail had been embedded into the paw.) I had thought that about a third of the ingrown part would be involved, not half of it! Horrible, painful, very much cringe-worthy.
T ended up clipping the nails to save the owners the cost of an exam and a nail trim. The poor kitty was an angel for the trimming. Didn't make a fuss in the least. Fortunately, the back claws were not like the front ones - they were long, but not even badly curved.
I soaked her feet in a chlorahexadine solution right after the trim. Her paws were bleeding, but thankfully it was controllable. The paws didn't look infected, but T and I are not doctors, so when I called the owners to let them know how things were going, I suggested that they take her to their vet. The wounds are deep in her paws and I'm sure can be easily infected.
After soaking her feet a couple of times, I placed her in a cage in the cat ward. I took her home while on my break and brought some of the chlorahexadine for the owners to use during the next few days. I also grabbed some shredded paper to use as litter, not knowing if they had a paper shredder.
I told them to keep her indoors for at least a week, soak her pads a couple times a day until they look like they are healing, preferably keep her in the bathroom with a clean floor for at least the first couple days, only shredded paper litter (hopefully she uses it), to keep an eye on the wounds for infection, and most importantly, to take her to the vet. I can trim nails and clean wounds, but I don't know how bad is bad. And I don't want to be pretending I do.
They were such a sweet couple. I think I wrote that they are an older couple, but I realized yesterday that they're really not that old - maybe 50's. So they don't get to use old as an excuse. = ) I really liked them because you could tell they had genuinely not noticed, which is horrible, but better than noticing and not caring. As soon as it was pointed out, they were trying to figure out when we could take her and get it taken care of. They were perfectly willing to pay for the trimming/cleaning, but T said not to charge, so no worries there.
And they baked me chocolate-ship cookies, which made me feel all old-fashioned/ neighborly/old-timerly.
Oh, and Julie has the most croaky, pathetic meow. It's kind of funny. They said she's always talked like that. I love cats with silly voices.
Speaking of silly meows, here's my squeaky-man-Noms resting near the ceiling. They quite like being up so high. Great vantage point. The windows are in direct view, which is an added benefit to being up so high. Actually, I think he's looking out the window in the picture.