Broken bones in pets can range from being a nuisance to being a life threatening situation, especially if a sharp bone fragment severs an artery. Be cautious about the pain response of any animal when they display the signs of a broken bone.
If it is safe and not stressful for the pet, try to gently assess a traumatized area that may harbor a broken bone by looking for bruising, an abnormal contour to the surface that isn’t present on the opposite side, a twist to a limb that is not normal, or discomfort when local pressure is applied. Use a muzzle if required.
If the pet is bleeding, try to apply pressure to stop blood flow. Apply a clean cloth or bandage material gently to bleeding areas for protection and mild pressure. If possible, immobilize a fracture area. Get to an animal hospital as soon as possible. Sometimes a stretcher improvised from a blanket or plywood board can be very helpful in transporting an animal that cannot walk. If you provide careful support to any fractured limbs trying to apply a splint may not be necessary.
If an animal is in extreme pain, is panicked, or has a paralyzing spinal injury, you should call your veterinarian for advice regarding transporting the animal to the hospital. Be prepared for these animals to require a number of assistants for your trip to the animal hospital.
About Pet First Aid
This First Aid Guide was developed by the veterinary staff at Dr. Sherry Weaver's Animal Hospital of Towne Lake in Woodstock, GA. Always seek veterinary care following first-aid attempts. Your veterinarian is the best source of information for your pet’s specific needs. This information is provided for general reference and informational purposes only and should not be construed to be formal professional advice or the formation of a consultant-client relationship.