Is My Dog’s Incision Infected? (How to Tell)

Is My Dog's Incision Infected

In this dog incision infection guide, you’ll learn whether or not your dog’s incision might have an infection, and what signs and symptoms to look for.


You don’t want to wait until he has full-blown mange when you could have prevented that from happening.


How do I know if my dog’s incision is infected?


Infection is a serious concern following surgery. It can occur when bacteria from the skin or from the intestines enter the wound.


The most common bacterial cause of surgical wound infections is Staphylococcus aureus (Staph).


Other species of Staph, such as Staph epidermis and Staphylococcus intermedius, have been found to be less virulent than Staph aureus.


Signs of infection include:


Redness around the incision site

redness extending into surrounding tissues (cellulitis).


Redness at the edges of an incision may indicate that the incision was made too long or too deep or that it was stitched too close to healthy tissue.


The increased temperature at the site of infection (fever)

Your dog’s normal body temperature ranges from 100°F to 102°F (37.8°C to 39°C) for dogs younger than two years, and 100°F to 103°F (37.8°C to 39.4°C) for dogs older than two years.


A fever indicates inflammation in your pet’s body and can be an indicator of infection in his surgical area.


What does an infected incision look like on a dog?

dog incision close up look


Infected incisions are red, swollen, and painful. If your dog has an infected incision, you will see a dark-colored discharge coming from the wound or pimple.


If your dog has an infected incision, he may also be lethargic and have a fever.


If your dog has an infected incision, you should take him to the veterinarian immediately for treatment.



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What to do if my dog’s incision is infected?

If your dog has an infected incision, it is important to call your veterinarian as soon as possible.


The earlier you can get treatment for the infection, the better your dog’s chances are of recovering from it.


The first thing your vet will do is examine your dog and take a culture of the wound.


This allows him or her to determine what type of bacteria is causing the infection and also helps them decide which antibiotics might be most effective in treating it.


If the wound has started to drain pus or blood, this is a sign that it may be infected.


Your vet will likely prescribe an antibiotic pill for you to give your dog every day until he or she has healed completely (usually two weeks).


If the incision is swollen or painful, there are some things you can do at home to help relieve these symptoms:


  • Wipe down the wound with warm water and antibacterial soap daily until it heals completely
  • Apply an antibiotic ointment on top of each bandage change (every other day) until complete healing occurs.



Hopefully, this helps you out (and your dog) in case of infection.


We are no vets but based on this research and past experience, the hunch is that the skin around a wound can become irritated, red, and/or itchy after an incision.


If there’s no swelling/discharge of puss and/or if your dog is still eating/drinking then he should be okay.


If any of these indicators become positive though you’ll probably want to contact your vet and get his opinion. Happy pups!


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A pet owner who loves to share useful facts and information about a variety of animals.