Summertime injuries in your Vail Valley Pets

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Summertime injuries in your Vail Valley Pets

Summer is finally here in the Vail Valley! This is the best time of the year to be out and about with our pets exploring the beautiful Vail Valley.  With the increase in summer activity with our pets also come an increase of injuries seen in our veterinary hospital due to the increased activity of our pets, increased exposure to other animals including wild animals, and increased potential for off leash traumas.

Though summertime injuries are too numerous to count, the following represents some of the more common injuries we see in our emergency on call veterinary hospital.

Anterior Cruciate ligament Tear

All pets, including cats, have two small ligaments located in their stifle joint (known as your pet’s knee). With running and jumping activity, chasing balls, catching frisbies, or even jumping down out of a high vehicle, your pet can be prone to an immediate soft tissue injury called a torn ACL. We see this injury in both dogs and cats and the pets present with an acute onset of lameness in one of the two hind limbs.

This tear creates immediate instability in the joint of  your pet, resulting in arthritis long term.  Surgical intervention is typically needed to assure your pet can resume an active lifestyle. For prevention, keeping your pet’s weight on target, and  slowly working up to a high level of exercise  can help reduce the incidence of ACL tears.


With that increase in “off leash” activity, and general outdoor wandering, pet’s are very prone to accidents. We still see many pets hit by cars, falling out of the back of trucks, kicked by livestock, etc all which can result in life altering limb fractures. The sooner these fractures are repaired, the better the success rate of the repair. Be wise about letting your pet off leash unattended, especially in high traffic areas.


Have you seen that decorative lawn edging that makes our lawns look so wonderful in the summer? Although this surely makes the landscape look beautiful, this can raise havoc with your pets. We commonly see pets early in the summer, running across lawns off leash and quickly slicing their tendons in their lower paws. In addition, pet’s off leash running thru the woods can often succumb to sharp branches, sticks, and eve barb wire, creating nasty abrasions and lacerations which require immediate veterinary attention.

Burned or Torn Pads

It is not uncommon for folks who have been inside all winter with their pets to be ready to hit the bike paths and sidewalks, but in no time at all, pads can be worn down with the heat from harder surfaces and be very painful for your pet. In addition, pet’s can be exposed to sharp objects such as rocks, glass, trash, metal etc which can cause instant lacerations in pads. Pads are the protective areas for your pet’s paws so having them repaired immediately is critical for a quick recovery!

Torn Toe Nails

Keeping your pet’s nails trimmed and feeding a good quality diet is essential for the overall health of your pet’s toenails. We commonly see nails that are too long or too brittle, torn back to the nail bed. This is very painful and most often requires the nails to be cut and cauterized and the paw to be bandaged. IF you see your pet has a torn toe nail, don’t hesitate to call your veterinarian!

In conclusion, have a safe and happy summer out their with your furry friends. We hope we have increased pet owner’s awareness of common types of injuries we see and how to prevent them.

We look forward to seeing you!