Whether they walk on two legs or four, the larger an animal is, the more likely it is to have problems with its joints and the skin covering over the joints. Although infections, allergic reactions, and illnesses can cause joint pain, or arthralgia, the most common cause of the often chronic condition is injury. Because they are heavier and put more weight and pressure on their joints and pressure points on the skin over the joints, larger dogs generally have more joint and skin pressure point problems, especially as they age.
What are Elbow Hygromas in Dogs?
Prime candidates for the condition are big dogs with short hair. Typically caused by trauma, it is often the result of dogs repeatedly smacking their elbows on hard surfaces, such as the floor. The soft tissue of the point of the elbow, or olecranon process, will slowly begin to break down over time. Calluses often form in this area to protect the bony prominence from trauma, but it may not be enough. The inflammation caused by repeated injury can cause pockets of fluid to form around the elbows.
Veterinarians generally separate these hygromas into two categories—complicated and uncomplicated. An uncomplicated hygroma is seldom painful and can generally be resolved without immediate medical attention. More often than not, the problem is purely cosmetic and can be addressed by simply buying your dog a bed. Without the trauma -of sleeping on the floor and banging of the elbows, the hygroma should disappear within a few weeks. Special bandages and pads may shorten recovery times.
The Complicated Hygroma in Dogs
If the injury becomes infected, surgical drainage may be the only way to treat it. Distinguishing between a complicated and uncomplicated hygroma is a job best left to a veterinarian. Because both look more or less the same, a veterinarian must determine if the hygroma must be drained. Failure to treat the infection could result in a whole host of future health issues for your canine friend.
Even More Complicated Hygroma in Dogs
In rare cases, ulcerated hygromas must be drained and the calluses covering the area may have to be removed. This occurs because chronic drainage will damage the skin and special skin flaps, even grafts may be needed to reconstruct the area in order to protect them from future infections. This is considered major surgery, and while not especially dangerous, it will take your pouch at least a month to completely recover. Your dog may need to wear a splint and the affected leg should be immobilized during healing.
Standard Length Adjustable DogLeggs
Whether your dog was treated for complicated or uncomplicated elbow hygromas, it is often a good idea to guard these sensitive areas with a product that is specifically designed to cover and protect them from future damage during the recovery process. DogLeggs can help dogs who recently underwent draining or surgery of the joint and need a garment to provide protection and comfort without inhibiting mobility.
Standard Length Adjustable DogLeggs provide coverage and protection of the elbow joint and is primarily used to treat and prevent hygromas. With proper use, DogLeggs can help reduce the size and severity of hygromas, often times without surgery.
Although these adjustable pads are designed for dogs who are dealing with elbow hygromas, they can also be used by pets that suffer from other joint issues, such as arthritis. The pads are comfortable and adjustable and fit canines of almost any size. Standard Length DogLeggs are made in sizes for three-pound Chihuahuas and others made for enormous English Mastiffs that weight up to 230 pounds.
Other Uses of Standard Length Adjustable DogLeggs
DogLeggs can help prevent and treat any of the following conditions: hygroma, decubital ulcer, pressure sores, pendulous callus, wounds, elbow dysplasia, lick granuloma, and osteoarthritis. Dog owners should be sure to consult their veterinarians before they use the garment if their pet suffers from severe skin allergies, Cushing’s disease, Addison’s disease, or has a compromised auto-immune system. The product may not be safe because it can have a slight impact on circulation, which will not harm or in any way affect otherwise healthy animals.
Even though it is adjustable, the standard size DogLeggs garment will not fit pooches of every size. If your canine friend is much bigger or smaller than the average dog, you may need to order a custom size. For example, toy poodles and St. Bernards simply will not fit into common sizes. Please note that it may take several weeks to process and ship custom sizes and they may not be eligible for refunds in the event of a return.
As a result, make sure that you measure your dog at the three points of adjustment: around the leg at the elbow, around the leg below the elbow, and over the back. Directions and pictures on how to properly measure your dog are included on the DogLeggs product page at VetRxDirect.