Rip cuts, often referred to as “back-filling” or “back-scratchers,” is an extremely dangerous practice in dogs that can result in severe neurological damage. Rip cuts may be caused by repetitive strain injuries in the muscles, joint, ligaments, and skin of a dog resulting in tears of the connective tissue around the joint and an increase in inflammation which causes damage at all other areas of the body. There are certain breeds that are especially prone to these types of injuries: Chows, Chinchillas & Golden Retrievers.
Where are rips common?
Dog rips occur in dogs throughout the world. Sometimes the problem can be seen first on an individual dog before the dog becomes a problem for the dog society. An example of this happening is the case of the Australian Shepherd dog named Molly who has cut and ripped through the skin of her back at least 5 times. One of the most common places dogs rip is at the wrist and wrist area. For a majority of dogs, the skin is torn through at the elbow, wrist and elbow areas, particularly if this skin is exposed to too much friction or in dry weather. The tearing can take years to be visible. Another example of this occurring in the shoulder area is the case of the Japanese Akita that ripped through the skin under the arm to the elbow. In dogs that rip through the skin the skin is torn at the shoulder area where the skin is exposed to the air, allowing for friction to increase as the dog attempts to rip through the skin. Some breeds are more prone to ripping than others.
What do Rip cuts look like?
Rip cuts are often found around the neck and the ribs. The rips are often seen along the edges of the cuts which often includes the eye and back. The rip cuts can have dark lines around the eye and on the back of the neck. The color is typically black, brown or red. For more detailed descriptions of rip cuts, please see our Ripcut page.
What is the effect of Rip cuts on my dog?
This is the obvious question everyone asks me. I always say to the dog owner: “I’m sorry about your dog but your dog will not be getting better because of this injury.” I am going to say this not only because I know how painful the injury might be and because I really want to save her, but because I love my dog, the dog deserves best care possible and most importantly my dog deserves to go
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