Does Your Dog Get Pressure Sores?

Pressure sores are also called pressure calluses.

Why and where do pressure sores develop?

Dog lying on concreteThe most common cause of pressure sores is lying on concrete. Other hard surfaces such as tile and wood will also cause sores. Large dogs with short coats are the most susceptible to pressure sores but they can occur in any dog.

The most common area for sores is the elbow, due to the pressure on this bony area. Other sites include elsewhere on the legs and buttocks, and calluses can occur anywhere on a dog that has weight on it when a dog is lying down.

Small pressure sores on the elbows are more common in the summer, in some areas, due to the heat. Many dogs will chose to lie on shady concrete to cool down.

A pressure sore is a gray hairless area of thickened skin.

If a pressure sore continues to develop it can develop an ulcer or an abscess. Pressure sores that have developed an ulcer or are infected are hard to treat, particularly when they are over bone.

Additionally, when the area of the pressure sore starts to become irritating to a dog, often they will start to lick it. A lick granuloma can then develop, complicating treatment further.

How to reduce the likelihood of development of pressure sores

To reduce the likelihood of development of pressure sores, have your dog lie on a bed, blanket, carpet or something soft as much as possible. In areas where is it very hot, a possible solution to your dog lying on a hard cool surface is to buy a cooling bed.

One type is the bed that feels cool such as the Canine Cooler which has a spongy interior that you fill up with water. The water inside keeps the surface cool as long as the bed is not in the sun. Works for humans too. See the Canine Cooler Bed.

Another type is a bed with raised mesh, so air can circulate underneath. This why hammocks are so popular in tropical countries, though they are more efficient for humans since we sweat much better than dogs. An example is the
COOLAROO Pet Bed for Medium Dogs

In conclusion

Dogs develop pressure sores (calluses) when they frequently lie on hard surfaces. If pressure sores are allowed to progress, ulcers and abscesses can form.