How do you know if a dog’s back is broken? Here’s What to Do Next

Causes of Fracture of the Spine in Dogs

The spinal cord is protected by the vertebrae; impact that crushes or changes this structure can lead to spinal cord injury. Although the occurrence of this injury is acute, secondary damage often occurs in the 24 – 48 hour time frame following the trauma, and in some cases damage can continue months to years after. Spinal fractures are more common in young dogs who lack in road sense and intact males which may be more likely to wander due to mating urge.

Causes of spinal fractures may be:

  • Road traffic accidents
  • Gunshot injury
  • Fall from height
  • Animal attack, small dogs are known to present with spinal fractures after being shaken by the neck by larger dogs
  • Treatment of Fracture of the Spine in Dogs

    The initial treatment for your dog will be stabilization. If respiratory distress or cardiovascular distress are present intravenous fluids, oxygen and appropriate medications may be necessary.

    To provide pain relief your pet will likely be given opiate analgesia. His bladder function will be carefully monitored following spinal injury, during in-patient care your pet’s bedding will be assessed for signs of urinary incontinence and his bladder palpated to determine if your dog is effectively emptying his bladder. If your dog is unable to control urination, manual expression will be required to prevent further complications.

    Non-surgical Treatment

    Your veterinarian may recommend non-surgical treatment for your pet which may require cage confinement and exercise restriction for 6-8 weeks. Your veterinarian may choose to utilize external support bandages to provide spinal stability, it is vital in these cases that this is kept clean and dry.

    Surgical Treatment

    Your pet may require surgical treatment to stabilize his spine, this is considered the most effective technique with the most common types of internal fixation being metal screws, wires, and pins.

    Nursing Care

    In either surgical or non-surgical treatment nursing care is essential to support your pet’s recovery. The following steps should be taken:

  • Soft, water-proof bedding should be provided and regularly changed to prevent urine scalding and prevent bed sores
  • Your dog should be regularly turned to prevent bed sores and atelectasis – your veterinarian should regularly auscultate your pet’s lungs
  • Highly palatable foods should be given to encourage nutrition
  • Worried about the cost of Fracture Of The Spine treatment?

    Pet Insurance covers the cost of many common pet health conditions. Prepare for the unexpected by getting a quote from top pet insurance providers.

    What Exactly Is Spinal Injury in Dogs?

    When veterinarians refer to spinal injuries in dogs, they typically mean some form of acute damage to the many components of the spinal column. The spinal column runs the entire length of your dog’s body from neck to tail.

    The cervical spine includes the vertebral bones and joints that support and articulate the neck. Just behind the cervical vertebrae, the ribs attach to the vertebrae of the thoracic spine. Beyond the thoracic spine, the lumbar spine supports your dog’s back. The human spine has these same distinctions. Unlike your spine, however, your dog’s spinal column has one extra area, the caudal spine, that includes the bones of the tail.

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

    Back pain occurs not only in humans but also in dogs. Dogs can experience mild to severe back pain with limited mobility, which can be temporary or chronic. Knowing the signs and treatments of back pain can tremendously help in alleviating your dog’s pain.