Cat bite abscess, Emergency?

Firstly an emergency is anything that you cannot manage or understand on your own so if you have a sick animal that you are worried about then you need assistance if you are not in a position to assess this for yourself.


Any case of trauma or accident where there is injury and shock is always an emergency even if the extent of damage is not obvious.


Cat bite abscesses are usually not emergencies even though they seem to appear out of nowhere and can make cats cranky. They often look like sudden injuries but are actually old wounds that have suddenly become problematic.


The initial bite wound that causes these swellings of pus to appear are usually inflicted a week or more beforehand so in fact the real point of most benefit to avoiding abscess formation is to address these puncture wounds promptly.


If you notice them.


Most times you may not notice your cat being a bit sore or withdrawn for a few hours after a scrap. Then they can behave normally for a week or two while there is a whole other plot going on under the skin. Some cats can seem unwell during this period but most go unnoticed.


Peak abscess season is breeding season . In Australia this is May/June and Nov/Dec as it is linked to changing day length and the affect on the brain.


Of course there are cats that will fight all year round regardless of gender or whether they are desexed or not.

Experienced cat owners who have cats that have adversarial feline neighbours or are prone to fighting will be very well equipped to deal with these problems or will recognise them sooner. It can be quite a shock to many people to find large swellings or holes in their cats.


The conventional treatment involves antibiotic and pain management when the wounds are first noticed and surgical drainage if abscesses are well advanced.


The homeopathic treatment approach uses medicines for puncture wounds, pain and infection and if there is already an abscess will assist drainage and healing.

The basic tenet in both approaches is to establish and maintain drainage.

There is an ancient adage involving “laudation of the pus” whereby once pus appears the animal is getting better as it belies a good immune response.


If the abscess is old or extensive then the cat’s immune system may not be strong and if left unattended these can result in tissue necrosis and areas of skin and underlying tissues being exposed or lost. This can also appear quite alarming for cat owners and will require veterinary advice. Cats are amazing healers nevertheless.


Usually once drainage is established and maintained then the cat recovers surprisingly well. For the uninitiated however beware of the horrendous smell in the early stages of abscess drainage as abscess are caused by bacteria getting into places they ought not to be. You may also need to restrict cat access to soft furnishings for a week or two if there is a draining abscess although cats themselves are remarkable housekeepers and keep themselves very clean.





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