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Recognizing Symptoms of a Bone Fracture in Cats or Dogs

Sometimes, a pet’s injury or illness is obvious. Other times, your pet could have an internal injury that isn’t immediately visible, but is still causing your pet stress and pain. Bone fractures can be internal, so being aware of the warning signs will ensure you get your pet the immediate veterinary care they need to heal. Here are some of the ways you can recognize the symptoms of a bone fracture in a cat or dog.

Signs of a Bone Fracture or Broken Bone in Cats

If your cat has a broken bone or fracture, he may try to hide somewhere inside or outside of your home, like under a bed, in a closet, behind furniture, or under bushes. He may yowl and scratch at you if you try to move him. If you pick him up or try to move him, he may cry out in pain. The symptoms of a broken bone in cats are:

  • Limping or refusing to walk.
  • Swelling or contusions around the injury.
  • Inability to eat or groom.
  • Obsessively licking the injured area.
  • Stiffness when walking.

Signs of a Bone Fracture or Broken Bone in Dogs

When your dog has a broken bone or fracture, he will likely whine, whimper, or bark to let you know something is wrong. He will move away from you, whimper, or even snap at you if you touch an area of his body that hurts. He may refuse to get up, or he may hide under furniture. The symptoms of a broken bone or fracture in dogs are:

  • Swelling or bruising around the injury.
  • Difficulty walking or moving the injured area.
  • Demonstration of pain or stiffness.
  • Changes in behavior, such as hiding, aggression, or increased whining or whimpering. 
  • Asymmetrical appearance of the area.
  • Bent, twisted, or abnormal looking limb. 
  • Bleeding.

What to Do if Your Pet Has a Broken Bone 

If your pet has a broken bone, do not try to treat it yourself. Take your pet to the closest veterinary hospital so he can get professional medical care. The veterinarian will take x-rays and diagnose the extent of your pet’s injury. He will either set the broken bone and put a splint, cast, or wrap on your pet’s limb, or recommend surgery to repair the injury. The veterinarian will also administer pain medication to your pet. 

Make an appointment at an emergency veterinary hospital as soon as you see any symptoms of a broken bone.