Answers The Most Frequently Asked Questions about Broken Bones
Pets break bones for a number of reasons, from falls to auto accidents. At Animal Emergency Centre, our emergency veterinarian team sees animals with broken bones every week. Most pet owners coming into our office have the same questions about their pet's broken bones. Here are some of the most common ones:
Are There Different Types of Broken Bones?
Broken (or fractured) bones come in two basic types: open or closed fractures. An open fracture happens when the skin is broken and you can see the bone. In a closed fracture, the skin is intact and covers the fractured bone. There are also hairline fractures, which are closed fractures where the bone isn't completely broken in half but is merely cracked. They should be treated just as seriously as other fractures, though.
How Can I Tell If My Pet Has a Broken Bone?
Sometimes a pet broken bone is easy to diagnose, like when you can see the end of the bone sticking through the torn skin. In other cases, it's harder to tell. After an injury or accident, if your pet is limping or whining, it's possible that it's sustained a fracture. Any sign of pain after an accident can be a sign for you to contact our office.
What Causes a Broken Bone?
Bones are tough and it takes a great deal of force to fracture one. Fractures are caused by a sudden impact or great force from a fall or an object. They're most likely to happen to older pets with brittle bones and to excitable pets that are prone to adventure.
What to do if my Pet has Broken a Bone?
If you suspect your pet has broken a bone, call our emergency vet office first, then follow these basic rules:
- Never try to set a fracture
- Never use medication on an open fracture
- Get your pet to our office as soon as possible
How to Transport a Pet with a Broken Bone
Transporting your pet to our office can be a challenge if it's in pain. In all cases, muzzle your animal first to avoid accidental injuries, as animals in pain are apt to lash out and bite.
If you suspect a broken back, gently pull your pet onto a flat board without moving its back, then strap it into place. Never put pressure on the neck or back.
For a suspected broken limb, gently slide a clean towel under the broken limb. Support the limb with the towel as you transport your pet to our office.
Broken tails may be painful, but they pose no immediate danger to your pet. Call our office to make an appointment to see us within 24 hours.
It can be frightening to think of your pet having a broken bone, but our emergency vet team is experienced at caring for fractures of all types. If your pet suffers from an accident and your suspect a broken bone, call our Studio City emergency veterinarian team at (818) 760-3882.