dog remedies

Dog Broken Bone Symptoms: A Comprehensive Overview

Dog Broken Bone Symptoms


You might want to learn the dog broken bone symptoms to know if your dog has a fracture on the limb.  A dog is a man’s best friend, and the last thing one would want is to see their dog in pain.

Broken bones are a factor that causes pain to a dog, and depending on the severity, it could lead to a fatal effect on the dog’s health and life.  However, by knowing the symptoms of a broken bone, you could act fast and save your dog’s life.

Below, is a comprehensive overview of everything you need to know to help your furry friend with a broken bone. But before that, let’s look at the symptoms of a broken bone in a dog. 

Symptoms Of A Broken Bone In A Dog

An open fracture is the most common sign of a broken bone in a dog.  Your furry friend’s bone will protrude through its skin, and you will be able to see it.  Other symptoms that may indicate a broken bone in a dog include:

  • Unusual limb movement
  • Holding the injured limb up when moving
  •  Swelling
  • Loud whining
  • Pain
  • A grinding sound when of bone
  • Bruising in the affected injured area

When your dog experiences serious trauma, there might be other severe injuries within the bone, including internal bleeding and organ injury.  If your dog experience such symptoms, do not ponder to visit or call a vet.

Types Of Bone Injury

Different types of bone injuries will have different effects on your dog.  Some might be life-threatening, while others are mild and might not long-term affect your dog.

Knowing the types of fractures will make it easier to describe the dog’s injury to a vet when calling for help.

Your information will help the vet understand what they will be dealing hence carry the necessary equipment for the procedure.

Here is the classification of broken bones:

  • Complete/Incomplete Fractures: A complete fracture occurs within the bone’s circumference or broken partway around the bone in an incomplete fracture.
  • Open Or Closed Fractures: You will refer to a fracture as open when there is a physical wound around the dog’s skin or closed when the bone does not tear the skin when it fractures.
  • Comminuted, oblique, or transverse: A comminuted fracture features a bone broken into three or more pieces.  An oblique is described as a diagonal fracture, while a transverse is a straight fracture across the bone.

What Causes Broken Bone In Dogs?

If you spend much time with your canine, it is easy to know the cause of the fracture.  However, there are times when an incident might happen without your presence.  Here are some of the possible causes of fractures in your dog:

  • Jumping From A distant Height

Playful dogs will often try to jump from one place to another.  It could be a tall bed or even a slide in a playground. 

Your dog’s physical strength and size will significantly determine the impact of its fall.  Strong breeds will be okay, but the weak and small ones might fracture a bone.

  • Car Trauma

If your dog likes roaming in your yard beside the road unsupervised, it might break its bone due to a car’s impact.  Such a trauma might be fatal, and it might lose its life on the spot.

  • Retractable Leash

Even though retractable leashes seem like a great way to offer freedom to your canine while maintaining control, they can still be dangerous.  A retractable leash can wrap around your dog’s leg and fracture it.

  • Landing On Hard Surfaces

Besides great heights, hard surfaces increase the odds of a dog breaking a bone during a fall.  The weight and strength of the dog are also determining factors on the impact of the fall.

  • Pre-existing Injuries

A dog with a pre-existing bone injury can hurt itself again, mainly because the bone is weak from the previous injury.  It is essential to properly support your dog, especially if it has had a severe injury.

  • Surgery

Some orthopedic surgeries, like TPLO surgery, might require cutting of the bone to address the orthopedic issue.  Such surgeries cause weakening of the bone, and hence it can fracture easily.

How To Safely Transport Your Injured Dog

Once you realize your dog has a fractured bone, you should take it to the veterinary hospital.  However, this is easier said than done. 

A dog with a broken bone might pose specific characteristics which might bring a problem when taking it to the hospital.

So, if you want to transport your injured dog to the hospital for treatment, here is what you should do:

  • Asses The Injury

When your canine breaks a bone, the first thing you should do is assess the injury.  During your assessment, you should try to identify the type of fracture, the severity of the fracture, and its possible cause.

  • Administer First Aid

If the injury is too fatal, like an open fracture, it would be best to call for professional help.  However, help might not always be around the corner.  Therefore, you should try administering first aid to your dog, such as preventing bleeding.

Bleeding can lead to other problems for your dog, including loss of life.  However, through the administering of first aid, you could prevent it.  You should try immobilizing the wounded area if it is not an open fracture.

Immobilizing the wounded area will prevent further damage and help the dog stay calm.  Note that some dogs will behave aggressively when you touch the hurt area and might even bite.

Therefore, it is crucial to stay calm while addressing your dog.  It is best to call someone to help you handle the situation. First aid helps to stabilize the injury preventing further damage and infection to the wound.

  • Take Your Dog To The Veterinary

When you take your dog to the hospital, ensure it is in a comfortable position where its hurt area cannot shake.  It is best to have someone assist you to keep your dog calm while you take it to the veterinary hospital.

Diagnosis And Treatment Of A Broken Bone On A Dog

Once you get to the hospital, the veterinary will diagnose your dog’s fracture.  From the assessment, the vet will give you the best way method of treatment for your dog’s injury.  The vet will work to stabilize your dog’s condition.

The steps and tools that the vet will use for diagnosis include:

  • Initiation of intravenous to begin administering pain medication to help the dog stay calm during the whole process.
  • Insertion of Urinary catheter so that your dog won’t feel the need to stand up to urinate.
  • Checking for organ injury and other trauma signs
  • Conduction of a bit of blood work if necessary
  • Sedation of the dog so that radiography can be conducted
  •  In case there is a need for additional organ analysis, the vet can perform an abdominal ultrasound

Diagnosis helps the vet fully understand the trauma’s effect to administer the best treatment for your dog.

After the vet puts your dog in stable condition, they can attend to the fracture.  It is the start of the treatment process. 

They can deliver the treatment in a surgical or non-surgical manner, depending on the type of bone injury.

For example, a simple splint may be required to heal a closed fracture.  The vet might also administer some treatment methods based on age, home environment, and financial capabilities.  Some treatment options for the fracture will include:

  • A cast is the most economical treatment choice.  However, a cast might require several appointments with the vet for repairs or replacements.  Additionally, the cast will increase the overall healing period
  • External metal fixation
  • Internal fixation involves implanting screws, plates, wires, and pins under the skin surface.
  • Knee amputation in the case of a severely broken limb.  The best thing is that dogs can quickly adapt to living with three legs.

Recovery Of Broken Bones In Dogs

Once treatment the vet administers treatment to your dog; you will have to help it recover from the trauma. 

The do won’t stay at the hospital for long before being discharged, which shows the importance of home treatment.

If the vets had administered a cast treatment, you should prevent your dog from licking it.  An Elizabeth collar could help you here.  Some vets recommend weekly checkups.

If the vets did an internal or external fixation treatment, there might be a need to remove those foreign materials in the body in the future.

It is also important not to feed your dog often as it might gain unnecessary weight during healing.  Despite the vet’s treatment method, it is still crucial for your dog to follow up with radiography.

Do not allow the dog to jump around the house even if it starts to feel better and recover from the trauma.


Knowing dog broken bone symptoms can help you save your dog’s life and prevent further injuries.  Depending on the fracture, the recovery period might last for 4 to 12 weeks.

The dog’s recovery might seem slow; however, the prognosis of the broken bone can be good if you treat your dog with care and diligence.

When taking your dog to the hospital, immobilize the fractured bone area to prevent further damage.  Working hand in hand with your vet can have your dog walking again with time.