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Tendon Trauma in Dogs: A Comprehensive Guide

Tendon Trauma in Dogs


Hey there, dog lovers! 🐶 We all want our four-legged friends to live happy, healthy lives. But what happens when Fido starts limping or shows signs of discomfort? One possibility is a tendon injury. But what are tendons, and why are they so important? Stick around to find out!

The Importance of Dog Health

Our dogs are not just pets; they’re family. Their well-being is our responsibility. Ignoring or misunderstanding health issues like tendon trauma can lead to severe complications down the line.

What are Tendons?

Tendons are tough, flexible bands of fibrous tissue that connect muscles to bones. They play a crucial role in your dog’s mobility and overall well-being.

Aim of the Article

The goal here is to give you a thorough understanding of tendon trauma in dogs: what it is, how it occurs, symptoms, treatment, and prevention.

Functions of Tendons in Dogs

Tendons are responsible for transmitting the forces generated by muscles to bones, thus allowing movement. They are dense, cordlike tissue that acts like a bridge between muscle and bone.

Causes of Tendon Trauma

Tendon trauma in dogs can result from a variety of factors, making it crucial for dog owners to be aware of the different scenarios that could lead to injury. One common cause is accidents or unexpected injuries that might occur during play, a fall, or a collision. These incidents can apply excessive force to the tendon, leading to strains or tears

Degenerative changes also pose a significant risk, particularly for older dogs. As dogs age, their tendons may weaken or become less elastic. This degeneration can make them more susceptible to injuries even during normal activities that wouldn’t have caused any issues in their younger days.

Furthermore, the impact of excessive force shouldn’t be overlooked. High-impact activities like jumping from significant heights or quick turns during high-speed runs can result in sudden force on the tendons that they may not be able to handle. This is particularly concerning for very active dogs or breeds predisposed to tendon issues.

Symptoms to Look Out For


A classic sign, limping can indicate that your dog is experiencing discomfort in its tendons.


Inflammation around the affected area is another red flag you shouldn’t ignore.

Reduced Mobility

If Fido is moving less or struggles with movements it could once easily make, that could be a warning sign.

Diagnosing Tendon Trauma

When it comes to diagnosing tendon trauma in your four-legged buddy, a multi-step approach is often necessary to get to the bottom of things. It typically starts with a thorough physical examination by your veterinarian. Here, the vet will carefully manipulate the affected limb, checking for any signs of discomfort, swelling, or limited range of motion. Does Fido wince or pull away when the vet touches a specific area? These are crucial clues.

After the initial assessment, radiographs, commonly known as X-rays, may be ordered. X-rays can be instrumental in ruling out other potential issues like fractures or bone abnormalities. However, keep in mind that X-rays are more about bones and may not give detailed information on soft tissues like tendons.

That’s where ultrasound comes in handy. An ultrasound examination allows the vet to get a live view of the tendon in action. This can reveal minor tears or deformities that an X-ray might miss. Through a combination of these diagnostic tools, a comprehensive understanding of the tendon’s condition can be achieved, leading to more targeted treatment options. So, while the diagnosis process might seem overwhelming, each step is a puzzle piece contributing to the full picture of your dog’s health.

Treatment Options

So, your vet has diagnosed your dog with tendon trauma—now what? Treatment options can vary based on the severity of the injury, but they often begin with medication. Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs), are commonly prescribed to manage pain and reduce swelling. Ever had a sports injury and popped an ibuprofen? It’s a similar idea here, albeit with dog-safe medications.

However, medications alone may not be sufficient for severe cases or if the tendon is significantly torn. In such instances, surgical intervention might be needed. The surgical procedure will repair the damaged tendon and may involve stitching the torn ends together or even grafting tissue to help the healing process. Think of it as a tailor mending a torn piece of fabric—meticulous and necessary.

Post-operative or alongside medication, physical therapy often follows. This involves controlled exercises that are designed to gradually restore mobility and strengthen the affected area. Laser therapy and hydrotherapy are also becoming popular for their efficacy in speeding up the healing process.

Thus, treatment for tendon trauma in dogs is usually a multi-pronged approach. Your vet will most likely recommend a combination of these treatments to ensure a thorough and lasting recovery for your furry friend. Remember, healing takes time, and patience is key.

Prevention Tips

Let’s talk prevention because, let’s face it, we all want to avoid the stress and worry that comes with having an injured pup. First on the list is regular exercise. Just like humans benefit from staying active, dogs do, too. Regular walks and moderate play can keep those tendons strong and less injury-prone. Have you ever heard the saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?” Well, it’s true in this case as well!

Nutrition is another cornerstone of prevention. A balanced diet rich in essential nutrients like protein, vitamins, and minerals can contribute to tendon health. Think of it as fueling your car with premium gas; you’re essentially doing the same for your dog’s body by giving it quality food.

Last but not least, consider using proper gear. If your dog is into rigorous activities or if you often hike or run together, specialized dog boots or supportive wraps can be a game-changer. They provide additional support to the tendons and can minimize the impact of the rugged or uneven terrain.

By incorporating these preventative measures, you’re not just waiting for a problem to happen—you’re taking proactive steps to ensure that it likely doesn’t occur in the first place.

Tendon Trauma in Dogs Conclusion

Tendon trauma in dogs is not something to be taken lightly. Recognizing the signs and acting promptly can save your pup a lot of discomfort and potential complications. Always consult your vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Gateway Vet in Edmonton offers tendon trauma care for dog as a full service canine hospital in the heart of YEG. Call us for a quick consultation or bring your pet in. Our newly-built veterinary clinic is easily accessible by Whitemud Drive and we are open 7 days a week / 365 days a year.

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