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Treating a dog with a broken leg

Wednesday, January 26, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

dog-broken-legJust like humans, dogs are prone to broken bones. Leg fractures are the most common. One thing that you should remember is that dogs have a high pain tolerance. You may notice their leg dangling but see that they aren’t really in pain.  Look to see if  the leg is swollen. Also look for signs of shock such as pale or white gums, rapid breathing or a rapid heartbeat. If you notice any of these signs, get the dog to the vet right away.

Here are some tips in caring for a dogs broken leg:

  • If necessary, restrain the dog.
  • Be soft spoken and approach the dog slowly.
  • If it does not have a leash, place a leash around its neck and attach the leash to a secure object.
  • Pull the dog against the object and try to tie the dog so that it can’t move it’s head.
  • Look closely at the break.  See if there is an open wound, or a bone protruding or if it’s closed meaning that there is no break in the skin.
  • If the limb is grossly misshapen, or the dog is in great pain, hold a towel underneath him and transport him to the animal hospital.
  • If the wound is open, flush with warm water, put a towel under the dog and get him to the hospital. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO PUT A SPLINT ON HIM.
  • If the wound is not open and the leg is not out of shape and the dog does not appear to be in too much pain, use any splint material such as newspapers, cardboard, magazines to immobilize the limb, NOT RESET IT.
  • Attach the splints to the dogs leg and wrap gauze or torn strips of cloth around it.
  • Tape or tie the strips firmly but not too tight as to inhibit circulation.
  • Transport the dog to the vet.

Reassure the dog on the way to the vet and maybe give him a dog treat or two to calm him down.



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