Cellulitis is an infection involving the skin and
subcutaneous tissue. Most cases are caused by puncture wounds, deep
scratches, bites, and
lacerations. Cellulitis can often be prevented by properly treating
An area affected by cellulitis will be tender to pressure, feel hotter than
normal, not be as soft as it would normally be, and appear redder than normal.
As infection spreads out from the wound, you may feel tender cords beneath the
skin, which are swollen lymphatic channels. Regional lymph nodes in the groin,
armpit, or neck may enlarge to contain the infection.
These are anti-inflammatory medications, but they do not repair or heal
cartilage. Ideally, they would be used along with supplements and given with
food. These do provide rapid relief from pain.
A few NSAIDs have chondroprotective
characteristics, which means they protect against the breakdown of cartilage.
Others, such as aspirin, actually destroy cartilage in the dosage required for
pain relief. This is one reason why aspirin is used less frequently for
A skin abscess isa localized pocket of pus beneath the epidermis. Pimples,
pustules, furuncles, and boils are examples of small skin abscesses. A large
abscess feels like fluid under pressure.
Treatment: Localize the infection by clipping away the hair. Apply warm
soaks for 15 minutes three times a day. Saline soaks (1 teaspoon, 10 g, of
table salt to 1 quart, 1 l, of water), or Epsom soaks (1⁄4 cup, 33 g, of Epsom
salts to 1 quart, 1 l of water) are useful. Splinters and foreign bodies
beneath the skin are a continuing source of infection and must be removed.
Pimples, pustules, furuncles, boils, and abscesses that do not drain
spontaneously may need to be lanced by your veterinarian. If there is a
sizeable cavity, your veterinarian may ask you to flush it once or twice a day
using a dilute antiseptic surgical solution such as chlorhexidine
until healing is complete. Your veterinarian may place a drain in a large
abscess to help speed healing.
Oral and injectable antibiotics
may be prescribed to treat wound infections, cellulitis, abscess, and other
WebMD Veterinary Reference from "Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook"