What is the difference between a broken bone and a fracture?


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Our question this week was:

What is the difference between a broken bone and a fracture in a dog? My vet said by dog had 3 fractured ribs but I thought they were broken.

Annies Mom.


Hi – thanks for your email. You wrote asking "What is the difference between a broken bone and a fracture?" There is no difference – a fracture is the same thing as a broken bone. So if your vet said you dog had three fractured ribs – then what he meant is that there are three broken ribs.

An article that might be helpful to you is General Fracture Information in Dogs.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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About The Author

debra-primovic Dr. Debra Primovic

Debra A. Primovic, BSN, DVM, Editor-in-Chief, is a graduate of the Ohio State University School of Nursing and the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. Following her veterinary medical training, Dr. Primovic practiced in general small animal practices as well as veterinary emergency practices. She was staff veterinarian at the Animal Emergency Clinic of St. Louis, Missouri, one of the busiest emergency/critical care practices in the United States as well as MedVet Columbus, winner of the AAHA Hospital of the year in 2014. She also spends time in general practice at the Granville Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Primovic divides her time among veterinary emergency and general practice, editing, writing, and updating articles for PetPlace.com, and editing and indexing for veterinary publications. She loves both dogs and cats but has had extraordinary cats in her life, all of which have died over the past couple years. Special cats in her life were Kali, Sammy, Pepper and Beanie.