Bedsores in Dogs: Causes and Prevention

Prolonged immobility, constant pressure on certain areas leads to a slowdown in blood circulation, insufficient supply of oxygen and nutrition to the cells. Starts necrosis, death of tissue, displacement of layers, there are bed sores. This process takes place not only in people who have to lie down for a long time because of the disease. Bedsores also appear in dogs that for some reason have lost the ability to move independently. Pet owners need to give the sick animal quality care, prevent the appearance of pathologies. The risk group includes dogs with diabetes, obesity, and representatives of large breeds.

Stages of pathology development

Experts distinguish 4 stages of development of bedsores:

  • At the first stage, the area of the skin in contact with hard surfaces turns red. If you press on the fabric, the shade does not change. The wool covering the skin does not provide high-quality viewing, most often at this stage bedsores are not detected.
  • At the second stage, the tissues change their structure, they become denser, and the temperature rises in the damaged areas. A pinkish liquid may ooze from the skin. Detection of bedsores at the first and second stages makes it possible to carry out treatment that restores tissues. Regular treatment with antiseptic agents allows you to eliminate pathologies.
  • At the third stage, the skin is destroyed, the damaged area turns into an open wound.
  • At the fourth stage, the infection that develops in the area of bedsores spreads to the bone tissue. In most cases, the bones that are directly in contact with the surface are damaged in dogs. These include the hip joints and shoulder blades.

It is impossible to cure bedsores at the 3rd or 4th stage on your own. The use of antiseptic drugs does not help. Surgical removal of tissue destroyed by necrosis is required.

Causes of bedsores

The main reason for the appearance of pathologies is the lack of movement necessary for normal blood circulation and prolonged compression of tissue sections. The following factors can accelerate the appearance of bedsores:

  • non-compliance with hygiene requirements;
  • imposed a tight bandage, plaster;
  • wounds, burns, and other skin injuries;
  • allergic reactions;
  • vascular diseases in diabetes;
  • overweight, obese;
  • uncomfortable, hard bedding.

Bedsores sometimes appear in dogs in old age, if they have chronic diseases of organs and systems. The occurrence of pathology after frostbite is not excluded. In this case, the pet stays on the bed for a long time, remains motionless, which provokes the formation of bedsores.

Prevention of the disease

Owners need to follow the rules for the prevention of bedsores, reduce the risk of pathologies. To do this, you need to follow all the recommendations for the care of a recumbent pet. First of all, you need to prepare a litter that reduces the possibility of squeezing fabrics. There should be no bumps, extra items, or pieces of food on it. A soft surface will help reduce the risk of necrosis. The best option is a mattress with polyurethane foam, water.

Dog care should be regular. It includes:

  • change of body position every two hours;
  • light massage of areas in contact with the surface to restore blood flow;
  • treatment of affected areas with antiseptic drugs twice a day and drying;
  • thorough cleaning of urine and feces, treatment of areas in contact with feces, application of vaseline.

If the areas of the skin in contact with the litter are reddened, become dense, and there is a pinkish liquid release, it is necessary to regularly treat these areas with an antiseptic and dry the skin well. If ulcers appear, you should contact a veterinarian for surgery to remove the tissue affected by necrosis. This will prevent the infection from spreading to the bones.

Treatment of pressure ulcers

Caring for a real pet requires a lot of time, effort and patience. It is advisable to purchase a special orthopedic bed for the dog to prevent bedsores. These models can be found on the Internet or in a pet store. You need to make sure that the structure can be washed. You may need two beds, one of which will be used, the other will be processed.

Risk areas that come into contact with surfaces should be carefully inspected regularly. Most often necrotic processes are observed in areas:

  • elbow joints;
  • in the hip area;
  • on the chest;
  • on the sides of the hind legs;
  • on the hips.

These areas need to be massaged more often so that blood circulation and lymph outflow pass through the tissues normally. If even careful care did not help to avoid the appearance of bedsores in the pet, it is necessary to take urgent measures to treat them.

At the first and second stages of development, when the integuments turn red, become dense and hot, and fluid oozes out of them, antiseptics are the main helper, which prevent the development of infection in the affected tissues. It is advisable to consult a doctor about the choice of the drug. You can use a solution of potassium permanganate or alcohol in processing. After the procedure, the skin should be well dried.

In the absence of treatment, non-compliance with hygiene requirements, ulcers form in the affected areas. The main danger of such lesions is their infection. These wounds are open gates for pathogenic bacteria, microbes. They need to apply sterile dressings, which are replaced regularly. When pathogens enter the wound, an infectious focus is formed, and an abscess begins. In the treatment of ulcers, a course of antibiotics is usually used, which can last up to 1.5 months.

Detection of bedsores of the 3rd or 4th degree in a dog is the reason for an immediate call to the veterinarian, treatment in a veterinary clinic. It is impossible to cure pathologies without surgery at these stages of development. Dead, affected tissue must be removed. Otherwise, the infectious process will develop, penetrate into healthy tissues and bones.

The recommendations of experts

It is quite difficult to avoid the formation of bedsores during prolonged immobility of the animal. A special orthopedic bed, careful constant care, and the use of protective pads reduce the risk of their appearance. But even in these cases, it is not always possible to preserve the skin, muscle tissue in places of contact with the surface. It is important to notice pathologies in a timely manner at the 1st or 2nd stage of their development. Full treatment may take a long time, but the tissue can be restored. Contact the veterinarian in identifying pressure ulcers is necessary. In some cases, surgical drainage is required to remove fluid that has accumulated in the tissues. In the presence of ulcers, it is necessary to choose the right antiseptics for the treatment course.

Special attention should be paid to hygiene. Feces and urine should be carefully removed, and the litter and skin areas that have been defecated should be treated.