What causes pressure sores in dogs?
Pressure sores in dogs also called decubitus ulcers in dogs or dog bed sores form from repeated pressure usually in a bony area where blood flow is constricted. Since blood carries oxygen and when this is restricted the skin begins to die. This is most common in larger breed dogs, but can occur with any dog.
What are the signs of pressure sores in dogs?
Occurs on bony parts of the body such as elbows, knees, stomach, hips and side of legs
Hair loss in area
Reddish or thickened skin
Ulcer or abscess can form
Dog will lick the affected area
Stages of Decubitus Ulcers in dogs
Stage 1: Skin is intact and is non-blanchable (putting pressure on the skin changes its color which does not quickly return back).
Stage 2: partial thick skin that is an open ulcer and is pink red. A blister may be present.
Stage 3: Partial tissue loss and body fat could be visible. Bones, tendons or muscles are not exposed.
Stage 4: Full tissue loss with exposed bone, tendon or muscle. Slough or eschar may be present.
How to heal pressure sores in dogs
Veterinarian care is important to treat any open wounds. If left untreated an infection can occur which can be life threatening.
Good bedding in general is important for your dog. It is very beneficial for a dog with a pressure sore, so it can heal.
Reposition your dog every 2 to 3 hours. Don't let them lay on the same side for too long. It's best to prevent your dog from putting any pressure on the affected area.
Keep them dry and clean especially dogs that have issues with incontinence. Urine and feces can cause pressure sores to worsen.
Pressure sores can take weeks to a few months to heal. Prevention is the best option which includes some of the same things to heal pressure sores. These include good bedding, repositioning your dog, keeping them dry and clean, massages for circulation and a dog wheelchair.
A dog wheelchair supports your pet underneath, keeping them upright and taking pressure off areas that are susceptible to dog bed sores. The benefits of being mobile are cardiovascular health, increased muscle strength, improved circulation and mental health. Dogs that are active live a happier and healthier life. Pressure sores in dogs are less common too.
About The Author
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