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Pet fractures refer to the break or crack in a pet’s bone. Fractures can occur due to various reasons, such as trauma, falls, accidents, or underlying medical conditions.

Types Of Fractures


The bone is broken into two or more pieces.


The bone is partially cracked but not completely broken.


The broken bone pierces through the skin.


The broken bone does not penetrate the skin.

Non Surgical Treatment Options For Fractures:


Rest alone is generally suitable for certain types of dog or cat fractures, particularly if the fracture is stable and not severely displaced. Fractures that are amenable to healing through rest typically fall into the category of simple or non-displaced fractures.


Casting for a dog or cat  fracture is a common method of immobilising and supporting the affected limb during the healing process. The goal of casting is to stabilise the fractured bone, promote proper alignment, and allow for the natural healing of the injured area.

Surgery Options For Fractures: 

Internal Fixation

Internal fixation surgery in pets uses implants to stabilise fractured bones, align broken fragments, and provide stability for optimal healing.

Internal Fixation Procedure:

An incision is made over or near the fracture site to gain access to the broken bone. 

The broken bone fragments are carefully manipulated and aligned, a process known as “reduction,” to restore proper anatomical alignment.

Various types of implants, such as plates, screws, pins, or wires, are used to stabilise the fractured bones. 

Once the fracture is stable and fixed into place, the incision is closed with sutures.

External Fixation

External fixation surgery for a pet fracture involves the use of external devices to stabilise and support broken bones. It provides stability to the fractured bone by utilising pins, wires and an external frame.

External Fixation Procedure:

Metal pins or wires are placed into the bone fragments on either side of the fracture. These pins extend beyond the skin surface. 

An external frame is attached to the pins or wires. The frame holds the fractured bone in place and provides stability during the healing process.

The surgical incisions are closed with sutures and the external frame remains in place for the duration of the healing period. 

Once the fracture has sufficiently healed, the external frame and associated pins or wires are removed. The timing of frame removal varies depending on the fracture type and the pet’s individual response to treatment.


When is internal fixation recommended?

Internal fixation may be recommended for pets with certain types of fractures, such as complex fractures, fractures in weight-bearing bones, or fractures that are not amenable to external fixation or conservative management.

What is the recovery process of internal fixation like for our pets?

The recovery process for pets after internal fixation surgery involves post-operative care, including pain management, activity restriction, and monitoring for complications such as infection or implant failure. Pets may require follow-up visits with the veterinarian to assess healing progress and remove any implants if necessary.

What are the risks of internal fixation?

Potential risks or complications of internal fixation in pets include infection, implant failure, delayed or non-union (failure of the bone to heal properly), and damage to surrounding tissues or nerves. Proper surgical technique, post-operative care, and monitoring can help minimize these risks.

When is external fixation recommended?

External fixation may be recommended for pets with complex fractures, open fractures (where the bone breaks through the skin), fractures with significant soft tissue damage, or fractures that are not amenable to other forms of stabilisation.

How long does external fixation stay on our pets?

The duration of external fixation depends on factors such as the type and location of the fracture, the pet's overall health, and the rate of bone healing. External fixators are typically left in place for several weeks to months until the fracture has healed sufficiently.

What are the risks of external fixation?

Complications of external fixation may include pin tract infection, loosening or bending of pins or screws, damage to surrounding tissues, and delayed or non-union (failure of the bone to heal properly). Regular veterinary monitoring and appropriate post-operative care can help minimise the risk of complications.

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