First Aid tips for Fractures in Animals
Fractures simply mean broken bones. The break in bones may be a complete break or a partial break meaning that the bone may just be cracked or bent. However, this kind of partial break is usually much more painful than a complete break. Also, fractures may be closed – where the skin is unbroken and unexposed; or open – where a wound leads to the fracture or the bone may be exposed. Open fractures are generally more serious because it may result in infections and extra care is required for healing to be complete.
Generally, fractures are usually one of the most painful conditions in both humans and animals. For dog owners, it is common to see them panic and/or feel very emotional about their fractured dogs as it is almost evident to “see” or “feel” the pain and great discomfort that the dog experiences. Leg fractures are the most common fractures and generally, an animal with a fracture is definitely a much less active animal needing urgent attention and care.
Causes of fractures
Fractures in animals may be caused by the following;
Signs and symptoms of fractures
First aid treatment for fracture in dogs
First of all, it is important to emphasize that all fractures need professional veterinary attention. However, in cases where help from veterinarian is not available immediately, it would be very helpful for the animal (and the owner) to administer some key first aid/emergency health interventions. Besides, the first aid will go a long way in easing the pain and discomfort of the animal before being transported to the veterinarian. Note that these first aid advices are mainly used as a first line of treatment and professional veterinary care is still very necessary to provide full treatment.
For this purpose, we would give a model first aid process using a case of a dog fracture as an example. First Aid materials in case of a dog fracture include;
Before administering first aid, make sure your dog is as comfortable as possible and someone is available to watch the animal.
For general first aid management for dogs, you should take the following important steps
For large domestic animals, the process of first aid and intervention, treatment and healing is much more complicated than this. Also it requires even more specialized care such as can be seen in equine specialists. It also requires that the owner is able to make a good decision on further keeping the animal depending on the function of the animal. For example, a bull or horse that was kept strictly for its reproductive purposes would be deemed less useful for that purpose if a fracture occurs and lameness sets in.
What Your Veterinarian Will Do
A veterinarian will provide holistic treatment for the sensitive nature of incidence of fracture in your animal. The treatment for a fracture will depend on the severity of the break and the dog’s age. Some fractures can be treated with a simple splint or cast, while other fractures require surgery and pins in order to stabilize and repair the break. In addition, a veterinarian will help to monitor the cast and provide rehabilitation for the animal where necessary. Generally, younger dogs heal much quicker than older dogs, and younger dogs usually require casting for less amount of time than older dogs.
Your veterinarian will also examine the fracture through a series of x-rays (and follow-up x-rays) and will also check the dog’s vital signs for any impending symptoms of shock. In case of required surgery, blood tests may also be carried out to ensure that the dog is stable for surgery and that no other underlying medical conditions or injuries are present.
The healing process will additionally be monitored by the veterinarian to make sure that the fracture is stabilized and fully healed, and to estimate when any cast or splints can be removed.