Growing dogs, in particular, from their wild reckless gambols are very apt to sprain their joints. I have had a number of cases, where a puppy has become lame for a considerable time, yet the exact nature of the sprain could not be defined, as nothing could be felt out of place. I have therefore been led to suppose that some of the small tendons uniting the joint were over-strained. If not attended to early, a constant lameness may be he result. The rubbing in of a strong liniment such as "Butler's Mange Liniment," or any other powerful counter-irritant, bathing the part often with cold water, enforcing on the animal perfect rest, administering cooling medicine should there be any sign of inflammation are about the best means of effecting a restoration.
Dislocation, or the displacement of a joint, should be immediately sought for, should there be the least suspicion of its existence ; as a joint remaining unset for a time, not only becomes difficult to re-set, but serious inflammation may arise, from its being neglected, and the cure be rendered exceedingly difficult. By carefully feeling for the joint and moving the limb gently backwards and forwards, a dislocation may be easily detected, and little skill will be required in setting ; but don't pull too hard at once ; let your efforts be graduated, according to necessity, or you may strain the nerves in righting the bones. After all is made right, the same means may be used as those recommended for Sprains.
Fractures demand more skill in their treatment, as the bones require to be set in their place, and small pieces may have sometimes to be extracted. The splinters (two thin pieces of wood, whalebone or cardboard) should be carefully put on and bandaged over with a strip of calico, under an inch in breadth, but great caution must be used, net to tigh then them too much, which would produce inflammation ; yet they must at the same time be made fast enough, to prevent them slipping, or causing a disunion of the bones. It should not be taken off until the fracture be thoroughly and stoutly knit, unless there should be appearance of inflammation. The dog should be kept at rest, until sufficiently recovered, and then he should for a season be led on the chain, and not be allowed to romp at discretion. The fracture may be afterwards daily strengthened by penetrating liniments, and cold water applications. Fractures, other than of the limbs, will require skilful treatment, or must be left to work their own cure. Dogs are wonderful creatures and really recover the most desperate poundings, without medical advice or surgical aid; therefore, what you don't understand, you had better let alone.