An abscess forms from a poorly healed injury, and the act of neutering a kitten is essentially a surgically induced wound. Ergo, an abscess can technically develop at the surgical site, if any bacteria work their way into the incision before it closes. Although not overly common, it is possible.
All About Abscesses
It happens to most cats at least once in their lives -- an ill-timed swat with a claw or wayward fang during a disagreement results in a warm, mushy lump under the fur. An abscess is a swollen mound of skin full of pus and other fluids trying to keep infection out of your kitty's body. Kittens heal fairly quickly, and his skin could close over any tooth or claw puncture wound within days. This traps bacteria inside, which could be bad news if your kitten's body didn't send out white blood cells to fight off the intruder. A battle ensues, and pus and other infectious fluids are created, building inside the sealed wound until the skin swells above it.
One main function of neutering male cats is to prevent them from fathering unwanted litters of kittens, but removing their manly bits also reduces their tendency to get into fights, wander and mark their territory. Neutering is essentially castration, where your kitten's testes are surgically removed, thus lowering his more aggressive, carnal urges. The vet makes two small incisions in the scrotum and surgically removes the testes. In many cases, the incisions may not require stitches to heal properly.
Common sense will tell you that your kitten's bottom will be sore for a while until he's all healed up from his neutering. The incisions are very close to the area that comes closest to the litter in his personal bathroom, which harbors some nasty germs and bacteria. And kittens contort themselves into fantastic positions to lick the most undesirable regions of their bodies. So some bacteria may work its way into the incision before the skin closes over it, which could lead to an infection at least, or a full-on abscess.
Surgery can make your kitten feel groggy or under the weather as the anesthesia and pain wears off, but certain symptoms point to a more serious complication. Redness or swelling around his incision site indicate an infection, while a puffy, swollen lump under or near the incision may mean an abscess has formed. The lump may feel warm and be either hard or mushy from the collected pus inside. If you suspect an infection or abscess, call your vet immediately for guidance. You may need to take your kitty back in to have the abscess drained and cleaned properly.
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