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What Are the Common Causes of Pus in Dogs?

Mites can cause a dog to scratch, which can create sores that ooze pus.
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  • Written By: Christina Edwards
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 11 August 2014
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Pus on a dog's skin or fur is usually indicative of an infection or other skin problem. Infected wounds and abscesses, for instance, are two of the most common cause of pus in dogs. Parasites and inflamed hair follicles can also cause pus to seep from a dog's skin as well.

When bacteria is introduced into the body, it can cause an infection. White blood cells then usually go to the site and attempt to fight the infection. When these blood cells combine with and kill the bacteria, they are discharged as pus. This discharge can either be white or yellowish-green in color, and pus found in dogs typically has a very foul smell.

One of the most common causes of pus in dogs is an infected wound or other injury. If a dog gets in a fight with another animal, such as a dog or a cat, it will often walk away from the altercation with wounds, including bites and scratches. Surgical incisions can also become infected, as can puncture wounds.

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Puncture wounds can occur anywhere on a dog's body or head, and they are often caused by bites. Dogs that step on sharp objects, such as nails, can also get puncture wounds on the bottoms of their feet. When an infection occurs in a puncture wound, the bacteria and pus can become trapped if the top of the wound heals before the inside does. If this occurs, it can result in a painful abscess. While some abscesses may heal by themselves or rupture, others may need to be drained by a veterinarian.

Another common cause of pus in dogs is the presence of ectoparasites, such as fleas or mites. When these tiny bugs are on a dog's skin, they bite and suck its blood, which often causes intense itching. The mites that cause mange, a common canine skin problem, typically tunnel into the animal's skin. This condition causes the dog to scratch constantly, which can result in irritated skin, hair loss, and open sores. Many times, these sores will ooze pus, especially if they become infected.

A condition called folliculitis can also cause pus in dogs. This occurs when a dog's hair follicles become inflamed or infected, and it can be caused by overgrooming or mange, as well as a variety of other skin problems. Folliculitis is more common on a dog's belly and in the skin folds, but it can occur anywhere on the body. When the pustules surrounding the hair shaft rupture, pus will leak out and eventually scab over before healing.

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anon344442
Post 4

There is a pretty big lump in the center of my puppy's forehead. Two or three days ago, when I pinched the lump, the puppy would writhe. But a day after, there was a lot of pus coming out from an area to the left of the lump. Now the lump is still there, but unlike before, a pinch on it doesn't hurt anymore. However, now there are some pus spots near the puppy's penis. And the puppy writhes almost all the time - he can't sleep or lie down properly and there are certain areas that when pinched makes the puppy writes very loud, plus he refuses to eat because it seems like it's painful for him to chew.

Any idea what's happening on him? And some DIY solutions to help him relieve his pain?

donasmrs
Post 3

My dog has pus in his eye and he is constantly trying to scratch it. The vet said that it's pink eye! I didn't know that dogs could get pink eye as well.

ZipLine
Post 2

@burcinc-- It sounds like you've done everything right now. Just keep the area clean and free of germs. Be careful where she's sitting and lying because a dog's stomach usually gets dirty very easily. If bacteria get to the scratch, it can easily be infected.

If the pus changes color and has an odd smell. And if the scratch looks swollen, red and tender, it means it's infected. Take her to the vet in that case because she will need antibiotics at that point.

Otherwise, keeping it clean and wiping the area regularly should do the trick.

burcinc
Post 1

I just noticed that my dog has a deep scratch on her stomach and there is some pus as well. She played in the yard with the neighbor's dog yesterday and I'm guessing that she jumped over something and scratched her tummy that way.

What can I do right now at home? The pus looks clear and doesn't have an odd smell, so I don't think it's infected just yet. I just washed the scratch with soapy water and put an antibiotic ointment on it. Do I need to do anything else?

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