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Cleaning an abscess

(36 Posts)
Christophewouldgetit Sat 06-Jun-15 08:59:11

My poor cat had a really nasty abscess go pop on his front right leg on Thursday night. He went in for treatment first thing yesterday and is now wearing the cone of shame grin

He has a course of antibiotics and some painkillers but the vet said I should wash it out with salt water a few times a day. She said to leave it last night as he was grumpy, sore and just needed to flop around.

I've just done it this morning and whilst not happy, he did tolerate it. However, as some time has passed since the vet clean, there is a crust over most of it and I am wondering if I should try and soften this with the warm water so that it can eventually be knocked off? The vet said it was a particularly deep wound (possible muscle damage sad) so I obviously want to try and get all the nastiness out but also don't want to cause my kitty any more pain as I am sure opening it again would be horrible for him..

What do you think?

chockbic Sat 06-Jun-15 11:27:44

I would be inclined to leave it and let the antibiotics do their job.

Poor puss sad

IvyWall Sat 06-Jun-15 11:32:09

I think you are supposed to wash the crust off so that the pus can come out.

Christophewouldgetit Sat 06-Jun-15 11:36:27

grin one for each choice so far then!

I could call the vets and ask I suppose which is probably the right thing to do...

chockbic Sat 06-Jun-15 11:39:19

There are a couple of vets who post here. Hopefully one of them will drop by soon.

QueenOfTheSlipstream Sat 06-Jun-15 11:43:04

I'll be interested to hear what the advice is here! My cat had an injury that abscessed a couple of months ago and every time is heals up, he rips it open again. This last time he did it quite badly and it got infected, so I was cleaning it with salt water until i could get him to the vet. Problem was, every time I cleaned it he spent the next 5 minutes frantically chewing at it again so ultimately it just seemed to be making it worse :-(. My vet said probably best not to do it: he had an ati-b injection and has tablets so I'm hoping they'll do the trick.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 06-Jun-15 13:14:01

In humans we leave the crust on. If you wash too much it takes away growth factors that aid healing. It's got to dry out to heal anyway.

cozietoesie Sat 06-Jun-15 13:24:37

For me, it would depend on the crust - if it was normal crusting, I'd leave it and I'd only get a little edgy if the wound was red and swollen with a rather 'temporary' sort of crust on top. (The sort with soft yellowish under-edges - sorry if that's TMI.)

He's on ABs after all.

Maybe one of the vets who post will comment - or you could give your own vet a quick buzz.

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 06-Jun-15 14:05:46

Abscess crusts need to come off as it is really important for the wound to heal from the inside out to prevent sequestering of infection. Vigorous bathing should shift the crust. I often send clients home with a syringe to swish the wound out each day.

cozietoesie Sat 06-Jun-15 14:31:36

Thanks for that, Lone - so once a day is usually enough?

Christophewouldgetit Sat 06-Jun-15 15:06:44

Thank you so much - I will endeavour to get the whole wound open in a short while...

We're back to the vets on the Monday where she'll determine next steps.. It is horrid and she did say to brace myself for tissue to start sloughing off envy bleugh!

My poor pusscat!

cozietoesie Sat 06-Jun-15 15:25:05

I wonder when you stop though? There must surely come a point where it's better not to irrigate any more?

cozietoesie Sat 06-Jun-15 15:25:53

Has he been scrapping?

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 06-Jun-15 16:45:37

Usually I recommend twice daily, you keep irrigating till there is no hole.

Christophewouldgetit Sat 06-Jun-15 18:05:23

He's been bullied since he came to us last year and there is a particularly nasty humongous black cat that seems to think our garden is his.. so my cat was basically trying to defend his territory sad I hear them out there a fair bit, wowing at each other!

It's a really big, deep wound so on Monday vet is going to determine then whether to stitch or leave open. .

I've just managed to decrust it (heave) so will leave him until the morning now. Can't work out if he's more pissed at me because of raw decrusting, the cone, not being allowed out or just generally feeling crap so taking it out on the one you love - but he is one unhappy kitty!!

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 06-Jun-15 18:22:19

Oh the poor little lad. I'd super soak bully cat.

Someone super soaked our cat. Probably marble tabbys owner.

cozietoesie Sat 06-Jun-15 19:08:52

Thanks Lone - i think I've got it. So you allow the flesh to build back up again and irrigate a couple of times a day until it's all evened out ? (Assuming it looks healthy.) Then I suppose you allow the shiny new skin surface to form unhindered?

Sounds like the sort of procedure that's best done under supervision to be honest!

Poor lad, Christophe. He must be an unlucky fighter to get that deep a slash in his leg. I'd super soak bully cat as well - at the very least I'd be out there to give support as soon as I heard the noises. The others soon learn that the resident cat is not alone.

Good luck to him on Monday.

Christophewouldgetit Sat 06-Jun-15 19:39:58

Thank you - and I do try to spray Bully Cat but by the time I'm out the back door, it's over the back fence so all I manage to catch is smile his fluffy bum and it doesn't seem to deter it sad

Better than it was though - he does at least try to fight back but obviously he's pretty shite at it.. he'd go mad kept in and I don't think he goes much further than out garden. Its just this interloper won't leave him to it!

Christophewouldgetit Sat 06-Jun-15 19:41:17

Random smiley - sorry about that (and previous typos!)

VivaLeBeaver Sat 06-Jun-15 19:44:09

When my guniea pig had an abcess the vet told me to squeeze as much gunk out as I could twice a day and then irrigate with a syringe of sterile salt water.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 06-Jun-15 21:58:18

Could you catch him from an upstairs window? Some cats just don't get the message.

Christophewouldgetit Mon 08-Jun-15 17:18:48

Well - it's good news and bad news...

Good news - his abscess is healing well and although he's got to keep his cone on and I need to keep cleaning and removing any crust, it's mending really well. Doesn't look like any muscle damage either as he's using it normally.

Bad news - there was another bite on the other side of the leg (likely attacking cat had my boys leg in his mouth!) so this was missed and hasn't been cleaned as well as it might have been. However, as he's on the AB's, there's no real concern but I need to keep a close eye and he's back in on Friday...

He has perked right up though - was getting a bit worried as lethargic and not using his tray on Saturday. By yesterday evening, back to his usual self and I thought I had burglars last night as he wandered the house, knocking things of window sills and high shelves (it really panicked me!!)

Today he is still loathing the cone and desperately wants out - sorry my boy, on both counts!

cozietoesie Mon 08-Jun-15 17:31:43

Gosh - he's not a very skilled fighter is he?

Good news about the perking up though. I suspect the ABs and his immune system have taken a few days to really kick into gear - they don't work instaneously in my experience.

cozietoesie Mon 08-Jun-15 17:32:51


(I clearly need some caffeine.)

Christophewouldgetit Mon 08-Jun-15 18:45:43

grin me too!

And no - I don't think he an be very good at it which doesn't surprise me that much as he doesn't handle confrontation very well (he had stress induced cystitis earlier this year) and normally comes bolting into the house. However, he's obviously feeling a bit braver and starting to defend what's his - but is just rubbish at it. ..

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