When you own a dog, you want her to be happy and healthy, and you always do your best to keep her as safe as possible. Still, accidents happen. Understanding the common dog broken leg symptoms can give you an indication of whether a serious injury is present. Knowing the symptoms of a broken leg can help you to gauge what action you need to take.
How broken legs occur
Canna-Pet explains that there are many ways that your dog can break a leg. Usually, a dog broken leg is due to a sudden force or impact, such as if your dog were to fall or be hit by a car. Smaller dogs can break legs from jumping off of furniture in the home, and high-energy, excited dogs are at an increased risk of breaking a leg.
Though less common, broken legs can also occur during play or exercise, during sporting events, and even as a result of a poor diet. Bone cancer can also leave a dog at risk of breaking a leg.
Dog broken leg symptoms
According to Gentle Doctor Animal Hospital, various symptoms may alert you to the fact that your dog has broken her leg. Your dog may be unwilling or unable to move her leg and may whine in pain. She may hold the leg up off the ground, and you may notice that she moves abnormally.
Other signs include swelling in the affected area and potentially a grinding or popping sound in the bone. Canna-Pet notes that your dog may lose her appetite, try to isolate herself, and become aggressive toward anyone who tries to touch her leg, including you.
In some cases, you may even be able to see the fracture. The Kennel Club states that a broken bone may be sticking out through your dog's skin. Just because you can't see a fracture, though, doesn't mean that your dog hasn't broken a bone.
Other potential dog leg injuries
There are some other injuries that can cause these symptoms in your dog. A dog sprained ankle, torn muscle, or abscess can be highly painful, according to Canna-Pet. However, if your dog is in significant pain, you should get him to a vet right away. Delaying care can make some conditions worse.
How to move your dog
If you suspect your dog has a broken leg, Healthy Paws recommends that you contact your vet right away. If your vet isn't open, then contact a local veterinary hospital. The vet can give you some specific instructions for handling your dog's condition, and your phone call will allow them to prepare for your arrival.
Before you handle your dog, you may want to muzzle her for your safety, just in case she reacts in pain. Then, try to stabilize the leg by wrapping it in a towel or blanket. Lift your dog onto a blanket and use that to lift your dog into the car. You will probably need someone to help you. Try to have someone else drive so you can focus on keeping your pet calm and still until you get to the vet.
The good news is that broken legs in dogs are very treatable. With surgery, casts, and rest, most dogs can make a full recovery after breaking a bone. The best thing you can do for your dog is to try to stay calm and quickly get her the care she needs.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.