home Dogs Broken paw in a dog what to do

Broken paw in a dog what to do

Preventing damage to your dog’s nails

Given the prevalence of the problem, veterinarians-orthopedists and experienced dog breeders recommend that owners of four-legged friends adhere to the following rules for care and maintenance:

  • Regularly trim overgrown nails. The overgrown stratum corneum clings to hard surfaces and sooner or later will lead to injury. Neglecting this simple hygiene procedure will save your dog from painful injuries.
  • The manipulation should be carried out using a special tool for trimming animals. The clipper should be made of high quality metal, which will prevent the occurrence of burrs and delamination when trimming the nail. Particular attention should be paid to additional claws, which, due to physiological characteristics, grow faster.
  • The animal’s diet must be balanced in nutrients, vitamins and trace elements.
  • In winter, when keeping dogs in heated rooms, it is recommended to humidify the air using an air conditioning system and spray guns.

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And here is more about how to treat a dog’s wound.

A broken claw causes serious trouble for a four-legged friend in the form of bleeding and soreness. The owner’s task is to be able to competently provide the animal with first aid and deliver it to the clinic as soon as possible. A veterinary examination is necessary if there is bleeding from a wound, severe lameness and pain.

Treatment consists in complete or partial removal of the damaged nail, stopping bleeding and antiseptic treatment of the wound.

Seeing your veterinarian for a claw injury

Given the complex structure of the claws, their proximity to bone formations, the risk of infection and the development of inflammation of the surrounding tissues, after providing first aid, the animal must be delivered to a specialized institution. Qualified help is needed for persistent bleeding, severe lameness that does not go away over time.

You should also consult a veterinarian if the claw is damaged in the immediate vicinity of the paw.

During the examination, the doctor will first of all clean the wound, carry out an antiseptic treatment. In case of severe pain, the animal will be sedated to remove the broken claw. The manipulation is carried out with a special surgical instrument, which allows the damaged claw to be cut off quickly and without stratification of the stratum corneum. Then the bleeding is stopped and an aseptic bandage is applied to the paw.

Orthopedic trauma in an animal is associated with severe pain. In some cases, the veterinarian uses painkillers to reduce the suffering of the pet. Baralgin, Spazgan.

With the threat of penetration of pathogenic microorganisms into deeply located tissues, a fluffy patient is prescribed a course of antibacterial drugs. For prophylactic purposes, antibiotics with a wide spectrum of action are used. Baytril, Cobactan, Cefatoxim.

Recommendations for further treatment of the wound surface depend on the degree of damage. As a rule, care consists in applying an anti-inflammatory ointment to the wound, for example, Levomycetinova, Ichthyolova, Vishnevsky liniment.

The animal should be given complete rest, the duration of walks should be reduced. To speed up wound healing, a veterinarian may recommend enriching the pet’s diet with vitamins A and E, biotin, selenium, zinc, sulfur with the help of multivitamin and mineral supplements.

For information on what can happen if you do not remove a broken claw from a dog, see this

The main causes of injuries on the front, hind legs

An active and mobile dog can break a claw in a wide variety of situations. while chasing a cat or in a fight with relatives, with an unsuccessful jump from a height. A common cause of injury is the tendency of many dogs to dig holes in hard ground, sand. Catching onto driftwood, bumping paws on solid objects, stones, bricks are the first to withstand claws and break.

Old animals are predisposed to an orthopedic problem due to the development of dryness not only of the skin, but also of the stratum corneum. Brittle and dry claws break off sooner or later.

pets in a dry environment, especially in winter when central heating is on, is often accompanied by trauma to the claws. As a rule, the additional claws of the dog are subject to the problem, since the support claws are grinded naturally and do not stick out to the sides.

Veterinary experts believe that an unbalanced diet and the presence of diseases of the endocrine system and internal organs can lead to damage. So, with a deficiency of vitamin A, biotin, B vitamins, zinc, selenium, iron, there is a stratification of the stratum corneum, dry and brittle nails.

The dog’s “manicure” also suffers from diseases of the thyroid gland, disorders of mineral metabolism, pathologies of the liver.

We recommend reading about how to stop bleeding in your dog. From the article you will learn how to stop stomach bleeding, bleeding from the mouth, nose, nail and uterus.

When to help yourself, and when you can’t do without a veterinarian if the dog has damaged a claw

One of the common orthopedic injuries in four-legged friends is a broken claw. Damage is often accompanied by bleeding, soreness, and requires immediate intervention. An attentive owner should be able to provide first aid to the pet and know what measures will help prevent the problem.

Symptoms that the dog has broken a claw

Trauma received by animals, as a rule, does not go unnoticed by attentive owners. An animal that has previously been carelessly running for a walk or indoors begins to limp. The dog tries not to step on the injured limb, keeps it suspended. Many individuals try to lick the painful area. Due to the fact that claws in animals are equipped with blood vessels, their damage is most often accompanied by bleeding.

Upon visual inspection, the owner will find that the nail is either broken or completely torn out of the nail fold. Examine the damage very carefully, since the slightest touch brings the pet severe pain.

