Painful Calluses and Pressure Sores on Dogs Elbow -How to Treat Bleeding Calluses on a Dog

Dog Callus

Picture of a dog's callus on the elbow.  A callus can be painful and bleed
Picture of a dog's callus on the elbow. A callus can be painful and bleed | Source

Golden Retriever With Calluses

Dog with calluses on elbow
Dog with calluses on elbow | Source

Calluses On My Dog's Upper Elbows

Calluses are not only painful, but they also can get to be serious condition for your family pet. I have a Golden Retriever and he is 7 years old. This is my story of how the calluses on a dog's elbow can really hurt, bleed and get out of hand. The information provided will help tell you how to avoid the situation in the first place. I know now, first hand. This story is what happened to my beloved dog when i didn't understand the seriousness of calluses on the elbows.

I never have loved a dog before like I do my Golden and it breaks my heart to know that I wasn't knowledgeable enough to understand how these calluses can turn into a nightmare.

What Is A Callus?

Calluses are thick, rough overgrowth areas of skin over a bony pressure point. Calluses get hard as a form of protection. Your dog could also form Hygromas. Hygromas are soft, fluid-filled subcutaneous sacks that form right where the friction occurs.

Pressure Sore On Elbow

Pressure point on a dog's elbow. Very painful for your dog
Pressure point on a dog's elbow. Very painful for your dog

A Callus Can Be Painful And Bleed

My Golden started getting a callus on each upper elbow. He's a lazy dog, and just plops down on the carpet anywhere. I was sitting on the couch, and noticed he was licking and licking and licking his arm, I walked over to him to see if maybe he had a piece of shrubbery or something from the yard stuck to him like a dog usually gets. When I got him to turn over, (he's a big boy), I saw blood on his elbow and dripping down a little to his paw. I freaked out and thought maybe the callus got torn a little bit from my other golden and them playing together. I had no clue that the calluses could bleed. They looked, well, like calluses. I had some bag balm and I wrapped it with gauze until I got him to the vet. Pay attention to your dog as he will let you know if something is hurting.

How To NOT Treat Calluses/Pressure Sores

My thought process to help ease the pain of the pressure sore was to clean it real good like the vet told me to and keep an eye on it. My dog just kept plopping down on the carpet, so I took some gauze and an ace bandage, and wrapped it around his upper elbows to help keeping them from scraping on the carpet. Not so good idea, but I was honestly trying to help him. The reason it wasn't a good idea, was that it didn't let the calluses get any air and it made it worse! By the time I got him to the vet Monday, the calluses were infected. So, it ended up costing me $225 because of the antibiotics for a 7 day supply, the pain medicine and a medicine that came in a spray bottle to dry them up. The vet said after these cleared up, to make him a soft bed somewhere where he likes to lay a lot, which is usually right next to me on the floor by the couch, and put other soft bedding where he lays the most. Which is usually everywhere.


If your dog does have any calluses and you notice they start bleeding, please don't wrap them like I did. I really thought I was doing him more good than harm. I love my dog like my own child, and had no idea.

Elbow Cream or Wax

There really is nothing will stop the calluses since they are caused by pressure, but Elbow cream or a wax may help smooth and soften them. The purpose of the cream is to smooth, soften and help the callus be less restrictive and tight for your dog.

Infected and Ulcerated Pictures of Dog Calllus

This is an ulcerated callus.  These are extremely painful for your pet
This is an ulcerated callus. These are extremely painful for your pet
  • Do Not wrap the elbows up like I did first of all
  • If your dog is lazy, take them for more walks-it helps keep them from laying all day
  • Do check your dog's elbows every couple days to make sure he isn't bleeding
  • I put a sheet on my couch and let my dog sleep there (It's soft for him)
  • Use Vitamin E Or Bag Balm on the calluses to keep them so. sure there is soft bedding for your dog to lie on

    Monitor Your dog and watch especially if you have had problems before and If they look infected, take them to a vet immediately. These are painful

Please Leave Your Comments......

Please leave your comments or questions below as I appreciate the feedback! If there is something I can help you with, let me know!

Does Fido Sleep In Your Bed With You?

Just Curious if Fido sleeps on the floor or on the bed with you

See results without voting

More by this Author

Comments 21 comments

weezyschannel profile image

weezyschannel 4 weeks ago from Central USA Author

Thanks for your comment! It was hard as a parent to see your baby hurting!

weezyschannel profile image

weezyschannel 7 weeks ago from Central USA Author

I think it depends a lot on your dog on how bad the Calluses can get. My baby was a lazy one and just "flopped" down arms first and scraped his elbows every time on the carpet!

weezyschannel profile image

weezyschannel 7 weeks ago from Central USA Author

It's been a roller coaster that's an understatement! Unfortunately, he passed away recently and our hearts are broken

weezyschannel profile image

weezyschannel 7 weeks ago from Central USA Author

It's a horrible merry-go-round with it, that's for sure! Seeing the pain in their eyes is just a heart breaker!

