Hygromas and calluses are two conditions that affect a dog’s elbows. Both cause discomfort for your pet and can be a health concern as well. A hygroma and a callus are caused by the same thing: pressure from hard surfaces against the dog’s elbow, usually while lying down.
Let’s look more closely at the causes and treatments for both conditions.
How did this happen to my dog?
Both hygromas and calluses are likely to occur from the same impact. Dogs spend time on hard floor surfaces, and the impact causes injury to the bony areas around the elbow joint on their front legs.
While sharing the same cause, hygromas and calluses are not the same thing. Calluses are thickened skin around bony areas where a loss of hair is seen. Hygromas will occur in the same area, but they are pockets filled with fluid.
Both conditions can become infected, so treatment and prevention is a good idea to keep your dog healthy and safe.
What is a hygroma on dog elbows?
A hygroma is a fluid-filled swelling surrounded by a thick layer that develops under the skin. It can occur on the elbow, but also on the hip and hock. They start out small, but over time they can grow quite large. They may also harden.
Hygromas don’t necessarily pose a problem for the dog. While not always a problem, some owners note that they are not attractive on their pets. Sometimes they can grow up to 2 inches around. They can last forever.
As mentioned above, a hygroma can become infected. If this happens, it can be painful to your furry friend. So even if your dog’s hygroma isn’t bothering him or her, you may want to provide his leg with extra protection.
What are the causes of a hygroma on dog elbows?
A hygroma is caused by repeated impact to a bony area like the elbow. Hard surfaces, such as cement, hardwood, or tile floors are the usual culprit. It is more common in larger breed dogs in which more weight is placed on the bony area having contact with the hard surface. It can also occur in dogs that are less active.
If your dog sleeps on hard surfaces often, you may want to regularly check his or her elbows to make sure a callus or hygroma is not developing. If you start to see signs of either, one of our K-9 Callus Cuffs will help prevent it from becoming a larger problem.
If you notice any signs of infection, such as leaking fluid, inflamed hair follicles or blackheads, or unexpected warmth in the area. If you notice an infection, or if your pet seems to have pain associated with the hygroma, a visit to your veterinarian is in order.
How can I fix my dog’s hygroma?
The first step is to stop it from getting worse! Encouraging your dog to lay on a soft bed helps. The K9 Callus Cuff was developed to provide more protection while the dog is active. In this photo you can see our cuff (in red) and how it protects the dog’s elbows. This will protect the hygroma from further contact with anything hard.
Remember that your veterinarian is a great resource in the treatment of hygromas. They can drain hygromas, although there is a risk of infection from draining. Make sure to follow all post-procedure instructions to keep your dog healthy and to help them heal.
What are the causes of calluses on dog elbows?
Calluses are caused by the same repeated pressure that causes hygromas. Some dogs simply develop one condition, while some develop the other condition. If your dog spends a lot of time lying on hard surfaces, he or she is at risk for one or both issues.
How is a callus treated?
A callus should be treated just like a hygroma. You can help the healing process by keeping the area soft by using an ointment or salve. Our all-natural healing salve, which is made in Florida and designed to be pet safe, can help, along with one of our K-9 Callus Cuffs.
If infected, calluses may need to be treated with antibiotics. As with hygromas, you should schedule a visit with your veterinarian to formulate a plan of treatment.
Living with Hygromas and Calluses
We understand how upsetting it can be to find your beloved pet dealing with one of these conditions. Fortunately, these are generally not life-threatening conditions, so don’t be too upset! You and your pet can continue to live heathy lives together. Our products can help you and your dog live with these issues. Behavior management, such as encouraging your pet to sleep on softer surfaces, can also help.