Abscesses are often caused by bacteria that enter through cracks or cuts in the skin. An abscess can also be caused by a foreign object such as a splinter, or a bite from another animal.

Infection causes the body to form a protective wall around the area, which is usually warm and tender. When pressure builds up inside the abscess, it may cause intense pain and swelling. As it grows, pus forms within the wall of tissue.

An abscess can be on any part of your dog’s body — including the footpad, face, anus, genitalia, or anywhere else that has been injured or infected. Symptoms vary depending on where it’s located.

How do you know if your dog has an abscess?

Your dog will probably show signs of discomfort, such as limping or whining when you touch the affected area. You may see swelling or redness around the site of the infection. Sometimes an abscess can leak pus through its outer layer — this is called “purulent drainage.”

Some dogs show no signs of an abscess while others will show signs such as:

  • Limping
  • Decreased appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Increased thirst and urination

Published by AmberLDrake

Dr. Drake is an award-winning author and well-known cancer specialist in her field. She is best known for her extensive research on canine cancer prevention and nutrition, her dedication to help dogs live a long, happy life, and for teaching veterinary medicine. As the CEO of Canine Companions Co., the Founder of Drake Dog Cancer Foundation and Academy, and the Co-Founder of Preferable Pups, in addition to being a respected figure in the dog world, she has earned the respect of thousands of dog lovers worldwide.