Monday, December 14, 2009

Tess has an abscess

Tess is a sweet little tortie. She has been around since the beginning when I started feeding and caring for this colony 7 years ago. In all this time she still will not let me pet her, however she will come very close and I have tried petting her but she always hops away. I am guessing she is about 9 years old, which is pretty good for a little feral. She had her last litter of kittens in the summer of 2003 but I never saw any of them so assume they didn't survive. Early in September of that year I was able to trap her and take her in to be spayed.

About two and a half weeks ago on a Friday morning I arrived to feed Tess and Jazz, and Que if he was around. It was a warm sunny day for the end of November. Tess came trotting acoss the road towards me and I could see this strange "thing" on the left side of her face. When she got close to me I realized she had a huge abscess. It was about the size of a half tennis ball stuck on her cheek.

Catching her to take in to see the vet was not likely to happen but I knew that she should have the abscess lanced and drained. I always have my camera so took pictures. When I got home I phoned my sister who works in a vet's office to tell her I would be emailing photos. I also asked if I should start antibiotics. The answer came back that I should start her on antibiotics so I hopped in the van and drove back to see if I would be lucky enough to get her to come out for a bowl of food. No luck. Her tummy was still full from the earlier feeding and she was probably curled up sleeping somewhere.

I returned a few hours later just as the sun was setting hoping she might be there. She was. And so was Jazz. I put a tablespoon full of food in a dish with the antibiotic in the centre and waited for her to eat the food. Tess must have been hungry because she ate that little bit of food along with the pill. I gave her the rest of the food plus a bowl of Jazz and left.

The following morning it was another sunny day. Tess was there waiting for me. Her abscess had burst at some point and her neck was wet from the draining of the infection. I was able to get another antibiotic into her while I watched to make sure she swallowed it. Sunday morning the same thing. Her neck was still wet from the abscess draining but this was a good thing. And I got a third antibiotic into her.

Monday I arrived and she was looking good. The fur around the abscess was now dry so I assumed it was finished draining and she would start to heal. Tuesday she was looking good and the same Wednesday. I was feeling very confident we had managed to get the infection from the abscess under control. Thursday and Friday she didn't show up to eat when I was there so she didn't get any pills. I was away over that weekend and did not feel comfortable having someone else pill her.

Monday after the weekend away I arrived and there was Tess looking bright and happy and hungry. I was able to get a few photos of the abscess site and then look at the pictures on the computer once I got home. She was healing well. All the fur on her cheek/jaw had fallen out around the abscess site which made it easy for me to see how she was progressing. It had been 5 days since I had last seen her to give her an antibiotic so opted to discontinue.

A few days ago I noticed an open sore on her cheek so again I took a photo, loaded on the computer to have a look. The sore is about the size of a dime, red and raw. Back to the antibiotics.

As of today she is doing well. I wasn't unable to get much of a look at her face this morning because it was drizzling but she looks good, ate well and I got another pill into her. I will try to get a picture of her cheek tomorrow, providing the weather co-operates and it isn't raining.

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