How an abscess will affect a dog depends primarily upon its location and size. Large internal abscesses may put pressure on nearby organs and tissues, which can be extremely painful. Even small or superficial skin abscesses can hurt a great deal; anyone who has ever had an inflamed, infected pimple knows how painful they can be. Dogs with skin abscesses often lick and chew at the affected areas, which can exacerbate the pain, spread the infection and cause additional trauma above and beyond the original injury. Bothering the abscess also can cause it to rupture, which contributes to more pain and infection.