An abscess is normally a collection of pus which can take place anywhere on the dog’s body. Dog owners need to be aware of this issue because this can turn into danger if left untreated for a long period of time. Often dogs get injured after a fight & bacteria may take place in the injured area & that’s when man dogs suffer from this disease. Normally it protects the body by localizing an infection.
If your dog is suffering from abscess then you may notice swelling area under the skin surface & the swelling area may appear to be reddish and bumped. However, keep in mind that abscess can turn out to be seriously painful & sometimes dog become very sad because of it so you need to take a closer look if something doesn’t seem to be normal.
However, most of the times the abscess can be treated by taking the advantage of ointments and creams but sometimes you need to take the dog to the vet if the infection becomes bigger than normal.
Normally abscess takes place under the dog’s skin and an abscess is a localized collection of pus, also, keep in mind that, it can also develop internally. Most of the times abscess takes place because of bites, skin problems, scratches, and wounds. When an area becomes injured the bacterias go through the wounded area and start to increase by digesting the normal tissues & it can turn into an infection and inflammation.
The abscess can often appear as yellowish area & it can become hard and continue to develop growing since it put pressure on the tissues and nerves which can cause serious pain on the affected area. This can often lead to an infection and it can spread all over on the other parts of the body. All dog owners need to understand the underlying causes and symptoms of an abscess.
There are common bacteria known as Pasteurella multocida which cause skin infection and it leads to an abscess. Also, keep in mind that there are another bacteria which can often cause skin irritation known Staphylococcus intermedius however it’s not something serious & you can treat this problem very easily by taking the advantage of topical ointments. Remember you need to take proper care before it’s too late because sometimes these bacterias go through the deep layer of the skin which can turn out be a very serious problem later on. However, if this happens then the abscess can take place on the affected area very easily and quickly.
Also, there are many other symptoms which can cause an abscess to take place on your dog’s body. When you take your dog to the vet he may take some blood test and a swab initially to make sure the underlying cause behind it also to find out the bacterial infection.
High Fever all of a sudden
Warm heat from the affected area
The dog may lose hair from the affected area
Loss of appetite
Swelling and reddish area
Bleeding from the affected area
Your dog may lick excessively on the t area
You may find out a bad smell from that area
However, keep in mind that you may notice some other symptoms as well depending on the condition of the infection. Your dog is most likely to scoot the bottom on the ground if the infection takes place in the anal sacs area. If the abscess takes place in the internal area then it might seem to be very difficult to treat & diagnose for the vet & the may vet may take the further procedure to determine the condition.
Remember that the affected area often appears black and may have a bad smell if the abscess continues to expand & the affected tissue becomes progressively worse. Sometimes the abscess which appears on the skin surface may break or burst suddenly & you may notice a mixture of blood and pus so if this happens don’t forget to clean the affected area & call your vet.
However, an abscess that takes place internally is really tough to diagnose and treat so the vet may want to take the help of some special instrument & go for further treatment options depending on the condition of the abscess. If your dog is dealing with internal absences then you may notice your dog having problems in the respiratory system & the dog is most likely show some rare symptoms such as coughing, difficulty in breathing, and noisy breathing.
There are some other external symptoms
Drainage from the wound
Is there something particular which can be risky for abscess?
Keep in mind that certain types of tissues and organs can cause an abscess. The anal glands of your dog are very sensitive area & if any infection makes a way there then it can quickly develop an absence. Also Sometimes it is seen that normal blood-borne infection often end up by being a liver abscess. Often a little or more damage in the tooth area can cause root abscess. Most commonly dogs suffer from this problem when they get involved in a fight and a bit can cause an injury which later turns into an abscess.
What causes abscess?
Most of the times the bacteria invade the healthy tissue in the domestic dogs, also, these parasitic worms and protozoal microorganism can cause helminths. Most likely when a dog gets injured after a heavy fight, the bacteria often introduce (an infective agent) into an organism. When this happens the bacteria normally start to increase in a huge number & over the time it begins in digesting other tissues. These bacterias often cause an infection which normally goes with the inflammatory reaction & that can increase the blood flow to that area. If this happens your dog is mist likely to suffer from pain and swelling and reddish area.
If the abscess takes place inside of your dog’s body then which normally affects the anal sacs, prostate gland, and mammary gland. Keep in mind that there is much potential cause of the abscess.
There are two types of bacterial species which causes an abscess in dogs
Pus forming bacteria: Staphylococcus and Escherichia Coli Pasteurella Multocida and corynebacterium
There are some other types of bacteria known as Bacteroides, Clostridium and Fusobacterium which live and continue to grow in the abscess of oxygen
What causes pus?
Pus is normally build-up from white blood cells known as leukocytes. Which is a thin fluid known as Liquor Puris and cellular debris. Over the time, the procedure of inflammatory encourage the fibrous capsule over the wounded area & that’s what known as an abscess.
The pus can put good pressure on the affected area and other places around it if the pus doesn’t reabsorb or drained out.
