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Abscesses and cellulitis


Tim Hackett, DVM, MS
1. What is the difference between abscess and cellulite?
An abscess is a limited accumulation of pus and decay products surrounded by dense granulation tissue. Cellulite is a diffuse inflammation of the soft tissues, while the infectious process spreads along the fascial surfaces in the subcutaneous tissue.
2. Why are cats more likely to experience subcutaneous abscesses than dogs?
Thin sharp teeth and the pugnacious nature of cats are the reasons for the penetration of resident microflora of the oral cavity under the skin. Cats have dense and supple skin that closes above the opening of a contaminated puncture wound. Subcutaneous exudate quickly turns into purulent, and purulent cavities form in the places of bites. As a rule, they are found on the limbs, muzzle, back and at the base of the tail.
3. List the main systemic complications of focal infections.
In animals with common clinical manifestations of infection, fever and anorexia are usually observed. There is a threat of septicemia and shock.

White blood cells accumulate in extensive foci of inflammation, so relative leukopenia is observed in the blood. With matured and opened abscesses, neutrophilia is determined due to mature cell forms. Diffuse cellulitis often occurs with neutropenia and fever. Bacteria spread through the hematogenous route from the source of infection, causing pneumonia and other infectious lesions of organisms and systems. A cascade of reactions involving inflammatory mediators leads to vasodilation, lowering blood pressure and the occurrence of circulatory failure, which underlies the mechanism of development of septic shock.
4. What diseases should be excluded in animals with recurrent bacterial infections?
Cats living on the street, especially adult cats that fight with other individuals, have an increased risk of becoming infected with feline leukemia virus (ON) or = the level of immunodeficiency in cats (VIC). In such animals, as a rule, pronounced leukemia is detected with or without anemia. With therapy-resistant infection wounds, it is also necessary to exclude osteomyelitis, foreign bodies, tumors, infection with L-forms of bacteria, Nocardia and Mycobacterium spp., Infectious infection.
5. What is the difference between cellulite treatment and abscess treatment?
The main thing in the treatment of abscesses is the surgical drainage of the abscess cavity. With good drainage, if the animal does not have any concomitant pathology, antibiotic therapy can be avoided. A characteristic feature of cellulite is the diffuse distribution of the process, therefore, immobilization, warm compresses and the appointment of antibiotics are recommended. In animals with cellulitis, common manifestations of infection are often observed, so they are shown infusion therapy, antibacterial drugs and analgesics.
6. What complications of abscesses and cellulite require emergency care?
The nature of the complications of abscesses depends on the location. An abscess sometimes causes compression of vital organs. Abscesses of the pharynx can cause obstruction of the airways. Abscesses in the gastrointestinal tract or abdominal cavity cause intestinal obstruction. Foci of infection are dangerous for the development of systemic complications, including septicemia and fever. Septic shock occurs both as a result of endotoxinemia and systemic activation of the production of inflammatory mediators. Ultimately, redistribution of blood flow occurs and multiple organ failure develops.
7. What is important to consider when treating focal infections?
Antibiotics do not penetrate well into the closed cavity of the abscess.
Therefore, drainage and surgical treatment with excision of necrotic tissue play an important role in the treatment of foci of infection. Antibacterial therapy, based on the results of sowing and the sensitivity of the pathogen to antibiotics, prevents the development of systemic complications, however, to eliminate the focus of infection, first of all, drainage is necessary.
8. What pathogens of zoonoses cause the formation of abscesses in dogs and cats? Yersinia pestis (the causative agent of the plague) leads to a fatal infectious disease in small animals, especially cats. Although bubonic, pulmonary, and septicemic forms of the plague are described, most cats infected with Yersiniapestis exhibit lymphadenopathy of the sublingual, cervical, and pharyngeal groups of the lymph nodes. The onset of the disease is similar to that in abscesses of the neck and head of any other etiology and is represented by the appearance of lethargy, drowsiness, and fever. Enlarged lymph nodes open and drain. If spontaneous dissection of the lymph nodes does not occur, cats may develop pulmonary or septicemic forms of the plague. People become infected by airborne droplets by breathing in droplets of fluid exhaled by an animal with a pulmonary plague; by contact through damaged skin, touching infected tissues or fluids; through the bites of infected fleas. In aspirate from foci of inflammation when stained according to Giemsa, bipolar-colored sticks are found. The diagnosis is confirmed by fluorescent antibodies (a specific glow of bacteria is observed in the aspirate from the lymph node or in the contents of the abscess cavity).
