Bite Wound Abscesses in Cats
A few days ago, I noticed a huge bulging on my cat’s chin. It looked like a swelling of a lymph node or a tooth abscess. Needless to say, I was truly concerned. But a day later, after red spot began to appear on the swelling, it was apparent that my kitty has a bite wound abscess.
After long months of lounging on a couch, comes spring, a time of year when cats are particularly active. Indoor-outdoor, cats begin to venture out more often, and since they are quite territorial creatures, they are likely to get into a fight. Indoor cats can also become more active and prone to territorial arguments. Spring is therefore a time when fight wounds are most common.
What is an abscess?
Abscesses are accumulations of pus mostly formed from puncture wound inflicted during cat fights, but also from foreign bodies such as grass seeds and splinters.
How to recognize an abscess?
Most bites wounds can be treated before they become major abscess that’s why it is so important to discover them early. Despite the varied appearance, cat bite abscesses almost always follow the same pattern. Most bite wounds happen while facing danger or running from it so they are typically found around face, shoulders, forelimbs or on the tail and backside.
Here is how you can recognize a bite wound abscess:
1) Puncture wound visible for one or two days.
2) Swelling around the area for two or five days.
3) Lifting the underline tissue and hair loss around the wound.
In the photos below, puncture wound is swollen and begins to loose hair.
Bite wound abscesses can be dangerous and in most cases will require antibiotics. If the pus oozing from the abscess is yellow, it is a sign that the wound has been infected and the use of antibiotics is necessary. The pus will flow out of the wound on its own, but in some cases it may need to be drained by a vet. Please visit your vet as soon as you notice swelling with the yellow discharge.
In the case of my cat, the abscess raptured on its own. After a few days of swelling, the abscess was gone, but the puncture would was still infected and oozing. My cat needed an oral antibiotics (Clavamox). The infectionIt healed within the next few days, although the boldness remained for 2-3 weeks before the hair started to grow again.
The photo below shows the abscess after rapturing. The wound is healed but area around is hairless.