How do I know if my dog has an abscess?

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The first thing most owners notice when their dog has an abscess is usually a very bad smell. If the abscess is draining, they may also notice an area of moist fur that is bloody or contains pus. If the abscess is not draining, the dog may be limping or have an area of painful swelling near the infected site.

Tooth Abscess: While most people don’t think dog breath smells good, it should not smell rotten or infected. If your dog’s breath smells bad, they are reluctant to chew their food, only chew on one side of their mouth or seem to be drooling more than usual, they may have a tooth abscess. Swelling or a draining wound may also appear on the face.

Wounds: Swelling and/or draining pus at the site of the wound. The area may feel hot to the touch and the dog may resent you touching it. Puncture wounds on the foot may cause the whole leg to swell up. Bite wounds on the face and neck may cause the whole neck area to swell.

Anal Glands: A dog might scoot on their rear end, cry when going to the bathroom, and lick or bite at their anal area if the glands have become infected. Owners may notice a bloody, pus-filled discharge near the anus.

Ears: The ear flap typically swells up like a balloon as the blood and pus fill it. The dog may shake his head a lot, and the ear is painful and often hot to the touch.

An abscess is an infection, and as it progresses, it typically makes a dog feel pretty crummy. They make act depressed and refuse to eat. The good news is that once the abscess is discovered and treated, a dog typically starts to feel better pretty quickly.

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