Note: This in no way is to replace medical intervention with animals. It is an example of what we can do when we catch injuries quickly enough. Also, animals process herbs far differently then we humans do. The plants I used are safe to use on cats. And I don’t recommend essential oils.
Abscess are a constant with a cat who fights. It would be great if the little Jekylle and Hyde wouldn’t. But the first signs of Spring and Fall lead him hypnotically to the neighbor’s house spoiling for a brawl. Our cat is about half the size of these neighbor cats (yes, there are 2, not one). Needless to say, but I will, Copal typically loses, and comes home with puncture wounds which lead to abscesses.
The trips to the vet often tip our financial state from okay to difficult. Last Fall, Copal did not respond to the vets treatment. So I spoke with a vet who was supportive of me dealing with the abscess my way. I talked to her about my plan, and it worked!
After healing, Copal got to spend about 9 months in the house while we figured this fighting thing out. What follows is how we changed his lifestyle without taking away his kitty outdoor freedom, as well as how we dealt with the abscesses.
1. Outdoor time is spent only in daylight, for the tendency to fight is in the dark. He goes out after sunrise, and comes in at 4pm. Yes, he protests, but this schedule has decreased his fighting by about 90%.
2. Even though he hates it, I feel him over very well a couple times a week. Spots where abscesses occur most frequently in him: around his legs, neck and checks. When I first began doing this, he began to avoid me. That strategy doesn’t work for long with a needy cat, though.
One such check allowed me to find the puncture before it closed. The problem with cats is they generate skin cells quickly, sealing in infection and allowing a ripe environment for an abscess. The type of bacteria causing abscesses doesn’t need oxygen to thrive. So the infection pockets and goes deeper as it grows.
What I Did To Treat the Beginning Abscess
This Fall was his first puncture in a year. I found it when it was days old. The skin and fur on it were easy to ply off. Yes, this hurts. So I was prepared with his favorite treats. And yes, pulling off the fur and skin from the wound is step one.
The smell of puss and infection is pretty intense, but you have to work past it. In this case, there was a large pocket of puss. I gently massaged around the wound to release it.
The next step is to clean it. I use a clean dropper from an old tincture bottle. The dropper fits easily into the hole of the puncture or wound. And what went in said dropper?
An alcohol tincture formula of: myrrh, echinacea, blood root, yerba mansa and usnea. 1 part of everything, but 1/2 part blood root.
I diluted 35 drops in 2 teaspoons of water, filled the dropper, inserted it into the hole, and flushed out the wound. At the end ofthe treatment, I leave the fluid in the pocket for about half a minuet while I massage around the wound. This does hurt a bit, especially on day one. But the herbs begin to numb and anesthetize the pain.
After this is done, more treats are given, and I apply a St. John’s with Calendula infused oil Salve to the area with a few drops of the tincture formula mixed in.
Next, I put 3 drops of echinacea and 3 drops of istatis in 1/2 teaspoon of hot water (to evaporate off the alcohol), added a little goat yogurt, and gave it to him internally by syringe.
This protocol was done 2 times a day for 5 days. The trick throughout the process is to keep the wound open for the week. If it heals you may find yourself back at square one and on the way to the vet, which is fine too. Some pets need that. If needed, to keep the wound open, apply a warm wet cloth to the area once or twice a day. We didn’t need to it this time, but I have done it before.
Copal came out of this one in great shape. He didn’t get really sick, didn’t have diarrhea from antibiotics, and it healed beautifully. Now he’s growing back his fur, and allowing me to be near him again. And thanks to my husband for helping and treating the little guy while I was out of town. He did an awesome job, too.