Also known as a “cutaneous abscess or subcutaneous abscess”, a skin abscess in dogs is a localised pocket of pus under the skin. They are the result of infection (usually bacterial or parasitic) which causes the body to send white blood cells to the area to fight the infection. During this process, pus forms, which is a collection of dead white blood cells and cellular debris, the body then walls off this area of infection to prevent neighboring areas to become infected.
Abscesses commonly occur as a result of a bite or scratch but any trauma to the skin can lead to an abscess. Bacteria becomes trapped under the skin.
Skin abscesses can occur on any part of the dog’s body. They are less common in dogs than cats.
Symptoms of abscess in dogs:
By the time you notice your dog has a skin abscess, it may or may not have ruptured and drained. Typical symptoms of an abscess include:
- Localised swelling
- Skin lesion
- Missing hair
- Loss of appetite
Treatment of Skin abscess in dogs:
If the abscess has not ruptured, it will need to be lanced, drained and cleaned by a veterinarian. He will also prescribe antibiotics. This may be performed under sedation or general anesthesia.
If the abscess is large, a surgical drain may be required. This will require daily flushing.
Warm compress applied several times a day may be beneficial.
It is important to ensure you seek veterinary attention for an abscess, if left untreated infection may enter the bloodstream & cause septicaemia.
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