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Q&A: Why Is My Dog's Skin Tag Oozing, and Is It Infectious?

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Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.

If your dog's skin is oozing and has a foul odor, something is definitely wrong.

If your dog's skin is oozing and has a foul odor, something is definitely wrong.

Will My Dog's Infected Growth Spread to My Children?

"I have a 13-year-old pit bull who has a large skin tag that busted open. It has a horrible smell and nasty stuff coming out. I don't have the money to take him to the vet right now, so please tell me what to do and if my family is in danger of catching staph or anything else. Will the infection spread to my kids?

He has also started urinating in the house and pooping in the house which he normally doesn't do; could that be one of the signs of concern of some kind of infection or cancer? Is he suffering now that the growth is busted? Is there any kind of medicine I can put on it in case it is infected? Do I bandage it up or just let it leak out until I can find a way to get to a vet?" —Robin

Skin Tag vs. Tumor

I have several questions too. How do you know it is just a skin tag? From your description, it sounds more like a benign tumor. Where is it located on his body? If it is on one of his legs it is going to be easier to bandage, but if it is on his side or his belly it will be more difficult. (You may need to use a t-shirt if that is the case.) Is he having any breathing problems? That might let us know if it is cancer and if it has spread.

Cleaning an Infected Dog Wound

Yes, the bacteria may affect your children, especially if there is anyone at home suffering from an autoimmune problem. The only way to know what is coming out of the wound is to have a culture done, but as you cannot do this at the moment, you should at least keep the wound clean.

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  1. Flush it a few times a day with chlorhexidine or dilute betadine.
  2. Apply some triple antibiotic ointment.
  3. Bandage it up so that the drainage will not spread around the house.

What About Pain Medication?

Again, not all areas of the body are easy to bandage and I do not know where this growth is. I also cannot tell you if he is suffering without knowing how deep it goes, but many dogs do not need pain medications if they have local abscesses secondary to a growth.

Senility and Urination

Urinating in the house is unlikely to be from the growth. It is probably a type of senility seen in older dogs, and since your Pit is 13, he may be showing signs. I wrote an article on tips to help a senile dog around the house that may be of use.

When possible, consider taking your dog to the vet for an in-person assessment, but in the meantime do your best to keep the pus from contaminating your house.

This article is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from your veterinarian. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2022 Dr Mark

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