First aid: what pain reliever to give, how to treat

Having discovered an injury, the owner must competently provide first aid to a four-legged friend. If the damage is accompanied by bleeding, then first of all, measures are taken to eliminate it. A restless individual is best examined with a helper who will firmly hold the dog during manipulations.

First, you need to inspect the wound for the presence of foreign objects in it. glass and metal fragments, wood chips, splinters, thorns, sharp thorns, pine or spruce needles, plant seeds.

Bleeding in case of damage to the claw can be removed in several ways: using a hemostatic pencil, hydrogen peroxide, baby powder, potassium permanganate solution. To stop bleeding as soon as possible, a pressure bandage made of bandage or gauze is applied.

The most crucial moment in providing first aid to an animal is the removal of a broken nail. If the injury occurred closer to the end of the horny formation, then you can break off the damaged area using special nail clippers. With a nail clipper, you should remove the hanging fragment with a quick but confident movement.

As a rule, such manipulation is painful for the dog, but the pain is instantaneous. If the damage is located near the base of the claw, you should not perform the manipulation yourself.

The owner’s next step should be to prevent contamination of the open injury with infectious agents. A feature of the anatomical structure of the claw is its connection with the bone structures of the limb.

Therefore, it is important to keep dirt out of the wound. To this end, the owner must perform an antiseptic treatment of the damaged area. This can be done using antibacterial compounds. Miramistin, Chlorhexidine solution, Furacilin. If the first-aid kit has a special iodine-based wound remedy. Monclavit, then its simple and convenient use will facilitate antiseptic treatment.

If possible, an open injury can be sprinkled with streptocide powder. If you have an anti-inflammatory ointment at hand, for example, Levomikol, Tetracycline, then you can use a creamy form of antiseptic. The paw should be placed in a clean cotton sock or bandaged to avoid wound infection.

Useful video

For information on how to properly trim the claws of a dog, see this

What are the fractures of paws in dogs??

What is the health of the animal’s motor apparatus? This is a strange question at first glance, but the answer to it will help the owners grow a strong, active dog. Naturally, just like in humans, in animals, health is laid even in puppyhood. During the period of active growth in dogs, there is a fairly strong load on the limbs, of course, because they do not always keep up with the general development. Young bones at an early age are still very plastic, but the joints and ligamentous apparatus are not fully formed, which means that under heavy loads it is not able to perform its functions. Most often, problems with paws in dogs occur in the period from 3 months and can take up to 1-2 years. It all depends on the size of the animal (in large breeds, the formation is delayed), the condition of the puppy (it is much more difficult for thick and heavy) and general physical fitness (here it all depends on the capabilities and desires of the owner). It is during this period of active growth that the so-called characteristic fractures occur. this is a fracture of the ulna and radius of the forelimb. Such injuries occur as a result of jumping from a height, in which the animal lands on its paws, the load is unevenly distributed, the fragile ligaments and muscles are not able to withstand it, and then the bones take the blow. As a result, the dog has a broken front paw, and the owners have a lot of problems with the treatment and recovery of their pet. Similar problems arise in an animal at an old age, when the bones of the extremities lose their elasticity, cease to be strong enough, the ligamentous apparatus also undergoes changes for the worse with age, which again leads to injuries. In middle-aged dogs, fractures are most often found as a result of car accidents, falls or unsuccessful jumps from a height, if we talk about small breeds, then they may have a heavy blow, a bite from a larger and stronger compatriot, etc.

What does the owner need to do in order to maximize the safety of his pet from such incidents? First, to raise and maintain a dog correctly, which means high-quality physical activity, balanced nutrition, maintaining the desired condition, and the use of special Honda during the growth and development of the puppy. Secondly, avoid jumping from great heights, observe safety rules when walking. Thirdly, carefully take care of the conditions of detention. no slippery floors.

Unfortunately, even strict adherence to all the rules does not guarantee that the dog will not break its paw in its entire life. If this happened, then you need to have an idea of ​​what fractures occur and what help is possible with each of them.

Hind limb fracture

Fractures of the hind legs are somewhat less common in dogs. They occur as a result of falling from a height, falling under the wheels of a car, as a result of so-called domestic injuries (mainly for small-breed dogs and puppies, which the owners themselves, inadvertently, can pinch with a door, drop or simply step on them). If we are talking about a simple fracture, then there are no peculiarities in the treatment and recovery period, much worse if not only the limb but also the pelvic bones were injured during the injury. In such cases, the animal requires a complex operation, complete long-term care.

