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Abscess on paw.

Species: Dog
Breed: hound, lab, pitt
Age: 5-8 years
has a very swollen front paw that spilt open between middle toes puss and blood came out yesterday still very swollen and leaking {spilt open in my hand about 1/8 cup of nasty bloody puss in my palm} now the other paw is a little swollen and has a spilt between the middle toes only a little leakage. will eat a little but not drinking he limps outside to go releive himself mostly he sleeps I was soaking the first paw in epsom salt and warm water twice a day. The vet said he has an encapsulated foxtail in his paw it has gotten infected before popped and healed but never this bad and never both paws. We live on an Indian rez in a rural area I don't have cash for a vet right now and RAVS doesn't come for a couple months yet what can I do for him?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh no, this is not a good situation.

Unfortunately the only thing that is going to fix this abscess is antibiotic in tablet form.

You are doing the right thing by soaking in epsom salts. This will help somewhat. However, the pus, the lethargy, and the pain are all because there is infection present. The only way to deal with the infection is to get him on an appropriate antibiotic.

You may want to check out this list of organizations that can help with veterinary bills. Perhaps you can get some help to get him to a veterinarian.

I wish I had a better answer for you, but the only solution is to get him on antibiotics. Hopefully he can be seen soon. The longer that you wait, the more serious the infection will get. Right now it is something that can likely be treated with oral antibiotics but as it gets worse he could need surgery, hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics which of course would be an awful lot more expensive.

I really hope he is better soon!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

the local feed store sells penacilin for animals can i give him that? He is 88lbs, and is not limping much today.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

It is *possible* that this could work. There are two problems I can see with this though:

1. Many infections that we see in dogs these days are becoming resistant to penicillin. I rarely will use penicillin on its own.

2. No vet can legally give you the correct dosing to use without having what is called a client-patient relationship with you. Now, if you have a vet that you have worked with in the past and who has a file on your dog then it is worthwhile to give them a call to see if they are willing to give you the dosage to use. However, in most cases they would not be willing to do this without actually seeing the pet first.

I'm glad to hear that things are improving! It is a good sign that he is not limping!



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.