Cat Bite Abscess

The Diagnosis, Treatment And Prognosis Of Cat Bite Abscesses

Cat biting can form abscesses and lead to severe infections if not treated quickly enough. The problem with cat bites is that they can be hard to see because the cat is covered with fur and usually there are only a few small puncture wounds where the teeth went in.

Cat Mouth Bacteria

The problem with cat bites is a cat's mouth is filled with potentially dangerous bacteria.

Pasteurella Multocida is the major causative organism

Staphylococcus and Strepotococcus organisms are also present.



Clinical Presentation

If the cat is feeling ill you will only see non-specific signs like lethargy and anorexia.

The area of the cat bite may be soft or turgid, painful, and warm to the touch.

In some cases you might see drainage (like pus) from the wound.

Cat Bite Pathology

The danger with cat bites is what is called the 'iceberg effect.'

Because most of the damage is done to the underlying tissue and not to the skin. A cat fight might be short, but it can leave lasting damage.

Bacteria from the mouth is injected into the deep tissues which is a great place for bacteria to grow and proliferate.

In severe cases even underlying bones may become infected leading to a condition called osteomyelitis, which severely compromises cat health.

Diagnostic Workup

In mild cases normally just draining the abscess should resolve the matter.

In severe cases blood work should be done, find needle aspirations, and even x-rays if there is possible bone infections.

Bacterial cultures should be done as well to determine which bacteria are involved to help determine the correct antibiotic to use.



Cat Bite Treatment

Treatment for cat biting usually involves some of combination of these:

>Drainage

>Lavage

>Oral antibiotics (Cefazolin or Amoxicillin)

>Bandage

>Castration

Prognosis

Normally the prognosis is good for early cases. In cases where there is severe damage to underlying tissue major surgery or euthanasia might be considered.

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