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The correct medical term for a break to a bone is a fracture. Bones can be fractured by 

  • direct impact
  • crushing
  • bending
  • bullet wounds and many other causes.

There are many different types of fracture in simple pet first aid terms, you should

  • Monitor and treat for shock
  • If the skin is broken you will need to control the bleed
  • Seek immediate veterinary help
  • Only splint if advised to do so by your vet

The least serious type of fracture is a Greenstick Fracture. This is where one side of the bone is fractured but the other side is intact or bent. With this type of fracture, they may still be able to walk on the limb, although with care. The only way you will know if it is a Greenstick Fracture is with an x-ray.

Some general points of fractures are to:

  • Seek immediate veterinary help, they can advise you and can prepare for your arrival
  • Minimise movement 
  • Prevent the condition from getting worse 
  • Control bleeding if necessary 
  • Monitor for shock
  • Handle the limb as little as possible
  • Support the limb but be aware of pain
  • Take care of aggression and biting
  • Consider using a muzzle
  • Consider the best way to restrict movement, but only splint on the advice of your vet.

The vet will decide on the best course of treatment which may include placing the limb in a cast.Younger animals heal more quickly than older animals, so the treatment will depend on the age of the animal.