First Aid : dog fractures
Signs of a broken bone are: pain at or near the fracture site (some
dogs will not allow the limb to be handled), swelling and bruising,
unnatural movement or loss of function (some dogs will hold the
leg up), deformity such as twisted or shortened, a grating noise
if the bone fragments move against each other, and lastly shock
due to pain or blood loss.
may be closed – where the skin is unbroken; or open – where a wound
leads to the fracture or the bone may be exposed. Open fractures
are generally more serious as infection may result and more care
is required for successful healing.
bones should be immobilized, before transporting your dog. If it’s
a limb, you can make a splint out of two pieces of wood, tongue
depressors or heavy cardboard tied on with gauze, tape or other
bandaging material. If the bone is protruding, pack the area with
sterile, absorbent bandaging materials to control bleeding. If possible,
use a wooden plank, blanket or coat as a stretcher and have another
person help you carry the pet. If you must move him yourself, don’t
hold him around the abdomen. Pick him up with one arm under the
fore legs and one under the hind limbs.
first thing to do is restrict your dog’s movement and keep him as
quiet as possible, then try to transfer him to a small enclosed
area, such as a bathroom. Try to support the leg when moving the
animal by resting the leg on a towel or in your hand.
there is severe bleeding cover all wounds.
If the bone is not exposed apply a dry bandage. If the bone is above
the skin it might dry out so you’ll need to apply a wet bandage.
Be very careful about cleanliness.
a bandage or a splint if your dog will allow you – otherwise keep
your pet as quiet as possible until you are able to transport him.
your dog to make himself comfortable rather than force it into a
position you think will be comfortable.
the fracture helps to prevent pain and swelling. In closed fractures
it may prevent the bone penetrating the skin.
an open fracture helps prevent contamination and prevents the bone
from drying out.
fractures below the elbow and below the knee can be easily bandaged.
lots of padding. Bandage above and below the joints of the affected
attempt to ‘set’ or ‘support’ the bone, as you can cause the bone
to puncture the skin.
any piece of bone that has been sheared off and put in a clean container.
Take it along to the veterinarian with the dog.
you suspect a dislocation due to direct force such as being hit
by a car, or if a leg is caught while his body is still in motion,
treat the injury as a fracture.
not try to immobilize dislocations above the elbow or knee. For
dislocations below these areas treat as for a fracture.
Transport your pet to the vet as soon as possible. You can use a
board or large blanket as a stretcher, and if there are any bleeding
areas, you can apply a clean cloth or bandage gently to the area
for protection and mild pressure.
first aid – essential advice on first aid for dogs
first aid kit – essential first aid items
: Pet Supplies Review