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Broken bones In Dogs


A broken bone is sometimes referred to as a broken bone. A fracture can simply be a hairline crack in the bone, or a complete split, causing one bone to be in two parts. Regardless of the size of the bone, fractures, including in the toes, are painful,

Signs and Symptoms

The clinical signs and symptoms of broken bones include:

  • Pain
  • Wound and exposed bone
  • Bone sticking out through the skin
  • Swelling of the joint or toes
  • Limping
  • Inability to bear weight
  • Leg hangs free, unnaturally


A break in the dog’s leg will occur when you least expect it to happen. Your dog is going to be in pain and may feel very nervous and scared. Keep calm as you brace for a ride to the veterinarian so as not to disturb or excite your pet, which might make the break worse.

  • Bone cancer
  • Inherited collagen defect (weakens bones)
  • Falls
  • Age
  • Toy breeds
  • Vehicular trauma
  • Play and exercise
  • Sports
  • Underlying disease
  • Diet

Diagnosing a Fractured Bone

If your dog has signs of distress, such as limping or vocalizing, it is critical to seek urgent veterinary treatment. Your veterinarian will conduct a physical examination, ask questions about how the injury happened, and take veterinary tests like: x-rays.


Some fractures, particularly in very young animals, can be treated with fiberglass castings. Unlike humans, dogs cannot be relied upon to rest the limb properly, and any bandaging has the potential to cause significant issues. As a result, most animals are better treated with surgery in which fractured bones are re-aligned and stabilized. Options for bone stabilization involve bone plates and screws, pins that are mounted within the bone or external frames that are attached to the bone using pins that move through the skin. Some fractures are relatively easy to treat and others are very complicated, requiring significant orthopedic instrumentation, implants and expertise.

In addition to conventional surgery, many fractures may benefit from minimally invasive fracture surgery to heal a fracture by using small surgical incisions to help protect the tissues around the broken bone. In some cases, minimally invasive surgery will lead to quicker recovery and healing times, allowing pets to return to daily activities earlier. Fractures that can be treated with  surgery include:

  • Separation between the spine and the pelvis
  • Fractures near the joints
  • Long bone fractures, i.e. the femur, tibia and forearm

Depending on the form of fracture, repairs can involve the insertion of pins, screws, interlocking nails or bone plates.

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