Whether you’re helping your pet recover from an accident or severe illness, or providing long-term care for a permanently disabled pet, you need to be on the lookout for pressure sores.
Pressure sores are wounds that develop over particularly bony places of a pet’s body. When your pet lies in one position for an extended period of time, blood flow to the skin and underlying tissues is reduced. Without adequate blood supply, the tissues can die — resulting in pressure sores.
These sores are painful, prone to infection and notoriously hard to heal, so the best thing you can do is to take every measure to guard against them:
- Always make sure your pet is propped on soft bedding. Memory foam or orthopedic beds are great for providing extra cushioning.
- Keep your pet clean and dry. If your pet can’t walk, he also can’t get up to urinate and defecate, which increases the chance of infection.
- Reposition your pet periodically. Turn him every four to six hours and help him with gentle range-of-motion exercises (if your vet approves).
- Consider getting a donut pillow or using special bandages for bony prominences. These provide extra padding right where your pet needs it most.
- Pressure sores can be prevented, so talk to your vet if you’re caring for a pet who needs to be off her paws permanently or temporarily.