Many animals live a perilous lifestyle that sees them at risk of all sorts of bumps and scrapes. A hip fracture is one of the possible dangers for dogs and other pets. It is particularly likely to happen when the dog is involved a road accident. Symptoms of a hip fracture include signs of trauma to the area, abnormal motion, and shock. Treatment for hip fractures in dogs may involve surgical repair of the damaged bone and the appropriate aftercare subsequent to the surgery. Although in some cases surgery may not be needed, and the treatment is more about giving the bone the chance to heal itself and reducing pain.
Fractures of the hip in dogs are typically caused by accidents such as the dog being hit by a car. There are several symptoms to look out for. Signs of the physical trauma to the area caused by the bump will be apparent. Probably with damage to other areas of the body as well, that may also need treatment. If the hip is damaged this will cause abnormal motion in the animal. The dog could also be in shock.
The diagnosis of the hip fracture will depend upon a number of things. A full examination of the dog will be performed. If a hip fracture is suspected then a scan such as a radiograph of the pelvic area will be performed. A neurological exam is needed on the sciatic nerves to help decide whether surgery is appropriate.
In the first instance the treatment may focus on addressing shock and other trauma issues before the hip itself is addressed. In some cases the treatment for the hip fracture in a dog will involve surgery. If the acetabulum (where the femur meets the pelvis) is not affected then a bone plate with screws could be used. If it is affected then it will need to be reconstructed. Pain relief using analgesics will be needed as well.
In other cases it may be that surgical intervention will not be necessary. In these cases it is thought that the bone will be able to heal itself given the opportunity to do so. What this means is making sure that the dog doesn’t do anything to aggravate the damage. Movement in general should be kept to a minimum with the dog confined when not supervised. Medication for pain relief such as analgesics or anti-inflammatory drugs may also be needed during the recovery period.