Broken bones can be a common occurrence for pets, especially those with active lifestyles. Recognizing these injuries early is important for initiating treatment and ensuring the best possible outcome for our furry friends. Changes in your pet’s behavior or physical appearance can help you identify these problems and act accordingly to reduce the risk of complications and discomfort for your pet.

Common Injuries that Pets Face

Understanding the scenarios that can lead to such injuries allows pet owners to take preventive measures and ensure their pets’ safety. Some of the most frequent causes of broken bones in pets include:

  • Traumatic Accidents: Pets can sustain fractures and breaks as a result of traumatic accidents such as being hit by a vehicle, falling from heights, or colliding with objects while running or playing.
  • Sports or Exercise Injuries: Active pets engaged in sports, agility training, or vigorous exercise routines risk experiencing bone injuries, especially if they engage in high-impact activities without proper warm-up or conditioning.
  • Fights or Altercations: Pets involved in fights with other animals, whether it’s within the household or encounters with strays, can suffer from broken bones due to bites, kicks, or blunt force trauma.
  • Accidental Falls: Cats, in particular, are prone to accidental falls from elevated surfaces such as trees, balconies, or windowsills, which can result in fractures or breaks upon impact.
  • Age-related Degeneration: Older pets may develop weakened bones and joints due to age-related conditions such as osteoarthritis or osteoporosis, infection, or cancer, increasing their susceptibility to fractures from minor falls or collisions.

Warning Signs Your Pet Has a Broken Bone

If you observe any of these warning signs in your pet, it’s essential to seek veterinary attention promptly. Even if the symptoms seem mild or transient, underlying injuries can worsen without proper treatment.

Physical Signs

  • Limping or Favoring a Limb: If your pet suddenly starts limping or appears to be favoring one limb over the others, it could be a sign of pain or discomfort associated with a broken bone.
  • Swelling or Deformity in the Affected Area: Visible swelling, bruising, or an abnormal shape in the area of the suspected injury may indicate a fracture or break.
  • Whimpering or Vocalization When Touched: Pets may vocalize or whimper in response to pain when the affected area is touched or manipulated, indicating discomfort or sensitivity.

Behavioral Signs

  • Decreased Activity Level: A noticeable decrease in your pet’s activity level, reluctance to engage in play or exercise, or a sudden change in their normal behavior patterns may suggest an underlying injury.
  • Reluctance to Move or Bear Weight on the Affected Limb: Pets with broken bones may exhibit reluctance or hesitation to move, walk, or bear weight on the injured limb due to pain or instability.
  • Agitation or Aggression When Approached: Pets in pain may become more defensive or irritable when approached or handled, especially if the injured area is touched or manipulated.

What to Do If Your Pet Has a Broken Bone

Immediate Steps

  • Remain Calm and Assess the Situation: Stay calm and assess the severity of the situation to determine if immediate veterinary attention is required.
  • Avoid Moving the Pet Unnecessarily: Moving a pet with a suspected broken bone can exacerbate the injury and cause further harm. If possible, keep the pet still and minimize their movement to prevent additional damage.
  • Stabilize the Affected Limb if Possible: If you can safely do so, immobilize the injured limb using a makeshift splint or bandage. Be gentle and careful not to cause additional pain or discomfort to your pet.

Contact East Valley Urgent Pet Care

  • Provide Necessary Details about the Injury: Describe any observed symptoms or behaviors that may help the veterinary staff assess the situation accurately.
  • Follow Instructions Given by the Veterinary Staff: The veterinarian will provide guidance on how to proceed based on the information you provide. Follow their instructions to ensure the best possible outcome for your pet.
  • Prepare for Transportation to the Clinic: If advised by the veterinary staff, prepare your pet for transportation to the clinic. Safely secure them for travel and make any necessary arrangements to ensure a smooth arrival.

Contact East Valley Urgent Pet Care in Mesa, AZ

If you suspect your pet has suffered a fracture or break, don’t hesitate to contact us immediately for prompt evaluation and treatment at East Valley Urgent Pet Care in Mesa, AZ. Our team understands the urgency of such situations and is here to provide compassionate and comprehensive care for pets with suspected broken bones.

Megan Usiak-McBeth


Dr. Megan Usiak-McBeth leads East Valley Urgent Pet Care with a philosophy of treating every pet and owner as she would wish to be treated. With a background in emergency veterinary medicine and experience as a veterinary nurse, she is not only technically adept but deeply compassionate, often serving as an advocate for voiceless pets. Beyond her urgent care duties, Dr. Usiak is passionate about educating the next generation of veterinarians and enjoys outdoor activities with her family.

Dr. Megan Usiak-McBeth, BVMS, at East Valley Urgent Pet Care in Mesa, AZ

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