Abscess and Drain Care

A penrose drain is a piece of latex tubing placed under the skin.  The purpose of the drain is to allow fluids such as blood or pus to drain from the space between the skin and muscle to allow healing.  The fluids will drain out between the skin and the tube, not through the centre of the tube.  Essentially the tube acts like a “stint” to keep the wound open while healing occurs.

Drains need special care in order for optimum healing to occur.  Please be sure to follow these instructions at home for a speedy recovery.

  1. Use a protective collar to ensure your pet does not damage or remove the drain.
  2. Keep the skin around the drains and incision clean and dry.  You can use hibitane soap available from the animal hospital and warm water to gently clean and dry the area twice daily until the drain is removed.
  3. Give all medications as instructed.
  4. Return to have the drain removed in 5-7 days as instructed.
  5. Call the animal hospital at 250-364-1910 if you notice any of the following:
    • your pet has chewed or removed the drain
    • the discharge is increasing in volume or smell after the first 48 hours instead of decreasing
    • your pet will not allow you to clean the drain
    • your pet is not taking the prescribed medication
    • your pet is not eating, is vomiting, or has diarrhea