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Dog has a fracture/break in hind femur bone
MsSaraB posted:
Can anyone comment on whether a cast could help heal the bone or surgery is necessary? I have a female mini poodle who is 4 yrs of age.

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Can anyone comment on whether a cast could help heal the bone or surgery is necessary? I have a female mini poodle who is 4 yrs of age.
  • Yes, a cast will work
  • No, surgery is required
  • Depends on severity of break.
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Ocala_Sunshine responded:
Sorry, I can't answer your question, only make a suggestion.

I would think a lot would depend on the type of fracture. If this were my dog I'd either take the vet's recommendation or get a second opinion from another vet or a specialist either in private practice or at a university hospital.

Good luck with your little dog, hope she's going to be okay!
Katherine Scott, DVM, DACVIM replied to Ocala_Sunshine's response:
Hi Ms. SaraB,

Unfortunately, we cannot use casts effectively on the femur bone (the thigh bone). Any time we use casts to let bones heal, the bone has to remain VERY still inside the cast if it's going to heal effectively. The only way we can do that is to include both the joints above and below the break (aka fracture) inside the cast. By stabilizing these joints, we allow the bone fragments to hold very still.

In the case of the femur, the joint below the break would be the knee. The joint above the break is the hip. We are unable to stabilize the hip joint inside a cast because it sits right next to the abdomen. We'd essentially have to wrap a cast around the abdomen all the way down to the knee, which doesn't work. Therefore, we're left with using plates, pins, and screws for breaks on the femur.

If you want to read more here's a link to an aritcle about fractures on this website:

I think your dog needs the surgery. Please visit with your veterinarian about getting this taken care of as soon as possible, as fractures can be very uncomfortable for your pet.

Best wishes!


William Draper, DVM, better known as "Dr. Will," is a well-known small animal practitioner in the Atlanta, GA area. He grew up in Inglewood,...More

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