If you have a dog with paralysis, it is very important to know how to prevent bed sores. Due to decreased circulation, dogs suffering from paralysis are more prone to serious infection, so prevention is especially important. A paralyzed dog can be a lot of work, but understanding how to care for his skin can help you stop bed sores before they start.
1. Relieve pressure points. Buy an orthopedic bed for your dog. According to Veterinary Partner, an orthopedic bed is mandatory for a paralyzed dog. This type of bed helps reduce weight pressure on the skin stretched over protruding bones, where sores often develop. According to PetMD, you should adjust your dog’s position regularly. Try to position your dog so its full weight is not on a pressure point. Use additional cushions to help relieve pressure points.
2. Help increase your dog’s circulation. Bed sores are more likely to develop because of decreased blood flow. Exercise your dog’s paralyzed limbs. Carefully move the limbs through their full range of motion, making sure to carefully flex the joints at least once per day. Massage your dog’s muscles after his exercise to aid blood flow and keep them from tightening up.
3. Bathe your dog frequently. Irritants on the dog’s skin can help sores develop, and a paralyzed dog will have more trouble with grooming and may be incontinent. PetMD suggests you bathe a paralyzed dog at least once every few days. Do not use diaper rash creams to prevent sores, because the zinc-oxide they contain is poisonous if ingested.
4. Inspect your dog’s skin every day. According to the Mayo Clinic, it is crucial to conduct a daily inspection of paralyzed skin to catch the formation of lesions early. Carefully check the skin around pressure points. If you see sores developing on your dog’s skin, consult your veterinarian. He can prescribe special, padded bandages that relieve the pressure while protecting the wound from infection.
Tips & Warnings
Feed your dog a nutritious diet. A good diet is an essential part of skin health. Consult your veterinarian about the best diet for a paralyzed dog.