Common Causes of Dog Bone Injuries

It will possibly not come as a surprise to anyone that being hit by a car is the number one cause of broken bones in dogs. Another little more surprising, however, is that the second leading cause of broken bones (primarily a problem in small dogs) is jumping or falling off of furniture...their tiny bones are just not meant to withstand the force of impact.

As reported in "Your Dog", the bulletin for dog owners published by the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, Veterinary Pet Insurance has released its findings from over 500 broken bone insurance claims in 2008. Here are the top ten leading causes of broken bones:

Being hit by a car
Fight with another animal
Running and slipping
Accidentally being hit with an object
Getting caught in or between an object
Running into an object
Being stepped on

A dog can be injured as a passenger in a car accident

Injuries from being hit by a car accounted for 40% of the total claims. The most common bones broken in these accidents were those in the back legs: the femur (upper part of the leg) and the tibia (lower part of the leg).

Jumping and falling together accounted for another 40% of the total, with the bones in the front legs being the primary injury site: the humerus (upper part of the leg) and the radius (lower part of the leg).

Preventing car impact injuries is fairly straightforward...NEVER let your dog run loose. This is a good common sense for a number of reasons and is part of many cities' leash laws. Always keep your dog on a leash any time he is away from his own fenced yard.

To prevent broken bones from jumps and falls, especially in small dogs, recommendations include lifting them on and off of furniture, or teaching them to use ramps or steps to get up and down from high sofas, chairs and beds. Broken bones are painful for our canine kids, and may be costly for pet owners, especially if surgery is required. A few simple steps can help prevent broken bones.

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