Swelling after Fracture surgery

Our question this week was:

I have been reading over your website on fractures in animals. I have an American Bulldog, 11-months-old and very large that was hit by a truck (he was on a leash and broke it) we took him to the vet and it was determined that he fractured his femur. He had surgery two days ago and seems to be doing better. However we have noticed some swelling around what I would call the ankle area. I think this is due to him being very uncomfortable and not wanting to lay down however I have a kennel for him now that we are keeping him in, is there anything else we can do for the swelling? I am also noticing he has some serious color changes which are purple and black which I am thinking is the bruising that is coming out since he is a white dog. Your help would be appreciated.

Thank you,

Franci T.


Hi – thanks for your email. You wrote that your 11-month-old American Bulldog recently had a fracture repair of his femur. Your question has to do with what is normal swelling and brushing to be expected post-operatively. There is normally some swelling and bruising after surgery. Occasionally there can be swelling of the hock (the "ankle" area). Bruising is common around the incision or surgical site.

I'd recommend that you see your veterinarian for a recheck just to make sure that things are progressing normally and that neither the swelling or bruising is excessive.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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