April 21, 2021 Dogs Surgery

4 Examples of Fracture Repair in Pandemic Puppies

A dog with a cast on its leg

4 Examples of Fracture Repair in Pandemic Puppies

Pandemic puppies have been our new reality at the Animal Medical Center these past months. And with puppies come more pediatric medical and surgical infirmities. One such injury requiring the expertise of AMC’s board-certified surgical specialists is a bumper crop of broken legs in young dogs.

Causes of Puppy Broken Legs

While I suspect vehicular trauma accounts for most broken legs in dogs, none of these youngsters acquired a broken leg from being hit by a car. One little guy fell off a top bunkbed, another had an accident at the grooming salon, the owner slipped and fell on the third patient and the fourth was bitten by a large dog.

Different Repairs for Different Fractures

Each of these dogs required a surgical procedure to repair the fracture. Splints and bandages can be used to immobilize a fracture only if the joint above and below the break can both be included in the splint. This rule of fracture repair means only fractures of the forearm, shin bones and paws can be repaired with a splint.

Femur Fracture

An x-ray of fracture repair in a dog

This is a perfect example of a fracture that cannot be fixed with a splint. Here you see an internal plate repair of a femur fracture.

Precise Alignment

The x-ray above on the left shows the in-progress repair of a complex fracture near the knee. Bone clamps hold the pieces of bone in place and a pin has been driven through the pieces to stabilize the fracture. Ultimately three pins were required to successfully repair the fracture, which is shown on the right.

External Repair

An x-ray of fracture repair in a dog

This contraption is called an external fixator because the supports holding the pins in place are outside of the skin. An external fixator was chosen in this puppy because the fracture was the result of a bite injury and was at risk for infection. Internal plates and pins can fail if they become infected.

All the fractures were caused by accidents, and some were likely preventable. The AMC veterinary staff loves to take care of pandemic puppies but would rather see your new puppy for a wellness visit rather than in our animal ER. Remember: always keep your puppy on a leash, off high pieces of furniture and check under your feet for a wiggly puppy before moving about.

Tags: Broken legs, dogs, Femur fracture, fractures, puppies, Surgery,

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