How do you know if a dog has a broken bone? Get Your Pet Thinking

Shock symptoms

A severe fracture that causes internal bleeding can cause a dog to go into shock. Shock symptoms in dogs include pale gums, thirst, rapid breathing, nausea, vomiting, and weakness or faintness.


A dog with a broken leg will hold its leg in midair, whine or cry, and resist your attempts to touch the damaged limb. The acute pain will not lessen until the fracture has been properly set by a veterinarian.

Symptoms of a Broken Leg in Dogs

The most obvious sign of a broken leg will be when your dog suffers from an open fracture. The skin will split, and you will be able to see your dog’s leg bone protruding where it is broken. Of course, there will be bleeding, and your dog will be in significant pain. For closed fractures, you may notice your dog limping or favoring one leg, or he may refuse to walk completely.

The leg may look as though it is twisted or turned at an awkward angle, and you may start to see swelling right away. Your dog may exhibit other signs that indicate something is wrong, such as whining, howling, or whimpering, moving their leg in a way that isn’t normal, or holding one leg up if they do attempt to walk. You might see bruising of the area in addition to the swelling, and you may even notice your dog’s leg bone make a grinding or popping sound.

Other warnings signs can include a refusal to play or climb stairs, even if he is still willing to walk. Playing and climbing tend to put even more weight on the broken bone, so your dog will avoid those activities to alleviate his pain as much as possible. A dog may also lose their appetite and attempt to isolate themselves or become aggressive and snap at anyone that tries to touch the painful limb.

If you suspect that your dog may have a broken leg, don’t delay in getting him to the vet. While there are other conditions that can cause similar symptoms and pain, such as an abscess on dogs or a torn muscle or ligament, it is much better to address the issue promptly than wait and possibly make your dog’s condition even worse. Plus, if their bone has been broken, it may need to be set and that is something you should leave to a professional so that you know it’s been done properly.

In some cases, especially if your dog has suffered from serious trauma, delaying going to the vet could put your dog’s life in danger, especially if there is internal bleeding or injury to vital organs. Complications happen fast, so don’t wait or question yourself. Just load your dog up and go, at least then you will know you did all you could if the situation takes a turn for the worse.

How to Tell if Your Dog Has Broken It’s Leg

A broken bone is no laughing matter. Especially when it comes to broken bones in our four-legged canine friends. Not only are broken bones painful, it causes a huge disruption in your dog’s life, especially when it’s his leg that is broken. Think about it… dogs use their legs constantly. They use them to explore all over their environment, to run, to play, to dig, to scratch. When a dog’s leg is broken, it can put a serious crimp in their lifestyle and activity levels.

Sadly, a broken leg in dogs is actually fairly easy to do. A dog’s leg can be somewhat fragile, all things considered. Both the front legs and the back legs are made up of three different bones. A dog’s front leg often gets broken in the radius, which is the main bone that supports much of their weight.

Breaks, as well as hairline fractures, are relatively common, especially when it comes to the longer bones that bear the most weight and take the biggest beating. Their back legs are made up of their shin and thigh bones, both of which can suffer a break or fracture if impacted in the right way.

A dog can also dislocate a bone, especially the elbows and shoulders, or even their hips. Additionally, not all fractures are classified the same. Some fractures are called open fractures, which is what happens when the skin breaks open and you can see your dog’s bone. These type of fractures are vulnerable to infection because the wound site is quickly contaminated with dirt and bacteria. Whereas other fractures are called closed fractures, which is what happens when a dog breaks or fractures a bone, but the skin stays intact. These are less likely to suffer from infection, although they are still possible.

When a fracture is just a crack within the bone, it’s considered a hairline fracture, not a full break. Though a hairline bone fracture in dogs is less aggravating, they are still painful and can get worse if left untreated. You should handle a hairline fracture the same way you would handle an open or closed fracture and stabilize the bone so that it can heal properly. Sometimes dogs can sprain their leg as well. In all cases, stabilization of the wounded bone or joint is key to proper healing. If you notice your pup having trouble walking, it’s critical that you take him into the vet to see if your dog’s foot is broken or sprained.