What Causes Dogs To Have Elbow Calluses?
Dog elbow calluses are one of those maddening problems we face as dog owners. Not only are dog elbow calluses unattractive, calluses can ulcerate and get infected or crack and bleed. Plus, calluses are tight and uncomfortable for your dog.
You spent big bucks for a thick, cushy orthopedic dog bed and your Lab looked at it, then flopped down on the tile in the kitchen. The cat sleeps on it now. You tried a suspender looking elbow harness. Nope. Everything you've tried has been a waste of time and money. What can you do? Hint: Elbow Butter, but let's discuss what causes calluses first.
What Creates the Actual Callus?
Calluses are thick, rough skin that forms over a bony pressure point, like a callus on our foot from that glorious pair of shoes that never quite fit right, but we wore anyway.
Often called pressure sores, dog elbow (hock, etc.) calluses appear as a result of your dog's overprotective ulna bone protecting the bony part that pokes out. Continual trauma caused by your dog flopping down on the aforementioned cool tile, or any hard surface, causes the skin to thicken to protect the bone. The ulna bone is doing its best to protect itself, but the result is the callus.
Do I Need To Take My Dog To The Vet?
Simple calluses are usually not a reason to rush to the vet, since they are a condition caused by the repeated trauma to the elbow. But, if your dog has an ulcerated, open, possibly infected sore on the callused area, this warrants a visit to the veterinarian.
Also call the vet for a hygroma. Hygromas are soft, fluid-filled subcutaneous sacks that form right where the friction occurs (like the elbows). The fluid-filled hygromas may be treated by being drained and flushed. This is done just like it sounds, a needle is inserted and the fluid drained. This will have to be done regularly.
Customers often ask if the callus should be cut off. Surgical removal of calluses is usually not recommended, as canine calluses are different from ours. Of course, check with your vet if in doubt or it is obviously more than a simple callus.
Why Do Some Dogs Develop Calluses?
Our large, heavy or giant-breed dogs are more prone to elbow calluses. Heavily coated giant breeds don't usually have as many elbow callus issues as their shorter coated cousins, as their coat softens the blow of the elbow against the ground. That is why your Newfoundland is not as likely to develop elbow calluses as is his shorter coated cousin the English Mastiff.
In warmer areas hard surfaces are usually cooler for big dogs, creating a dilemma. Your Lab is hot and just wants to spread across the cool concrete of the patio. He doesn't care about his elbow calluses, he just wants to cool his belly. The elbow is the most common site of calluses for dogs, although they also occur on the hips, hocks and along the sides of the legs.
Will Elbow Butter Make the Callus Go Away and the Hair Grow Back?
MAYBE! Clients have reported calluses disappearing completely and hair growing back after using Elbow Butter, BUT that is not guaranteed. Remember, your dog re-creates the callus when they lie on a hard surface. Elbow Butter conditions the callus and helps keep it from bleeding, The anti-fungal and anti-bacterial power of our herbal ingredients helps keep infections at bay.
In many cases customers have told us the hair did, indeed, grow back on their dog's elbow. We don't guarantee that, as the hair follicles have been traumatized from the callus. By the way, we wish we had a balm that was guaranteed to grow hair. We'd be typing this from our private island.
What Can I Do To Care For My Dog's Elbow Calluses?
- Provide comfy beds in multiple locations
- Encourage your dog to use them
- Use Elbow Butter
- Keep calluses clean
- Keep your dog at a healthy weight
- Consult your veterinarian as needed
How To Apply Elbow Butter
- For ease of application and faster absorption put tin or tube in your pocket for a few minutes to warm it
- TIN Scoop a bit out with finger or spoon and warm in your palm before application for faster absorption
- Wipe elbow callus clean with warm washcloth, wipe, etc.
- DAB on dog's elbow callus
- DISTRACT to keep them from licking it off (give treat, feed dinner, go for walk)
- REPEAT 2-3x daily for 1-3 days or until there is improvement
- Use as needed for maintenance (usually 1-2x a week)
- Keep your dog off furniture, carpet, etc. for 10-15 minutes until it absorbs
- Products have no active ingredients and will not harm your dog if they lick some off. But we do want the product to get it's work done, so see distract tips
- Complete tips, hints & directions brochure is included with every order
FYI: Our balms have a very thick, stiff consistency, because your dog's nose is very thick skin tissue. If it were a fluffy cream, it would not work.
Yet More Info: Elbow Butter is the same recipe or formulation for tin and tube. There is no difference in the product, just different containers. TIP! If you prefer a hands-on approach, get the tin. If dab and go is your style, get the tube.
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