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Hygroma vs Callus: What’s the Difference?


Are you wondering if the thing on your dog’s elbow is a callus or a hygroma? How do you tell the difference? Knowing the difference between these two is important because they hygromas and calluses require different types of treatment.

How to Identify a Callus

So how do you know the difference when it comes to the matchup of hygroma vs callus? Well, a callus is simply an area of thickened skin that is usually hairless. Sometimes it’s discolored, oftentimes gray. But, with a callus, there’s nothing underneath it. It’s just some thick, very rough skin and there are some great home remedies to improve your dog’s calluses. A hygroma on the other hand, is something totally different.

How to Identify a Hygroma

A hygroma is found on the same place that you’ll find a callus, which is usually on someplace like the tip of the elbow, but a hygroma is a fluid filled pocket that is under the skin. So it’ll feel squishy. Different from a callus, there’s usually still has hair on it (unless there’s a callus on top of it!).

Hygroma vs Callus: What’s the Difference?

A hygroma is something that is under the skin where a callous is on top of the skin. And, a hygroma may have hair on it whereas a callus usually does not.

Check out Dr. Sarah’s Definitive Guide to Hygromas to learn more.

Other articles you may find helpful:

When Does a Hygroma Require Surgery?

Do Crossbreeds Get Hygromas More Often?

Dr. Sarah Wooten

A lifelong dog lover, Dr. Wooten is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine with 16 years experience in small animal general practice.

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