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Your dog has broken his leg, what do you do?

Saturday, July 7, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

If your dog breaks his leg, get him to a vet right away. Obviously, he’s in a lot of pain and the leg has to be taken care of  in order for it to heal properly.  If treatment is delayed, an infection could develop. Make sure that you stabilize the leg before attempting to take your dog to the vet.  The easiest way to do this is to take a dish towel, pillow case an old sheet and wrap it around the limb. Tie it as you would a sling and keep it close to the body.Tie it around the hip area if it’s the back leg and around the neck or shoulder if it’s the front limb. Use the sling only if the dog’s leg is straight. Do not try to set the bone yourself. Try to keep your dog as calm as possible.  Sometimes a break just looks swollen other times the bone actually breaks through the skin.  You should try to make a simple splint if this is the case.  The best splint is something rigid but padded such as a board wrapped in a towel. Only do this if you are far from a vet and the bone is poking through the skin. Tape the splint above and below the break. Keep your dog on a flat surface while transporting him. Sometimes a board or ironing board can help. Once at the vet, the bone will be set properly and your vet will tell you how to proceed with treatment.

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