weezyschannel profile image

weezyschannel 2 months ago from Central USA Author

Wow! That's great… My dogs Calluses bleed every day unless I'm constantly putting a pillow underneath his elbow so they don't rub on the floor

weezyschannel profile image

weezyschannel 2 months ago from Central USA Author

Thank you for your comment! He still has trouble no matter what I do I just try to do the best I can to help alleviate his pain

weezyschannel profile image

weezyschannel 2 months ago from Central USA Author

Hopefully your dog will heal a little quicker I just keep putting pillows and pads all over the floor and if he's laying there I will shove them underneath his elbows

weezyschannel profile image

weezyschannel 20 months ago from Central USA Author

Great! Thank you so much for the input and thanks for the great idea !

sharon 21 months ago

I also cut old tube socks and made my Panda some Doggie Sleeves so she eould not lick the medication off. To keep her Sleeves on, I cut a hole in the top of her sleeves and ran some stretchy panty hose through each and over her back. Worked beautifully.

Gek Aka profile image

Gek Aka 23 months ago from London

Interesting dogs also have calluses and corns

weezyschannel profile image

weezyschannel 2 years ago from Central USA Author

It sounds like you have done almost identical to what I have done with my dog. The sock, the antibiotic, everything. I have purchased one of the dog beds that is shown up above in the page and I have also bought the cream that is also mentioned. These have helped tremendously, however it is up to me as his so-called, mother; to make sure he is laying on his bed or on the couch and not plopping on the carpet or on the cement. You can only do so much and it sounds like you're trying very hard so don't beat yourself up!

My vet told me not to cover his elbows if specially if they are getting irritated and bleeding because that stops the air from getting on there. It's like a double edged sword, because you need to Protect it so he doesn't scrape them anymore, but yet if you cover them then they're not getting air to heal.

Try the soft dog bed and the cream and try to keep him off the carpet, cement and hard floors. Good luck to you!

not sure what to do 2 years ago

I have a chocolate lab that has had problems since she was about 5 years old ..she has three very lovely padded with the waffle like pads and covers but she still has elbows that bet very very bad..bleedind and raw...I have gone to the vet several times and told to use a antibotic which has cured it but the callus is always there so I use vaseline ..but this last time which is now (she is all most 12 years old) her elbows both got really bad before I realized her elbows were soo sore as she has other problelms,, so I am again putting antibotic on both elbows and a kotex pad cut in half to protect then from hard surfaces and to keep the pad in place I take a white cotton sox cut out the toe pull it on her leg with the heel part over the elbow (which seems to fit the elbow curve and then slip the kotex pad tenderly inside the sox over the elbow. this did not work well as the sox kept slipping till I bought some mens susspenders end made it into one strap to go over her shoulders and the suspenders clips are strong enough sto hold the soxs up. for going outside I just wrap saran wrap over the soxs to keep them dry and clean . I do check the sores twice a day to make sure they have stayed soft and healing they must get air so bandages have made them worse and very hard to stay in place..I hope this will help someones dog with this problem..I have found the elbows can get sore very fast..even though I have three lovely dog beds..she likes to lay like a puppy with her front legs straight out so maybe that is part of the problem!!

weezyschannel profile image

weezyschannel 2 years ago from Central USA Author

You are very welcome and thank you so much for taking care of your animals as well!

Naomi 2 years ago

i have six dogs and four cats. five of my dogs are either greyhound or half greyhound so they are very lazy and thin. they all get these calluses on their elbows and it is sometimes hard to manage, but i found that my other dog, who is a spring-triever was harder to deal with because her long hair covered the problem for much longer. ive had dogs my whole life and am quite vigilant for health issues but even my experienced eye missed her elbow issues for a while, because it is just very hard to spot on a longer haired dog (and she is not wimpy like the others). once you become aware of the issue though, dealing with it appropriately is vital, so thank you for spreading the word and sharing your experience.

Anna 2 years ago

Thanks, that's really helpful information.

weezyschannel profile image

weezyschannel 3 years ago from Central USA Author

thats a good one!

Chris 3 years ago

shrubbery!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you were looking for the shrubbery hahahaaaa

DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 5 years ago from Iowa

This must be common in larger dogs. My lab mix had them, too. Fortunately, they never bled or became infected.

weezyschannel profile image

weezyschannel 5 years ago from Central USA Author

thanks for your comments. It was a nightmare..doing some more updating on this page yet, but wanted to try to help someone who may be as not as informed such as I was

Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 5 years ago from USA

Aww, I am glad I saw this, because I wouldn't have known what to do either. The dog in the pic is cute, and I am glad that your dog is getting the help he needs.

profile image

4youreyes 5 years ago


Welcome to Hub Pages, what a good topic. My lab has calluses on her front legs and it can be a challenge to keep them softened up for her.

Have A Good Evening!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article