What is an Abscess?
An abscess is a condition that is very painful and it’s characterized by a collection of pus. Thus an animal abscess drainage procedure needs to be performed. 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.
What Are the Causes of Animal Abscesses?
In veterinary medicine, skin abscesses are most commonly caused by a bite wound or scratches.
They are primarily seen in unaltered dogs and cats 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.
How Are Animal Abscesses Treated?
In veterinary medicine, surface abscesses can be treated in two ways. If it’s not very big and serious it would usually be 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 perform an animal abscess drainage to get 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 inserted.
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.
How do You Drain an Animal Abscess?
If left untreated, they can continue to grow and will require surgical intervention to resolve. It is important that abscesses are drained quickly if they are located near vulnerable organs, such as the eye, lungs, or brain.
Step 1: Perform a physical exam to check for an abscess
If you notice any unusual swelling, it is important to get it checked out as soon as possible. An abscess is a serious condition that should not be ignored, as it could lead to septic shock if left untreated. Furthermore, this condition could lead to blindness if the infection in the eye spreads. Another potential problem would arise from an infection in the lungs or brain, which could cause severe illness and death.
Step 2: Apply a warm compress to the infected area
Treating an abscess can help to reduce the severity of the pain and swelling. A warm compress applied to the infected area will help it heal faster and will reduce further injury to surrounding tissues as a result of infection. The use of Epsom salts in cold compresses can be used instead of water, as they are more effective in reducing inflammation and swelling.
Step 3: Get the animal on antibiotics to prevent the infection from spreading
After a warm compress has been applied, it is important to get the dog started on antibiotics. A vet will be able to prescribe the most effective drugs for this condition, and they will help to reduce the size of the abscess. Medication may also be helpful in reducing inflammation and pain levels. Antibiotics are available as pills or injections, depending on how quickly they need to take effect.
The antibiotic treatment will last for about 2-4 weeks. Once the medication has begun to work, you can expect to see the abscesses shrink and skin to become pink again. This means that the infection should be gone within 2-4 weeks after starting antibiotic treatment.
Step 4: Apply potassium permanganate solution to further reduce the size of the abscess
Potassium permanganate solution is a chemical solution that can kill off any bacteria present in an abscess. It is available as an over-the-counter treatment, and you should not use it if your pet has ulcers in their mouth or on their skin.
Step 5: Drain the abscess with a needle and syringe under anesthesia
If you can’t get antibiotics to work, then you will need to drain the abscess manually. This procedure should only be performed by a qualified veterinarian.
Keep your pet healthy and avoid abscesses by regularly giving them appropriate vaccinations. Visit your vet regularly to ensure that they are up-to-date on their routine vaccinations, and always consult a vet before starting antibiotics. If prescribed, certain vaccines may be beneficial in decreasing the risk of abscesses developing in your pet. Be sure to use good hygiene practices when caring for wounds and consult with a veterinarian about the best course of action if an abscess develops.
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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