Have you noticed some weird flaky patches on your dog’s legs?
Well, these dry patches on dog’s elbows are known as callus and they could be the reason why your pooch paces around restless.
Fortunately, we are going to tell you how you can treat and manage callus at home.
To treat elbow callus in dogs, first, clean the affected area to remove dirt and germs. If the callus is mild, applying elbow balm is enough to soothe the painful itch and speed up healing. Cover the callus lightly to allow the skin to breathe and also protect the wound from getting infected.
A callus is the last thing you want your pup to get.
Though this condition is mild and harmless in some dogs, it can be life-altering in others.
Before we get to the home remedy for dog elbow callus, let’s first define what it is.
What is an elbow callus?
A callus is a condition where skin cells harden leaving a rough dry patch.
The condition usually affects areas where the bone is likely to protrude like in elbow joints. But in some cases, a callus can also affect the thigh of a dog.
A callus is a localized hyperplastic skin reaction caused by pressure or friction
-Hnilica and Patterson, 2017
Calluses form when weight or pressure is applied to the vulnerable areas.
When a dog lies on its stomach or is in a sitting position, they press their joints to the floor.
As they do this repeatedly on a hard surface, a callus is likely to form over time.
A callus is the body’s way of protecting damage to bone or muscle.
If your dog repeatedly sits on hard surfaces, they rub their skin on the ground causing tiny lacerations.
These lacerations eventually grow and expose the bone.
The skin hardens around that area to cushion against further damage hence protecting the bone and muscle.
If that is the case,
Why are dry patches on dogs’ elbows so painful?
An elbow callus that is just forming is painless.
At this stage, it is merely dry flaky patches on your dog’s skin.
But as the callus continues to harden it becomes a lump that your dog will find hard to ignore.
Your dog will start scratching and biting at the callus to remove it.
In the process, he tears up the skin.
This exposes the fresh skin below which has the blood vessels.
As they continue scratching, bleeding starts and the callus becomes painful.
You must stop the callus from escalating to a painful scab.
You can do this by noticing the first symptoms of a callus forming.
Symptoms of an elbow callus include;
- Loss of area around the affected area
- Discoloring of the skin around the patch
- Protruding bone in the affected area
- Blood oozing
A punctured callus that does not get treatment early becomes infected.
Dirt and germs gather around the area causing the wound to fester.
Infection on the wound will cause your dog to itch more.
As the wound festers it becomes painful and causes your dog a lot of discomforts.
What is the home remedy for dog elbow callus?
It is easy to treat an elbow callus at home.
But first, you have to take your dog to a doctor to check if the callus is infected.
This treatment works on a callus that is still in its initial stages. Any callus that is bleeding or has festered needs a vet’s intervention.
Here is how you treat dry patches on a dog’s elbows
Examine the callus
You need to inspect for any damage, blood, or pus.
If the callus is only dry and flaky, you can proceed with the next steps.
Clean the affected area
You need to clean the callus to remove dirt.
Germs dwell in dirt and are the reason why a callus becomes itchy and painful.
If your dog shows signs of discomfort, the dry patch might be having some lacerations.
Disinfect the callus
Disinfect the wound with povidone-iodine mixed with 3% hydrogen.
This solution kills bacteria, viruses, and any other pathogen that might infect the callus.
Where the wound has festered, your vet will prescribe antibiotic therapy.
This is a series of oral and topical medications to disinfect and heal the wound.
Moisturize the dry patches on dogs elbows
There are over-the-counter ointments that you can use to moisturize a hardened callus.
Your vet may also prescribe topical creams to soften the skin.
Also, Vaseline helps a lot in moisturizing the wound and preventing germs.
Cover the callus
You need to cover the affected area lightly to prevent further infection and allow the skin to breathe.
Never bandage bleeding or festered callus. This causes more pain to the dog. Also, the bandage gets dirty with time and provides a breeding ground for germs.
Instead of bandages, consider using dog sleeves to keep the wound covered.
Dog sleeves sit lightly on the skin protecting it from scraping.
VIDEO: DIY Dog Calluses Treatment
Can you prevent dry patches on dog’s elbows?
The following changes can help prevent future calluses from forming;
- Provide a softer surface for your dog to rest. Consider getting a soft blanket to cushion the elbows whenever he wants to lie down on the floor
- An orthopedic dog bed would be handy to keep callus elbows at bay. This mattress has memory foam that provides extra support for the whole body
- If your dog is overweight, they are likely exerting too much pressure on the limbs causing a callus to form. Switch your dog to a low-calorie diet and increase their activity level. This helps them lose weight faster, and uniformly.
- Massage your dog’s dry elbows. This helps keep the elbows moist and prevents the skin from hardening. It works if the calluses are just forming on your dog’s elbow.
All dogs are vulnerable to dry patches on their elbows.
However, it is possible to stop the skin from hardening further with simple home remedies.
If the callus elbows are painful for your dog, consider getting professional help from a vet.
Frequently Asked Questions
You need to cover the wound lightly. First, place a sterile dressing over the wound then gently place a dog sleeve over it. The covering should not be too tight as it prevents the skin from breathing.
A callus usually presents itself as a dry, thick, hairless patch on your dog’s elbows. A Hygroma is a grey fluid-filled patch on a dog’s skin. A hygroma usually moves when touched and hardens with time.
You can use essential oil to moisturize the skin and prevent it from scraping further. A combination of coconut oil, chamomile, and marigold soothes and heals dry patches on dog’s elbows.
Large dog breeds are more vulnerable because of the weight they exact on their joints. Examples of vulnerable dogs include Great Dane, Mastiff, Labrador Retriever, and Rottweiler. Other vulnerable breeds include St. Bernard, Irish Wolfhound, and Newfoundland.