Sporothrix schenckii is a dimorphic fungus that lives in soil rich in organic matter. Animals become infected when the pathogen enters the body through the skin, and people become infected through close contact with infected cats. Skin and cutaneous lymphatic forms of sporotrichosis are characterized by the appearance of multiple nodules. Nodules are tight to the touch, can ulcerate or drain. In cats, distal extremities, the head or the base of the tail, are usually affected. The disease is accompanied by lethargy, fever. The foci of infection are very similar to infected bite wounds received in a fight. The microorganism is found in detachable from nodules, in biopsy specimens. Schiff's reagent staining (PAS reaction) or Gomery silver methenamine is used to identify the causative agent. It is more difficult to isolate the causative agent in dogs than in cats.
9. What pathogens are detected in abscesses? What antibiotics are preferred in the treatment of abscesses?
If the abscess developed at the site of a cat bite, then in the focus of infection, Pasteurella spp., Streptococcus spp., Escherichia coli, Actinomyces spp. and Nocardia spp. Anaerobic flora, for example, Bacteroides, Fusobacterium, Peptostreptococcus and Clostridium spp. Actinomycetes and nocardia often cause abscesses in dogs. Males of hunting dogs of large breeds are more often sick. It is effective to treat penicillin antibiotics, since they act on anaerobic microorganisms, as well as chloramphenicol, which has a wide spectrum of action and the ability to penetrate into tissues. Most antibiotics do not enter the center of the closed abscess. Surgical drainage of the abscess cavity with excision of necrotic tissue reduces the severity of the infection process and promotes the spread of antibiotics into the surrounding tissue.
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Abscesses and cellulitis

  1. Epidural Abscess
    Epidural abscess - an infectious process that develops between the bones of the skull and the outer leaf of the dura mater, may be accompanied by osteomyelitis. Due to the fact that the pathogen easily penetrates through the dura mater along the emissary veins, the epidural abscess is often accompanied by subdural empyema. Major causative agents The most common cause of
  2. Abscess
    Abscess (abscessus), abscess, abscess - a limited cavity filled with pus, formed as a result of focal purulent fusion of tissues. Etiology. The cause of abscesses is the penetration of microorganisms into tissues with damage to the skin and mucous membrane and when foreign bodies enter the tissue. They can be introduced during medical manipulations (injections, subcutaneous infusions) made
  3. Abscess
    Physical blockage An abscess is a collection of pus in one place. Distinguish between hot and cold abscesses. With a hot abscess (it occurs much more often), pus accumulates very quickly and all four signs of inflammation appear: swelling, redness, temperature, and pain. A cold abscess is characterized by a slow accumulation of fluid in one place with no signs of inflammation. Emotional
  4. ABSCESS
    An abscess is a limited inflammation in tissues or organs, characterized by an accumulation of pus in a newly formed cavity under a dense membrane. An abscess most often occurs after any mechanical damage to the skin (for example, due to a splinter), through which pyogenic microbes (staphylococci, streptococci, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, cryptococcus fungi, etc.) penetrate the skin.
  5. Pharyngeal abscess
    Clinical picture The pharyngeal abscess is a purulent fusion of the lymph nodes and loose tissue of the pharyngeal space. It is especially common in debilitated children under the age of 2-3 years, rarely in adults. In childhood, usually occurs after infectious diseases, acute respiratory viral infections, measles, scarlet fever. In adults, pharyngeal abscesses
  6. Abscess of the larynx
    An abscess of the larynx may be the final stage of phlegmonous laryngitis, but more often it is caused by a body injury (fish bone, etc.). An abscess occurs mainly on the lingual surface of the epiglottis or in the region of one of the arytenoid cartilages, and usually develops gradually against the background of a general inflammatory reaction of the body. Complaints boil down to pain when swallowing. 2-3 days after injury
  7. Brain Abscess
    Clinic. An abscess of the brain is a limited abscess in the brain tissue - intracerebral, or epidural, subdural. Caused by streptococci, staphylococci, pneumococci, etc. Contact (otogenically determined), metastatic (pneumonia, lung abscess), bronchiectatic abscesses and abscesses occurring during open craniocerebral injuries are pathogenetically distinguished.
