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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, all

I have a question about one of Grace's injuries. All on her back are doing well. Even the big, deep hole is gettin close to being closed up! Yeah!

Now, her previous owner also said the dog got her by the jaw. Said it was a mess for a bit. When I got her three weeks later there was only one abscess looking lump about the size of a marble. I noticed the lump immediately and asked her...she said that was part of the dog bite deal.

So I've been watching it along with caring for the other wounds. It has gotten a bit smaller, but still raised and no hair. Yesterday it looked like it had a spot in the middle of it and sure enough today it ruptured.

Can someone explain how an absces works? Can the body form one to wall off some infection from a bite? Does this type of thing fit into the dog bite scenario?

I trust her word, but it also was a scary looking lump right on her cheek. If there was no dog bite on her jaw I would have thought maybe the stress of the attack lowered her defences and maybe it was a CL lump. But her jaw was pretty messed up. And we got four of her other goats and not one has a lump.

So......

Dee
 

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Puncture wounds need to heal from the inside out. The outer skin needs to remain open. If not any bacteria can cause an infection because it now has the perfect breeding grounds Warm wet and dark. Open up the abcess good. Use a syringe to flush it out {needle removed} with benadine & water . after it runs clear take some penn and flush it . Continue doing this til it heals . I would use small amounts of benadine after the first cleaning , to much is caustic or switch to something else. I would continue the penn for a few days or s needed.


Patty
 

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Dee:

An abcess is generally formed from a puncture wound or foreign body that has lodged under the skin. Also certain bacterial strains such as Staphylococcus aureus can infect skin pores resulting in an abcess. Wounds recieved from animal bites, especially from cats can result in abcesses. Cats, especially male cats recieve abcesses generally as the tend to swat and bite behind the ears of one another. Hunting dogs are also very prone to abcesses during the deer season as they recieve wounds, have unsanitary conditions, come into contact with other animals, and generally are not cared for properly.

Once the area is infected it creates a cavity in the skin and destroys cells, releasing toxins. Abcesses untreated can be a huge problem, and if the infection becomes severe enough can spread throughout the lymphatic system and can cause kidney failure, and death in some cases although fairly rarely as most are caught before this happens. None the less a serious infection can insue and will require high powered antibiotics and a long recovery time. Abcesses also tend to rupture as the animal may rub against surfaces to relieve the pressure on affected area. When this happens what may of looked like a small bump on the outside, maybe a nickel in size can actually be a gaping hole inside, of even 4 inches.

Debri has to be removed with the utmost sterile care applied. It is best to have a veterinarian come out if this happens as the wounds needs to be properly drained, and dead tissue will need to be cut away. Abcesses generally also have what is refered to as a 'capsule' a thick pocket of pus, or the foreign object itself. This is the site of the original infection, and often times this will be embedded in the skin itself.

Treatment of abcesses can very depending on the severity. In your case, and the location there really shouldn't be too much or a problem provided it is a mild abcess. From what you described it shouldn't been severe at all if it not impeding her ability to eat, chew and swallow her foods. However due to the concentration of lyphnodes in that area immediate treatment should be taken. Think of it like a big zit, because it is essentially. Ignore mom's rules about popping it, and squeezing all the pus out. In the case of an abcess this is the best way.
First thoroughly clean the wounds, clip away hair, doesn't need to be completely devoid of hair but enough to reduce mats and make an enviornment for infection to live. The use a heat compress to draw the infection out. Use very very hot water, not boiling, but the hotter the better. Do this for about 5-10 minutes, you will notice a difference in the feel of the abcess when you do this. Next wipe alcohol on the area, and lance the wound by inserting a sterile 18 to 23 guage needle (I recomend 18) into the center to the abcess, just poke a hole right into it. Remove the needle and then firmly squeeze the abcess. This may take time, but any expellation of pus is worth it. You can also keep applying the heat compress throughout this process as it loosens up the infection and makes it easier for you to drain the wound. If you need to make the holde slightly bigger you can make a small cut with a scalpel or an object with a cutting blade (make sure it's sterile!) You do not want a large hole, as the wounds begins to drain the hole will naturally become larger, and you will need to remove the scab from the wounds each time you clean it. Once you have drained as much pus as possible (trust me it you may have it on the first day, one the second and third day it will be back to nearly full capacity again) apply the head compress again, and taking a syringe without the needle (any capacity) fill with hydrogen peroxide and where the hole is flush the wound out and the area around it. You can also use vinegar, as the acidity in vinegar will knock down the pus and help restore healthy tissue, just makes sure it is diluted 1 part vinegar to 2 parts warm water. Lastly use activated betadine or iodine (iodine and betadine unless specifically marked as 'active' will require warm water to become active) and apply this to the abcess and the area surrounding it.
DO NOT COVER THE ABCESS. Drainage is vital in relieving the infection. To cover the wound you would be giving the bacteria a lovely home to stay put. Just make sure the area stays clean. You will need to repeat the drawing, and cleaning process for several days until the abcess is gone or nearly so. 5 days is average healing time.

