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Face swelling

Species: cat | Category: medical-surgical | Submitted: 23 April 2009 11:33AM | viewed 3345 times
Q Christine asks about BuzzLightyear (cat - Tabby, M) :

My 6 year old cat has a swelling on the side of his face that has just burst and a pinky red liquid seeped out. This is the second time in 3 months and he is unwell whilst he has the swelling but in very good health otherwise. We thought maybe a bird had pecked him but there seems to be no visible sign of injury.

Q Our vet says: This is typical of an abscess, usually caused by fighting with other cats. Cats bite each other during fights and since they carry lots of bacteria on their teeth there is plenty of potential for infection. A cat can inflict deep wounds with the canine teeth (the long fang type teeth at the front). Owners often do not see these puncture wounds at all! The wound heals at the surface of the skin but deeper down the infection builds up and pus is formed until the pressure causes the abscess to burst. Cats often have a high temperature, feel unwell and may go off their food while all this is happening. Taking your cat to your vet as soon as you see the first signs will prevent your cat from suffering. You should also ensure that your cat is fully vaccinated to protect him from diseases which he may catch if he is being bitten by other cats. A dental check up would also be wise since facial abscesses may also be caused by bad teeth.

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