Rat Guide informative link: http://ratguide.com/health/integumentary_skin/abscess.php
How to treat an abscess at home:
- hot water
- cotton swabs and/or balls
- needle-less syringe
- saline solution (You can make your own by mixing 1/4 teaspoon of salt into 8 ounces of hot water.)
1.) Set up table with tools and items. Make sure everything is in reach while sitting.
2.) Get a bowl of hot water (105 to 110 degrees F. or 40.6 to 43.3 degrees C.)
3.) Take a towel and cover your lap with it.
4.) Take a clean rag, wet it, and then ring out excess water.
5.) Place the moist rag on the lump for five to ten minutes.
*Repeat step five for as long as necessary
6.) Gently squeeze the area around the lump.
*Repeat steps five and six until one of two things happen a) your rat can no longer stand it or b) pus begins to express.
7.) When pus begins to express, clean it off with a cotton swab or ball until you can no longer express any more pus. The pus may appear yellow, green, or slightly bloodied and may smell foul.
8.) Flush the open wound with saline by taking some up in a syringe and squirting it into the crater left by the abscess. Let it sit for 15 to 20 seconds and drain. Repeat two to three more times or until no more debris comes out.
***Repeat these steps twice a day until pus no longer comes out.***
It could take several days before the abscess comes to a head and is ready to be expressed.. You can usually feel if there is any pus left in the pocket if you can't see it.
Make sure the crater heals from the inside out. If the crater does not heal slowly from the inside and gradually come to the surface, the abscess come back. Do not cover it or put antibiotic ointment such Neosporin on the wound. You may use raw honey or diluted grapefruit seed extract inside and around the wound to promote healing and help keep infection at bay.
If you are unsure about what you are doing, ALWAYS consult or take your rat to a qualified veterinarian. This forum is not a substitute for proper vet care.
Photos courtesy of Jaguar and Bernard.
Edited by cagedbirdsinging on 3/3/13.