Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How I treated my cat's infected abscess and avoided a huge vet bill

My kitty, Hermes, is a little numbnut. He is chubby, cute, friendly to people but loves to hiss at the first sign of any other animal. He also loves to escape the house and get into fights. His first abscess was a few weeks ago and it cost us $200 at the vet YIKES. The vet had to put him under and also 'reversed' the general anesthesia which cost $100 alone - not going that vet again.

He gets abscesses on his back near his tail - this means he was attacked while running away. I'm sure running away from a fight he picked himself. Special. My friend who is a farmer suggested a well tried remedy he uses for his animals - plantain weed. My mom has actually pointed this plant out to me often saying it has healing properties and I decided to give it a try to avoid another whopper vet bill for something that just needs to drain.

This is the plant. I bet you've seen it growing in the cracks of sidewalks before and never paid it any heed - I certainly never did. I got a handful from my farmer friend's property and went home to make a nice poultice out of it. I took three or four leaves, rolled them up and mashed them with the butt of a knife (a pestel and mortar will work better if you have one). If you can get your animal to tolerate a wad of plant on their skin with a bandage on top, that's best but my cat immediately began licking the area. So instead I mashed the leaves, squeezed some juice out and dabbed a small brush in the juice and brushed it on the area. I did this two or three times a day and on the third day the abscess ruptured and a nice amount of pus drained out. Another good idea is to  gently clean the area daily with 50/50 hydrogen peroxide in water. This may hurt on an open cut so be gentle. This is Hermes on day 4 of treatment:

There are actually two scabbed areas - on in the middle of the bald area and one at the lower right. These are the spots that the abscess came to a head and ruptured, much like a pimple. While gross, this is what you want! An ancient greek medical phrase, 'ubi pus evacuo' or 'when there is pus, evacuate it' meaning that pus has to drain for things to heal. This area was a firm red lump and now it's a fuzzy healing patch. He doesn't even mind much when I touch it now.

Well, I wish you luck with your own pets and I hope you try this alternative to a big vet bill for a simple abscess. This remedy is only for simple abscesses that have not caused full body infections. If you animal is acting sick, not eating , sleeping or hiding more than usual - go to the vet!

Good luck :)

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