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Posted on 03-21-2017
Symptoms of a sprain or broken bone in pets resemble each other enough to be misdiagnosed by well-meaning pet owners. Tearing or stretching of ligaments (soft tissues connecting two or more bones) typically results in a sprain. Splintering, fracturing or complete breaks in a bone are all clinically considered broken bones. Mild sprains do not require treatment by your Studio City emergency veterinarian because they involve abnormal stretching of ligaments that does not destabilize the joint. However, moderate sprains partially tear ligaments and destabilize joints, a condition that should be evaluated by an emergency vet. When an x-ray reveals an animal's ligaments have torn away and separate completely from bones, your vet will diagnose a severe sprain and begin implementing the appropriate treatment.
Lameness is the first sign that an animal may have a broken leg bone. Dogs and cats often hold a broken limb above the ground because it hurts to put pressure on the limb. Depending on the location and severity of the break, pets may be able to put a little pressure on the affected limb. You should always bring your pet to our Studio City emergency vet clinic if your pet is limping since it is easy to misconstrue a true break as a sprain.
If your emergency veterinarian diagnoses a sprain, your pet may be prescribed anti-inflammatory medication to relieve pain and swelling. Your pet will also need to curtail his physical activities to give the sprain a chance to heal. If a bone fracture or break is found, your vet may put a cast around the broken bone or use an external fixator to immobilize bones during the healing process.
If your pet is limping or not putting pressure on a limb, please bring him to our emergency veterinarian clinic in Studio City for immediate treatment. Call us to learn more at our Animal Emergency Centre at (818) 760-3882.
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