Achilles Tendon Sprain in Dogs

Written by penny eims
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Achilles Tendon Sprain in Dogs
Achilles tendons can become damaged. (Image by, courtesy of Mike Baird)

Five tendons make up the tendon known as the Achilles tendon. Your dog can strain the tendon, or even sever it completely. The severity of the injury will dictate the type of treatment which is required.

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Achilles Tendon

The tendons comprising the Achilles tendon are tough, fibrous bands which connect your dog's muscles and bones together. The tendon runs from the calf, around the back of the heel, and to the toes.

Types of Injuries

Although these fibrous bands can tolerate significant activity, they can sustain injuries. Your dog can strain the tendon, or tear it. There are two types or tears: a partial tear, or complete rupture. Complete tears are usually the result of a direct trauma.


A strain, tear or rupture of the Achilles tendon will cause your dog pain. Depending on the severity of the injury, it can render your dog immobile. Dogs who tear or rupture their tendon often display curling of the toes and a hock (heel) that drops.


An Achilles tendon that is strained should be treated with the use of anti-inflammatories, ice compresses (immediately after the injury), and rest until the tendon has healed. If the tendon has completely ruptured, surgery is required.


Keep your dog from participating in strenuous activity after recuperation in order to prevent re-injury. It is important to allow sufficient time for a complete recovery. Tendon strains can be prevented by allowing your dog to warm up before strenuous exercise and avoiding overly ambitious physical activity without sufficient training.

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