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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 14826
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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I have a kitten I rescued asst about 4 days old... It's umbilical

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I have a kitten I rescued asst about 4 days old... It's umbilical cord had fallen off but the scab started getting pussy around it. I treated it with antibiotic ointment and oral antibiotics and it all cleared up. Now the kitten is about 4-5 weeks old and a large bump/bubble has come back up. It looks pussy under the skin right under the belly button
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 8 months ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am very sorry to hear about Kitty's history of an umbilical infection that seemed initially to resolve with antibiotic use (both topical and systemic), and now has recurred. Umbilical infections (naval ill) are very serious. The large blood vessels that take nutrition from the Queen to the kitten via the placenta enter the body through the umbilicus and travel to the major organs of the body in the abdomen.That means if infection enters through the umbilicus it can easily spread throughout the body and lead to abscesses in the liver, spleen and lymph nodes in the abdomen. Those blood vessels do eventually close and become fibrous scar tissue, but it takes a few days after birth for this process to start.It is possible that the infection only lingered at his umbilicus and is walled off there. But I am concerned that it may have spread elsewhere in this kitten. While the skin infection responded to the oral antibiotics the infection inside the abdomen itself lingered and now has become apparent. Whether it is just walled off at the umbilicus or has spread remains to be seen.If we are lucky there is only infection at the umbilicus and surgical removal of the abscess there will resolve things. But he should be evaluated via a laparotomy (opening the abdomen) and exploring to look for other sites of infection, which should be removed.The other concern is that he may have an immunosuppressive virus passed in-utero from mom (Feline Leukemia or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) that is allowing a mild infection to linger. He should be tested for both of those viruses.He should be seen by your family veterinarian as soon as possible.I know that this isn't necessarily what you wanted to hear, but I wanted to give you a true picture and all of the possible complications. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

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