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Dog Broken Bones and Fractures
Broken bones or fractures are more common in dogs than many people think. In most cases, they're caused by traffic accidents or falls, but sometimes they happen because of fights with other animals. At East Valley Emergency Pet Clinic we see these types of injuries mostly in older dogs, and those that are very excitable and energetic.
Types of Dog Fractures
Broken bones, known as fractures, come in two basic types. Open fractures happen when the skin is broken and the actual bone is exposed. With a closed fracture, the skin is still whole and covering the bones. In a small number of cases, there can be an incomplete fracture, otherwise known as a hairline fracture, where the bone is cracked or splintered, but not broken all the way through. Dogs with hairline fractures may not have the same symptoms as those with complete fractures, but they should be treated by a professional, just the same.
How to Tell if Your Dog Has Fractured a Bone
Of course, one of the most telling signs is if your dog has a bone sticking out of its skin, but there are other indications that your pet may have suffered a fracture. Watch for any signs of discomfort or pain after a car accident, a fall, or an altercation with another animal. If your dog is whining and limping, that's a definite sign that you should be concerned. While tendon, muscle, and ligament injuries can cause the same symptoms, it's important for you to bring your dog into our clinic for an examination, if only to rule out the possibility of a fractured bone.
If You Think Your Dog Has Fractured a Bone
Your first goal should be to make sure your dog doesn't injure itself further, along with helping to reduce the pain and avoid infection if there are any open wounds. If you have any suspicion your pet has a fracture, follow the three primary rules of emergency fracture care:
- Leave the area alone and never try to set the fracture on your own
- Never use any type of antiseptic cream or ointment on an open wound
- Take your dog to an emergency veterinary clinic immediately
Caring For Your Dog After Treatment
Once we've treated your pet and released it to go home, the best treatment for your dog is calm and rest. Our veterinarian will advise you about how long to keep your pet indoors and ways to keep it from injuring the healing limb. Above all, it always helps to lavish your dog with some extra attention while it's recovering. Injuries can be frightening to pets, and knowing you're close by can help to calm the most nervous dog.
Emergency Fracture Care
If you have any suspicion that your dog has suffered a fracture, call our office immediately prior to bringing it into our clinic. You can reach us at (909) 861-5737 overnight during the week, or 24/7 on the weekends.