How We Treat an Abscess

Cats frequently get abscesses. They get in fights and when the wound seals over, the bacterial are trapped inside and form an abscess. It is easy to never see the original wound as puncture wounds are small and under fur. Sometimes you cannot even see the abscess. Owners notice it when they pet the cat. Here is a picture of a cat we treated today with an abscess. The swelling is about the size of a lemon but it is hard to see under the fur.

If an abscess is open and draining, often a course of antibiotics will cure the infection. But if an abscess is sealed over, it is best to drain it. Sometimes if the pocket is large, we put in a drain to keep the area of sealing over and reforming the abscess. Here are some pictures of the abscess after we clipped the fur and of us lancing, draining and flushing the abscess. The cat was sedated for the treatment.



This abscess formed a large pocket under the skin, so we put in a drain. The drain keeps the abscess from reforming while the antibiotics kick in. Antibiotics alone won’t cure a sealed over abscess. It has to heal from the inside out.

Drains show up well on x-ray too!

This cat did well. He went home on 2 weeks of antibiotics and an e-collar so he does not pull out his drain. The drain gets taken out in about 3 days and while abscesses can reform, most animals do not need to be retreated.

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