A broken bone can be a scary thing to see in your dog. But often, these injuries can heal without any medical intervention. It would be best to take your pet to the nearest vet orthopedic surgeon in severe cases.
This article will explore the healing process of a broken bone in a dog and whether or not they typically require surgery or other medical treatment.
What is a Broken Bone in Dogs?
A broken bone is one of the most common injuries dogs experience. They can occur anywhere in the body but are most commonly found in the legs, neck, and spine.
Depending on the severity of the break, it may or may not require surgery to fix. In cases where surgery is not necessary, there are still steps you can take as the pet parent to help ensure a smooth and speedy recovery for your dog.
Types of a Broken Bone
- Incomplete or complete fracture. It is the most usual type of fracture and is classified by the degree of separation between the broken pieces of bone.
- Open or closed fracture. This has to do with whether or not the bone has pierced the skin. If it has, the fracture is considered open.
- Transverse, oblique, or comminuted. This is associated with the angle of the break. Transverse is when the break is perpendicular to the long axis of the bone. Oblique is when it’s at an angle. And comminuted is when the bone has been broken into multiple pieces.
Signs Your Dog Is Fractured
- Difficulty to move the limb
- Deformity of the bone or joint
- Bleeding from the wound
- Irregular lumps, bumps, or depressions over the bone
- Nerves and muscles visibly stretched or shortened
- Crepitus – grinding, popping, or crackling noise when the bone moves
- Tenderness or warmth over the fracture site
- Pitting edema – swelling caused by fluid accumulation in the tissues
Causes of a Broken Bone in Dogs
There are many different causes of broken bones in dogs. Some of the most common include:
- Car accidents
- Falling from a height
- Getting kicked or hit by another animal
- Playing too rough with other dogs or children
- Congenital deformities (present at birth)
Recovery of a Dog with Fracture
With minimal medical intervention, most broken bones in dogs will heal within six to eight weeks. However, there are some cases where the break does not heal properly and results in long-term lameness or arthritis. If this is the case, your veterinarian may recommend surgery to correct the problem.
However, in cases where the break is not so severe, most dogs will heal independently with little medical intervention from you. As a pet parent, there are some measures you can take to help your dog during their recovery:
1. Keep them calm and restricted to a small area.
This will help prevent them from moving around too much and aggravating the injury further.
2. Minimize activity
This will help reduce the amount of strain on the fracture site. Depending on the severity of the break, you may need to keep your dog completely inactive for a while.
3. Provide plenty of water and food.
Dogs need plenty of nutrients and fluids to help with the healing process.
4. Give them a pain reliever if necessary.
If your dog is in a lot of pain, ask your veterinarian for a prescription pain reliever. If it’s your first time owning a dog, you need to understand the importance of choosing the right vet. Remember that they will be your long-term partner in ensuring your dog’s good health.
You can ask your friends, family, or neighbors for referrals or do a quick online search. Loo for a “veterinary surgeon near me,” and all animal clinics or hospitals in your area show up. Make sure to visit their website and read previous clients’ testimonials and reviews.
5. Monitor the wound for infection.
Any open fracture has a high risk for infection. Keep an eye on the wound and notify your veterinarian if it starts to show any signs of infection.
6. Slowly increase their physical activity.
If your dog is not in much pain, you can slowly increase their activity as tolerated. However, if they are still experiencing a good amount of pain, it is best to restrict their movement and activity.
The Bottom Line
Most broken bones in dogs will heal on their own with minimal medical intervention. As an owner, you play a critical part in ensuring that the fracture heals properly and without any complications. Be patient and follow your veterinarian’s instructions closely to ensure a speedy recovery for your furry companion.
If you suspect your dog has a broken bone, it’s best to contact your veterinarian, such as Tigard Animal Hospital. They can give you expert advice for your pet.