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Is My Dog’s Leg Broken or Crushed? How Can I Properly Care for Him?


Dear VetBabble,

I’m worried about my dog and I think he might have a broken or crushed leg. What should I do in this situation, and how can I take care of him properly? Can you provide some helpful tips for other pet owners who may face similar issues?

Recognizing and Responding to a Possible Broken or Crushed Leg in Dogs

First and foremost, it’s essential to stay calm and prioritize your dog’s well-being. If you suspect your dog might have a broken or crushed leg, you should seek veterinary care as soon as possible. Even if the injury turns out to be less severe, it is always better to err on the side of caution and ensure your dog receives the appropriate care and attention.

Whether you’re dealing with a potential broken leg or common issues like limping, you can always refer to our comprehensive guide, Why Is My Dog Limping? When to Worry and What to Do.

Common Causes of Leg Injuries

There are numerous potential causes for a broken or crushed leg in dogs, ranging from accidents (such as falls, collisions, or animal attacks) to underlying medical conditions that can weaken the bones. If your dog has sustained a more minor injury, like a torn cranial cruciate ligament, you can learn more about this condition and its treatment options in our article, Cranial Cruciate Ligament Rupture in Dogs.

In any case, the most important action to take when you suspect such an injury is to get your dog to the vet immediately for a proper assessment and diagnosis.

Preparing Your Dog for the Vet Visit and Hospitalization

When preparing to take your dog to the vet, it’s crucial to handle them gently and with care, as unnecessary movement can exacerbate the injury. You can use items like a towel or a blanket to lift and support your dog’s body while carrying them to the car. If your dog is small, you can also consider using a pet carrier for added support and protection. It’s essential to transport them as comfortably as possible, so try to place them on a soft surface in the car (such as a cushion or blanket).

Once you arrive at the vet, they will perform a thorough examination and potentially conduct imaging tests, such as x-rays, to determine the exact nature of the injury. Depending on the severity of the injury, your dog may need to be hospitalized for further treatment, surgery, and recovery. It’s essential to follow your vet’s instructions and recommendations to ensure the best possible outcome for your pet.

Home Wound Care and Ongoing Preventative Measures

In some cases, your dog may have minor wounds that you can attend to at home. Our guide on How to Treat your Dog’s Wounds at Home can help you navigate this process safely and effectively. Additionally, it’s important to keep an eye on your dog’s nails, as broken or damaged nails can also lead to limping or discomfort. You can find helpful tips for preventing and treating broken nails in our article, How to Prevent and Treat a Broken Nail on a Dog.

When it comes to ongoing preventative measures, it’s vital to ensure your dog is receiving proper exercise, nutrition, and care to maintain strong and healthy bones. Regular vet check-ups can help monitor their health and identify any potential issues before they result in a more severe injury.


As a responsible pet owner, it’s essential to stay vigilant regarding your dog’s health and well-being. If you ever suspect that your dog has sustained a severe injury like a broken or crushed leg, you must seek veterinary care immediately. By equipping yourself with the necessary knowledge and taking proactive steps to prevent injuries, you can help ensure a long, happy, and healthy life for your furry friend.

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