Abscess Treatment for Dogs & Cats in Frederick, MD

If you’ve ever noticed a swollen spot on your pet’s side, or their mouth seems swollen, you may have dealt with an abscess.

These fluid-filled pockets can appear suddenly as painful swelling and may be firm to the touch or squishy, like a water balloon. Abscesses can be accompanied by a fever, even if the abscess has already ruptured and drained.

Abscesses cause pain, fever and in some cases, sepsis. It is always best to have them looked at by a trained veterinarian to determine a course of treatment.

At Old Farm Veterinary Hospital, our skilled veterinary team can quickly examine and diagnose abscesses and develop effective treatment plans. 

If you suspect your pet has an abscess, don’t delay – Schedule an appointment today!

What Causes Abscesses?

Abscesses can occur nearly anywhere on your pet’s body, and can be internal or external. They typically are named based on their location, such as a “tooth root abscess” that occurs at the tip of a tooth root, or a “subcutaneous abscess” that occurs under the skin.

There are many potential causes of abscesses in pets.

One common cause is a bite from an insect or another animal. The bite injury introduces bacteria into the wound, and the wound becomes infected. Depending on the type of bacteria involved and how deep the bite is, an abscess can develop.

Other penetrating injuries such as from objects such as sticks can also lead to abscesses.

Certain types of bacterial species are often responsible for abscesses, such as:

  • Pus-forming bacteria, including Staphylococcus, Eschericia coli, certain Streptococcus species, Pseudomonas, Mycoplasma, Pasteurella multocida, Corynebacterium, Actinomyces, Nocardia, and Bartonella
  • Bacteria that only live and grow in the absence of oxygen, including Bacteroides, Clostridium, and Fusobacterium

Common Locations for Abscesses

Some tissues and organs are more common locations for abscesses. These sites include:

  • Anal sacs that become impacted or infected
  • Liver abscess from a generalized blood-borne infection
  • Tooth root abscess resulting from a damaged tooth
  • Prostate gland abscess in intact male pets
  • Subcutaneous abscess from a bite wound
  • Lung abscess from inhaled foreign objects or severe pneumonia
  • Brain abscess from an inner ear infection, severe sinus infection, or an infection deep in the mouth
abscess treatment for cats & dogs

Typical Treatment for Abscesses

At Old Farm Veterinary Hospital, we thoroughly examine your pet when you come to see us suspecting an abscess. If a regular physical examination isn’t enough to make a diagnosis, we may request further imaging or blood testing.

Once an abscess has been diagnosed, the first order of treatment is to remove the pocket of pus. Typically, this can be done on an outpatient basis, but certain locations and whether or not your animal has other factors that can complicate the surgery may require this to be an inpatient stay.

The abscess is surgically drained or flushed and, if necessary, any foreign material that caused the abscess is removed.

To prevent another abscess from forming due to bacterial infection, your pet will be placed on a course of antibiotics. The particular antibiotic used will be determined by both the type of bacteria and the location of the abscess.

Regardless of the type of antibiotic, it is important that you follow the veterinarian’s directions for administering the antibiotic and ensuring that the entire course of antibiotics is given.

Your pet also may be prescribed pain medications. You will need to follow the veterinarian’s directions for any sort of wound care procedures, and need to monitor the abscess site for any increased drainage, decrease of appetite, fever, or other potential complications.

While your pet heals, it’s important to keep them as quiet and contained as possible to speed their recovery.

Diagnosis & Abscess Treatment in Frederick, MD

No matter the cause of your pet’s potential abscess, it’s important to get it cared for quickly to avoid further complications. At Old Farm Veterinary Hospital, we have a team of skilled professionals who can diagnose and treat your pet’s abscess so they can get on the road to recovery quickly. Schedule an appointment today!