If your dog has unexpectedly gotten hurt it can be quite traumatic for both you and them. Especially if there are broken bones involved. Our Hoquiam vets share some tips for managing these types of situations and what you can expect if your dog has suffered a bone fracture.
Dog Bone Fractures
The symptoms of a broken bone in dogs can be pretty obvious. Mose fo the time the bone will actually come through the skin and cause quite a mess.
There is still the chance that these bones will break and stay within the tissue. This is where watching for the symptoms becomes essential. If you notice your dog whining when a certain part of their body is touched, if there is unexplained swelling in a certain location, or if they refuse to walk or put weight on a certain leg no matter what, they may have a broken bone.
You Need to Stay Calm if You Are Dealing With a Dog Bone Fracture
Our dogs are part of the family and we don't want anything to happen to them. Unfortunately, just like us, they can fall ill and sustain physical injuries along the way. Bone breaks in dogs are probably more common than you might think, but the first step any pet parent can do in this situation is to remain calm.
This will be a painful and frightening time for your dog and they will be relying on you to get the help they need. As their parent, you need to be able to stay calm enough to efficiently and effectively get them to an emergency care veterinary hospital and into the hands of a vet immediately.
Ways That You Can Help Your Dog
There are a few steps you should take when it comes to broken bones in dogs. They are:
Contact Your Nearest Emergency Veterinary Clinic
If your dog has broken a bone they will need to visit the vet for treatment as soon as possible. While this is considered an emergency you will need to realize that there may still be a little bit of a wait at the clinic depending on what they already have scheduled and the other veterinary emergencies that they might be dealing with.
Write down as much information as you can remember about the cause of the broken bone. Your vet may have a better understanding of the injury or other possible injuries if you can inform them how it may have occurred (fell, struck by an object, etc.).
Do Not Try to Treat Your Dogs Broken Bone Yourself
While you may only be trying to help your dog, it's important to not administer any care or first aid unless instructed by the vet over the phone. You could only be creating other issues for the vet as well as risking a dog bite due to your dog being in pain and stressed out.
If your dog is bleeding significantly, you may need to wrap the injury carefully with a clean piece of cloth and apply pressure to stop the bleeding. Your dog may need to be muzzled for you to do this, as again, the pain might cause them to bite.
If it is cold out you can also cover your dog with a blanket to help them stay comfortable.
Ask Someone to Help You Move Your Dog
You will need to move your dog to safety as soon as possible after the injury occurs. This will likely require the help of a second person in order to keep your dog comfortable while you are moving them.
Another thing that you need to keep in mind is that you will need to transport your dog in a vehicle to get them to the veterinary clinic.
You want to move your pup carefully and stably to avoid additional injury or discomfort. You may also want to have another person with you on your way to the vet to keep them company and help however they can.
Relocating your dog after they break a bone will be painful for them, so again, be cautious and think about using a muzzle.
Diagnosis & Treatment of Dog Broken Bones
The vet will assess your dog's state and the extent of its injuries. Based on many variables, the vet will suggest either having the bone repaired, setting the bone, or in very severe cases, amputating the limb.
Very likely, your dog will need x-rays of the injured area to assess the type and extent of the fracture. They may also need to be sedated and/or given pain control during this process.
Your dog will need a series of medications, including anti-inflammatory medication, pain control, antibiotics, and more. This will help the wound heal and will also prevent infections throughout the process.
Dog Broken Leg Healing Time
The recovery or healing time for your dog or puppy's broken leg will vary on their specific injury. After your dog’s bone has been repaired, it will need quite a bit of time to recover. Some dogs may require the use of a cast throughout the healing process.
While it is okay to cuddle and play gently with your dog during this time they should not do any jumping, running or excessive play.
Your vet may also instruct you to place cold packs on the injury or regularly provide a gentle massage. If your vet tells you to do these things, be sure to keep up with them as they can influence recovery time and effectiveness. However, if you aren’t told to try these treatments by your vet, then it’s best just to let the bone heal on its own.
The total healing time for broken legs in dogs will depend on where the fracture was and how severe it was. The length of time wearing a cast will also differ based on these things.
With the cast on, your dog will likely also need a cone (e-collar) to prevent them from licking or chewing on the cast. While this may make your pup unhappy, it is critical to prevent damage to the cast or having them eat something that they should not.
Your dog will not be happy about wearing a cast as they start to feel better, so spend extra time making them feel as comfortable as possible.
The Benefits of Cold Laser Therapy
Cold laser therapy uses low-intensity laser or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to help relieve pain, stimulate and enhance cell function, and improve healing.
This treatment specifically targets the cells, stimulating cell production and improving circulation. Cold laser therapy may help to speed the healing of your dog's broken bone as well as decrease inflammation and pain and help your pet's muscles to relax.
Pets typically find the slow movement of the warm laser over the affected area to be a relaxing experience. Each session may be roughly a half hour or less on average and the frequency and recommended number of treatment sessions will depend on the symptoms and severity.
Speak with our vets to find out more about how this therapeutic treatment may be able to help your dog as they heal.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.