Tendon injuries in dogs

Written by k.t. parker
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Tendons join muscles to bones and allow for movement of joints. Dogs can injure tendons through trauma by overextending the tendon and causing it to detach from the muscle, the bone, or both muscle and bone. Tendon ruptures and tears are classified as soft-tissue injuries.


Your vet will perform a physical exam to check for mobility and swelling and order imaging tests to rule out broken bones.


The severity of the injury determines the course of treatment. Tendon injuries can be partial or complete, meaning they have torn slightly, moderately or completely.


For partial tendon ruptures, the first treatment option is usually rest, ice, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like aspirin and splinting, if required.


Complete tendon tears typically require surgery to repair the injury, though the vet might suggest NSAIDs and monitoring for improvement/decline for 3 to 5 days.


When your dog is sent home, it is important to follow his treatment plan, because dogs who return to normal activities too quickly are prone to recurring tendon tears that might require surgical correction.

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