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Wednesday, July 23, 2014
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How to Splint a Dog's Broken Leg

By Quentin Coleman
 

Overview

Dogs love to jump, run and play, which means accidents are bound to happen. Even a short fall, like slipping while getting out of a car, can result in a broken or fractured bone if the dog lands on his legs or back. If your dog suffers a serious injury like a broken bone, contact a veterinary specialist and request guidance. If you are unable to take your dog to a veterinary specialist immediately, you can splint his leg to prevent him for aggravating the injury. Splinting an injured leg prevents the dog from hurting himself any further by moving his damaged bones.

Step 1

Examine your dog's wound before attempting to clean it or create a splint. Check if the wound is still actively bleeding or if the blood is mostly dry. If the wound continues to bleed profusely, you need to get your dog to a veterinary specialist as soon as possible. Put on a pair of plastic gloves and gently push aside any hair obscuring the wound. Note the size and depth of the injury. Some broken or fractured bones don't produce any external wound at all, so the lack of blood does not necessarily mean your dog's leg isn't damaged.

Step 2

Hold the dog still, or have a helper hold him still if someone is available to help, and gently rinse the wound with water or a light saline solution. Hold the hair around the wound aside if it is in the way. Don't move suddenly or touch the dog's injury directly, as this may frighten your dog and make him aggressive. Flush the wound with a low concentration or non-astringent antiseptic. Absorb excess liquid remaining on the wound by dabbing it gently with a clean cloth or gauze.

Step 3

Bandage your dog's leg by wrapping the cloth strip around it multiple times. Pull it so it lays snug against the dog's leg without applying pressure to the wound. Layer the bandage by wrapping it around the injured area several times. Wind it around the skin above and below the injury as well. Seal the loose end of the bandage with medical tape to keep it in place.

Step 4

Fit the splint slowly around your dog's entire leg. For ankle injuries, the splint material should cover the paw, ankle and knee. If the fracture is farther up his leg, then the splint should contain the entire leg up to the joint with the dog's abdomen. Wrap the splint material around the leg firmly, but not tight enough to apply pressure to the wound. Tape the splint together at the top and the base. Tug gently on the splint to make sure the tape holds.

Step 5

Take your dog to a veterinarian or an animal hospital as soon as you can. A trained specialist with access to advanced equipment, including X-ray machines, can diagnose the problem and develop a solution to fix it. In many cases, your dog will need to continue to wear a splint for several days or weeks until the bone heals. The bandage will need to be replaced regularly so the wound can be cleaned, so you will need to remove and attach the splint at least once a day during the first week or two.
Comments (1)
Feb 10, 2014 hoosier1956
Great site.I recently had to have my 84 year old female Chihuahua,Tasha,to sleep after breaking a hind leg that the Veterinarian said wouldn't heal.She had already went blind & was losing her hair.I miss her a lot.
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