Definition of Pressure Sores
“Pressure sores,” also called decubital ulcers, are abnormal areas on or under the skin over bony pressure points. They include calluses, which are thickened, wrinkled, hairless areas of skin, and hygromas, which are soft, usually painless, fluid-filled sacs under the skin. Pressure sores are caused by force, friction or trauma to a dog’s skin and subcutaneous tissues, usually as a result of lying on hard surfaces, such as cement, for long periods of time. They are especially prevalent in large, heavy breeds. Prolonged pressure on areas where bone and skin are thinly separated reduces blood supply to the area, causing tissue damage. The elbow is frequently affected, although pressure sores can develop on the hips, hocks and sides of the hind legs. These sores can be painful. Dogs often lick relentlessly at pressure sores, which then abscess, ulcerate and become a raw weeping wound.