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Lance abscess?

Species: Dog
Breed: American/blue nose p
Age: 6-12 months
My dog was was in a fight with my roomates dog. He healed up and was himself a few days later. there was some seriouse swelling around his neck now the swelling has all gathered into a softball size knot on his chest. It doesn't bother him, he tries to lick it but he cant reach the spot it is. Should I try to drain it? It is not red or hot to the touch I don't believe it to be an infection.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

This definitely sounds like an abscess. Definitely do not try to drain this at home.

An abscess usually does need draining, but quite often in a dog this needs to be done with an anesthetic. In cats, often a vet can very quickly rupture an abscess with a scalpel blade but we don't do this often in dogs.

I once had a case where I had a dog with an abscess on the neck. The owners had very little money and they convinced me to try lancing it without an anesthetic. I was a brand new grad at the time...now I know better. I lanced the abscess and it turned out it was right over the jugular vein. I ended up cutting into the vein and the dog began bleeding profusely. The dog ended up being ok, but I had to administer a full anesthetic and do some frantic surgery to cut down to the vein and stitch up the damage. If this had happened in someone's home the dog likely would have died.

If there is an abscess it is not going to heal without antibiotics. Your dog will definitely need to see a vet.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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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.

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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.