abcess-like swelling with fever

my cat had a huge
(larger than a golf ball) swollen area on her neck behind her ear that was hot to the touch,but no apparent bite marks that suddenly burst like a cup of pus i cleaned it bathed her then covered the area with neosporin the next day it looked like two holes the size of a pencil now the fever is gone but there is one gaping hole on her neck the size of a nickle what could that be?

RESPONSE:

That sounds like one nasty infection! By the description of the “two holes like a pencil” it does sound like your cat got bitten by something. If your cat goes outdoors it could have been a racoon or something similar…or even a dog. The gaping hole sounds like it’s the residual of the skin having expanded a lot to accommodate the pus, and then once the pus burst out…the skin is like a popped balloon, leaving a larger hole.

One of my six cats, Max, is allowed out briefly twice a day. He had something similar about six months ago and because of his black fur I didn’t notice it. However, he didn’t have any fever so I missed seeing it. But, all of a sudden I saw gunk running down the side of face and once I investigated…sure enough…it was a burst pus ball that I assume was from a fight outside with some critter. Sometimes it’s a part of a claw that gets left under the skin and other times its embedded bacteria that festers.

Using Neosporin, which is an ointment to prevent infection, is generally safe to use on cats but wipe off any excess so they don’t ingest too much when they start trying to clean themselves. Prior to using the Neosporin it’s preferable to cleanse the wound with hydrogen peroxide.

However, don’t use an antibiotic cream that contains additional ingredients for pain because many of the pain relievers are either irritants to cats or could have ingredients that are not safe for cats. Neosporin isn’t meant for deep wounds so if the wound is deep it may need stitches.

You can wait for a few days and see if everything appears to be under control and healing, but if it starts oozing or getting inflamed, I suggest that you have a veterinarian double check that something more serious isn’t happening.

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