What to do about persistent infected abscess near e-tube (feline)? Cat had jaw surgery 3-Aug and…

What to do about persistent infected abscess near e-tube (feline)?

Cat had jaw surgery 3-Aug and an esophagogastric tube (“e-tube”) was placed.

[[EDIT added here in brackets, the day following the original post. I was flushing the abscess this afternoon with normal saline, and wondered why the pocket wasn’t filling up with fluid to express. I then noticed the cat was SWALLOWING the fluid I was injecting into the abscess to lav it. So, now, there’s obviously a communication between the abscess and the esophagus, which tells me we really need to get this furry little fella to the vet hospital for urgent treatment. Are you familiar with this phenomenon? Can you describe what has gone wrong here, and how the problem can be avoided? Thanks a million! Now back to the original post…]]

It is now November, nearly 4 months later.

Two weeks ago at the vet’s, we noticed a reddened bulge about the size of a dime on his neck between the e-tube and the corner of his jaw. For $50 the vet took a needle, lanced what turned out to be an abscess, and drained the pus (for the cost of a sterile 18 ga needle, I could have done that myself, thank you very much!). The vet prescribed Veraflox.

At first, Veraflox seemed like the magic bullet, the abscess appeared to recede and dry up. But after 10 days, it appeared that pocket was filling up again and, sure enough, I lanced and drained it once again. There was certainly not as much pus as initially, but I was troubled the Veraflox hadn’t knocked it out entirely, so I switched him to a combination of Clavamox b.i.d. & Orbax q.a.m. yesterday. He had his morning dose today.

Whoops, that was an ineffective combination! I drained noticeably more pus today, and rather than repeat the Clavamox this evening, I gave him a dose of clindamycin.

My big concern here is whether the feeding tube must be removed in the presence of a nearby infection? That feeding tube has kept my guy fat & happy for months now, and if it’s removed, then what?

Thank you so much for your input! I am so grateful for this service!!!

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Krista Magnifico
2 years ago

I’m so sorry. I posted the answer yesterday but I doesn’t seem to have registered. Hello! I absolutely think that your Cat needs a thorough exam with the surgeon who did the oral surgery and etube. I expect that this might need to be also done under anesthesia so the whole area can be explored. It sounds like the area is not healing appropriately and hat perhaps most of the post op problems might be related to this. Sending best wishes. Please update us on what happens. Good luck!