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Posted on 01-25-2018

How to Tell if Your Dog Has a Broken Leg

Dog with broken leg with Veterinarian

Pets can break their legs in a surprising number of different ways, from auto accidents to lack of calcium in their diet. At East Valley Emergency Pet Clinic we see dogs every week with all types of leg fractures, and many of their owners weren't sure about the seriousness of the injury. Would you know how to determine if your dog has broken its leg? 

Dog Broken Leg Causes

There are a wide variety of dog broken leg causes, from the obvious to the obscure. Some of the most common are:

• Auto accidents
• Falls from any height
• Bone cancer
• Diet with not enough calcium, or too much phosphorus or vitamin A
• Breed (Toy or teacup dogs with tiny, thin bones)
• Age (Puppies with bones that haven't fully formed yet)
• Playing and exercise

Signs and Symptoms of Broken Legs

Not every dog will react the same, but a broken bone will provoke a pain response in virtually all dogs. Suspect your dog has suffered a fracture of some type if you see:

• An unwillingness to put weight on one leg. Sometimes, in an effort to avoid pain, dogs will lift a leg and walk in a tripod manner
• Visible trauma, with cut skin and visible bone ends, or a leg with a portion bent at the wrong angle
• Refusing to play, walk, or go upstairs. If your pet refuses to jump on its beloved couch, there may be a problem
• Yowling, whimpering, or moaning. Any unusual noises are a reason to investigate
• Aggression in a calm dog. If your dog pulls away, growls, or snaps if you come near its leg, it may be protecting the limb because of pain

If You Suspect a Broken Leg

If you think your dog has broken its leg, it's important that you act right away. Do not try to set the bone by yourself; you can cause more injury this way. If your dog is being aggressive, growling or biting, use a muzzle for everyone's safety. Have someone with you in the car to hold or restrain your dog as you drive. Have your companion call our clinic while you're driving, so we can be ready to treat your pet as soon as you arrive. Contact us at (909) 861-5737, and we'll advise you on any more actions you should take.

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