My Experience with An Abscess | Part 1

My Experience with An Abscess

One of the worst possible scenarios when owning rats is to find a lump on one of them.
Lumps usually turn out to be one of two things: a tumour (benign or malignant) or an abscess.  Luckily (sort of) for my rat Korsakoff, a lump on his abdomen turned out to be a rather large abscess.  Here are descriptions of my two experiences dealing rat abscesses – once with Korsky in February 2002 and once with Ivan in June 2003.

Read moreMy Experience with An Abscess | Part 1

My Experience with An Abscess | Part 4

February 26

Within 24 hours the inflammation around the abscess has gone down and the size of the lump has decreased significantly.

Korsakoff is being very good at keeping the area clean. I decide to rinse the cavity by squirting the saline solution inside twice daily.

March 1

The cavity has shrunk to basically nothing so rinsing the area seems pointless now.  I am amazed at how quickly it has healed.

Read moreMy Experience with An Abscess | Part 4

My Experience with An Abscess | Part 2

February 21

After doing some research on the internet and asking some rat owners about abscesses, I confirm my suspicion that abscesses need to be drained to heal. Some owners suggest allowing the abscess to burst on its own while others say that the best thing to do is have a vet lance the abscess. Either way, the abscess must be drained in order to heal.  The vet did not discuss this with me. If an abscess is allowed to grow, there is always the risk of it popping internally which can lead to severe infection and death.

Read moreMy Experience with An Abscess | Part 2

My Experience with An Abscess | Part 3

February 23

I decide to do more to try and help the abscess to burst on its own.  Due to the increase in inflammation, the abscess feels like it is quite close to the skin. I take a very small amount of the skin over the abscess between the fingernails of my thumb and index finger and give it a quick pinch.  My reasoning in doing this is that a tiny area of bruised tissue will allow a scab to form. Korsakoff barely notices.

Read moreMy Experience with An Abscess | Part 3