Poulsbo Animal ClinicOops, Your Dog Broke His Leg… Now What?
A broken bone is no fun whether you are human or a canine. Luckily for your dog, Poulsbo Animal Clinic is here to help when the going gets rough. Hopefully you never find yourself in this unfortunate situation, but if your dog broke his leg, give us a call so we can get your pet on the mend fast.
Fractures in Pets
Dogs and cats have long bones in their forelimbs and rear limbs that are analogous to your arms and legs. Just as in humans, fractures sometimes happen. They can be as a result of a traumatic force (think getting hit by a car), an abnormal stress (such as getting a leg caught when jumping down from something), or a disease process such as a bone tumor.
If your dog broke his leg, it is important for us to take radiographs (X-rays), even if the fracture is obvious. This will help us to assess what type of fracture is present and how to best proceed. Fractures are classified as:
- Complete (all the way through the bone) or incomplete (a hairline fracture)
- Open (compromising the skin) or closed
- Transverse (straight across), oblique (diagonal), or comminuted (in multiple pieces)
- Articular (involving the joint) or non-articular
Different types of fractures need to be addressed differently to optimize healing.
First Aid for Breaks
Any pet who is severely lame, exhibits pain, or has a lot of swelling should be treated as if he or she has a broken limb. Be sure to:
- Remember that your pet is hurting and be careful to give him or her some space
- Move slowly and be gentle to avoid further injury
- Call us and let us know you are on your way so that we can be prepared for you, we may also instruct you with some first aid measures such as splinting if necessary
- Consider placing a muzzle for moving your pet (you can even make a improvised muzzle from a piece of cloth or a belt). Even the sweetest animal may bite when injured – remember never to muzzle a pet who is having trouble breathing or who is vomiting
- Keep your pet confined to a small area such as a pet carrier during transport to minimize further injury
- Don’t administer any medications without our instruction
In order to ensure the best possible recovery and return to function, a good orthopedic surgeon is often necessary to repair fractures. Bones may need to be pinned or plated in order to result in a good outcome.
If your dog broke his leg, you couldn’t be in a better place. Poulsbo Animal Clinic practices excellent diagnostic and surgical medicine and employs effective pain control measures to help get your pet back on his or her feet as soon as possible.