By Roger W. Gfeller, DVM, DipACVECC, Michael W. Thomas, DVM, and Isaac Mayo
A localized accumulation of pus, usually caused by an infection introduced from an animal bite or other penetrating wound. It may appear as a painful swelling or, if it has ruptured, as a draining wound.
What to do: - If it has ruptured, clean the wound with soap (not detergent) and water. Rinse well and pat dry. Repeat several times a day. - If there is swelling, apply warm, moist compresses for 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat 3 or 4 times daily. - Abscesses should be examined by a veterinarian within 24 hours.
What NOT to do: - Do not attempt to open the abscess yourself. - Do not apply medicines, potions, or home remedies unless directed to by a veterinarian.
Abscesses are a frequent problem in cats - especially unneutered males who get into territorial or breeding disputes.
During these disputes, the pet may receive a bite or a scratch. If the wound becomes infected, an abscess may form within a day or two. Neutering your male cat will reduce his "need" to fight. Without the influence of male hormones he will mark out a much smaller territory and will be less likely to engage in fights over a female.
Copyright 1994, by Roger W. Gfeller and Michael W. Thomas. All rights reserved.