Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 15 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.
I am so sad to hear you are going through this with Bilbo. Unfortunately, I do not suspect this to be just an infection in this area. It is possible but if it was a recurring infection, then it would be one of our atypical infections (like mycobacterium) which is rare and usually does not cause swellings but draining tracts. Instead, my top suspicion is that this may be a tumor/mass that is secondarily infected.
Therefore, I do not recommend you lance this. The warm compresses are a wonderful idea if this makes her comfortable If she has an open and draining sore, you can cleanse this with diluted betadine solution once daily and use a topical antibiotic ointment. But I do not think this treatment will cure the problem.
I just really feel awful that I don't have good news for you with an easy at-home remedy. These lesions and masses can be quite severe, and at a minimum require oral antibiotics to improve. Ideally, she really does need to be examined, and then if this is a mass to have it removed before it becomes bigger; these can get very large then then be debilitating. There is a high chance for metastasis in cases when it is a cancerous mass (about 80% metastasize by the time we find it if this is cancerous). However, some masses are not cancerous and are instead cystic but just infected. I recognize examination to removal of a mass would be quite taxing to the pocket book. You can always look into options like Care Credit if you think you would qualify and then find a vet in your area that takes this.
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