Common Dog Injuries You Should Know and How to Treat Them

Common Dog Injuries You Should Know and How to Treat Them

As a dog owner, it can be scary to see your pet injured. It is more challenging as a parent if the dog is your children’s favorite pet.

A 2021 study reported that over 41 percent of dog owners confirmed their dog had an injury that prevented it from participating in agility for over a week.

Dog agility is a dog sport whereby a dog and its handler navigate an obstacle course, such as jumps and tunnels, in record time and accuracy.

Understanding the common dog injuries can help you identify the serious ones and those you can easily treat yourself.

Dogs behave like kids; therefore, they might need help avoiding some injuries. Knowledge of these injuries can also help you to devise preventive measures.

Keep a close watch if you have Border Collies, as they are more prone to injuries than other breeds.

Strains and sprains

Dogs, like humans, have a musculoskeletal system that consists of bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints.

This system, also called the locomotor system, is responsible for the body’s movement, stability, shape, and support.

Any of the components of the musculoskeletal system can be injured while running, jumping, or playing. They can also be damaged when the dog unknowingly falls into a pit.

Strains and sprains are one of the most common injuries to the system. Although usually used interchangeably, they are slightly different.

Strains are an injury to a muscle, tendon, or both. Tendon is a tissue that links muscles and bones.

This injury mainly occurs when your dog overstretches or stretches too often, and it can happen when the dog slips or falls during normal play. The injury, most of the time, affects the hips and thighs.

On the other hand, sprains occur due to ligament injury. Ligaments are tissues that connect bone to bone. Your dog may experience a sprain during a hard landing off the couch. Unexpectedly stepping into a hole can also cause a sprain.

Dogs experiencing strains or sprains may start to limp or be unable to walk. They can be treated with dog leg braces to hold the muscle and joints in place.

Cranial cruciate ligament (CCL)

A cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) is one of dogs’ most common orthopedic injuries.

CCL can be found in the back two legs of dogs. It is a ligament located in dogs’ knees, connecting the thighbone to the shinbone and stabilizing the joint.

Whenever this ligament is damaged, it results in abnormal joint movement, which can cause pain and may make the dog lame.

The injury is usually a result of certain factors, including aging ligament, obesity, poor physical condition, genetics, and breed.

Labrador Retrievers, Rottweilers, Newfoundlands, and American Staffordshire Terriers are dog breeds most likely to suffer from CCL.

CCL injuries are commonly treated using specialized surgical procedures.

Drug overdose

No dog owner wants to see their favorite pet in pain. To lessen the pain, some dog owners assume human medications can treat dog diseases. Although they are sometimes potent, dosage differs.

The dosage administered to the dog might be more than clinically allowed, resulting in an overdose.

Another mistake dog owners make is self-medicating their dogs. Aside from the risk of overdose, some drugs can trigger allergic reactions.

Always keep your drugs safe where dogs cannot access them. Read the dosage instruction of all medication before administering it. 

Broken nails

Dog nails share similarities with that of human except that it is firmly attached to bones. This is why broken or torn nail injuries are excruciating for dogs. If left untreated, infections can easily enter the bone.

Dog nails can be broken or torn during snagging on carpet and grassroots. Jumping and landing on the toe may also bend and break the nail.

The nails can become brittle and easily break when there is a nutritional deficiency. , which is why feeding high-quality dog food like the stuff you can get at is so important. If you notice drops of blood on the floor, limping, or excessively licking a foot, your dog may have a broken nail injury. You may also notice swollen nail beds or paws.

Broken nails can also be caused by disorders like:

  • Bacterial infections
  • Fungal nail infections
  • Ingrown nails
  • Lupoid onychodystrophy

How to treat dog broken or torn nails:

  • Muzzle your dog to prevent being bitten when you touch the painful toe.
  • Warp the paw with a clean towel or gauze and apply pressure to stop the bleeding.
  • Use baking powder or flour to stop excessive and uncontrollable bleeding.
  • Trim the nail to remove the remnants of the damaged portions.

Punctures and bites

Dogs can get injured by punctures while running around. This may be caused by stepping on sharp objects like nails, broken bottles, or sticks.

Bites are usually caused by insects such as ticks and fights. If the bite is from an insect, consider taking your furry friend to a vet for a proper examination.

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