Abscesses are a relatively common ailment in cats that can have many different causes. These unpleasant pockets of pus can occur all over and within the body and can vary in size. If you notice your cat has an abscess, it’s time to see the veterinarian.
The cost of veterinary care can vary depending on the specific healthcare needs and many other factors. In this article, we’ll go over the current costs associated with treating a cat’s abscess.
The Importance of Veterinary Care
Whenever your cat starts exhibiting unusual symptoms, it is important to take them in for an exam. Abscesses have many potential root causes, but the most common reasons are typically a bite from another animal or penetration from an inanimate object.
Abscesses are bacterial infections and must be treated accordingly. Thankfully, most treatment is outpatient, though it depends on the location and the severity of the infection. Veterinary intervention is critical to ensure the abscess is treated and the infection is cleared entirely.
How Much Does Cat Abscess Treatment Cost?
The average cost to treat an abscess on a cat can vary significantly and falls anywhere between $300 and $2,000 in total. Here are some of the factors that play a role in determining the overall cost:
The Severity of the Abscess
Treatment costs can depend greatly on how severe your cat’s abscess is. You’ll have your exam fee, which is expected but then you must consider whether your cat needs any additional diagnostic testing and what the appropriate treatment will be.
Some abscesses may be treatable with medication only, while others may require drainage or even surgical removal. Therefore, the price range for treatment is very wide.
Your location can play a significant role in how much your veterinary care costs. Not only does the cost of living vary by region but it can also vary between urban and rural settings.
The type of clinic you visit will determine your overall costs. Veterinary clinics that have newer, pricier equipment and have a significant amount of staff will undoubtedly cost more than a smaller clinic with more limited equipment and/or services.
Additional Costs to Anticipate
It’s not just the abscess alone that will be at the forefront of the total cost. The price adds up depending on the different services you receive revolving around the care. Here’s a breakdown of what additional costs you can expect for abscess treatment.
Veterinary clinics will charge you a fee for your appointment regardless of whether it is pre-scheduled, walk-in, or an emergency visit. Abscesses typically aren’t an emergent situation unless there are more concerning symptoms accompanying the condition.
Your cat may not need any laboratory testing for the treatment of an abscess, but this is always an additional cost to keep in mind. If your cat ends up needing surgery, most veterinarians will have bloodwork done before putting your cat under anesthesia. Any testing will be done at the discretion of the individual doctor.
Diagnostic imaging includes things like X-Ray, ultrasound, MRI, and more. A simple abscess likely won’t require any imaging, but that’s not a guarantee. Sometimes imaging will be necessary to properly diagnose and treat your cat.
Certain abscesses that can’t be treated with medication alone may require drainage. This is done by lancing the abscess and allowing the build-up to drain. It is then flushed out with a saline solution and cleaned thoroughly.
Abscesses are typically caused by a bacterial infection. Your cat will most likely be prescribed antibiotics to help clear up the infection.
In more extreme cases, an abscess may require surgical removal. This is undoubtedly the most expensive route but if the veterinarian is recommending surgery, it’s because it is a necessity.
A follow-up may not be necessary but if your cat has undergone surgical removal or drainage of an abscess, your vet may recommend they come back for a follow-up exam to see how they are healing.
Price Range for Veterinary Services Related to Abscesses
|$50 – $100
|$80 – $200
|Abscess Drainage (Lancing)
|$100 – $800
|$300 – $2,000
|Follow Up Visit
|$50 – $100
Symptoms of an Abscess
Abscesses most commonly occur on the head, neck, limbs, back, and base of the tail but can occur on any part of the body or inside of the body. If left untreated, abscesses can lead to the development of more serious, potentially fatal conditions. The most common symptoms of an abscess include:
Does Pet Insurance Cover Abscesses?
Most pet insurance should cover the cost of a cat’s abscess if it is not a dental condition. Abscesses typically fall under accidental illness or injury coverage, which is the most common coverage for pet health insurance plans.
Dental abscesses may be a different story. If the abscess is related to a dental condition and you lack dental coverage within your plan, you may have to pay out of pocket.
When you are choosing your pet insurance plan, be sure to pick the type of coverage that suits you best. Dental coverage may be an add-on in some cases but may be inclusive in others.
What to Do for Your Cat If They Have an Abscess?
If you believe your cat has an abscess, it’s time to contact your veterinarian and set up an appointment. Most abscesses are the result of a bacterial infection and must be treated as soon as possible to prevent the infection from spreading further.
Most abscesses will heal within two weeks once treatment has been administered. You will have some at-home cleaning and care to do during the healing process. Your veterinarian will provide specific instructions that are customized to your cat’s needs.
The cost of treating a cat’s abscess can vary significantly depending on the location and severity of the infection as well as your geographical location and the type of clinic you visit. Care ranges from antibiotic treatment to surgical removal of the abscess and costs can fall between $300 and $2,000 for the entire process.
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