How To Successfully Treat Your Dog's Abscess At Home

Posted on: 15 August 2017

If your dog has an abscess that has formed from a minor cut or bite, then you may be able to treat it yourself at home. An abscess is an area where pus is forming in a sac just under the skin, caused by a minor infection. In order to successfully heal, the abscess needs to have the pus drained on a regular schedule and then will heal naturally from the inside out. 

To properly care for your dog's abscess, follow these simple steps:

Important Note: Before you touch your dog's abscess, you absolutely must wash your hands with an antibacterial soap. If you have any disposable latex gloves, then you should wear a pair while working with the abscess. These two things will help prevent the spread of bacteria between your hands and your dog's vulnerable tissues.

Step 1: Cut or Shave the Hair Around the Abscess

If you are unable to easily see the abscess on your dog's skin because of thick or long hair, then you should either cut or shave it off. 

Step 2: Inspect the Abscess to Determine If It has Drained

Now that you have a clear view of the abscess, inspect it to determine if it has drained any fluid. Since the abscess looks more painful than it really is for your dog, you can gently squeeze the abscess to watch for drainage. If the abscess is not yet draining on its own, then you can opt to leave it alone until it does, or you can lance it and hasten the healing process.

Step 3: Lance the Abscess with a Sterilized Needle and Drain It

Since the abscess needs to regularly drain so it can heal from the inside, you can quicken the healing process by lancing it. The safe way to do so is to use a sterilized needle. Place the abscessed area between two of your fingers and gently squeeze it. You will see one area of it raise up above the rest and that is where you should insert the needle. Once punctured, the abscess will immediately start to drain pus. 

Step 4: Flush Out the Abscess with an Antibacterial Wash

Once your dog's abscess has drained, then you need to wash it out using a canine antibacterial washing solution. You can purchase the solution at your local pet store.

Step 5: Apply Canine-Safe Antibacterial Ointment to the Abscess

Once the wound has been cleaned, you should apply a thick layer of canine-safe antibacterial ointment to the abscess area. 

Repeat the cleaning and ointment application process twice each day until the abscess heals. If the abscess doesn't improve each day, then you should make an appointment to take your dog to their veterinarian