ISSN 2398-2985      

Abscess

6guinea pig

Synonym(s): Infected wound, Cervical lymphadenitis, Tooth root abscess, Hepatic abscess, Pulmonary abscess


Introduction

  • Cause: local collection of liquid inflammatory product consisting of leukocytes, liquor puris and liquefied tissue enclosed within a fibrous capsule. Many types of pyogenic bacteria have been involved; the most common being Staphylococcus spp and Streptococcus spp.
  • Signs: dependent on where the abscess is located.
  • Diagnosis: history and oral/physical examination; CBC, chemistries; imaging; bacterial culture and sensitivity.
  • Treatment: analgesia, fluid therapy and parenteral vitamin C initially. Drain/reduce/resect/remove abscess. Correct dental occlusion. Antimicrobial therapy.
  • Prognosis: guarded depending on location of the abscess, system involved, etiologic agent and chronicity of the infection prior to presentation.
Print off the Owner factsheets on Abscesses, Bite woundsCommon health problems and Dental disease to give to your clients.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Local collection of liquid inflammatory product consisting of leukocytes, liquor puris and liquefied tissue enclosed within a fibrous capsule. In guinea pigs this is usually thick, caseous, and does not easily drain.
  • Many types of pyogenic bacteria have been involved:
    • Staphylococcus spp (particularly S. aureus), Streptococcus spp are the most common.
    • Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Pasteurella multocida Pasteurella multocida, Corynebacterium pyogenes documented.
    • Streptococcus zooepidemicus usually in cervical lymphadenitis Cervical lymphadenitis.
    • Yersinia pseudotuberculosis has been found in abscesses in internal organs.
    • Mixed aerobic and anaerobic bacteria have been found in dental abscesses.
  • Can occur in many systems with differing clinical signs and etiologies.
  • Foreign body migration such as a piece of hay/plant material/grass stems, etc may be involved with tooth root abscess or those in the throat. Facial abscesses usually originate from tooth root abscessation.
  • Other oral problems can contribute to dental abscesses: root elongation, malocclusion, crown deformities, dental spurs, food impaction in the mouth, vitamin C deficiency Vitamin C deficiency, periodontal pockets Dental disease.
  • Trauma from bite wounds may be cause of skin abscesses.
  • Bacteremia may result in abscessation anywhere in the body, including liver and lungs.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Social housing.
  • Breeding season.
  • Dental disease Dental disease.
  • Immunosuppression due to stress, corticosteroid use, neoplasia, any underlying disease.

Specific

Pathophysiology

  • Abscesses usually occur as a response to an invading foreign material or pathogen.
  • A fibrous capsule forms as the body tries to contain the reaction: pus is usually thick, caseous, and not easily drained.
  • Formation in different parts of the body are due to different causes:
    • Subcutaneous, dermal: usually from bite wounds secondary to fighting, particularly from adult boars. Other pets in the household can inflict wounds: cats, dogs.
    • Facial: usually dental in origin.
    • Throat area: often caused by penetration of a hay thistle through the oral mucosa and then migrating in the tissue.
    • Cervical lymphadenitis primarily caused by S. zooepidemicus. Cervical lymph nodes become abscessed Cervical lymphadenitis.
    • Anywhere in the body secondary to bacteremia.
    • Pulmonary abscesses: secondary to bacterial pneumonia.

Timecourse

  • Most would develop acutely, but if internal, may not be found until it could be considered chronic.
  • As guinea pigs do form capsules around the abscesses, length of time before systemic clinical symptoms seen may take several days to weeks.

Epidemiology

  • Any are susceptible.
  • If group housed, may be more prone to abscesses caused by bites.
  • Individual problem, however, in a breeding colony, any breeders that develop cervical lymphadenitis are usually culled rather than treated Cervical lymphadenitis:
    • S. zooepidemicus may be difficult to fully eradicate from an indivdual, and the organism may contaminate the environment.
    • In breeding colonies, it has been found that susceptible individuals' offspring are also more likely to be susceptible.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Beaufrere H & Sickafoose L (2011) Abscesses. In: Blackwell's Five-Minute Veterinary Consult: Small Mammal. Ed: Oglesbee B L. Wiley-Blackwell. pp 226-228.

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