Fracture of the forelimb

On the thoracic limb, there may be fractures of the shoulder, ulnar and radius, as well as the bones of the wrist and metacarpus. There are several classifications of fractures. So, it can be a single (when one bone is damaged) or multiple (several bones or one bone, but in several places) fracture. The first occurs most often as a result of domestic injuries, such as awkward jumps, especially from low heights in young or elderly animals, while the second occurs after car accidents, after falling from a great height. According to its type, the fracture is longitudinal, oblique, helical, comminuted, etc. In each case, the type must be determined on the basis of X-ray examination in several projections. Depending on the type and characteristics of the treatment of a paw fracture in a dog, it can be different and have a different recovery period. Among the most common methods of treatment, the main place is occupied by osteosynthesis. this is an operation in which, under general anesthesia, the doctor restores the natural position of the bone, connects the resulting fragments and fixes it with the help of certain materials: knitting needles, plates, screws, etc. operations, the recovery process takes about 1-2 months, after which, if everything is fine with the paw and there are no signs of damage on the X-ray, most of the time, a small operation is performed to extract the structure that was installed earlier. Some fractures, such as toes, do not require surgery.

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Symptoms and Signs

How to determine if a dog has a fracture, and what kind of help the owner is able to provide to his pet? I would like to say again that the final diagnosis in case of suspicion of a fracture can only be made by a doctor on the basis of an X-ray examination. Until the images are obtained, the presence of a fracture can only be suspected. There are situations when the signs of a fracture are so obvious, for example, if we have an open fracture of a dog’s paw that the owners doubt the need for an X-ray, but this is not true. The snapshot allows the doctor not only to confirm or deny the injury, but also to get an idea of ​​its nature, possible difficulties during the operation and much more.

For the most part, the following signs of a paw fracture in a dog are observed, which should alert the owner and become a reason for contacting a veterinary clinic:

Each owner should have at least a basic understanding of how to identify a broken paw in a dog and what kind of assistance needs to be provided before the animal is taken to the clinic. The most important first aid should be correct and accurate fixation of the injured limb. If the fracture is not fixed, the damage can become more serious. For first aid, you can use any handy material, the point is to place the animal’s paw in such a way that there is no load on it, and the bone fragments remain in the state in which they were immediately after the injury. In case of open fractures, these actions should be supplemented by stopping bleeding and maximizing the prevention of contamination of the damaged area. In case of bleeding, a tourniquet or a tight bandage is used (the first option is preferable, but you should fix the time of the tourniquet application and do not leave it on the limb for more than 2 hours).

Based on all of the above, even the most inexperienced owner should understand what are the main symptoms of a broken paw in a dog and what to do in this situation.

Fracture surgery

As already mentioned, surgery for a broken paw in a dog is the main and most correct treatment option. Such operations are carried out only under high-quality general anesthesia, exclusively by professional and experienced surgeons using appropriate consumables and structures. In terms of its duration, osteosynthesis is a complex operation that takes a lot of time, of course, it all depends on the damage itself and the doctor’s premeditated strategy of behavior. Based on the data obtained about the animal, the results of X-ray examinations, the doctor draws up a plan for the future operation, selects those materials that are suitable for a particular animal in a given situation.

The cost of surgery for a broken paw in a dog is determined depending on the complexity of the operation itself, the amount of material required and additional preoperative and postoperative inpatient care and examination.

Broken paw in a dog

Performing complex orthopedic surgeries at the clinic.

Postoperative hospital with round-the-clock observation of the animal.

Such a nuisance as a broken paw in a dog can befall your pet at absolutely any age and at any time. It is a mistake to believe that such injuries are typical for small breed dogs and puppies, so the owner should always know what kind of help he is able to provide in such a situation.

Fracture recovery

The recovery period after a broken paw in a dog takes on average 1 to 2 months. Such terms are rather arbitrary, since here much depends on the characteristics of the animal itself (size, weight, activity, age), the complexity of the injury received, the correct operation and the quality of care for the animal in the postoperative period. Simply put, in old animals the bones grow together worse, in large and heavy animals there is a significant risk of damage or failure of the fastening structure, in young animals the fusion occurs quickly, but the excessive activity of the animal can put it. Therefore, how long a paw fracture will take to heal in a particular dog can only be said by the doctor in charge.

It is customary to call a dog a friend of a person, and as in any friendship in matters of health, there should be mutual assistance and mutual understanding. Who, no matter how the owner, can take care of the safety and health of his friend, and the doctors of our veterinary clinic are always ready to help him with this. Contact and be healthy!

Broken paw in a dog

The article is presented only for acquaintance with common problems in adult dogs and puppies, which makes it possible to understand how they can be helped in the veterinary clinic. Correct treatment is a visit to the veterinarian and this should always be remembered.

Fracture of the hind paw in a dog, restoration, plaster cast, splint, rigid ligation

During the healing of wounds and the healing of broken bones, the owner should pay special attention to his pet. If the dog has a fracture without displacement, then a plaster cast or splint will be applied to it in order to fix and immobilize the diseased limb. In case of a crack, a rigid bandage can also be dispensed with.

During the recovery period of the dog, the owner must provide the animal with peace, limit it from sudden movements and, moreover, from jumping. Postoperative wounds need to be cared for exactly as recommended by the doctor. If necessary and the doctor prescribes pain medications, they must be given on time and in precise doses.

In such a difficult and stressful period for the pet, he needs a balanced diet and regular walks in the fresh air (preferably on his hands, if possible).

