Can a Dog’s Broken Leg Heal Itself?

As a family member, your little furry friends health is critical. But, even if you take great care of your dog, that doesn’t mean they won’t get sick or hurt at some point.

Dogs can suffer from various injuries, including broken bones, which occur more frequently than you might expect.

When a dog is hit by a car or falls, it is more likely to shatter a bone. Dogs that are young, old, sick, or otherwise compromised may be more vulnerable to fractures and breaks. People can also be the cause if they trip or fall on little dogs.

Here’s what you need to know about your dogs bone fractures or broken leg bone, and what to do to help your best friend.

Broken Dog Leg

Naturally, dogs can mend their broken limbs. However, it may heal in the wrong place, resulting in long-term problems. You should contact a veterinarian if your dog shows signs of a fractured or broken leg. Your dog should be transported to the Emergency hospital asap.

Depending on the severity of the break and your dog’s age, mending a broken bone can take months. The first sign of a broken bone in a dog is substantial swelling and redness. The first few days of inflammation might extend anywhere from a few days to a week. If you haven’t had your dog to the vet or animal hospital, due so immediately. By not dealing with a break immediatly will lead to far more expensive issues.

Never assume your dog is fine after injury or that its leg will heal on its own. After an accident, take your pet to a veterinarian to examine the limb. During the exam, they will assess the extent of the injury and the location of the accident.

A broken bone is also known as a fracture. Like humans, dogs can injure their leg bones while playing or exercising. However, there are other possibilities besides a ‘clean break’ in a bone. Hairline fractures or dislocations are also possible complications. No matter how minor, any broken bone needs to be assessed and treated. A broken leg can heal on its own, to ensure it sets properly it must be treated by a medical professional.

Brutus is in a Walkin' Pets adjustable splint for a dogs rear leg
Walkin’ Fit Adjustable Splint
Support sling for dogs - modeled by small dog
Walkin’ Support Sling
pup French Bull Dog getting up his front stairs with a dog rear support leash assisted by his pet parent
Up-n-Go Rear Leash

Symptoms of Broken Leg in Dogs

Chloe the French Bulldog in a dog front leg brace

For the most part, a pet’s owner will be able to figure out what caused the injury. However, we are often unaware of a fractured leg in our pets until it is too late. Therefore, do not hesitate to take your dog to the vet if he shows any of the following symptoms.

  • An unusually moving limb
  • The dog holds the leg up when moving
  • Swelling around the leg or joint
  • Whining or exhibiting any sign of pain
  • Lameness or inability to walk on the injured leg
  • Bones make noises such as grinding or popping when walking
  • Visible bruising

In the aftermath of a catastrophic accident or injury, internal bleeding or organ damage may not be immediately visible, but it can be critical. You should immediately take your pet to the vet.

Treatment of a Fractured Leg in Dogs

Adjustable splint for dog with leg injury

Once your pet is stable, the vet will treat the fracture. It is essential to immobilize the fracture to ease pain and avoid future injury to muscles, blood vessels, and nerves. Preventing the break from getting worse is also crucial.

Non-surgical and surgical options are available. Splinting and casting may be all that is needed to speed up the healing process after a minor fracture. To keep the injury from getting worse, you must keep the cast or splint clean and dry.

The most severe cases may require surgical treatment of the broken bone. Surgical repairs may include metal plates or even pins to secure the break. Choosing the proper treatment for your dog’s broken leg will depend on the severity of the break, where the break is located, the dog’s age, and how strong your dog’s bones are. You can find the best treatment options for your pet at your veterinarian’s office.

Dog Broken Leg Recovery

A broken leg can take months to heal. Give your pet the time they need to recover. Follow your veterinarian’s protocol to avoid any complications and ensure that your pet’s broken leg properly heals.

Early Stages of Recovery

Labrador Retriever uses rear support leash for hind leg support
  • For the first several days, your dog should stay inside and be supervised as much as possible. Ask a neighbor or a family member to watch over your dog if you cannot do it yourself. A dog may get agitated if alone and is experiencing pain. Too much movement can be detrimental to a dog’s healing process.
  • A recovering dog may need a different diet with more nutrients to help the body repair. Bone growth is aided by nutrients, providing your pet with the energy and stamina to heal. Make sure your dog is eating high-quality food by checking the list of ingredients. You can also include homemade calcium-rich broths and dishes in your diet.
  • When your dog is recovering, you will need to restrict its activity and assist them outside to relieve itself. Additional support from a dog lift harness may be beneficial to keep weight off your dog’s broken leg. Keep an eye on them at all times. Walks should be short trips outside every two to three hours, and keep your dog on a short leash.
Up-n-Go rear support leash for dogs

To Help Your Dog’s Leg Heal

  • Follow all medication and post-treatment recommendations. Take any prescribed drugs, especially antibiotics, as directed. An infection may occur if you don’t finish your dog’s antibiotic treatment. Although this progress appears to be encouraging, anything can happen. When a dog breaks a leg, this is one of the main reasons it doesn’t recover properly from infections.
  • It’s essential to prevent your dog from chewing the bandage or cast. For as long as possible, have your dog wear a cone to keep bandages clean and prevent your dog from aggravating their injured leg.
  • Strenuous activity is usually considered a contributing factor in the extended healing time of a fractured leg. Anti-inflammatory and pain medication may make your dog feel better, but it does not mean that they are healed. Keep your dog inside or on a leash until your vet gives the all-clear. If you must leave your dog alone, a crate is often the safest option.
  • Consider starting your dog on bone and joint supplements if you haven’t already. Using lactoferrin-based treatment aids dogs in maintaining strong and healthy bones.

Dogs are known to move around a lot when excited or upset, monitor your dog and keep them as calm as possible as they heal as broken bones and splints can both shift. Go to all scheduled veterinary appointments to have your pups cast and leg checked. A damaged bone that isn’t properly examined could heal in the wrong position. Attending all of your pet’s scheduled veterinary appointments following a broken bone is essential. During the exam, your veterinarian will check to see if the wound is healing appropriately and will take an x-ray to see how the bond is mending.


When bones are damaged, they often return to their pre-injury form and strength. Therapy, proper monitoring, and avoiding letting your dog run before it can walk will help our ‘broken’ pets return to their normal, active lives.

As a parent, it’s hard to watch your child go through something like this. Having a fractured leg isn’t fun, even for your furry friend. However, you will form a deeper bond between you and your pet after pampering him or her with love through the broken leg healing period.

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