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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 17289
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Found a lump on my cats tail he seems fine and eating as normal

Resolved Question:

Found a lump on my cats tail he seems fine and eating as normal but doesn't like me touching the lump
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 3 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I'd like to help with your concerns about the lump on Misty's tail. I do have some questions however.

Does Misty go outside or have animal friends in your home that she interacts with?
Is the lump under the skin or on the skin?
Is there hair over the lump?
Is the lump raw looking or draining?
Did the lump pop up suddenly?
Is the lump soft or firm?
Can you take a picture of the lump and insert it in the text box?

Thanks for your patience with all of my questions, I'll give a full response once I've read your answers.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Misty does go outside and I have another cat,feels like the lump is over the skin and is firm,there is fur over it but nothing is draining,it just popped up suddenly thought it might be a bite or sting,you can't really see it under the fur
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 3 years ago.
Thanks very much for the answers to my questions.
It is most likely an abscess from your description of it popping up quickly and her having a friend and going outside.
Generally these occur secondary to a bite or scratch wound that injects bacteria deep into tissue. The original wound may be so small we never notice it and heals quickly. Meanwhile the bacteria deep in the tissue proliferate and in about a week to ten days an obvious moderately firm swelling is found. They seem to blow up overnight once the infection gets established.

Treatment is based upon draining the abscess and starting an oral antibiotic to get rid of the infection.

If she's eating and drinking normally and doesn't seem too uncomfortable this doesn't warrant an emergency visit but she should be seen by her veterinarian as soon as possible.

In the meantime, if she will let you, you can warm compress the area with a clean cloth moistened with very warm/hot water for 10 minutes at a time several times a day. This may cause the abscess to drain which would be best for her.

If it does drain you may be able to flush it with a mix of betadine solution (also called povidine iodine solution and available at the pharmacy over the counter) and warm water (mixed in a syringe so it looks like weak tea), a couple times a day for a week to 10 days to keep it open and draining. It may heal from the inside out with cleaning and flushing if she lets you do a thorough cleaning and flushing. Do not let it close prematurely or the abscess will reform.
In most cases though topical treatment doesn't work and they must be seen by a veterinarian and get oral antibiotics prescribed.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
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