How to treat a broken paw in a dog at home, the cost of treatment and surgery

It is not recommended to treat fractures of any complexity on their own without having a veterinary education, since even the most seemingly harmless crack can have serious consequences if improperly treated. Indeed, with poor fixation or incomplete healing, a crack can turn into a fracture of any complexity. The reason for this can be any load on the weakened place (wrong jump, bruise, etc.).

The only thing that the owner can do for his pet on his own is to fix the fracture site in a motionless state and take it to the doctor.

Treatment of fractures in veterinary clinics will not cost the owners cheap.

depend on the severity of the fracture, the location of the injury, the weight and breed of the dog. According to the of veterinary clinics, osteosynthesis in case of a fracture can cost from 1,500 rubles and more, not including the cost of medicines, anesthesia and consumables.

Fracture of a paw in a dog, how long does it take to heal, how to determine, signs, types, how much heals

The duration of the rehabilitation period of a dog after a fracture directly depends on the place of the fracture, its complexity and the age of the animal itself (the younger the dog, the sooner its bones will grow together). Also, much depends on the method of treatment: plaster cast, knitting needles or other methods of fixation.

Crack. no visual signs, but the dog is moving with extreme caution.

Impacted fracture. the main symptom with such a fracture, as with a crack, is lameness and soreness. With such a fracture, soft tissues may not be damaged or have minor damage.

A closed fracture without displacement. accompanied by severe pain, redness, swelling of the damaged area is possible, the dog does not allow touching the site of the injury. Bones are visually and tactilely positioned correctly in relation to each other.

Closed fracture with displacement. broken bones diverge in different directions, thereby damaging muscles and blood vessels. With such fractures, hematomas may be present. Visually, a bulge may appear in the place where the broken bone rests against the skin.

An open fracture is a fracture in which the edge of a broken bone tears soft tissue and muscle, extending outward. The bone itself may not be visible, but the wound will definitely be noticeable.

Paw fracture in a dog pain reliever

If the dog needs to take painkillers, then taking analgin one tablet twice a day will be quite effective for him.

First aid

If an injury is found in a pet, the owner should immediately contact the veterinary clinic for specialized help. The faster you do it, the better.

A competent sequence of actions at home is very important, so as not to harm the animal. With an open fracture, the first priority is to stop the bleeding. To do this, apply a tourniquet from scrap materials above the wound site and tighten it tightly. Further, the wound surface should be cleaned of debris and contamination, treated with an antiseptic solution (hydrogen peroxide, miramistin). Alcohol and alcohol-containing preparations should not be used. The next step is applying a bandage to the wound in order to avoid infection.

It is strictly forbidden to set bone fragments on your own! It is very painful and there is a high risk of rupture of blood vessels. The dog needs complete rest and immobilization of the limb. The paw is fixed on an improvised device (plywood, wooden board, thick cardboard) using a scarf or belt. When transporting a pet to the clinic, place it in the back seat of the car. If it is a miniature breed, then a box or carrier will do. As a last resort, it is allowed to hold the animal in your arms.


Conservative treatments are rarely used. The doctor sets the displaced bone fragments with subsequent immobilization. To immobilize the damaged bone, he uses a bandage that restricts the movement of the paw. It will be possible to remove it in 1-1.5 months. For small breeds this period is less — about 20 days, for older dogs — up to 50-60 days. The entire period must be carefully monitored so that there is no compression of the soft tissues with a splint. Otherwise, there is a risk of complications in the form of squeezing of blood vessels.

Fractured front and hind legs in dogs: symptoms, what to do

A fracture of the front and hind legs in a dog is a serious injury, which is characterized by severe pain and impaired motor function. Pet owners should know what symptoms accompany this pathological condition, and what to do in such cases.

Types of fractures

Veterinarians identify several types of fractures, each of which has its own characteristics. about them:

  • Crack. The mildest form, symptoms are often absent altogether. It can be confused with injury. Sometimes the cautious gait of the animal or slight lameness is alarming. In this case, the pet remains active. Pathology can be diagnosed only after X-ray examination.
  • Impacted. It is found mainly in puppies and dogs of large breeds. Not accompanied by severe damage to internal tissues, the clinical picture is blurred. The fragments of the bones go into each other. If you do not provide assistance in a timely manner, then they may shift.
  • Closed without offset. The damaged bones remain in place. There are tangible pains, impaired motor function.
  • Closed with offset. The bones are not only damaged, but also change their anatomical position. There is a risk of trauma to organs and large vessels.
  • Open. Severe trauma with damage to bones, internal tissues, joints. There may be vascular ruptures.


Most cases (approximately 90%) of limb fractures in dogs require surgery. Osteosynthesis (bone fusion surgery) is performed using pins, braces, screws, plates. In recent years, with the development of new technologies, veterinarians began to use not only metal devices, but also polymer.

High-quality structures can withstand loads similar to those on healthy limbs. After the bones physiologically return to their previous state, the consumable is removed.

