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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 21664
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats and am happy to discuss any questions you have.
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My cat had an abscess, and I took him to the vets 3 days ago;

Customer Question

My cat had an abscess, and I took him to the vets 3 days ago; the vet lanced the abscess after taking off allthe fur; the lancing site h healed perfectly, but I can still feel a tiny bit of puffiness under the surface of the skin surrounding it. Does this mean that there is still some puss in the cat's tissues please/ Or is this part of the healing process?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Can you tel me if Jack's vet sent him home on any antibiotics or kitty safe anti-inflammatories?

Did he have any long acting antibiotic injections?

Does the puffiness feel fluidy?

And is this more puffiness then you have seen previously?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Jack is on a course of one and a half twice daily of Clavaseptin 50mg which he started at 8 a.m. on Wednesday of this week.

The original abscesss was very large and full of fluid; but my vet lanced it. As for the puffiness, it is only that around the lanced scar the flesh is not laiying dead flat, I wondered if this is part of the white fluid connected with the healing process. My vet has injected him with B12. He was on the end of a 3 week course for another abscess on his chin, for which he had been given Antirobe 25mg, twice a day.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hope this answers your questions: all I want to know is, in your opinion, is the lanced abscess healing as it should?

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Irene,

Now we can see puffiness post-lancing of an abscess. When we do, there are a few potential causes and considerations. First, we always have to be vigilant for the recurrence of infection (from the scant bacteria that may linger even after lancing and flushing) . So, if we had a fluid build up under the scar tissue then this would be a concern here. That said, if Jack is on a broad spectrum antibiotic, then this would be a lesser one here.

Besides recurrence of infection, our other concern if this puffiness felt like fluid is a seroma. This is where the body fills that open space under the skin where the abscess was with serum from the blood. It does this to prevent there being any space for bacteria to sneak in. It is a normal body response, and often will settle down with time and warm compressing.

Finally, and my suspicion here since you have noted it being puffiness by the scar and not fluidy is that this may be a bit of soft tissue swelling and focal tissue inflammation. This is not uncommon and would be expected here since he has not only had abscess but the trauma of an incision into the skin. With this, we could just see firm puffiness (since its swollen tissue and not fluid) and would expect to see this mostly around the incision scar. In regards ***** ***** this, we can use cat safe anti-inflammatories (ie Metacam) but if mild sometimes just warm compressing the area would be adequate.

Overall, if this is just a bit of puffiness, then soft tissue inflammation would be our main suspicion here. It is part of healing but we would want to address it for him. If it is mild, you can just warm compress the area at this stage. If it doesn't settle or is progressing, then we'd want to consider speaking to his vet about dispensing cat safe anti-inflammatories (since human ones are toxic). Finally, if this appears to fluidy at all, we'd still want to warm compress but any progression and we'd need to follow up with his vet to make sure the bacteria aren't causing a second round of infection (should they not be sensitive to the broad spectrum antibiotics he is on). Should that be the case, then his vet would need to try a different antibiotic or consider taking a sample of the pus to culture. But again as I said above, these are our differentials and concerns but from your description it sounds like soft tissue inflammation which is a part of this healing abscess.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you, this is what I had assumed. I will commence to put warm compresses on the site, and you have put my mind to rest to some extent. I shall be seeing the vet on Monday for a check-up, but wanted to make sure I knew what might be going on today. All you say seems to me to be very rational and possible. Thank you.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.
You are very welcome, Irene.

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I am glad I could shed some light on this puffiness for you. Do warm compress over the weekend and if it is just a bit of soft tissue inflammation then it should just settle. If it isn't, then that Monday check-up would be perfect for having the area reviewed +/- adding an anti-inflammatory or alternative antibiotic to Jack's treatment.

All the best,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )