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What to do if your dog breaks a bone

Your dog is a member of your family, and you never want anything bad to happen to her. Unfortunately, illness and injury can occur in dogs just as they can in humans, even if you are extremely cautious with your canine companion. Here, our Murfreesboro vets explain how to tell if your dog has a broken bone and the steps you should take.

A broken bone in a dog is most likely to occur as a result of an impact (such as being hit by a vehicle) or a tumble. Puppies, elderly dogs, and those with various health issues may be more prone to fracturing bones for innocuous reasons as well. Here, we'll learn how to tell if a dog has a broken bone and the steps you should take.

How Can I Determine if my Dog has a Broken Bone?

If your dog is indeed suffering from a broken bone, it may have:

  • difficulty moving the joint, pain, and stiffness
  • swelling and bruising around the joint
  • likely to be asymmetrical, with one joint looking deformed and out of place
  • be shortening, bending, or twisting of the joint

Never try to replace a dislocated joint. Always visit a veterinarian. There is a very high chance you will cause further damage.

Should your dog have any of the above symptoms and you suspect they may be suffering from a broken bone, follow the steps below to get them the help they need.

1. Remain Calm

A lot of shattered bones are visible. They will pierce the skin and may result in a bloody mess. Your dog is afraid and in pain, and you are probably scared as well. However, you must remain cool enough to handle the situation until your dog has been examined and treated by a veterinarian.

If you see your dog acting abnormally, or if she refuses to walk on a certain limb no matter what, she may have a broken bone. When a dog chews on anything hard or bites its skin, some broken bones originate inside and never break the skin.

Depending on the severity of the injuries, she may be in shock, so proceed with caution when attempting to assist her. Move your dog to a secure indoor area.

2. Call the Emergency Vet

If your dog has fractured a bone, she must be evaluated and treated by a veterinarian as soon as possible. Your vet will most likely schedule an emergency visit for you, but be aware that you may have to wait a long if the vet is already booked for the day. Was it a slip and fall? Was your dog injured in any way? Is there a chance of other injuries, or is this the only one? Try to remember as much of this information as you can when explaining the situation to the vet.

Do not attempt to set the bone or apply any creams, ointments, or sprays to the injury. If your dog is bleeding profusely, bandage the wound with a clean towel or an old shirt and apply pressure to halt the bleeding. Because the pain will induce them to bite, many dogs will need to be muzzled for you to perform this.

Bring someone with you who can assist you on the trip to the vet's office if at all possible.

3. Let the Emergency Vet Do What They Do Best

The vet will examine your dog and determine the degree of her injuries. The vet will recommend either having the bone mended, setting the bone, or, in extreme circumstances, amputating the leg based on a variety of variables. Your dog will very certainly require x-rays of the affected area to determine the type and extent of the fracture.

The Recovery Process

It will most likely take several months for your dog's bone to mend. Until your dog has healed, she should not be permitted to run, jump, or play. With the cast on, your dog will most likely require an e-collar (cone) to keep her from licking or chewing on the cast.

Are you concerned that your dog may have a broken bone? Contact our Murfreesboro vets immediately. We can assess your dog and make recommendations on how to proceed.

New Patients Always Welcome

Animal Medical Center is happy to welcome new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about improving the health of Murfreesboro companion animals. Contact us today to book your pet's first appointment.

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