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Do dogs ever get fitted with casts?

Updated on February 18, 2012

There are many reasons why a dog would have broken bones. Aside from the fact that dogs are very energetic animals, dogs have high prey drive too. Dog owners must never let the pet run loose. An interesting movement or scent on the other side of the road would make a dog vault oblivious of the oncoming cars. Statistics showed that being hit by a car is the leading reason for a dog’s broken bones. A fight with other animals, falling, jumping and slipping accidents are other reasons for the dog’s injuries. Fortunately, veterinary medicine has made great improvements. The procedures and treatments administered to humans with orthopedic cases are also administered to injured animals. Nowadays, injured dogs are not put down. Dogs with broken bones are fitted with casts.

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What is an orthopedic dog cast?

The upper and lower parts of the legs are the most common body parts fitted with cast. A dog’s orthopedic cast is made of the same aterials used in human’s cast. Cotton or bandages are soaked with plaster of Paris and wrapped around the broken bone. Within minutes, the plaster will harden and the bandage will form a protective shell that will restrict the mobility of the injured limb.

Why are casts used?

A broken bone would take some time to heal. Different bone injuries would need different treatments but commonly, a broken bone has to be realigned, to be joined up or repaired. This procedure would need a “device” that will prevent the repaired bones from being jarred. To speed up the healing process, the bones have to be kept immobile. A cast would keep the bones in place without submitting the dog to an invasive surgical procedure.

Disadvantages of casts

A cast would be effective in stabilizing a fracture but the use of this orthopedic contraption is limited to specific cases. A cast would be unwieldy especially because dogs are active animals. The cast will limit the movements of the dog. Moreover, an owner has to constantly monitor the dog as a cast must be kept clean and dry. Applied incorrectly, the cast can hamper blood circulation. Development of sores is also a possibility. While the cast is on, the dog must be prevented from climbing stairs and this can be pretty difficult especially for a dog that was accustomed to roam freely.

Care for a dog fitted with cast

Dogs have the inclination to chew and for sure the cumbersome cast that gives the dog discomfort will be chewed. The dog owner has to make sure that the pet is prevented from destroying the cast. The cast must be kept clean and dry and this can be done by getting the dog to wear a cast protector.


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    • Rain Defence profile image

      Rain Defence 6 years ago from UK

      My sisters dog got run over by a car today so I had to go to the vets with him. The very nice driver didn't even bother to stop. I don't know if he's broken yet, I hope not. He's the happiest, bounciest dog I've ever seen, so seeing him lying there not moving was very strange.