Dog Fracture Treatment

A dog fracture of the bone may occur in dogs of all ages. If the bones are placed under abnormal pressure; the bones may fracture or break. There are several types of fractures and the treatment depends on the type of the fracture, the bone that is fractured and the age of the dog.

Bone Fracture Types

The types of fractures are determined according to the way the bone breaks as follows:

  • Closed fractures occur when the bone is fractured, but the skin remains intact
  • Compound fractures affect the skin of the dog; the bone is broken and sticks out of the skin; these types of fractures are the most dangerous, as there is a high risk of infection, due to the open wound that may attract dirt and bacteria
  • Epiphyseal fractures can occur in puppies with growing bones; the bones develop until the dog is about 1 year old (or older, depending on the dog breed); at the end of each bone there are some soft tissues (also known as growth or epiphyseal plates) which can easily break; epiphyseal are common in the thigh and the upper front leg bones (femur and humerus)
  • Greenstick fractures are cracks that affect the bone; the bone will not break

However, the fractures may also be categorized according to the bone that is fractured (i.e. femur fracture).

The bone may also be broken in 2 or several pieces.

Bone Fracture Treatment

The treatment of fractures depends on the type of the fracture.

In compound fractures, when the skin is also affected, the first aid treatment will focus on disinfecting the wound, as this can easily cause complications. Stop the bleeding and use a disinfectant or antibacterial soap and rush to the vet.

The bone must be kept motionless until the dog arrives to the vet. Use some splints or get some wooden sticks to immobilize the limb of the dog. If the fracture affects the back, you should ensure the dog doesn’t move.

The vet will align the bones and will use pins, screws or steel plates to help the healing. In severe cases of fractures, the dog will need surgery.

Just like humans, dogs may get casts, to keep the affected area immobile.

A fracture may be painful, so the vet will prescribe some pain management medication.

The healing time depends on the age of the dog; puppies may heal in less than 5 weeks, while senior dogs may require more than 3 months.

Greenstick fractures may not require any type of treatment; a cracked bone may heal in time. However, the dog must avoid jumping and rest more to speed up the healing and to avoid putting pressure on the bone.

If a fracture is left untreated, it may have serious consequences, especially if the fracture involves the joints. A fracture in the back can lead to a displaced spinal cord that may cause paralysis. Limb fractures may disable the entire leg, so the dog will not be able to walk normally or run.