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Several types of treatment are used in surgical practice. about them:

  • Kishner’s apparatus. The construction of a metal bar and self-tapping rods is used for intra-articular fractures.
  • Ilizarov apparatus. Presented by knitting needles and metal rings, reliably fixing bone fragments.
  • Internal fixation. The most difficult operation. The surgeon must necessarily have the necessary qualifications and sufficient experience to conduct it qualitatively. The pins are inserted directly into the tubular bones. They do not disappear over time, but remain for life.

All surgical procedures are performed under general anesthesia. The best option is inhalation anesthesia. Doctors say that the animal tolerates the operation more easily and comes to its senses faster.


The tactics of treating a paw fracture in a dog is selected by a veterinarian, based on the complexity of the injury. First, diagnostic measures are carried out. After using painkillers and muscle relaxants, the doctor examines the pet and prescribes an x-ray. It can be done in several projections. If internal damage is suspected, it is advisable to perform ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging.


Of course, the owners are concerned about the question of how to determine a broken paw in a dog. There are several symptoms associated with this type of injury. Here is a list of them:

  • Severe edema in the area of ​​damage.
  • Presence of a hematoma.
  • Increase in size, asymmetry of the injured limb.
  • Painful sensations on palpation.
  • The animal is not able to lean on a sore paw. The dog tries to keep it on weight.
  • Limps when moving, can move on three limbs.
  • Unnatural mobility of the sore paw.

With an open fracture, the clinical picture is clearer. A bone fragment can be seen clearly showing through the damaged skin. In some cases (if the vessels are affected) bleeding is present.

Often other signs associated with the general condition of the body are characteristic of the dog. Among them:

  • restless behavior;
  • lethargy;
  • increased body temperature;
  • lack of appetite.

With severe pain, pain shock may develop.

First aid

We fix the jaws (muzzle, bandage). This is necessary in any case, even if the dog is not aggressive and looks calm. The pet can bite when the owner inadvertently hurts him (tries to bandage the wound, put a splint or put the dog in the box). Even in mild cases, such as a broken tail, the dog may lack patience and delicacy. And it is much more difficult to help a pet with bitten hands.!

We fix the place of injury when necessary. With only one suspicion of a fracture (there is no visible damage, the dog is careful, but moves the damaged part of the body), you do not need to touch the site of injury.

If the ribs are broken, rewind the dog’s chest with a wide bandage or cloth tapes. Quite tight, but not tight enough to pinch your ribs or obstruct your breathing.

We put a tire on the broken paw. from any suitable rails, a piece of a plastic bottle, etc.

If the jaw is broken, the dog may sink its tongue or have difficulty breathing due to the accumulated blood in the pharynx. we clear the airways very carefully, trying not to displace the broken jaw. It is advisable to fix the jaw by constructing a frame made of wire and bandages, but this is a long time (if you go to the clinic for 10 minutes, you do not need to waste time).

You cannot try to return a broken bone to its natural position! The purpose of the restraint is to prevent the dog from hurting itself further as you travel to the clinic. Therefore, in all cases when it is possible to take the dog to the veterinarian, minimally disturbing the injured area, there is no need to touch the sore spot once again.

The dog is transported in a sparing position, which depends on the location of the injury. You need to sit / lay the pet so as not to load the broken bone. A puppy or small dog can be put in a box. If there is a suspicion of a spinal fracture in a dog, it is advisable to call a doctor at home (if the doctor can come immediately). Until the arrival of the doctor, the dog is held in the position in which it is. If this is not possible, the dog is dragged (together) onto a sheet of plywood and fixed (tied to the plywood with bandages) in the position in which the dog lies. Do not try to straighten or bend your pet!

In case of bleeding, a tourniquet is applied above the injury site or a tight gauze bandage. If it takes longer than 20 minutes to get to the clinic, contact your veterinarian by phone. Your doctor will advise you on how to reduce pain and how to avoid complications associated with long-term transportation. The phone number of the clinic closest to you can be found via the Internet or the city’s referral service.

Types and signs of fractures

A fissure is the safest of all fractures, the bone is not completely broken, and the adjacent tissue is not damaged. Often confused with bruise, because the pet generally feels good, just moves with care. If you do not provide assistance in time, the situation can worsen. For example, an uncomplicated paw fracture in a dog without treatment becomes an open fracture after jumping over a high barrier (a partially damaged bone cannot withstand the usual loads).

It is impossible to visually identify a crack in the bone. Therefore, in all cases when, for no apparent reason, the dog does not allow touching any part of the body, moves carefully, limps (paws, spine), chews slowly (jaws), etc., you need to take an x-ray.

Impacted fracture. parts of the bone in the damaged area enter each other. This happens when the blow is directed longitudinally to the bone, and not across. For example, when a puppy (elastic bones), a small or very large dog jumps from a height, resting on its front legs. Symptoms of a punctured fracture of a paw in a dog are like a crack (lameness, soreness), the danger is the same. parts of the bone can be displaced if help is not provided in time. The tissues are not damaged or slightly damaged, the broken bone partially fixes itself.

