A fracture is the breaking of a bone. However, each fracture is different depending on the situation.
The power of the impact is the predominant factor in the severity of the fracture. A collision with a vehicle often results in multiple fractures of the legs and pelvis, sometimes open, whereas a fall usually results in a simple fracture of the leg.
Here’s how to make a pre-diagnosis to determine if your dog has a fracture:
He is limping and no longer has his front or hind legs on the ground or has great difficulty walking.
You can sometimes feel and even hear the contact of the bones with each other.
The presence of swelling at the trauma site.
The presence or not of an open wound (open fracture or closed fracture)
A lack of appetite for the dog.
What to do in an emergency if your dog has a potential fracture?
In the event that your dog has suffered an accident and you identify any of the symptoms listed above, it is imperative that you contact your veterinarian in an emergency.
An event that has fractured the bone in your dog’s leg or pelvis may have affected other areas as well. This is the time to perform a full consultation to check the condition of the other organs to assess the overall damage.
If your regular veterinarian is available, he is of course the best person to contact to explain the situation. If not, you can go to the nearest veterinary emergency room.
The pain generated can be unbearable for the dog, and great care must be taken when handling him, as even the nicest dog could become aggressive in this situation.
If it is an open fracture, it is important to cover the wound with a sterile dressing if possible, or a clean towel if necessary. This is an important step, as an open wound can cause significant complications if it becomes infected.
The veterinarian will stabilize the animal’s condition and confirm the diagnosis of the affected limbs by X-ray. The veterinarian will also perform a complete examination to determine if other organs are affected.
How is a pelvic or leg fracture treated in dogs: Treatments, procedures and follow-up?
Before considering any treatment for your pet’s fracture, the veterinarian will isolate him and apply first aid to stabilize his condition. This is especially the case if your dog has a pelvic fracture and internal organs may be affected. This crucial first step, usually performed in a veterinary clinic, lasts one to three days and is crucial to your pet’s recovery.
Once this has been done and the dog is under control, a series of tests and x-rays will be performed. The veterinarian will discuss with you the best option depending on the extent of the injury and your available budget.
In the vast majority of cases, surgery with a plate and screw is necessary to ensure the proper recovery of your pet, because as stated later, the use of a cast is possible in some cases, but the chances of complications are greater.
The latter is possible if the fracture is closed and the bones are properly in place, but the disadvantage of this method is that the dog does not stay still and tends to destroy it. The placement of a cast also requires more post-treatment care than the surgical placement of plates and screws.
After waking up under control, your dog will be able to leave the clinic within 24 to 48 hours following the operation.
Post-operative care will be explained to you after the surgery by your veterinarian or by the clinic, as it varies greatly depending on the case. Depending on the seriousness of the intervention, your dog will have to be more or less limited in movement and he will limp his front and back legs. In general, a relief harness placed under the pelvis can be put in place at first to help him walk.