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Abcess on back, reinfected and open

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
my cat has an abscess that opened up and i'm wondering what else i can do to help it heal cleanly. he's on antiobiotics and the vet said to put a warm compress on it every day, but should i be cleaning it out with peroxide, etc? anybody have any tips for keeping such wounds clean?

the thing is, this appears to be the same abcess he had a few months ago (the result of overactive playfighting with his sister). that was far worse than this, but this one is in the same place, so the vet says it could have healed up with infection still inside and festered out again. yuk.

anyway, the abscess is a big open sore on his side and i want to make sure this doesn't happen again. the vet also said he could suture it up but would that guarantee the bacteria wouldn't still be inside?
post #2 of 16
when one of mine had an absess my vet said they are best left to heal on their own than be stitched up. i remember using cooled boiled water to clean it, nothing more.

hope he learns not to play so rough with his sister!
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
thanks, that's sounds reasonable.

yeah, you'd think he'd have learned his lesson after the first incident, but he gets carried away and she eventually has to put the bitedown! he's not very bright
post #4 of 16
When I went to nursing school in the dark ages, hydrogen peroxide was highly recommended. Now they have realized that it actually kills off the top layer of cells that should have started scabbing over - actually makes it harder to heal. now they will recommend a half water and half hydrogen peroxide mix.
post #5 of 16
I'd ask the vet for a syringe with a narrow curved tip--you can use that to flush out the bacteria deep in the wound. With Spot's abscess, we used saline solution because we didn't want to risk anything else near his eyes (his was on his head). The warm compresses really do help, too.
post #6 of 16
Meeko had one and they gave me some liquid stuff i had to put on it. I can not remember the name of it but it helped.
post #7 of 16
You've been given some pretty good advice already. Keep up the compresses and use the diluted peroxide - I like to do one or two rinses of sterile water after using peroxide to make sure it's off and not sitting in any of the smaller areas of a wound (even on my own cuts and scrapes).

There's different things you can get to put on it. Over the years I've used one liquid called Cut Heal, you would find that at a farm supply store and they do make it for cats and dogs. It's sterilizes and has an antibiotic in it - however it smells awful(like pine sap). It also comes in an ointment. For outdoor cats, my Max and any other cat that wanders up with a cut or scrap, I use a yellow ointment called NFZ - I've used it on an opened abcess before on Max (along with antibiotics from the vet of course) and it heals wounds up rather quickly. Again, not the most pleasant smelling and because it's yellow it might stain things inside.
So here's the easiest option, use a triple antibiotic ointment on it - like neosporin you would use for yourself.
Apply before feeding to help distract your cat from licking it off right away.

This along with the antibiotics and cleaning should help heal the wound up in no time.
post #8 of 16
The solution to pollution is dilution!!! Just flush the wound with warm water daily and let it heal on its own. If there are necrotic chunks, pull them out/off gently as this will speed healing.

Do not use anything else in the wound. Your vet should have clipped the area and flushed it with nolvasan, anything else (especially alcohol and peroxide) will actually cause damage to new tissues and slow healing.
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by tab View Post
when one of mine had an absess my vet said they are best left to heal on their own than be stitched up. i remember using cooled boiled water to clean it, nothing more.

hope he learns not to play so rough with his sister!
That's interesting to read. When my cat had an abscess last summer, she underwent the surgery and it healed beautifully. It never reappeared again. Even though it cost a lot of money, it was the best decision for Holly.
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blast-Off-Girl View Post
That's interesting to read. When my cat had an abscess last summer, she underwent the surgery and it healed beautifully. It never reappeared again. Even though it cost a lot of money, it was the best decision for Holly.
sinbad's was just behind the base of his ear and it was about the size of a thumbnail. i was really suprised that he said to leave it but it healed fine. your cat's was stitched i guess?
post #11 of 16
Fred got several abcesses on his front leg. The vet drained them, cleaned them with sterile water, and gve him Albon. If they got dirty, he had me clean it with sterile water, sqirting the kind that is used for contact lenses to give it a little pressure to remove the dirt. He was fine in a few days. He said I could also use distiled water if I ran out of sterile water. He was an old country vet that reaized that you are not always going to have a full course of medical items all the time. He always did right by my animals.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by tab View Post
sinbad's was just behind the base of his ear and it was about the size of a thumbnail. i was really suprised that he said to leave it but it healed fine. your cat's was stitched i guess?
Yeah, Holly had a line of stitches going down the side of her face. She wore an e-collar for two weeks and then the stitches were removed. The fur grew back soon after and looks great now!
post #13 of 16
amazing isn't it the conflicting or just different advice vets will give. main thing is though that the outcome for both our kitties was good!
post #14 of 16
When surgery is done, they can debride the area and get all of the bacteria out--that way it's safe to seal it up. Most cats don't need to have the surgery, as the abscess can be drained and antibiotics can be given to help fight off the infection. With my Spot, he had a recurring abscess on his forehead. He was also intolerant of most antibiotics. We used drains, sterile saline flushes and warm compresses, but in his case, they never fully allowed the infection to heal--we think the infection was caused by a subcutaneous cyst that burst. Anyhow, he ended up going through two surgeries. A few weeks after the second surgery (the first one apparently wasn't successful), his forehead finally healed and the problem never returned.
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
there seem to be many factors that affect a decision on how to treat abscesses. my guy's looks to be healing up well, so i guess i'll just continue to keep it simple. i do have some wound-care stuff that i might apply more as a liquid bandage (this is that stuff that smells awful). but i was only thinking of doing that because he got on the bed the other night and laid on his abscess, then left the scab on the bed! yuk.

but today it's looking better, it only looks like a cigarette burn instead of a big hole. what a nasty condition, hope i never get one of these
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmylegs View Post
what a nasty condition, hope i never get one of these
It wasn't quite so bad, but a few months ago my husband got a gash on his leg and let it close up before the infection was out of it. He couldn't figure out why it was still sore until one night when I accidentally kicked it. Upon checking his leg I discovered it was too warm around the area and there was some redness. He hated me reopening it for cleaning and proper wound care (he had slacked on that, which is why it infected), but it did heal properly and quickly after I started making sure he wasn't neglecting it. The lesson, proper wound care, don't neglect even small cuts because you never know if or what type of infection can set in.

Whatever you use on your cat, just make sure it's safe for cats. He will try to lick off any type of medicine that's left on it, so don't use an excess amount and make sure the abscess isn't reclosing before it should. Check for warmth, squishiness around the wound (trapped puss), and any off smell. If the wound and scab looks dry it's probably healing ok.
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