My dog has a broken leg and I can’t afford to fix it; what can I do to help?
This is one of the most nerve-wracking situations in which pup owners could find themselves. Seeing our furry friends in any kind of pain is heartbreaking, especially if we’re at a loss for what to do. Fortunately, though, there are ways you can mitigate the damage and ease the pain.
How Do You Know If Your Dog’s Leg Is Broken
Before you get into treatment, you’ll need to confirm that it is, in fact, a bone fracture. Some tell-tale signs could point to this condition, giving you a clear indication that the leg is broken.
Although some of these symptoms are quite common in soft tissue injuries and blunt trauma to a specific area, they can also indicate bone damage. These include:
- Limping and inability to hold weight;
- Avoiding walking due to intense pain;
- Swelling and bruising in the area;
- Limb going into unnatural positions with visible deformities;
- Bone grinding and painful movements.
If you notice any of these symptoms, your dog may have sustained an injury to its leg. Depending on the severity of the fracture, your pooch might be in a great deal of pain, so it’s important to take proper measures in response. You could ask your vet for confirmation, just to be on the safe side.
How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Broken Leg
The overall cost for adequate vet care will largely depend on how serious the fracture is. Naturally, it would require greater medical attention and proper treatment if it’s more complex.
In general, the starting price for basic care is around $600, whereas the broken leg surgery for a dog cost can be as high as $2,000 or more. Of course, your dog’s age, current health status, associated risk factors, and the urgency of the symptoms can all complicate things and potentially raise the price.
Orthopedic surgery can be used to correct the damage and speed up recovery. But what do you do when you don’t have money to fund the surgery?
My Dog Has a Broken Leg and I Can’t Afford to Fix It—What Do I Do
Once you’re certain your pup does, in fact, have a fractured leg, you’ll have to explore potential treatment options. If you’ve already established that you don’t have the funds for complete vet care at the moment, don’t fret—you still have a few alternatives up your sleeve.
Discuss Payment Plans with Your Vet
The first thing on the list is trying to find some middle ground with your vet. Many practices offer some leniency if you’re on good terms with them or have a separate fund put aside for these specific scenarios. Of course, the situation can be quite stressful for both parties involved, but you should try to keep a calm demeanor when you enter negotiations.
The veterinary clinic would be more inclined to help you if you speak to them in a calm and composed way, which can ultimately save your furry friend. While these businesses face certain limitations of their own, they’re often willing to help out as much as they can.
Talk to Different Clinics and Shelters
If your discussions with your vet come to no avail, you can reach out to nearby clinics and shelters for payment assistance. And if they don’t offer such services either, they can offer some guidance or resources for dog insurance companies that might be useful for you in this situation.
Consider Vet Credit Lines
With the growing number of owners unable to afford treatment for their dog’s broken leg (or many other treatments, really), several vet credit lines offer immediate access to the necessary funds. You’ll have to go through the approval process, which, in most cases, is a formality.
Once you’ve received your payment, you’ll have to return the funds through monthly installments like you would with a regular credit card. The specific interest rates may vary depending on the kind of package you need, so make sure to read the fine print and do your research beforehand.
Contact Dog Charities and Rescues
Fortunately, numerous organizations offer all kinds of help and resources to pets and owners alike. They can donate the funds necessary for your dog’s broken leg treatment and even provide some financial assistance for you as well.
It’s worth noting that these organizations might ask you to hand over your pet in their care. This has nothing to do with your competence as a pet owner, but everything to do with the effectiveness of the treatment and the speed of their recovery. If you’re not entirely comfortable with this step, you might want to look elsewhere.
Try Social Media
The internet can be a powerful tool for getting your message across, so why not give that a shot? Consider posting in dedicated Facebook groups or forums, kindly asking good-hearted individuals to donate whatever they can to cover the costs.
You can also start a crowdfunding campaign and provide a direct link where users can donate. This might seem like a long shot, but you’d be surprised at how quickly word can get out if you play your cards right. Plus, who could resist those adorable puppy eyes and not help them?
Dog Broken Leg Home Treatment
While you figure out the financial aspects of the healing process, you can alleviate your pup’s pain in a few simple steps. First, if you’re dealing with bloody or open wounds, you should clean and disinfect the area to prevent infection. If you have a particularly large or aggressive breed, you can use a muzzle to control their outbursts.
If it’s a closed fracture and no bone is visible from the outside, you can use splints to stabilize the limb into place. This can be anything from a household spoon to a sturdy piece of cardboard. Doing this will help prevent further damage to the nerves, muscles, or surrounding tissue.
You can even get over-the-counter pain medication to minimize discomfort. This could be in the form of tablets, ointments, or antiseptic substances. But you should always consult your veterinarian before administering any of them to avoid potential side effects. Perhaps getting a prescribed dose of antibiotics is the safest course of action.
Puppy Broken Leg Healing Time
The length of the recovery process depends greatly on your dog’s age, the severity of the fracture, and the amount of rest it’s getting. Generally speaking, younger pups take around 2–4 weeks to recover, with plenty of rest and proper treatment.
On the other hand, adult dogs might take a bit longer to get back to normal, with some cases going as long as 10–12 weeks. Make sure to give them plenty of love and affection during this time, as this can be a particularly stressful and anxiety-inducing situation.
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Can a Dog Die From a Broken Leg
A bone fracture on its own is rarely fatal for dogs. But if the area gets infected or starts bleeding uncontrollably, there’s an increased risk of septic shock, which is a life-threatening condition.
‘My dog has a broken leg and I can’t afford to fix it, what can I do?’
Not all is lost! Rest assured that there are plenty of alternatives you can try. Make sure to keep a clear head and think rationally as you assess your situation, even though this can be quite a challenging and worrisome time.