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Calcified Tendons In Shoulders


Guest UESBrindle
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Guest UESBrindle

William has been limping on and off for a while - at first I thought it had something in his paw (soaks in epsom salts), then maybe it was a cracked pad (salve), maybe it was a corn (ducktape), and still limping. I had taken him to a vet a while ago and she couldn't find anything and didn't see it in his gait at the time, so we went home without any answers.

 

It's progressively gotten worse, so fearing "C" I brought him into a different vet. After a very comprehansive exam by the vet he suggested a test to check for tick-bourne disesase and x-rays to look at his elbow. He thought that it could also be a slipped disk, which can only be determined with an MRI and surgery, but we put that one off to rule out the other possibilities first.

 

The tick test came back negative for all 3, and the x-rays shows that the elbow looked fine, but there were opacities in both shoulders (but more on the right) that he thought were canclfied tendons. He sent them out for an ortho x-ray review and they confirmed that's what it is.

 

We are going to meet with a ortho vet on Friday to see what he makes of all of this, but from the regular vet he came up with 3 treatments:

 

1. daily NSAIDS to reduce inflamation (would require regular blood work to make sure kidneys, etc are functioning well)

2. long-term steriodal injection

3. surgery to either a ) remove the tendon comnpletely or b ) go in and scrape away the calcified segment to make it more comfortable.

 

I will obvious get more info and experienced advice on Friday, but has anyone else had experience with this before? I haven't yet had an opportunity to research what the cause is (if there is one - or of it's something that just shows up like cancer), but any words of wisdom would be appreciated.

 

At this point he is on 75 mg of tramadol 2x a day for pain until Friday once we have a game-plan.

 

Thanks,

Elizabeth

Edited by UESBrindle
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Guest brwneyegrl

My dog had the same problem a couple of years ago. She had physical therapy which consisted of ultrasound and laser therapy a couple of times a week for about a month, then reduced to 1/week for another month. In addition we did stretching exercises with her at home. She started to improve after a couple of sessions.

 

Good luck with William.

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Gracie had some calcification in her shoulder, but it was a small amount. She was on anti-inflammatories for a while and her limp went away.

 

I think that calcium deposits in tendons are similar to calcifications that form a heel spur in a person. Flat feet make tendons strain. In the process of trying to heal itself the body sends an increased blood supply there and calcium deposits unsue. I have them on both heels, going both under my foot and up from the heel and both knees on both sides going up to the femur and down the lower legs. In my case it was an alignment problem and weight issue.

 

I hope there's a simple fix for your dog.

Edited by macoduck

 

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Guest UESBrindle

The specialist looked at the x-rays and suggested we go with the steroid injection route, which is what I was hoping for - hopefully long lasting and the calcium can break up on its own.

 

He also suggested we put William under aenestesia to do a fine needle aspirate of the liquid around the inflamation - he said this would tell us what "type" of inflamation it was, and he thought he already suspects it would show a low-grade arthritic type.

 

On my way out I made an appointment to drop him off for this on Wednesday, but once I got home and talked it over with DH, realized I don't really want to put him under if I can help it, and what would it matter what "type" of inflamation it is if we're treating it with a steroid injection anyway?

 

So I emailed him Friday asking what the point of the aspirate was (no pun intended), and that for cost and medical concern, we'd rather not put him under - hoping he can just give the steroid injection as a walk-in procedure, but I haven't heard back yet. I left a mesage with our regular vet to run this by him and see what he thinks, but I really hope we won't have to put him under.

 

The good thing about the specialist is that he did go to OSU for vet school and also for his surgery qualifications, and has experience with greyhounds, but hopefully he can just give then injection with out aenestesia and tests

 

----

Looks like they'll have to put him under, just very lightly for the steroid injection anyway because it's going right into the joint (I was thinking it was just going near it in a muscle or something), and said that this would rule out we are dealing with any infection that could be easily treated with antibiotics too... so I guess if he's going under now regardless we'll just have to get the full work-up -- gosh, I wish things weren't so expensive! The specialist said that the aenestesia, steroid (which could last anywhere from a week to 6 months.. ugh, I really hope it's not just a week!) and joint fluid tests would be $600-800 ... thank goodness for insurance - I don't know what I'd do without it!

Edited by UESBrindle
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