The body has its self-defence mechanisms to protect itself from the external environment. Calluses are the protective mechanisms developed to protect the body parts subjected to trauma. In Labradors, you find these calluses generally in 3 areas like elbows, hips, and hocks. You can find them mostly near elbows.
Labrador elbow callus- How are they formed?
Whenever your Lab sleeps on hard surfaces, it’s joints are subjected to friction and trauma. In order to protect its joints from physical injury, calluses are developed. A callus is nothing but thick, rough overgrown skin to protect the bones from pressure and trauma.
You can find these calluses especially in Labradors and other large breeds with short hair. Breeds with long hairs have their hair as a protective layer to avoid the trauma. But our Labradors are short-haired. Generally, large breeds are susceptible to calluses because of their weight. And our Labradors weigh heavy. Hence there is every chance of formation of calluses in Labradors.
How to treat dog elbow calluses?
The process of treating labrador elbow callus requires addressing the root cause. Dog elbow callus treatment is not a difficult task. Firstly make changes in the dog’s environment, I mean the places where your pet sleeps and the place where your lies down.
1. Pressure and trauma is the reason for the formation of calluses, so the treatment should begin with avoiding the pressure. Offer your dog a soft bed to sleep in, if he does not prefer to use it, offer him rewards and treats to make him use that bed.
2. In summers your dog generally prefers to sleep on concrete floors to keep his belly cool, so invest in a cooling bed and make him sleep on it.
3. A good Petroleum Jelly would help in treating the callus. Apply the jelly and perform massage to ensure that it reaches the deeper layers of the callus. Apply this jelly (vaseline is good) on the callus for every 12 hours as it moistens the callus and promotes healing.
4. Bag Balm works very well. I have used it on my dog with calluses in the initial stage itself which eventually worked very well. Apply Bag Balm for every two days and make sure that your pet does not lick it. Do not allow your pet to go into dust after applying the balm which otherwise makes the gel dirty.
5. The Blissful Dog Elbow Butter. This moistens and conditions your Dog’s elbow callus and slowly you will see the callus healing. Many of my friends used this and found it very effective. Apply this on a clean callus 2-3 times daily for 3 days approximately until you see improvement.
Preventing Labrador elbow callus
1. Large breeds are generally prone to calluses because of their body weight, so the heavier the dog the more it is prone to calluses. So keep your dog lean and maintain its healthy weight in order to prevent calluses and other joint problems.
2. Get them habituated to sleep on a soft sheet or bed. This is a bit difficult because some dogs prefer to sleep on cool concrete floors especially during summers. Offer him rewards and treats to encourage him sleeping on his bed.
3. Inspect your dog’s elbows as frequently as possible for any possible signs of inflammation or calluses near the joints in the beginning stages itself.
4. Start treatment such as moisturisers and supporting pads in the initial stages of callus before it becomes an infection.
Dog elbow Callus infection Treatment
Callus generally is not a serious medical condition, but a callus left untreated for a long period of time might become very dry, crack, bleed and become an infection. This can be a very painful condition for your Dog.
As soon as you see a callus bleeding it is better to see your Vet as soon as possible in order to treat the infection. In some cases, a fluid-filled sac is formed at the location of neglected calluses which can cause a condition called Elbow Hygroma.
Dog elbow callus bleeding and immediate treatment
1. Apply pressure with a cloth to stop bleeding, make sure that you do not do this for a longer duration as you may cut off the circulation.
2. Apply a mixture of turmeric and honey paste on the wound as both of them have antimicrobial properties and are effective in controlling bleeding.
3. Contact the vet immediately in order to reduce or prevent infection. Stitches might be necessary depending upon the openness of the wound.
4. Post care of the infected wound is very essential and ensure that the factors that promote infection are controlled.
Thus calluses can cause a lot of pain to your pet. Even though they are not complicated conditions, leaving them untreated can cause complications such as infections and oozing abscesses. In order to prevent such complications start taking care of the calluses at the beginning itself.
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