If your pets spend any time outside, chances are they're going to come in contact with something that's going to injure them. You can't always find the injuries before they become infected – which means they may develop an abscess. If you've discovered an abscess on your pet, you're going to need to treat it as soon as possible. Here's a step-by-step guide that will help you treat the abscess.

Restrain Your Pet

If you've ever had an abscess, you know how painful they can be. Your pet is not going to want you to poke around on the injury. Before you start any type of treatment, you'll need to properly restrain your pet. It's a good idea to have a second person help you restrain your pet.

The easiest way to restrain a dog is to wrap a towel or sheet around their body and hold it tightly while holding their head in your lap. Because the process can be painful, you'll need to restrain your dog each time you provide treatment for the abscess.

Bring the Infection to the Surface

Abscesses go through a process before they're ready to drain. During this time, they may swell considerably. You can help draw the infection to the surface by applying heat directly to the abscess. The best way to do that is with hot compresses. Soak a towel in hot water and carefully wring it out.

Place the towel directly over the abscess and leave it in place for about 5 minutes. Remove the towel and leave it off for 5 minutes. Repeat the process until the towel cools down. Do this several times a day. You should notice the abscess becoming softer, which means it's getting ready to drain.

Clip the Fur Away From the Abscess

The abscess is filled with pus and bacteria. Once it begins to drain, you'll notice a foul-smelling gooey substance. That gooey substance can get stuck in your dog's fur. When that happens, the bacteria and infection remain near the abscess, which prevents it from healing properly.

To speed up the healing process, clip the fur away from the abscess before it begins to ooze. Using a pair of scissors, bring the fur between your fingers and lay your hand flat on your dog. Clip the fur to where it's even with your fingers – or about ½" to ¾" in length. Keep the fur clipped until the abscess heals.

Clean the Affected Area

The abscess will continue to drain as it heals, so you'll need to keep the area clean. You can use ordinary tap water to clean the wound. Simply pour lukewarm water over the affected area, several times a day. This will keep the wound clean and prevent the pus from drying on your dog.

You can't prevent your pet from getting injured. However, you can prevent infections by inspecting your pet for injuries once a day. The instructions provided above will help you care for any abscesses your pet may develop. If your pet develops severe pain with the abscess or refuses to eat, you'll need to contact a pet hospital for additional treatment.