Your dog is your best friend. Whether you have had your dog for a day, a year, or 10 years, this is your trusted, loyal companion. Each and every dog is unique in its breed, size, and needs. Part of being a dog owner is being able to diagnose, with the help of a professional, the special mix of care that will be the most beneficial for your dog. It is important to keep up with the proper veterinarian schedule in order to maintain your dog’s health. Even when you provide the proper care for your dog, there is always the possibility for conditions and diseases to arise.
As your dog gets older, the special care that you give to them may need to be adjusted due to life experiences or conditions that your dog may develop. Some problems that you have to be aware of as your dog ages are in relation to their bones. Bone problems are issues that your dog can either be genetic or can develop as your dog gets older. Below, you will learn about some of the bone problems that can affect your dog as well as some signs that point to each particular problem.
Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone. A bone infection can develop when your dog has experienced a traumatic injury, such as a bite wound, fracture, or laceration. Another way that your dog’s bones can become infected is through a systemic infection. A systemic infection is one that reaches the bone through the bloodstream. In order to tell if your dog is experiencing osteomyelitis, check to see if the affected site appears swollen or red. The site may also be warm when you touch it. This is also unusually painful to your pet. In order to properly diagnose if your dog has a bone infection, it is best to take them to the vet so a physical exam can be performed. In order to combat the infection, your pooch may need to go on antibiotics to fight the infection. If the infection is severe, then hospitalization may be required.
A second bone problem that can affect your dog is fractures. Fractures are usually caused by some sort of trauma, such as fights with other animals, car accidents, or falls from a high place. If your dog has a fracture, then the break will be classified as either open or closed. An open fracture is also known as a compounded fracture, which involves the bone protruding through the skin. A closed fracture is one that does not protrude through the skin. If your dog has a fracture, then he or she will be in severe pain and they may bite or lash out when touched. In these instances, you need to be very careful when handling your dog and know that they are only lashing out because they are in a lot of pain, not because they are angry at you. Show compassion and care when handling your beloved dog. Depending on the severity of the fracture, your dog will need to either have a splint or surgery. Both options will require strict rest.
A third problem that could affect your dog is bone tumors. Bone tumors can develop on any bone in your pup’s body. A tumor can develop directly from an affected bone or the cancerous cells can move down the bloodstream and attach to one of your dog’s bones. The easiest way to tell if your pet has a bone tumor is by lameness. Lameness occurs when your dog lacks the soundness necessary to safely walk. The will be unsteady, especially if they have a bone tumor on one of their legs. Bone tumors are often caught only after they have had some time to develop, so the best course of action to address this problem is to first try medicine, and if that doesn’t work, then surgery may be required.
Once you suspect that your dog may have a bone problem, it is best to bring them into your trusted veterinarian at Dr. Ron’s Animal Hospital & Emergency. We are easily accessible from the areas of Simi Valley, Moorpark, Thousand Oaks, Chatsworth, and areas nearby Ventura County. You will be able to bring your dog into a clinic that is deeply concerned with keeping your pet healthy. We offer regular hours during the day and emergency services after hours. This way, no matter what time you bring your dog into us for bone problems, we will have knowledgeable staff to care for you and your pet.