Closed fracture without displacement. the ends of the broken bone are in a natural position relative to each other. Severe pain, redness and / or swelling, the pet does not allow touching the injury site and tries not to load the painful area (does not lean on the paw, does not chew. the jaw, sleeps on one side. the ribs).

Closed fracture with displacement. the ends of the broken bone diverge, damaging blood vessels and muscles. The pain is stronger, the swelling is greater, a hematoma is clearly visible on light-colored dogs, a bulge may be noticeable (if the displaced edge of the broken bone rests against the skin from the inside).

Closed bone fractures in dogs are extremely dangerous. it seems like nothing terrible from the outside, and the tissues under the skin can be seriously damaged: a large vessel. loss of blood, nerves. partial paralysis, the end of a broken rib can pierce an internal organ.

Open fracture. the edge of the bone sticks outward, severing muscle and skin. The bone itself may not be visible (especially in muscular or obese dogs), but the wound is always visible. The most dangerous fracture (heavily damaged tissues, the likelihood of blood loss), but there is also a plus. the signs are so obvious that the owner rushes to the clinic immediately.

In addition to fractures as a result of injuries, there are pathological fractures. the bone cannot withstand normal loads, and sometimes breaks even under the weight of the body while walking. Causes: lack of calcium, bone cancer, cystic formations, any diseases that make bones fragile, old age. Such fractures in dogs require treatment in two ways. to restore the integrity of the bone and eliminate (if possible) the root cause.

Fracture in a dog: types, symptoms and treatment

An accident, a fall from a height, an unsuccessful jump, excessive loads. it is unlikely that it will be possible to completely protect the dog from all risks. But even if the bone is badly fractured, today it is not technically difficult to cure almost any fracture in a dog. Of course, if you go to the veterinarian in time. But how to help your pet before arriving at the clinic?

Fracture treatment

First of all, the doctor will eliminate pain and anxiety (sedatives), heal the wound (if the outer tissues are damaged). Since it is not always possible to determine a fracture in a dog only by external signs, they must take a picture. X-rays will help to assess the situation: sometimes plaster is enough for fusion, and sometimes surgical intervention is required. to return the edges of the broken bone to its natural position, remove small fragments, restore the integrity of blood vessels and muscles.

Sometimes it is required to tighten / fasten the bone with screws, plates, metal knitting needles. jewelry work, expensive, but the results are impressive. In some cases, it is necessary to replace the damaged area of ​​the bone with a prosthesis. For example, with a hip fracture, a dog is much more likely to recover completely if the joint is replaced right away. Especially when it comes to older, muscular or obese dogs.

The bone fixed in one way or another will grow together in a few weeks (individually, from the severity of the injury, age, type of fracture, and other factors). A convalescent pet needs to be provided with rest. Due to a decrease in activity, weight gain is possible, so the food is only dietary. The veterinarian will prescribe medications that will help the dog to endure the recovery period more easily. sedatives, pain relievers, laxatives (if problems with bowel movements have appeared due to low mobility). Necessarily prescribe regenerating drugs that accelerate bone fusion and healing of adjacent tissues.

With a pelvic fracture in a dog, treatment is longer and more difficult, since the motor function is very limited. The same goes for spinal fractures. Due to the high likelihood of complications, the doctor should monitor the progress of treatment until the tailed patient is fully recovered.

Fractures in cats and dogs: what to do at the first sign of injury and how to treat it

Modern owners often treat their four-legged pets as full-fledged family members. They are worried about them in the same way, and sometimes even more than about themselves, because dogs, cats and other pets cannot say what hurts them or what worries them. Unfortunately, sometimes there are situations when the animal is injured, fractured. How to quickly determine the nature of the damage, how to provide first aid and where to go if your pet has a fracture. read in our article.

Dog Breaks Leg ; How To Give A Dog With A Broken Leg a Splint; Dog Breaks Leg; ManMade

Symptoms: how to spot a fracture in a dog or cat

The most obvious signs of a limb fracture are the behavior of the animal itself (it tries not to step on the injured paw) and swelling at the site of the closed fracture. An open fracture is visible to the naked eye. The paw usually does not straighten to the end, upon palpation of the limb, the animal feels acute pain, if the fracture is complete, the crunch of fragments touching each other is heard.

Symptoms of a tail fracture are also noticeable from the outside. it is often bent; when trying to feel it, a cat or dog reacts painfully, tries to resist. The tail loses its motor function.

With pelvic fractures, the animal cannot climb to the hind limbs or rises, but with difficulty, has problems with bowel movement and urination, refuses food and water.

Injury to the spine can manifest as paralysis, involuntary defecation, urinary incontinence, or lack of urination. The animal does not eat, breathes heavily, cannot raise its head. The vertebral column is visibly deformed.

Broken ribs are indicated by breathing problems, an unnatural position in a cat or dog, and anxiety. When palpating, differences in the line of the ribs are noticeable.

Fracture of the jaw in dogs and cats is accompanied by epistaxis, profuse salivation, change in bite.

