Dislocation In A Dog: Symptoms And Treatment

Dogs are cheerful Pets. During active games on the street or when they collide with an object at home, they are at risk of injury. As a result of a fall from a height, a car accident or a birth injury, the integrity of the joint surface of the bones may be violated in the dog, in other words, the joint will be dislocated.

Treatment of dislocation in a dog

When to seek help from a veterinarian?

Dislocation in a dog is characterized by an abnormal location of the damaged organ or its separate part in relation to the physiological norm. The most common dislocations are the kneecaps, hip joint, jaw and tail. In each case, the animal behaves differently and there are different symptoms that indicate damage to a particular organ.

Signs of dislocation of the hip joint:

  • tucking the paw under the body;
  • swelling on the articular surface;
  • changing the shape of the joint;
  • the increasing howl;
  • disobedience.

Symptoms of unilateral dislocation of the jaw:

  • slightly open or unnaturally “skewed” mouth;
  • malocclusion;
  • painful sensations in the mouth area;
  • disobedience.

Treatment of dislocation in a dog

Signs of bilateral dislocation of the jaw:

  • open mouth;
  • throwing the animal from side to side;
  • quiet whining;
  • aggressive behavior.

Symptoms of dislocated kneecap:

  • swelling and swelling of the knee;
  • appearance of the “hanging” paw effect;
  • the dog is always lying in one place;
  • severe pain in the knee area;
  • aggression.

Signs of a dislocation of the tail:

  • the curvature of the tail;
  • dislocation of the tail is characterized by its unnatural position;
  • unpleasant sensations accompanied by a quiet whining;
  • weakness;
  • aggression towards others.

Dislocation of the dog's tail

It is important to understand that if any of these signs are detected, you should carefully examine the animal and, if possible, provide first aid to ease the General condition, and then seek veterinary help.

How to help a dog with a dislocation?

If you find an injury and the slightest suspicion of a dislocation of a particular joint, first of all, do not panic and calm down. Carefully inspect the pet: make sure that there are no tears in the tissues. Give him a drink of clean water — this will help calm down and show less aggression towards you.

If the dog has injured a knee or hip joint, do everything possible to prevent the animal from moving and to keep it lying on its side. First, for your own safety, put on a muzzle (if this is not a dislocation of the jaw). In case of severe dislocation, the pet is transported only on a well-stretched thick blanket or a hard stretcher.

It is better to entrust this event to specialists and do not touch the pet before their arrival. To ease the pain, tie the injured finger or other part of the body with a film, then a cloth in several layers and apply something cold (ideally ice).

In any case, do not self-medicate, and even more so do not set the joint on your own. Call a veterinarian-surgeon at home or take the animal to the nearest veterinary clinic.

Paw treatment for a dog

How are dislocations diagnosed in dogs?

The clinic is going to history, performed an examination of the animal, palpation of the affected joint and radiographic study. Diagnostic measures can determine the presence or absence of dislocation, as well as exclude or confirm a fracture on the finger, leg or tail.

X-ray results will help determine the degree of violation of the integrity of the articular surface of the bones and prescribe appropriate treatment. In some cases, you may need magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography. This will allow you to more accurately see the clinical picture of the disease.

How are dislocations treated in dogs?

The procedure for treating dislocations is performed exclusively under General anesthesia. Is an anesthetic injection for a complete relaxation of the muscles of the pet. Then the dislocation is adjusted to return the damaged ligament to the anatomically correct position. After that, a bandage made of special plaster is applied to firmly fix the joint. The fixing bandage is left for up to 3 weeks, depending on the type and degree of dislocation.

In case of exacerbation and the appearance of fever, chills, fever and other symptoms that indicate the development of inflammatory processes, anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed strictly according to the instructions of the attending veterinarian. For faster healing of ligaments and cartilage, chondroprotectors are prescribed.

Treatment of dislocation in a dog

After removing the fixing bandage, a course of physical therapy is performed, which lasts up to 5 weeks, depending on the speed of rehabilitation of the animal. Regular walks in the woods, active swimming, physiotherapy warm-UPS and professional massage are recommended for quick recovery.

What methods of treating dislocations in dogs are more effective?

To date, there are various methods of treating injuries in animals. The method, scheme and how to treat it directly depend on the type, type and duration of the violation of the integrity of the joint. Non-surgical treatment is acceptable if less than a day has passed since the dislocation. In all other cases, the following methods are used.

Suturing of injured ligaments

This method involves performing an open reduction of the damaged joint. The dislocated ligament is subsequently sutured. After the operation, the animal is given rest for up to 2-3 weeks. Well-organized rehabilitation is of great importance. The recovery period lasts on average from a month and depends on various factors (breed, degree of injury, etc.).


The surgical method involves the introduction of an implant instead of an injured ligament. The method is most effective for medial dislocation of the patella in a dog. Surgical treatment consists in anatomically correct fixation of the dislocated joint with a special surgical needle. Prosthetics based on implants, as a rule, do not cause any special inconvenience to their owner.

Dog stretched her paws

The pet is completely at rest with a surgical needle in the joint for 2-3 weeks. After complete healing, the spoke is removed, and the joint is supported by the resulting fibrous tissue.


The most complex surgical method is subject only to a qualified and experienced veterinarian-surgeon. Its essence is the complete destruction of the dislocated joint of the bone. On the fifth day after the operation, x-ray examination and additional diagnostic methods are performed to assess the healing of the joint. The rehabilitation period depends on the pet’s weight. So, dogs with a small weight recover faster than large and heavy ones.

Remember that any dislocation of the hip, tail or knee in a dog requires immediate treatment in a veterinary clinic. Otherwise, serious complications and serious consequences cannot be avoided. Take care of the health and life of your Pets, and they will respond to you with love and affection!