Discovering your beloved pet has broken a bone can be frightening, so knowing how to handle the situation can help you remain calm.

It may be obvious that a bone is broken. A limb may be bent awkwardly, a bone may be visible through the skin (called an open fracture), or your pet may yelp in pain and refuse to put weight on one leg. Pets that have experienced trauma, such as being struck by a car or falling from a height, may have more than one fracture and may be unwilling or unable to walk.

Even if breaks are not visible, however, your cat or dog needs to be examined as soon as possible, as broken bone fragments can splinter and lead to further injury, including severe organ damage.

Seek Immediate Help

When broken bones are suspected, try to limit your pet’s movement as much as possible until you can get to your primary care veterinarian’s clinic. If your pet is at home when the break occurs, confine your pet as best you can in a box, crate, or kennel and call your veterinarian. If your veterinarian’s practice is closed, call your nearest emergency animal hospital, such as The COVE. A team member will instruct you on how to transport your pet safely. Do not give any medications unless you receive clear guidance from a veterinarian.

Broken bones are very painful for pets, and if they occur as a result of trauma, your pet may have other injuries. Take extreme care and do your best to keep your companion still and calm during transport.

Our Process at The COVE

Once you arrive, our team of emergency veterinarians and licensed veterinary technicians will examine your pet and use digital radiography (X-rays) and other advanced diagnostic tools to provide a detailed diagnosis and treatment plan.

Some broken bones require surgery to stabilize the bone with plates or screws. If that’s the case, there’s a tremendous advantage in having it performed by someone with the depth of experience of a board-certified veterinary surgeon like Jeff T. Stallings, DVM, DACVS. Your pet may also be referred to postoperative rehabilitation (physical therapy) to help regain their mobility.

Depending on your pet’s injury and treatment, recovery may take weeks or even months. We will work closely with you and your primary care veterinarian to develop a follow-up plan to help your pet heal at home, including instructions on medications, bandage or cast care (if applicable), and activity restrictions. Your pet may feel like she can run and jump, but it is imperative to follow your at-home care plan in order to ensure the break heals properly and completely.

And remember, The COVE is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so no matter when your pet has an emergency, be it a broken bone or beyond, we’re here for you. We are located at 6550 Hampton Roads Pkwy, #113, Suffolk, VA, and welcome your call anytime, day or night.

About Us

The COVE’s veterinarians and staff wholeheartedly embrace the core values of community, collaboration, commitment, compassion, and integrity. This focus ensures that pets, the people who love them, and their primary care veterinarians have as positive and affirming a healthcare experience as possible, regardless of the circumstances that bring us all together.