If such symptoms are detected, the owner (and not only he, but anyone who noticed) must immediately provide the animal with all possible first aid and deliver it to the veterinary clinic.

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Causes of fractures in cats and dogs

Most often, small animals face the problem of limb fractures (as well as tails): decorative dogs, “hybrid” cats. all those breeds that appeared artificially, thanks to selection. Indeed, despite the fact that breeders are getting more and more aesthetically pleasing exteriors, health is often sacrificed to beauty, including the strength of bones. It is due to the pathological fragility of bone tissue that “purebred” dogs and cats often have fractures of the limbs and pelvis. The animal may not even receive serious injury, but, for example, simply unsuccessfully jump from a high chair. There are even cases of congenital fractures that kittens or puppies receive before they are born.

Some of the most common causes of acquired fractures are injuries: road traffic accidents. in dogs (in 70% of cases, an animal is hit by a car or motorcycle), falls from a great height. in cats (about 55% of cases), mechanical injuries (caused by people or other animals). accidental household (the latter especially concerns tail fractures). than half of the fractures in representatives of the feline family occur precisely on the limbs, then there are fractures of the pelvis and tail, then. of the spine, and least of all cats damage the bones of the skull. In dogs, the situation is somewhat different: the paws and spine are injured in 60% of cases, the pelvic bones. in 20% and with about the same frequency. the skull. Rib fractures, especially the latter, are a common injury in street dogs. There are also pathological bone injuries. due to diseases, improper feeding.

At the same time, veterinarians record various types of fractures, each of which is dangerous in its own way.

Often, the owners neglect to look after the animal, sending it on “self-walking”: this becomes, in most cases, the cause of cats falling from balconies or from windows not protected by a net, as well as dogs falling under the wheels of cars and into the hands of dog hunters. According to statistics, every second animal, released for independent walks, sooner or later does not return home, and most often injuries are the reason for this.

Types of fractures

In veterinary medicine, there are several classifications of fractures: by origin, location, etc. We will present the main types of injuries characteristic of dogs and cats.

  • fractures of tubular bones (front and hind legs);
  • fractures of flat bones (hip bones);
  • other fractures (tail, jaw, spine).

By the nature of the damage:

  • open, in which not only the bone is damaged, but also the surrounding tissues, the integrity of the skin or mucous membrane is disrupted. Open fractures can be complicated by bleeding and infection in the wound;
  • closed, without damaging the outer covers, which facilitates healing and maintains sterility.

In the direction of the fracture relative to the axis:

  • transverse (the bone is fractured perpendicular to the axis of the limb);
  • oblique (at an angle to the axis);
  • longitudinal (in the direction of the axis, rare cases);
  • spiral (with a violent screw-like movement of the limbs);
  • comminuted (when separating bone fragments);
  • crushed (with strong compression of the tubular bones along the axis).

Fractures are also typified by the degree of damage to the bone tissue (cracks, fractures, complete fractures), by the number (single and multiple), by the nature of the displacement of the fragments and by the anatomical nature. To accurately determine the type of injury and take the right measures, diagnostics are needed: a veterinarian’s examination, X-ray or CT (if you suspect damage to internal organs by bone fragments, an MRI is prescribed). In no case do you need to take independent actions. this way you can only harm your pet.

How to determine the signs of a fracture in order to immediately go to the clinic?


In case of complex fractures: splinter and depressed fractures of the paws, injuries of the iliac, sciatic, pubic bones, jaw and others, the intervention of a veterinarian-surgeon is required. He performs an operation to mechanically connect bone fragments and fix them. osteosynthesis. After the bone tissue has grown together, the connective material (threads, needles, plates, pins) is removed.

Today, three main methods of osteosynthesis are practiced:

  • Intramedullary osteosynthesis, also called immersion. Fragments are connected by introducing a special retainer-rod into the intramedullary canal. Outside (on the bone), the connection can be fixed with screws, cerclage sutures, etc. The main disadvantages of the method are: the danger of damage to the operated bone and the fact that the rod remains in the bone canal forever, which can lead to the destruction of the bone marrow. Nevertheless, the technique is used quite often. in more than 30% of cases.
  • Extramedullary osteosynthesis (plate). The technology of extraosseous synthesis consists in applying special plates to the damaged bone and fixing them with screws. This method provides secure fixation and promotes rapid tissue healing. It is used mainly for fractures of tubular bones with comminuted, oblique and screw-like types of damage. However, with all its advantages, the method is not always applicable to use in small animals. surgical screws located too close can cause resorption (destruction) of bone tissue. After the bone is healed, the plates are removed. This method of osteosynthesis is the most common: it is used in half of all surgical interventions.
  • Extrafocal osteosynthesis involves the use of the method of external fixation using pins fixed above and below the fracture site. For large animals, the Ilizarov apparatus is usually installed (see Fig. 1), for small animals, a single-plane external fixation apparatus is installed. The disadvantage of this method is the inconvenience for the animal and a long recovery period, the risk of developing a soft tissue infection. The advantage is in the low trauma for the animal and the possibility of physical exertion, which reduces the risk of developing muscle atrophy after a fracture. Extrafocal osteosynthesis is used in about 10% of cases.

