Avoid Vet Visits: Home Remedies for your Dog or Cat’s Abscess

Dealing with Pet Abscesses at Home: A Comprehensive Guide

Abscesses in pets, typically resulting from bite wounds, can be a worrying issue for any pet owner. My recent experience with my brother’s cat, Snowball, and a toy stand-in for demonstration, Lamb Chop, has highlighted the importance of recognizing and treating abscesses at home. Here’s a detailed breakdown of what I’ve learned and how you can apply it to your pet’s care.

Identifying an Abscess

The first step in managing an abscess is recognizing its symptoms. In Lamb Chop’s case, there was marked facial swelling, tenderness, and puncture wounds near the top of the head, indicative of a cat fight. The ear tips were especially warm, suggesting a fever. By taking the rectal temperature with a digital thermometer, I confirmed that Lamb Chop had a fever, a common sign of infection. For cats, a fever is considered to be above 103°F (39.5°C), and for dogs, it’s anything above 103.5°F (39.5°C).

Cleaning and Treating the Abscess

The next step involves clipping and cleaning the area around the abscess to better assess and treat it. Using clippers or blunt scissors, remove as much hair as possible to expose the wound. Then, clean the abscess with an antiseptic flush, such as diluted chlorhexidine, which is readily available at pharmacies. Scrub the area thoroughly to ensure it’s as clean as possible.

If the abscess doesn’t drain on its own, it may be necessary to make a small incision with a scalpel blade to allow the pus to escape. This step should be approached with caution and may be best left to a professional if you’re not comfortable performing it yourself.

Flushing the Abscess

After the abscess has been opened, it’s crucial to flush it thoroughly with a dilute antiseptic solution to remove as much pus and bacteria as possible. Use a syringe to inject the solution into the base of the abscess, and continue flushing until the fluid runs clear. This process helps to ensure that the infection is being effectively addressed.
Maintaining Cleanliness and Drainage

To promote healing, it’s important to keep the abscess open and draining. Flush the area twice a day for five days with an antiseptic flush to prevent the wound from closing prematurely. This consistent cleaning and draining are key to successful treatment.

Supporting Recovery with Natural Remedies

In addition to cleaning and flushing the abscess, providing pain relief and antibacterial support can aid in your pet’s recovery. CBD oil is a safe option for pain relief, with a recommended dose of 3 mg per 10 lbs of body weight. For antibacterial support, olive leaf extract is a potent and safe natural remedy, with a typical dose of about 100 mg per 10 lbs of body weight, given twice daily for 7 to 10 days.

Dr. Jones’ Ultimate CBD Formula is a liquid, available in either a 5ml (0.17fl oz), 15ml (0.5fl oz), or 30ml (1fl oz) bottle, with a medicinal quality dropper for very accurate dosage measurement.

Successful Treatment and Prevention

By following these steps, Snowball’s abscess healed nicely within five days, without the need for a veterinary visit. The key to success was diligent cleaning, flushing, and ensuring the abscess remained open to drain. For prevention, keeping your pet’s living environment clean and monitoring for any signs of injury or infection can help reduce the risk of abscesses.

In conclusion, while abscesses can be a concerning issue for pet owners, understanding how to identify and treat them at home can lead to a swift and successful recovery. Always consult with a veterinarian if you’re unsure or if the condition worsens.

Dr Andrew Jones’ ‘Veterinary Secrets’ Will Help Keep Your Pet Healthy, and Extend Your Pet’s Life

2 thoughts on “Avoid Vet Visits: Home Remedies for your Dog or Cat’s Abscess”

  1. My cat has an abscess on the lower inside cheek between the teeth line and gum. I’m broke because of the world situation. I don’t know what to do. He still eating and such a good boy. He’s 12. Healthy in all other ways. What can I do for him???
    Many Thanks

    1. We do have an article that can help:
      SIGNS A red and possibly swollen area appears on your pet. Sometimes puncture marks are visible. There may be bleeding if blood vessels are damaged. Lameness, if the puncture affects a leg. This is commonly seen in cats who have been in catfights and cats with abscesses. Abscesses are often found at the tail base of cats as they are running away, and are bitten in the rear.

      CAUSES Your pet’s teeth are very sharp, and even small punctures can lead to abscesses. The mouth is a large cauldron of bacteria, and when your pet is bitten, these multiply into an abscess.


      KNOW WHEN TO SEE YOUR VETERINARIAN. If your pet is very lethargic, not eating or drinking, then see your veterinarian immediately. Bacteria from abscesses can spread in the body, giving your pet septicemia (blood poisoning). If your pet has a large swelling which is not draining, then you must see your veterinarian to have it drained surgically. Abscesses which are open and draining, and small bite wounds, can be treated safely at home.

      BARBER TIME. Trim the hair around the bite or wound. Trim large sections with scissors, and carefully use a disposable razor to trim the hair next to the skin.

      KEEP IT CLEAN. If possible, put your pet in the sink or bathtub and run lukewarm tap water on the bite or abscess for 5 minutes. If your pet won’t tolerate running water, use a damp cloth or gauze sponge. Purchase an antiseptic soap, Hibitane, available at your local pharmacy, and wash the area well. Keep the wound clean and perform this water therapy twice daily for 5-7 days.

      STAY OPEN. The most important thing you can do to prevent the bite from turning into a costly abscess is to vigorously scrub the puncture wound with a damp cloth and antiseptic soap. The puncture marks must stay open for at least three days to drain properly. For large abscesses that are open and draining, keep them open for at least three days after you have thoroughly cleaned them and clipped the surrounding hair.

      WHEN TO LICK AND WHEN NOT TO. The saliva from your pet’s tongue contains antibacterial properties, so this will prevent initial abscess formation. Allow your pet to lick them for the first 3-4 days. After this time you want to discourage licking to allow the skin to heal. You can prevent licking by purchasing an Elizabethan Collar (E -collar) at your local veterinarian. You can also apply a bad tasting product, such as Bitter Apple to the skin around the bite wound to discourage licking.

      HEPAR SULPHURIS CALCAREUM (HEPAR SULPH). Use specifically for pets with an abscess that is foul smelling and painful . Dose is 30C, 2-3 times a day for 3-5 days.

      SILICA. A top homeopathic remedy for healing. It is the most common homeopathic used for abscesses. The dose is 30C given twice daily for 3-5 days. It will help the body remove debris from the wound, in other words, help draw out the abscess.

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