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The sort of work I will eventually be doing.
The cat actually fully recovered!

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aug2uga February 17th, 2006
If you think that's a lot of pus, find an abcess caused by Arcanobacterium pyogenes. As the species name implies, that bug is just great at suppurative infections! Pasteurella multocida, which that cat was probably infected with, isn't often as dramatic. My Bacteriology prof told us about a shoulder abcess in a cow from which they drained 1.5 *gallons* of pus. The cow recovered.

titanic February 18th, 2006
Microbiology is over a year away yet, where I assume I will learn all of that stuff. The person sitting next to me identified the infection from the color. I was more impressed (negatively) by how far the abcess got before the cat was brought in for treatment.

aug2uga February 18th, 2006
I'm guessing the causal bug was P. multocida just because it's so commonly part of the feline normal flora, and it's usually implicated in abcesses in dogs and cats. It could have been something else.

It's relatively common for abcesses to get pretty large. Consider that abcesses grow over a period of days (sudden changes are easier to detect), and cats tend to isolate themselves when pained. Under fur and with the commonly stoic feline attitude, it's sometimes hard for owners to determine that there's a problem. That's no excuse, and that's a huge abcess, but it doesn't surprise me.

caerdwyn February 18th, 2006
Looks like bad butternut squash soup.

titanic February 19th, 2006
Still around I see - at least occasionally.

caerdwyn February 20th, 2006
Rumors of my gafiation are completely true. Rumors of my demise... less so. The world doesn't get that lucky.

I lurk.


titanic February 19th, 2006
If I make the determination that the infection is a particular type of microbe, am I making a diagnosis? Or is the diagnosis determining what caused the infection in the first place?.

You are going to be a vet, and I'm going to be a tech. At what point am I crossing the line into your job?

Re: Wondering...

aug2uga February 19th, 2006
That's a *very* good question. There are multiple types of diagnoses. Calling it an abcess is one diagnosis, and it's one that a tech shouldn't make on their own in front of a client for legal and PR reasons. At least, that's the deal where I come from; different clinics might have different rules on that.

Another type of diagnosis is morphological:
Severe, subacute, focal, soft to fluctuant subcutaneous swelling, extending [length] in greatest diameter. On cut surface, marked tan to hemorrhagic purulent exudate.
Severe, subacute, focal, soft to fluctuant subcutaneous abcess.

Etiological diagnosis would be another possibility:
Pasteurella multocida infection

If there was a disease name, you could use that, too:
Cat-bite abcess
Injection site abcess
Fight-wound abcess

All of the above are diagnoses of various types, depending upon what information you have available to you at the time of diagnosis. If you knew that he'd been bitten by a neighbor's cat while running away, you could go with cat-bite abcess until you had more information for a morph or etiological diagnosis.

ruggels February 17th, 2006
Wow, looks a lot like pancake batter! MmmMmm!


titanic February 18th, 2006
That stuff is extremely contageous and toxic, you don't want to get anywhere near it. The gloves are there for a reason.

karmahappens February 18th, 2006
Yummy! I love abcesses.

calicougar February 18th, 2006
Twice I had to drain an abscess from Schkitty, above and behind her tail. I guess she got bitten while making an undignified retreat from battle. It was small and shallow enough to not need a draining tube.

Then she got one on her ear, which I could not drain. Mostly because I couldn't hold her head still enough, I needed a third arm and hand. Again, it was shallow and small and instead of a tube, there was like a piece of string that wicked any moisture buildup away, like a pink earring.

That is a shockingly sad amount of pus. It must have been growing for weeks and weeks. Neglectful owners. :P

mecampbellesq February 18th, 2006
Okay, just for the record: I am glad that I haven't eaten anything for a while, as I would have been thunder-chundering when I saw that....

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