Cellulitis in Dogs

Cellulitis is an infection that’s generally caused by certain bacteria known as Streptococci and Staphylococcus. Pets suffering from cellulitis generally develop this condition when they have deep wounds that don’t heal, animal bites or lacerations on the skin.

There are several symptoms that confirm that your pet is suffering from cellulitis. You must watch for these symptoms and seek medical care at the earliest.

Symptoms of Cellulitis in Dogs

Dog cellulitis symptoms include:

  • The affected area will be sensitive
  • The presence of an abscess
  • Redness at the affected area
  • The affected area will feel hotter than other parts of the body
  • Accumulation of pus under the skin 
  • Infection spreads to the lymph nodes

Diagnosis of Cellulitis in Dogs

To find out if your pet is suffering from cellulitis, the vet will ask you about your dog’s medical history and perform a physical exam to look for the symptoms listed above. Due to the pain that’s present, your pet may refuse to walk or eat, particularly if he’s suffering from an abscess. You should inform the vet about all other symptoms you notice so that the diagnosis is confirmed. Blood tests will be performed to find out the type of bacteria that’s present in the pet’s body. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, the vet will initiate prompt treatment to prevent the infection from spreading to other parts of the body.

Treatment of Cellulitis in Dogs

The vet will first prescribe antibiotic medications that will kill the bacteria in the body. Medications like cephalexin, moxifloxacin, nafcillin and vanomycin are generally prescribed. If there is a large abscess present, the vet will ask you to apply warm soaks a few times a day so that the abscess drains on its own. If it doesn’t drain on its own, the vet will have to lance it and apply antibiotic medications to promote healing.

If the abscess is very large, the vet will also put a drain into it so that the pus drains out completely. There may be a large cavity left behind, once the abscess is drained. If this happens, you will be asked to clean the area with an antiseptic medication once or twice a day.

Dealing with Pets Suffering from Cellulitis

You dog may be in a lot of pain and discomfort due to cellulitis. You should therefore get the condition diagnosed promptly. Make sure you administer all prescription medications on time and don’t discontinue the administration of any medication unless otherwise directed by the vet. Since this infection can recur at a later stage, you must keep your pet in a clean environment and follow routine grooming procedures so that his skin is free from any infections. If the infection recurs, the vet will perform a tissue culture test to rule out other ailments.

In order to keep your pet in good health, you should discuss the benefits of administering nutrient supplements with the vet. These supplements may boost immune system functioning and protect your pet from severe illnesses. Also make sure you feed your pet a diet that’s free from additives, artificial colors and preservatives.