  8. Otogenic intracranial abscesses
    An extradural abscess is the accumulation of pus between the dura and the bone. It occurs as a result of the spread of the inflammatory process from the mastoid process and tympanum to the cranial cavity and is localized in the middle or posterior cranial fossae. An extradural abscess is usually a complication of chronic suppurative otitis media; often observed
  9. Paratonsillar abscess (paratonsillitis)
    This disease is also called phlegmonous tonsillitis. Between the capsule of the tonsil and the pharyngeal fascia, the distance between which is normally 0.5-1 cm, there is paratonsillar tissue, and behind the pharyngeal fascia, laterally, there is fiber of the parapharyngeal space. These spaces are made of fiber, the inflammation of which, and in the final stage, and abscess formation determines the clinic
  10. Extradural abscess
    An extradural abscess usually has a contact mechanism of occurrence. In most cases, the source of infection is osteoperiostitis, a carious process located in the wall of the paranasal sinus, which can occur with their chronic inflammation (frontitis, ethmoiditis, sphenoiditis). The onset of the disease is characterized by the appearance of a limited focus of inflammation in the dura mater
  11. Pelvic abscesses
    Abscesses of the pelvic cavity are a delimited accumulation of pus in the cystic-uterine or rectal-uterine space. Such abscesses can form with purulent-inflammatory saccular masses in the appendages, as well as in the postoperative period. In this case, the resulting adhesions delimit the accumulation of pus from the free parts of the abdominal cavity. In the beginning, an inflammatory
  12. ABCESS EASY
    Lung abscess is a pathological process characterized by the formation of a limited cavity in the lung tissue as a result of its necrosis and purulent fusion. The main pathogens The development of lung abscess is primarily associated with the anaerobic flora - Bacteroides spp., F.nucleatum, Peptostreptococcus spp., P.niger - often in combination with enterobacteria (due to aspiration of the contents
  13. Brain Abscess
    A brain abscess is a capsule-limited accumulation of brain detritus, white blood cells, pus, and bacteria. The main causative agents The etiological cause of brain abscess can be bacteria, fungi, protozoa and helminths. Of the bacterial pathogens, the most common are vermin streptococci (S. anginosus, S. constellatus and S. intermedius), which occur in 70% of cases. IN
  14. Pharyngeal and paratonsillar abscesses
    A pharyngeal abscess develops as a result of a purulent lesion of deep pharyngeal lymph nodes and loose tissue located in the pharyngeal space. These lymph nodes are regional for the posterior sections of the nasal cavity, paranasal sinuses, auditory tube, middle ear, nasal pharynx and palatine tonsils. A pharyngeal abscess may occur in newborns, but
  15. Paratonsillar abscess
    The clinical picture appears as a further development of paratonsillitis due to purulent fusion of paratonsillar infiltrate. It may be complicated by bleeding, the development of mediastinitis and tonsillogenic sepsis. Sore throat is worse when swallowing and opening the mouth. Eating is difficult. Body temperature rises sharply. Maxillary lymph nodes enlarge, become
  16. Causes of the development of brain abscess
    An abscess of the brain is a local accumulation of pus located in the tissue of the brain. Usually, an abscess of the brain occurs as a secondary disease, provided that there is an infectious focus located outside the central nervous system. Mandatory is the penetration of an infectious agent into the brain. At the same time, not one but several abscesses may exist.
  17. Brain abscesses. Surgery
    An abscess of the brain is a limited accumulation of pus in the substance of the brain. Most often, abscesses are intracerebral, less often epidural or subdural. Etiology and pathogenesis. The cause of brain abscess is the spread of infection caused by streptococci, staphylococci, pneumococci, meningococci. Often found Escherichia coli, Proteus, mixed flora. The way
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