Pet Fracture FAQ

Our Scarsdale Vet Clinic Answers Your Pet Fracture Questions


Central Animal Hospital understands your distress when beloved pet sustains a fracture — as well as your confusion about what to do next. Here are answers to frequently asked fracture questions from our Scarsdale vet clinic.

  • How do fractures occur in pets? One cause is a traumatic event such as a fall or a collision with an automobile, fights or sporting mishaps. Puppies can sometimes sustain fractures in bones whose ends are still composed partly of soft tissue. Geriatric or arthritic dogs can be especially vulnerable to fractures.
  • What are the main types or categories of fractures? The two main categories of fracture are closed (in which the bone is fully contained by the skin) and open/compound (in which the bone end has broken the skin). Other distinctions include hairline fractures, transverse breaks that cross the bone cleanly, greenstick fractures in which the break doesn’t go completely through the bone, and comminuted or multi-piece fractures.
  • Why are compound fractures potentially dangerous? Compound fractures are dangerous because the open wound is exposed to bacteria, potentially causing serious infection. A jagged bone end can also do further damage to surrounding soft tissues.
  • What are the signs of a closed fracture? A fractured limb may be bent at an odd angle. Your pet may hold the injured limb up without putting any weight on it, while others who can bear weight on the fracture may limp. Swelling and pain are other common symptoms.
  • How should I handle a pet with a fracture? Cover a compound fracture with a clean cloth to reduce infection risk and apply a splint to a broken limb, if possible, to restrict movement. Then get your pet to our Scarsdale veterinarian as quickly as possible. so we can X-ray the fracture and administer the proper treatment.
  • What is external stabilization? External stabilization includes non-surgical measures such as splints and casts that immobilize the fracture so it can heal. We may have to set the bone ends into the proper position before applying the splint or cast.
  • What is internal stabilization? Internal stabilization involves surgical repairs to fix bones in place with metal hardware. Long bones with simple fractures can often be repaired with a pin inserted lengthwise into the bone. More complex fractures may need to be put back together with metal plates and screws.
  • How long will it take for my pet’s fracture to heal? Healing time depends on the age and activity of the patient, the type of fracture and any complicating health issues. For instance, a young animal with a hairline fracture may require less than 6 weeks to heal, while a senior dog with a comminuted fracture may need 3 months or more.

Get Pet Fracture Assistance From Your Scarsdale Veterinarian

Your Scarsdale veterinarian is ready to answer your questions and help your pet recover. Bring your pet to Central Animal Hospital for fracture evaluation and treatment. Call us at 914-723-1250 and schedule an appointment.