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Hello everyone! I haven't been on in awhile. So anyhow, we have found out in the meantime Pixie is FIV positive as he lived outside all of his life until we moved here and took him in. He is now an indoor cat full time, and has had shots, and obviously has been tested for FIV. To make a long story short, he has seen two different veterinarians prior to the one he visited this morning. I won't go into much detail besides the fact my husband and I love the vet we visited this morning and we will be sticking to this vet from now on, and Pixie is comfortable there too, so that is a plus. This morning was supposed to be a check-up and a consultation for his neuter. While looking him over they noticed swelling on his elbow. They naturally asked us what happened, and I was shocked because I had no idea. They took his temperature and he had a slight fever. By now I was feeling like an awful cat mommy. They asked more questions like if he had caught himself on something while jumping onto things in the apartment and asked if I had noticed any wounds. The only wounds I had noticed were the ones he had when we took him in, and they healed awhile ago. The vet took a sample, and it was pus and blood. She told us it needed to be lanced and drained and that he needed antibiotics. Of course I gave full consent and told them to do whatever needed to be done. After the surgery the vet talked to us and told us the abscess had been there for quite some time, had been festering for a long time, and that the infection had melted the muscles in his elbow and arm. She was surprised that he was still eating, drinking, and jumping onto things at home. She also said that there was no evidence of a puncture wound, no scars that would indicate any wounds at all, so she is not sure how he got the abscess to begin with. He has another follow up in a few days, and after this is all healed we are scheduling him for his neuter. I did read somewhere that sometimes when cats get into fights, their skin closes up and the infection can form and fester long after the fight. Anyone have any experience or advice for this? I feel like a terrible cat mommy for not noticing the abscess. He never complained, never lost his appetite, jumped onto the couch and bed like usual, and cuddled with me. Thank you everyone in advance.
 

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Wow, that's a nasty discovery! Yes, an abcess can heal over on the outside and still be frightful on the inside. That's one reason to try to keep a wound open and draining, so it can heal from the inside out, rather than scabbing over. But if you saw no wound, that's not something you could have done.

Hope everything goes well now.
 

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I don't think you need to feel like a bad cat mom. Our new kitty Olive was scratched by one of our resident cats and I noticed the scratch but didn't put anything on it. It ended up abscessing and then bursting and I felt so terrible! Fortunately she didn't get an infection beyond that, but it's hard to notice through all their fur and cuteness.


Next time if I notice a scratch I'll apply some antibacterial ointment and monitor more closely, but that's not a guarantee. So glad Pixie is ok now!
 

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Has Pixie had his follow-up? I hope he's fully recovered. There's no way you could have known about an abscess that had closed if he wasn't showing any symptoms. And when you knew it was there, you had it treated, so there's no reason that you should feel like a bad cat mom. He should consider himself a lucky little guy to have a home and someone who cares about him. :)

I wonder if the previous vets didn't notice it for the same reason you didn't. Maybe the swelling just started recently. I'd think that if he'd been running a temperature all that time, he would have been lethargic and you would have noticed. It sounds like if you had waited a few more days, it could have been much worse, so another lucky break for him that you had already scheduled this appointment!
 
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