Most of the times when a vet comes to treat the abscess he normally takes time to observe to determine the condition of the abscess. Sometimes the abscess normally breaks or burst suddenly without showing any signs but sometimes it may not happen. Depending on the level of severity the abscess can go down and reabsorb naturally without break or burst suddenly. That’s why most of the vets need to take some sample fo the abscess by withdrawing pus to determine the underlying bacteria which is causing it. An abscess can be very painful if the et finds out that your dog is suffering from serious pain then he may recommend you, pain killer.
If you see the abscess has not burst yet then you can treat this all by yourself at home. You need to put warm pressure on the affected area so that the infection becomes weak. Sometimes the abscess can begin o draining so if this happens then it’s a good idea to talk to your vet.
You can also do the following steps to take care:
Take some hydrogen peroxide
Put the gloves on your hands then take a clean towel.
When you are prepared than simply just squeeze the area which is draining. You may notice that the affected area is slowly trickled or seep out so in this case it’s suggested to clean that area and wait some time to drain.
Your dog may try to lick the area so don’t allow the dog to that because there are some harmful bacteria. And It will take a longer time for the wound to heal completely.
If your dog is very stubborn then you can put a collar so that he cant; lick that area.
When the wound is completely drained clean that area with hydrogen peroxide.
When everything is done you should call the vet for antibiotics course.
Now keep in mind that, sometimes the abscess normally doesn’t burst so in that case surgery is recommended to treat the abscess.
The option for treatment mostly depends on the severity level of the abscess and the location of ti. The main way to treat this is to allow the pus to drain itself naturally or remove the pocket of the pus by surgically.
Antibiotic: Your vet may recommend some antibiotics depending on the type of bacteria which is causing it. You may need to continue to take the help of antibiotic depending on the type of bacteria and the location of it. Also besides the antibiotic, you should take the pain killer for the dog. To maintain the healing procedure the vet may recommend adequate nutrition which might involve in a temporary dietary change. When you are done with medications your vet may recommend you to restrict the daily activities of the dog during the healing the period.
Whenever you take the dog to the vet, the vet will take some sample of blood and pus initially to find out the bacteria. IF your dog is having the prostate gland then a urinalysis might be required to see the presence of the pus & whether there is any blood in the urine or not.
Sometimes the abscess can affect the liver or pancreas so in this case initially, the vet will evaluate the blood levels of liver enzymes or total bilirubin. The diagnosis procedure also includes the XRay( radiograph) and ultrasonography to understand and asses the internal abscess whether the masses are an abscess or solid tissue tumors. The CT Scan ( Computed tomography) and the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be required in the diagnosis procedure to make sure if the abscess has affected the brain or not. Also, the ultrasound scan of the heart can be recommended to determine if there is any cardiac abscess.
The most com0on way of diagnosing the abscess is by taking the sample of the pus from the affected area and then testing the samples through a microscope. Normally the pus appears to be pale, red and pinkish which may have a greenish tinge. The diagnosis of an external abscess is simple than the internal abscess & it doesn’t require any additional equipment. However, to diagnose the internal abscess the vet may need to take surgical bioscope for taking the samples.
When the vet is done with the sample he will go for the further procedure by making your dog sleep by administering a sedative drug & then the vet may want to remove some body parts of the abscess through incisional biopsy or remove the entire encapsulated abscess through the excisional biopsy. Most of the times the vet want to take biopsies for both unhealthy and healthy tissues from the abscessed area. When the vet is done of taking the sample he will take it to the laboratory to see every detail of it. However, there are some other ways to determine the active microorganism which can be caused by being abscesses to grow. The vet will take whatever it takes to determine the type of bacteria when he is done then he will recommend a complete course of appropriate antibiotics for your dog.
There is an old proverb that is prevention is always better than before it happens. It’s always a good idea to prevent the dog from getting affected by the abscess by checking it on a daily basis. If you somehow find out any wound then clean up the affected area as soon as possible & if it becomes very severe or if the bleeding doesn’t stop then you better to consult with the vet.
The external abscess can be avoided very easily if you restrict your dog to a limit and do not allow the dog to do anything that causes an injury (preventing any dog fights, penetrating foreign objects). Also, remember that if you notice any superficial skin wounds then it’s better to clean and allow it to dry completely before it’s too late. If the wound is very severe then you should trim the hair on the affected area.
Many dogs are prone to the anal sac abscess & it’s really very sensitive place. If these areas somehow become impacted then abscess can take a place there which is just a matter of time. You need to make sure that these areas are clear and open to prevent this problem from happening. It might seem to be unpleasant but if you open it through the regular manual expression then it would be the best way to avoid anal abscess. If you neuter your male dog then it can reduce the risk of the abscess and infection in a great way. However, if your dog suffers from the abscess over and over again then your vet may recommend going for a surgical procedure which is known as “anal capsulectomy” If you have a female dog then you can spay the dog which will surely reduce the chance of mammary gland infections.
Also keep in mind that, dogs like to chew everything & sometimes they might chew harmful objects which can cause infection, abscess and also the lung tissue. You should be aware that the dog doesn’t chew sticks, hanger, nails or any sharp objects. IF your dog spends most of the time outside the home then you need to be extra careful.
Matthew Frank was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He was a reputed author of Pet Therapy Dogs and Pet Dog Cat.
Matthew is a regular author of this blog who is studying Veterinary medicine at Purdue University.