The choice of method depends on the location of the fracture, its type, and, of course, on what technique the surgeon is practicing. Surgical recovery takes an average of 5 to 7 weeks.

Treating fractures in pets

As we have already said, to diagnose the presence of a fracture and its type, the doctor first examines and touches the animal, then directs it for X-ray, CT or (in difficult cases) for MRI. Based on the results of the diagnosis, the veterinarian prescribes treatment. It can include various methods (depending on the severity of the injury), but most often it is a set of measures.

First aid for signs of fracture in a cat or dog

If a fracture is suspected, the animal should be provided with as much rest as possible, transferred to a bed or carrier. In case of limb fracture, you need to try to immobilize the injured paw (without trying to straighten the bone yourself!) And go to the veterinary center as soon as possible.


If there are signs of a fracture of the spine. without changing the position of the body, carefully transfer the pet to the blanket and, in the same way, trying not to disturb (this is fraught with spinal cord injuries), transfer it to the car. If the jaw is broken, put on a muzzle on the pet to avoid displacement of bone fragments.

Do not try to self-administer pain relievers or other medications to the animal: this can only provoke a deterioration in the condition of your pet. It is better to take the animal to the veterinary clinic as soon as possible: there they will conduct an emergency diagnosis and prescribe the necessary therapy.

Help a Dog Recover from a Broken Leg


Injury type Features of the
Crack in the bone There are no visible signs of damage. The dog remains active at first, only limps slightly. The owner may think that the animal has a slight dislocation or bruise

Help with an open fracture

At home, a pressure bandage is applied to the dog’s paw, placing a tourniquet over the bleeding place.

The wound is treated with hydrogen peroxide or any other antiseptic and covered with sterile gauze folded in several layers. If this is not possible, use a clean cloth, the dog is immediately taken to the clinic.

When is surgical treatment performed?

For light cracks, conservative treatment is used. The paw is fixed to the dog with external splints and drugs are prescribed depending on the degree of damage and the condition of the pet.

When surgery is necessary:

  • with an injury to the tibia or heel bone;
  • with closed and open fractures;
  • when hammering bone into bone.

During preparation for the operation, the doctor not only anesthetizes the injury, but also puts the dog to sleep with anesthesia. Having applied muscle relaxants, the surgeon proceeds to reposition the bones.

During the operation, doctors use various devices to secure the limb in a fixed position:

  • plates and pins;
  • wire and knitting needles;
  • screws, screws, staples.

Previously, metal retainers were used, which caused inconvenience to the animal. Now more and more comfortable polymer products are being used.

If the paw was broken not by a puppy, but by a dog, then in case of complex injuries, special structures are applied to restore the bone. They are selected according to the breed.

Rehabilitation period: how to take care of a dog

The recovery period usually lasts from a month to 40 days, but for an older dog it can take twice as long. After the fixation is removed from the paw, and the pet gradually returns to the usual rhythm of life.

For the period of rehabilitation, they adhere to the following rules:

  • for better bone healing, the dog is limited in movement (if possible, use a cage);
  • while the pet is devoid of physical activity, only low-calorie food is introduced into the diet so that the animal does not gain extra pounds;
  • food should be balanced, scheduled by the hour;
  • if the animal is not yet able to move independently, then a bowl of food and drinking containers are brought to the place where the dog lies;
  • to restore damaged tissues and quickly heal the fracture, the dog is given mineral and vitamin supplements and calcium-containing preparations;
  • if there was an open wound and surgery was performed, the pet is prescribed a course of antibiotics (in injections or oral);
  • you should not walk the dog earlier than 3-4 weeks after the injury, but it is allowed to take it out (or take it out in a stroller) to the fresh air, limiting the duration of the walk to 30 minutes;
  • in a private house in the summer, the animal can be settled on an open veranda, in the apartment an alternative will be a balcony (loggia), this will replace the dog with regular walks.

If you had to resort to surgical intervention and dressings are required, then it is advisable to do this at home, so as not to strain the sick dog once again.

Apparatus for osteosynthesis

Name Features of the
Ilizarova The design is a combination of metal rings and spokes. Used for fixing limbs in large dogs
Kirchner The device is assembled from metal or plastic rods and self-tapping screws in the form of rods (needles). suitable for small animals

Dogs of large breeds wear the Kishner design, if it is not realistic to use the Ilizarov apparatus (for example, with severe intra-articular fractures).

First aid to an animal

The sooner the injured animal is delivered to the clinic, the more likely it is to avoid complications. But first of all, the owner himself provides the pet with emergency assistance.

To begin with, the dog is put on a muzzle so that the animal does not accidentally bite the owner from pain.

The dog broke his paw: symptoms, what to do

Dogs, due to their activity, often find themselves in traumatic situations.

It is important to notice a broken paw in a dog in time and provide it with the necessary assistance to maintain the mobility of the pet’s limbs.