How to Treat and Prevent Pressure Sores and Calluses on Dog Elbows
My Dog Developed Calluses on His Upper Elbows
Calluses are not only painful, but they can easily become a serious condition for your family pet. My Golden Retriever is 7 years old, and this is my story about how his calluses hurt, bled, and quickly became unmanageable. It breaks my heart to know that I wasn't knowledgeable enough to understand how these calluses could turn into such a nightmare. Pay attention to your dog, as he will let you know if something is hurting. I'll offer some tips on how to prevent the issue in the first place.
What Is a Callus?
Calluses are thick, rough, overgrown areas of skin that appear over a bony pressure point. The affected skin often hardens as a form of protection. Your dog may also develop hygromas, which are soft, fluid-filled subcutaneous sacks that form where friction occurs.
A Large Callus on My Dog's Elbow
Calluses on Dogs Cause Pain and Bleed
My Golden Retriever started getting calluses on each upper elbow. He's a mellow dog, and often plops down on the carpet anywhere. I could actually tell he was not comfortable settling down by the way he would slowly slide his legs down to get situated on the carpet. When he did try to settle, he would scrape the floor with his elbows along the way.
He was constantly licking his elbow, so I looked to see if maybe he had a piece of shrubbery or something from the yard stuck to him. I noticed some blood on his leg, but it was coming from a cracked callus and was dripping down to his paw. I first thought that his skin had been torn from playing with my other dog. I had some bag balm and I wrapped it with gauze until I got him to the vet.
Do Not Wrap Pressure Sores
If your dog has calluses or sores and they start bleeding, please take your pet to the vet. Don't wrap them unless the vet tells you to do so. I thought I was doing my dog more good than harm. I found out the hard way; I love my dog like my own child.
By the time I got my dog to the vet, the calluses were infected. It ended up costing me $225 for a 7 day supply of antibiotics, pain medicine, and a topical spray. The vet said to make my dog a soft bed after the wounds cleared up somewhere where he likes to lay down the most (which is usually everywhere, but particularly right next to me on the floor by the couch).
Dog Beds Are Great for Your Pet
Remedies for Dog Pressure Sores
- Elbow Cream, Wax, or Vitamin E: Nothing will stop the calluses from forming since they are caused by pressure, but elbow cream, vitamin E, or wax may help smooth and soften the surrounding skin. The purpose of the cream is to smooth, soften, and help the calluses be less restrictive, tight, and at risk of tearing.
- Invest in a Soft Bed: I got for my Golden Retriever who was 110 pounds. I must say, he did lay in his bed frequently but he also liked to just plop down anywhere that was convenient. This soft bed did help heal up some of his calluses, and if you don't want to purchase a bed, at least pile up some blankets on the floor. this bed
Ways You Can Help Heal Your Pet's Sores
- DO NOT wrap the elbows
- If your dog is fairly inactive, take them for more walks to keep them from laying down all day
- Check your dog's elbows every couple of days to make sure he/she isn't bleeding
- Put a sheet down on your couch and let your dog sleep there or somewhere soft
- If the wounds look infected, take your dog to a vet immediately
- Have your vet prescribe something for pain relief