Pressure sores in dogs are very similar to bed sores in humans. Also known as decubitus ulcers, pressure sores occur when a dog lies too much time on a hard surface, hurting his skin and forming a lesion.
Usually, these lesions develop over bone prominences. Thus, it is very common to find pressure sores on dogs’ elbows, wrists, shoulders, and legs. To put it simply: the skin tears, and the bone exposes.
- Medical conditions: Decubitus ulcers are likely to appear when a dog has a medical condition that forces him to spend a lot of time lying down. Dogs with casts, arthritis, cancer, obesity, paralysis are at increased risk of developing pressure sores.
- Resistance to pain: They can also show in dogs that have a lot of resistance to pain because they don’t realize they are hurting themselves.
- Humidity: These ulcers are more prone to appear when dogs’ skins are moist.
Developing these ulcers has to do with the ability of movement a dog has. Small, medium and large breeds can develop pressure sores, but naturally, the older the dog is, the more likely he is to develop decubitus ulcers.
Regarding senior dogs, it’s very important to encourage their movement in order to prevent these ulcers. Our Max Strength Glucosamine Soft Chews have been developed to lessen joint pain, promote mobility, and provide an anti-inflammatory effect.
Can pressure sores in dogs get infected?
Naturally, being open and in contact with the floor, these ulcers can easily get infected. The good news is that these ulcers have different stages, so you need to check your dog’s bony prominences regularly to catch it early.
Be mindful: If you notice redness and different skin color, and the skin doesn’t blanch (lose its color for a second when you press it with your finger) then you should talk to your vet and follow his recommendations. If left unattended, pressure sores can cause tissue loss, sloughs, and eschars.
How to take care of pressure sores
The treatment of pressure sores in dogs depends exclusively on its stage. If your dog’s sore is not infected, then providing a soft and thick bed can do the trick. However, if the skin is torn and there is an ulcer, your vet will probably prescribe oral antibiotics and surgical soaps to treat it. If the condition is super advanced and your dog developed a hygroma (fluid in the area of pressure) your vet will probably have to drain it to make it better.