Just like us, dogs can suffer from various joint or bone problems. Fractures or sprains are not uncommon, whether in young dogs that are sometimes too feisty, or in older animals that are subject to a natural phenomenon of weakening of the limbs.
In order to avoid aggravating the problem, but also to reduce your pet’s suffering as quickly as possible, it is important to know how to quickly spot the signs of a fracture or sprain in your dog.
Fractures in dogs
The fracture is actually pretty easy to spot. If it is open, the visual aspect of the injury will allow you to understand the situation very quickly. On the other hand, if it is a closed fracture, certain signs are to look for, such as an abnormal position of the limb, significant swelling, limping, and of course significant pain.
In the event of a fracture, take your dog immediately to your veterinarian, who will be able to give him the appropriate care and relieve his pain.
A dog sprain, as opposed to a fracture, is an injury to the tendon, ligament or muscle attached to a joint. It can be due to a minor accident, such as stretching too suddenly, or a shock against the joint during lively play, for example.
Unfortunately, a dog sprain can develop into a more serious physical problem if it is not treated quickly.
How Can You Tell If Your Dog’s Leg Is Sprained?
The most common and obvious symptom is limping. Your dog doesn’t normally lean on his paw and has more difficulty moving around. If the pain is too severe, your pet may also bring the leg completely upwards so that it never touches the ground.
In the event of a sprain, the dog also tends to lick the injured area intensively. You will notice a significant swelling of the injured area.
In the event of a sprain, your dog may also change its behaviour. He will eat less, be less active and sleep a lot, and will be reluctant to exercise in order to preserve his painful leg.
Finally, a sprained dog often causes moaning, barking or growling when the injured area is moved or touched.
Dog sprain: first aid
First of all, know that the most effective remedy against dog sprain is simply rest! Physical activity should be avoided for at least two full days to allow the healing process to begin properly. To allow your pet to rest, confine him to a small space (a bedroom, for example) and take him out on a short leash to limit his movements. When walking, you should walk slowly and for a short distance so as not to aggravate the injury.
Applying cold to the injury can also help your pet in the event of a sprain. Wrap a towel around a bag of ice and apply it to the injury for 10 to 15 minutes at 2-hour intervals. The cold will not only reduce pain and swelling, but also speed up the healing process.
If your dog is aged, ill, or has a recurring injury, the application of moist heat is probably more appropriate. Wrap a warm, moist towel around your dog’s paw and leave it for 10 to 15 minutes, with an interval of 1 hour between each operation. The heat will improve blood circulation, relax muscles and soothe your pet’s pain.
Finally, in the event of a sprain, keep a close eye on your dog for 48 hours. Dog sprains usually heal quickly, and if symptoms persist or worsen, it is imperative that you consult a veterinarian.