(In your specific case with the one having ruptured, follow all the steps - the lancing. The heat compress with be much easier as the hole is already open and starting to expell fluid)

Antibiotics can and should be administered when an abcess is present. However most abcesses do not respond to penicilin. An abcess caused by Staphylococcus will need high powered drugs as most strains tend to be antibiotic resistent. Bactrim is the most commonly prescribed antiobiotic in such cases. Go ahead with what you have as anything can help, and will boost the rest of the system that can become targeted by the infection.

Lastly, please, please, please, make sure you wash up. If you have any cuts, abrasions, lacerations, even a papercut on your hands wear gloves! Use hot water, and soap, even alcohol to wash after contact with an abcess. The bacteria in an abcess is potent stuff. I have seen a girl who had had her nails done 3 days before nearly loose her finger after expelling an abcess. Just pushing your cuticles back is an open door for infection. Preventetive medicine is always the best medicine.

Best of luck with your girl. Keep us posted!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow. Thank you so much for the detailed instructions on how to deal with this. I had no idea. I figured now that it had ruptured it would just expel the stuff and heal on it's own. Can't it? How do I know if it needs to be opened again?

This morning it was open, but it seems to be closed up again. It's not as big. But do I assume that there is still infection in there that needs to be removed? I did find a couple small globs of thick stuff on her fence right at jaw level yesterday....I'm assuming that's where she rubbed it open.

I wasn't sure what to do with it tonight when I found it closed up.....plus hubby took my oldest (eleven) to the fair to feed chickens so it was me and the eight year old to milk and watch the other three little ones. So I didn't have alot of extra time--and I didn't want to hold the baby after I messed with it. So tomorrow morning I can work on it if I need to.

Do I need to re-open it if it ruptured once and expelled a bunch of stuff and then closed up again? If she doesn't have a fever can I assume she's o.k. and doesn't need antibiotics?

Before I posted this thread I'd just been putting betadine on it with a cotton ball.

Dee
 

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Dee,

I would proceed with the hot compresses and peroxide. You will want to attempt to drain as much as possible from wound. Abcesses are known to reoccur, and they can mend themselves, but you are doing yourself and your goat a favor by aiding in the healing process by cleaning the wound on a daily basis for a few days. With other wounds present that are healing you can be risking cross contamination. Like I said a girl at the office I work out had expelled an abcess with no gloves on, and had her nails done 3 days before and wound up with an extremely serious infection. Any open door, especially for Staphylococcus strains are a serious matter. If the wound is closed up and you do not feel that any fluid will be expelled further apply the heat compresses, and proceed with hydrogen peroxide and the betadine you have been doing, this way you are encouraging it to drain on it's own. It will probably still be neccesary to open the wounds and continues medicating it from there. Also it may not necessarily be closed, it's probably dried pus and fluid covering the hole, the heat compress will loosen this up and remove it to let you have a better look. I would follow up with antibiotics. In cases where abcesses results from CL the abcess can rupture and pus is can drain into the internal system of the goat and cause infection of the lungs and lynphnodes. Such a case can occur with a 'standard' abcess, when other glands can be affected. Wide spread systemic infections are rare, I have seen two, one in a cow and one in a dog. Serious illness and death can occur in these cases, a raging staph infection is one of the most difficult and heatbreaking illnesses to treat. I would absolutely follow up with antibiotics, just as a preventetive measure, fever or no fever, one small problem can be a big one very quickly.

Also yes the stuff along the fence would be where she rubbed, I would remove whatever is there and treat the fence with alcohol or a little bleach, the sun should do the rest. Hope this helps :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you so much! I'll let you know what happens with the compresses. I hope I really don't have to puncture it with a needle. :help: Maybe the compresses will do the job! The abscess does seem smaller....but it's not quite flat. So it does need some attention, I'm sure. It would be heartbreaking to have this tiny little bump do her in when she's been through so much and is doing so well right now. Thanks for letting me know what to do. I learn so much here!

Amazing what owning goats can teach you. Thanks again.

I look forward to the day when she is all healed--the poor thing.

Dee
 

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Dee,

Best of luck, and you and she will do fine. It's good that it opened up, just keep on top of it and all should be well. I sympathize with you, I posted in here this week about a buck I got last Monday who was attacked by dogs. He's missing one ear out of the deal, and we're still working on the leg, but the other ear and bite wounds have healed wonderfuly. Keep me posted on her and your progress! If you have any questions feel free to PM me or post here!
 
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