An abscess is a pocket of pus under the skin. Pus is an accumulation of bacteria and white blood cells and indicates the presence of infection. The problem is detection because cat fur is so dense an abscess is easy to miss initially. Occasionally the abscess may open and drain on its own. Abscesses that are not detected can lead to life threatening bacterial infections of underlying area such as the chest or brain.
“Cat Fight Abscess” is the term used by vets to describe these lesions which are generally the result of bite and scratch wounds cats inflict on each other while fighting. The bacteria that normally reside in a cat’s mouth are usually responsible for the infection and are spread when the teeth of the aggressor cat punctures the skin of the victim cat. Occasionally bacterial from the soil are also involved.
NOTE: Un-neutered male cats involved in territorial disputes fight.
WHAT YOU AND YOUR VET CAN DO
* Exact treatment depends on the size, location and maturity of the abscess. Non draining lesions may be allowed to mature, which can be enhanced by using warm compresses. Feline Leukemia and Feline Imunodeficiency Virus can both be spread by cat fights. Blood tests rule both out.
* Draining lesions are flushed out with a diluted iodine-type solution. Drainage must be maintained for several days to clear the infection. A soft rubber drainage tube may be necessary depending on the site.
* Lesions that drain for over 10 days or that begin to drain again after being resoled require further diagnostic investigation.
* Antibiotics to eliminate the specific bacteria responsible are usually given for 7-14 days.
* Neuter male cats to help prevent fighting and abscess problems.
Dietary supplements for cats with fever and painful swollen abscess
¼ Tsp parsley
½ Tsp raw liver added to food
1 clove or capsule of garlic
Vitamin C – 250 mg (powder) three times daily for three days
Silica 6x – 1 pellet every 4 hours for up to 5 days. Discontinue if not better in first 24 hours. Use for abscess ready to break open or already draining.
Hepar Sulph Calcareum 30C – 1 pellet every four hours for three doses. Use for cats with extremely painful abscesses. Cat tries to bite if area is touched. No food 10 minutes before or after.
* Use a syringe to flush out the abscess. Solution to flush out abscesses and keep it open to promote drainage: 10 drops of Goldenseal Extract and ½ Tsp salt into 1 cup distilled water.
* Apply a hot compress of oat straw tincture. This helps bring an abscess to a head; 5 minutes, 3 times a day.
* Apply a compress topically once abscess has drained to promote healing. Mix 1 Tsp of Tincture or Calendula, ½ Tsp salt and 1 Cup distilled water.