Dogs generally suffer from broken bones either due to some automobile accident or when falling from a height. The bones most vulnerable and susceptible to breaking are the femur, pelvis, skull, jaw, and spine. Fractures of bones are of two kinds – open or closed.
For the broken bones above the knee /elbow, the position is held with pins and metal plates, while fractures below the knee o/elbow are immobilized with splints and casts. Fractures involving joints usually entail open surgery using pins, screws, and wire.
Displaced jaw fractures cause displacement of teeth. In all such cases, the jaw has to be readjusted and the teeth wired together to maintain the correct position till complete healing takes place. Depressed skull fractures may require surgery to repair the depressed fragments.
Symptoms of bone fracture in dogs include excruciating pain, pronounced swelling, inability to bear weight, and deformity of the affected limbs. For a few weeks the body decalcifies, or withdraws calcium and other critical minerals from the bone ends. Broken bones can also result in shock, blood loss, trauma and damage to internal organs.
The process of bone healing is long-drawn and you will have to exercise patience in taking care of the dog. Thus, the physical condition of the dog is seriously impaired post broken bones and the dog has to be fed on nutritional diet to recoup its health.
Dogs treated for broken bones often have a decreased appetite and weight loss. The diets have to be palatable to stimulate their appetites. Proteins are the vital block-building during the convalescence process and for maintaining the immune system. Protein requirements for the dog recovering from broken bones are lot more than for the normal healthy dog.
Fats and carbohydrates can prove to be ideal sources of energy and thus the dog has to be fed in larger amounts of healthy fats and carbohydrates for repairing the tissues affected by broken bones and to fight possible infections.
Fat and especially omega 3 fatty acids are critically needed to avoid post surgical complications and help to restrict inflammation. Certain types of minerals and vitamins are recommended for quickening the healing process. Glucosamine is prescribed to stimulate the production of the components of joint cartilage.
Zinc and potassium are specially added to improve wound healing. The synergistic antioxidant complex of vitamin E, vitamin C, Taurine and Lutein are required to neutralize the free radicals.
Convalescence diet for dogs met with broken bones has to contain special nutrients to meet the specific health needs of your pet. When your dog is undergoing post-operative recovery after broken bones – it is necessary to consult your veterinarian for advice on what to feed it and how to feed it. Your veterinarian may suggest some of the easy to digest yet nutritious foods.
Eggs & Dairy Products will be a healthy substitute for meat as a source of protein. Beans, split peas and lentils are inexpensive source of protein and can replace raw meat in the dog’s diet. The best grains during the convalescence period (post broken bones) are cornmeal, oatmeal and millet.
It is preferred to feed small quantities but more frequently to aid easy digestion. Divide the daily quantum of food intake into five or six small meals a day. Provide the convalescent dog clean fresh drinking water.