Q. My 7 months old dog has a pustular nodule under the chin. It erupted once. What can I do?
JESSICA L DESROSIERS
A. Pustules or other swellings that erupt or ooze debris can be caused by a few things in young dogs. One common problem in puppies is something referred to as "puppy acne" which, just like it sounds, is the formation of small acne-like bumps of pus under the skin, mainly along the chin and neck. While these usually go away once your dog ages, if they have any other symptoms with them such as lethargy or lack of appetite, or they become severe, your vet can check for other causes or provide washes to help minimize symptoms.
Another common cause is an abscess that has formed. Abscesses are larger swellings that form when a cut or wound on the skin becomes infected, and the infection forms under the skin where it cannot drain. This causes a large swelling to erupt that may be red, painful, hot to the touch or may ooze debris that is white, dirty or greenish in color. Abscesses usually need to be drained and cleaned by a vet, and depending on their size and location a drain may be placed temporarily until the infection is cleared. Treatment with an antibiotic is also recommended to remove any remaining infection inside.