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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As described in my earlier thread here, my goat had a cheek abscess; I didn't lance it myself partly because I lack that skill, partly because I had been warned that it might be a salivary cyst and that those should not be cut into. It grew to about the size of a half-dollar and appeared nearly spherical. Yesterday night when I went to milk it had popped open, shrunk, and bled visibly. (The goat also seemed happier--at least, she had a better appetite; hated my poking at her lump, though.) I squeezed out a sort of plug of dried bloody stuff followed by a small amount of thin stinky yellow pus (not salivary cyst or CL, I figure), and when I started getting mainly blood I stopped squeezing, dabbed iodine on the area and applied antibiotic ointment. Today with better light I had another look. The abscess has a fairly small hole near the bottom. The abscess is not full as it was before bursting but doesn't seem quite empty either. I squeezed out a little more very thin blood/pus mixture (I presume-it was watery and pale pink and not so strongly scented.) Then I squirted iodine back into the hole with a needleless syringe--it seemed to me that some of that iodine stayed in the abscess, which looked a bit fuller again, but I didn't resqueeze it, figuring the iodine might do some good. I put some Gold Bond-type powder over the hole instead of reapplying ointment.

Should I be enlarging the tiny hole into a slit or X for better drainage, or is less cutting better for the goat? (I don't have a scalpel but could sterilize a sharpish kitchen knife with boiling water/alcohol.) How much refilling of the abscess is normal? Is there anything else I should know?

Sorry for the ignorant questions. The abscess instructions I see online mainly begin with deliberate lancing. Any advice greatly appreciated.
 

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Squeeze out what you can daily of pus and flush it, 2 x a day. Keep it open, even if you have to pick off the scab.
Flush for 4 days at least and until no more pus is coming out.
Squeeze and push from all angles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks. I was just going to ask how one actually keeps the scab from closing up. I've hotpacked it twice this afternoon and squeezed hard, getting a very little bit of pale watery liquid out--but it looks to me as though there is more dark-colored stuff (blood or iodine colored) pooled in the lower part of the abscess and not coming out upon squeezing. (The upper part looks empty/slack/pale.)
 

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I would prefer flushing it rather than squeezing, because this might damage the healing surface inside. Like with all deep wounds, it is important that it heals from inside.

From your description I get the impression of an infected wound rather than corynebacterium.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you.
I also think it is not corynebacterium.
I am also thinking of ceasing to scab-pick and squeeze, at least unless leaving it seems to make it worse. Yesterday squeezing produced a moderate amount of yellow stinking pus; this morning it yielded a little pinkish fluid, and the iodine I tried to flush with seemed to go in and throughout the abscess; this afternoon a very little clear fluid came out when I squeezed; tonight I picked the scab off the hole in the skin over the abscess, which produced a little bleeding, but no amount of squeezing yielded pus or anything beyond the little blood that came with the scab, and when I tried to flush the iodine seemed to bounce right back out of the hole--there seems to be blood coagulating behind the hole. Given that, continuing to scabpick and squeeze feels strongly counterproductive and I am thinking of just applying iodine externally; obviously if she swells with pus again I need either to lance or to call in the vet.
 

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As long as it stinks, or at all comes out anything except pure blood, I am afraid you can not just leave it. But try to flush, if possible with some pressure, that brings the fluid you chose deep into the bottom of the hollow. As I said, make the wound heal from inside, if you do not want to do all this all over again! (Or worse, get the infection into the blood ... :eek:mg: )

In my experience, all picking and squeezing hurts, in addition to be counterproductive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you.
On my last attempt yesterday, all that came out was(as far as I could see) a very small amount of blood,and there was no stink. Also I had to pick to open a hole I could flush into, and I'm guessing it will have closed up again. I hear you about the dangers of picking and squeezing. Hope not to have given her a blood infection yet. If it's still open I'll flush into it this am... if not, I suppose, I'll just put the iodine on externally.
 

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You are doing great! (What does your goat say about it?) I wish you the best of luck in this job, and I do hope I am right when I get the impression that the wound has now begun to heal in its bottom. After all, you did get some fine pressure the other time, didn't you? Let us hope you got the majority of the bacteria out that way, and that the immune system of your friend finishes them up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks again for all your help and patience! Today the hole is sealed over again, and most of the abscess is nearly flat and colored like iodine or dried blood; the goat is eating well and giving more milk than she's given since the abscess began to form.

I tend to be an alarmist about the goats. Thanks for the commonsensical advice.
 

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You must squeeze and push around all directions to try to get all the yuck out each day.
Leaving it in there will only allow it to abcess again.
Do it until you get no more yuck and smell. which it sounds like is what is happening.
Then go to 1 x a day and see if it is still OK.
If it is, then it should be good to go.
Flushing for 4 days anyway, unless you are still getting pus/yuck out of it, then a little more time.
After that, you can allow it to heal.
 

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Yuck out, yes. Squeeze, try not to. Try to flush with pressure, I used a syringe. If it heals on the surface and not in-under, of course you must open it again!

And it is very nice to meet people like you, caring for the goats!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you both, again! For the last few days I've done nothing but apply iodine externally twice a day, there being no remaining hole into which to squirt with a syringe. Today much of what had been the outer layer of skin is peeling off, leaving what looks like slightly raw pink skin underneath (similar to what I saw last year when she had a recurring skin complaint which led to scabby crusts alternating with raw skin; essential oils and zinc/menthol powder applied topically seemed to clear that up for most of a year; now she has a spot like that on her forehead again)--I haven't cut/torn the skin flap but have squirted iodine into the opening and then packed antibiotic ointment under the flap. I'm not getting a flushback--the small area where the skin is still attached seems scabby and dry, not soft and oozy. I don't know if this is the usual process of healing for an abscess, but it looks to me like an improvement, and the goat seems happy enough apart from disliking me poking at her sore place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks. Today the skin flap had fallen off, exposing the mess underneath
IMG_2902.jpg

I think the yellow stuff here is antibiotic ointment not pus--solid and not smelly, and the right color for what I stuffed under her skin flap yesterday. I know the discoloration on her hair is iodine not the aftermath of copious bleeding. It still doesn't look good. After taking this picture I softened the area with chlorhexidine soap and warm water and tried to remove the loose clump of stuff at the bottom right corner(over where the hole in the abscess had been). The whole scabby covering came off fairly readily, showing a raw wound not sealed in an abscess:
IMG_2903.jpg

It occurred to me too late that perhaps I should have left the scab undisturbed. I applied iodine, antibiotic ointment and Gold Bond powder. I think at this point I should treat this like any other wound, let it scab, let it heal, keep iodine on it and wait... but I am open to learning otherwise. Thanks again.
(As you can probably see, these images come in rather larger than life on a large screen--that's the top of my thumb by the scab in the top picture.)
 
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