An abscess is a condition that is very painful and it’s characterized by a collection of pus. Most of the time, abscesses are caused by a bacterial infection. They can be located on the skin or in an abdominal organ.
Surface or skin abscesses will appear as a lump under the skin. Some abscesses can grow so big that can cause other symptoms than pain, such as high fever and lethargy.
In veterinary medicine, skin abscesses are most commonly caused by a bite wound or scratches.
They are most commonly seen in unaltered dogs and cat in heat fighting for dominance over a mate.
The most common locations for abscesses are the neck and tail/groin area. They appear as big, tempered lumps that are very painful to the touch.
In some cases, abscesses can develop in the internal organs such as liver, spleen, lungs etc.
In veterinary medicine, surface abscesses can be treated in 2 ways. If it’s not very big and serious it would usually with a course of antibiotics. If we encounter a big abscess then surgical debridement is necessary.
For surgical treatment of an abscess, the veterinarian will make an incision and drain all the pus out. When all the pus is drained, the inside is lavaged to get rid of any residual pus. The incision is closed and a drain put in place.
The animal needs heavy antibiotics too to clear the infection while the drain is in place.
For abscesses in other places other than the skin, there is usually an underlying condition causing it. For example, an abscess on the cheek there might be a tooth problem that needs resolving.
Abscesses in the internal organs are hard to diagnose at first and require further diagnostic tools.
In the video below you can see a compilation of abscess videos sent by our awesome Facebook fans.
If you liked this video, check out “Repair of cat ear hematoma” on our blog.
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