Abscess on Dog’s Paw – How to Help Your Pet?


Dogs often get injured. When infection gets infiltrated into the wounds, ulcers may appear. The affected area becomes inflamed and swollen. Such boils on a dog’s paw should be treated under the supervision of a veterinarian, as there is a risk of developing sepsis.

Possible Causes

The main cause for the appearance of a boil in a dog is damaged skin left untreated and infected. This brings an inflammatory reaction. Other possible causes:

  • abscess on dog's paw causesSplinters, cuts and small injuries of various forms. For example, a pet may step on piece of broken glass. When splinters come under the skin, the body begins to fight the irritant, but cannot be cleansed, so inflammation develops.
  • Fight injuries. Dogs, especially neutered ones, often fight with each other. The consequences are various punctures and lacerations. If the pet’s immunity is weakened, a cavity filled with pus is quickly formed.

Boils often appear between the fingers, since this area is almost constantly wet and therefore serves as a favorable environment for the bacterial growth.

Why Is It Dangerous?

Paws constantly come into direct contact with the ground, dirt, which only increases probability of suppuration. Moreover, the formed boil often erupts on its own and becomes even deeper infected in the process. The animal constantly licks the sore area, which does not help healing. If left untreated even the septic fever is possible. Upon detecting uncharacteristic lameness in a dog, be sure to examine the paw for injuries, bruises, and wounds. If any detected, consult a vet for therapy recommendations.

Do not try tap an abscess on a dog’s paw on your own, as inept manipulations will only further damage pet’s tissues and make the inflammation yet worse.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

abscess on dog's paw cureSuppuration is manifested by a number of characteristic symptoms:

  • redness and swelling at the site of infection;
  • suppurative discharge
  • baldness of the skin at the site of infection;
  • lethargy, weakness, apathy, lack of appetite in a dog;
  • pain syndrome manifested by constant licking of the wound;
  • the area around the wound is hot.

Ways of Treatment

It should be left to the veterinarian to treat purulent wounds. The process includes two main steps: purification and treatment of the cavity, drainage. Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory medications are also prescribed.

Purification and Treatment

The lancing of abscess is performed under local anesthesia; all dead tissues and purulent fluid are removed from the cavity. Both the wound and cavity are bathed with an antiseptic. Chlorhexidine or Chloramine is often used in veterinary practice. After cleansing, the paw is treated with antimicrobial ointment: Levomikol, Tyrosur, Vishnevsky Ointment, Baktroban. Then a bandage is applied to protect the sore area from contamination and not to allow the dog to lick the wound.


Drainage is opted for when the wound is extensive. After cleansing is performed, tubes are inserted into the wound cavity to remove the pyogenic fluid. Sometimes up to 10 days the pet has to stay with these devices inserted. This be the case, the pet guardian has to treat the drainage area with antiseptic solutions of furacilin, chlorhexidine or potassium permanganate.

Medicamentous Therapy and Physiotherapy

abscess on dogs paw treatmentThe suppuration occurs due to the active bacterial growth in the wound; therefore, the doctor usually prescribes antibiotics: Doxycycline, Amoxiclav, Cefalen, Synulox, Cephalexin. Course of administration may be up to 14 days. Antibacterial agents should better be administered in form of injections. The use of immune response-modulating agents increases the regenerative ability of animal’s tissues. Effective medications: Gamavit, Glycopin, vitamins C and A, Ribotan. In the second stage of treatment of a boil on the dog’s paw physiotherapy will considerably help to speed up recovery, that is, after cleansing, treatment, and drainage. Methods: UV irradiation, vaporization, paraffin treatment.

The effectiveness of treatment greatly depends on its timeliness. The earlier an abscess is detected, the easier and more effective the treatment is.

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