Pelvic Fracture Care
Follow these guidelines to learn how to care for your dog with a broken or fractured pelvis
Your pet has a fractured (broken) pelvis. The pelvis itself consists of two halves that are joined at the bottom by the pubis, and at the top by the sacrum. This box-like shape means that more than one fracture must be present for the fragments to be displaced. This is very useful, as it means that in small dogs and cats, some fractures can heal without surgery.The pelvis acts to support the hindlimbs and protect the colon, bladder, and uterus or prostate as they pass through the pelvic canal. There are also nerves that run along the region of the pelvis. If any of these structures are in danger of being damaged by the fracture fragments, there are multiple fractures, or the fracture passes through a joint, surgical stabilisation is required.
In order for a fracture to heal without surgery, your pet requires:
Strict and enforced rest
Dogs may be carried out to the toilet, but otherwise your pet must be confined to a small area where they cannot run or jump. If your pet is in a cage, they must have sufficient room to be able to toilet, eat and sleep. If you take your dog outside, it must be kept on a leash, and you will need to support it’s weight by using a sling – a towel passing underneath your dog’s abdomen and held on both sides is usually sufficient. Please ask one of our staff to demonstrate this if you are in any way uncertain.
A clean and dry environment
You need to ensure that your pet has a well-padded bed that stays clean and dry. Just as in humans, pets can develop pressure sores, or “bed-sores” if they lie in the same position for long periods of time, or if their skin becomes damaged through moisture or uncleanliness. Please check your pet and their bedding at least twice a day to ensure they are dry and clean. If your pet develops sores, their skin is inflamed, or they seem painful, please contact Laurelwood Animal Hospital immediately.
Gently flexing and extending all the joints in the limbs from each toe to the hip, helps to maintain joint mobility and muscle mass. Massage and heat therapy also helps to stimulate blood flow to the tissues. Physiotherapy should be performed for 5 minutes, 2-3 times per day. Please ask one of our staff for a demonstration.
Your pet will have been prescribed pain relief to make them more comfortable. It is very important to follow the directions on the label – if you feel the drugs are not working sufficiently please contact the clinic as increasing the dosage or frequency of drugs can potentially be fatal. You must never give pets human drugs unless under direction from a veterinarian, as some human formulations are toxic to animals.
Careful monitoring of their attitude, toileting, and maneuverability – If your pet becomes depressed, painful or is unable to go to the toilet please let us know. Bone infections, nerve pinching, or further internal damage can occur, and needs to be treated as soon as possible.
Your pet will need to be strictly rested for at least 6 weeks. Regular check-ups are advisable, to ensure your pet is healing normally. It is worthwhile to take follow-up x-rays 4-6 weeks after the injury to ensure that the fracture has healed before you start to return your pet to its normal level of exercise. Please remember that any return to normal activity must be done slowly to allow your pet to build-up muscle again.
If you are in any way concerned, or have any queries regarding your pet and its injury, please don’t hesitate to contact the clinic.
Laurelwood Animal Hospital
9315 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway
Beaverton, Oregon 97005
Phone: (971) 244-4230
Fax: (503) 292-6808
E-mail: [email protected]