spotting abscesses in dogs.

Spotting abscesses in dogs. Image: Pixabay

Spotting the signs: Abscesses in dogs

An abscess in dogs is a localised infection characterised by a painful, swollen area filled with pus under the skin.

spotting abscesses in dogs.

Spotting abscesses in dogs. Image: Pixabay

An abscess is a localised collection of pus caused by a bacterial infection. While unpleasant, they’re a fairly common ailment in dogs. Knowing the signs can help you identify an abscess early and get your furry friend the treatment they need.

According to Purina, dogs can develop abscesses, which are collections of pus, in various locations throughout their body. These can be common places like under the skin, at the tooth root, or in the anal glands. Less frequently, abscesses may even form internally in organs like the liver or brain.

A Lump May Signal an Abscess in Dogs

The most obvious sign of an abscess is a swelling or lump beneath your dog’s skin. This lump can be soft or firm, but it will likely be painful if touched. The skin around the lump may also be red, inflamed, and feel warmer than surrounding areas.

Looking for Other Abscess Clues:

Alongside the lump, keep an eye out for other signs that might indicate an abscess:

  • Licking or chewing: The discomfort can cause your dog to lick or chew at the affected area, potentially leading to hair loss.
  • Discharge: If the abscess bursts, it may ooze pus, which often has a foul odour.
  • General malaise: Lethargy, fever, and loss of appetite are all possible signs that your dog feels unwell due to the infection.

Location of Abscess In Dogs:

Abscesses can appear anywhere on your dog’s body, but some locations are more common:

  • Skin abscesses: These are the most frequent type and arise from punctures, bites, or wounds that become infected.
  • Anal gland abscesses: If your dog scoots their rear end on the ground, it might be due to an abscessed anal gland.
  • Tooth abscesses: These are painful and can cause bad breath, difficulty eating, and facial swelling.

What to Do:

If you suspect your dog has an abscess, don’t try to treat it yourself. Abscesses require veterinary attention to ensure proper drainage and antibiotics to fight the infection. Early diagnosis and treatment are key to a speedy recovery for your dog.

Remember: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be a substitute for professional veterinary advice. If you have any concerns about your dog’s health, always consult your vet.


Artificial Intelligence assisted in compiling this article.