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Fractures in dogs

Fractures in Dogs

Fractures in dogs may occur when there is excessive stress exerted on the skeletal system.

There are different types of fractures, each with various characteristics. Fractures in dogs are usually of four types, closed, compound, epiphyseal and greenstick. Closed fractures are those in which the skin over the affected bone remains unbroken. Compound fractures are those in which the broken bone breaks through the skin. These are sometimes risky conditions as the exposed bone may come in contact with dirt and become infected.

Epiphyseal fractures are also referred to as growth plate fractures. These usually occur in younger dogs. In dogs below the age of 1 year there are soft parts at the end of the long bones. These are called growth plates and have a high content of non-calcified cells which create a spongy and soft area. These areas are prone to fracture as they are very weak.

Greenstick fractures are hairline fractures which are tiny cracks that occur in the bone.

Fractures in Dogs Symptoms

The symptoms of a fracture depend upon the severity of the bone breakage. Those fractures which affect the joints tend to be very serious. Pelvic fractures in dogs can lead to symptoms such as limping on the hind legs. It is necessary to treat such fractures immediately as there can be complications. Skull fractures in dogs can be compound, linear or star shaped. Most often, such fractures also reach the nasal cavity and middle ear. This creates a way for bacteria to enter the brain and cause infection. In some cases, brain injury may occur even if the skull does not break. Hairline fractures in dogs are mild as the affected bone does not split into pieces. However if such fractures are not treated early, certain complications may occur. Hip fractures in dogs usually occur in case of road accidents. Trauma, abnormal movements and shock are some of the symptoms of a hip fracture. Surgical repair may be necessary to treat the damaged bone. Proper after care is also essential for good recovery. In case you suspect a fracture in your dog, first examine the dog for any signs and symptoms. Look for swelling, irregular motions or lethargy. It is necessary to have the dog examined by a veterinarian. Since the dog must not exert pressure on the injury, you may have to carry your dog. The vet will recommend the type of treatment and surgical procedure that is most appropriate for the fracture. Following surgery, it is essential to monitor the dog closely to ensure proper recovery.
  Submitted on February 15, 2011  

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