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What to Do If Your Dog Breaks a Bone

If your dog breaks a leg, your goal is to stabilize your hurting pup — a broken bone is very painful — until you can get him to a veterinarian.

Fractures are sometimes obvious, such as when the leg is lying in an abnormal position or when a piece of bone is poking through the skin. But sometimes the leg just looks swollen, but if you try to move the bones, you may feel a grinding under your fingers caused by the two broken ends of the bone rubbing against each other.

If veterinary care is available, carefully place the dog on a firm, level surface and take him to the clinic.

If you are far from veterinary help, splint a broken leg before moving your dog. (Don’t bandage a fractured rib, spine, or pelvis.) The best splint is something rigid but padded such as a board wrapped in a towel.

Place the splint against the dog’s limb, avoiding movement of the bones as much as possible. Tape or wrap the leg to the splint above and below the break. Transport the dog to a veterinary clinic as soon as possible.

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