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Thread: Poptart's MedicalThread: Abcess under chin

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    Cavy Slave LittleSqueakers's Avatar
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    Poptart's MedicalThread: Abcess under chin

    So, Poptart and Casper got into a little bit of a fight Thursday morning when I removed all the stuff from their cage to catch them and bring them out into the floor pen. It wasn't anything too serious, but there was some lunging and I could tell that Casper had been injured. Casper's injuries were pretty superficial, and after a few days of cleaning with betadine, he's nearly healed.

    However, I didn't realize until I picked up Poptart on Saturday evening that he had even been hurt. I felt a small knot and a small area of matted fur under his chin and immediately knew he'd been bitten. I was able to remove a scab Sunday evening and there looked to be puncture underneath. I cleaned the surface of the skin with betadine, but by the next morning the hole had already sealed back up. I brought him to the vet this morning.

    My vet found that he has indeed formed an abscess. He sedated Poptart, clipped and cleaned the area, opened and drained the abscess, and is sending him home with antibiotics and pain meds. The vet has instructed me to keep the area clean, but when I asked if I should flush the abscess with a syringe to clean it, he didn't seem to think this would be necessary. He's keeping Poptart a couple more hours to make sure he's good to go home, and I'm going to pick him up around 2.

    I've never had to deal with an abscess before, so I have a few questions. Well one, really. How important is it really to flush an abscess to keep it open and draining? I know, it's hard to say without knowing exactly how big/bad it is, and I'll try to post some pictures later, but can you get away without flushing for smaller abscesses? It's not that I don't trust that this vet knows what he's doing, but everything I've read emphasizes how important it is to flush that abscess to keep it open. The order went out from the mayor yesterday, and we're officially going to be sheltering in place starting tomorrow, so I won't be able to get back in to see the vet again if something goes wrong...

    Thank you for any advice!

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Poptart's MedicalThread: Abcess under chin

    There's a section on this page about abscesses: http://www.guinealynx.info/common_mistakes.html.

    I'd say it's critically important to flush them. You can get a free 10 cc. syringe from most pharmacies, and can use a warm saline solution. If you can get a curved tip syringe, that's even better.

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    Re: Poptart's MedicalThread: Abcess under chin

    Here's some pictures from this evening, after he was treated at the vet.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    I boiled up some saline solution and I did flush it out, followed by cleaning the outside with betadine. He was REALLY not happy with it. I had to actually flip him onto his back and hold him down briefly at one point, which was terrifying for both him and me, as I know full well that stress can kill. But we got through it okay, and he was happily stretching out in my lap and munching a cookie 10 minutes later. Hopefully he'll get used to it enough that it won't be so stressful in the future, because I really feel like this thing should be flushed out, whatever my vet says.

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    Re: Poptart's MedicalThread: Abcess under chin

    Good for you.

    If it scabs over, you can soak the scab with a warm damp cloth and then pick it off. It's very important that it heal from the inside out.

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    Re: Poptart's MedicalThread: Abcess under chin

    I flushed the abscess again last night, and it already looks a lot smaller than it did. Didn't get any pus out, just a small amount of blood. Poptart handled it a lot better this time, too. I still flipped him onto his back because I've found that this seems to be the best position to keep him still while I flush, and I worry about him jerking away with the curved-tip syringe in the abscess. But we were able to finish the procedure so quickly this way that he really didn't even have time to get upset.

    Now I need to know: how do I know when I can stop flushing the abscess out? I mean, I shouldn't be continuously removing the scab if it's time to just let in be, should I? I almost need some pictures to see what a healing abscess looks like... ��

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    Re: Poptart's MedicalThread: Abcess under chin

    Do keep removing the scab to flush it. It will heal from the inside out, and when there's solid tissue under the scab instead of a hole, you can stop flushing.

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