The procedure only begins when the veterinarian treats your dog’s broken leg. The care you provide can either lead to a quick recovery of the dog’s leg with perfect use of the injured limb or can lead to quite serious complications. There are many things you should consider when helping a dog recover from a broken leg, from pain relief to rest and eventual regaining of activity.
Helping your dog rest his Broken leg
Know what rest means. Rest” means limiting the dog’s activities so that he can no longer walk, run, jump or apply any other pressure whatsoever on his broken leg. This can be achieved by confining the dog to a crate or kennel.
You can easily find these types of cages in pet stores.
Choose the right crate size for your dog. The purpose of a crate is to prevent the dog from using his injured paw too much. That’s why you shouldn’t choose a crate that’s too large. As a general rule, it is best to use a crate in which the dog is just able to sit without bumping his head, leaving a small space above his head for greater comfort.
The dog should also be able to lie down and stretch its limbs as fully as possible. To determine the length and depth of the crate, add five centimetres to the height of the dog when the body and limbs are fully extended.
Provide a soft, padded bed. Bedding that properly distributes the dog’s weight over its entire surface is best.
Place the crate where the dog can be close to you and your family. Try to keep the crate in a room where the dog will have company. Consider placing the crate in the living room with a TV to distract your dog.
If it’s cold, cover the crate with a blanket at night to keep warm inside.
Help your dog relieve himself. Be aware that your dog will need to relieve himself on a regular basis. To take a small dog outside, simply hug him and put him outside so he can relieve himself. For a larger dog that is almost impossible to lift, consider putting a strap under his body to relieve the pressure on his injured leg. Here’s how to make a sling :
A very easy way is to pass a large bath sheet under the dog’s belly, if one of the hind legs is broken, or under his chest, if it is a front leg. Lift up the ends of the sheet like a sling to support its weight.
Be careful when letting the dog out of the cage. From a human point of view, this may give the impression that you have put the dog in jail and not confined him for his own good. You may be tempted to let the dog out of the crate. You run the risk that the dog will come and go everywhere, which will ruin your efforts and make the animal no longer want to go back.
If you feel that the dog needs to get out of the crate for a while, make sure there are no other dogs around and no small children that could excite him. Put a collar and leash on him so you can limit his raving and excitement.
The goal should be to leave him lying at your feet while you watch TV or leave him on the couch to pet him (depending on his size) rather than allowing him to run around the garden. Don’t let the dog jump on a piece of furniture, as this type of movement is most likely to fracture the bone that is in the process of healing.
Help your dog rest for about eight weeks. It takes an average of two months to heal a fracture. This is quite variable depending on the age of the animal, simple fractures in puppies heal in four to six weeks, while it takes almost three months of recovery for an older dog.
The veterinarian will recommend the number of times the dog can walk per week. This is usually a progressive period, meaning he’ll be able to walk more from week to week in order to avoid further damage. For example, your dog may be allowed to walk ten minutes more than the previous week after the first two weeks of recovery.