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Any Experience With Achilles Tendon Tears?


Guest LindsaySF

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Guest LindsaySF

I'm posting this for my friend Diana. Her girl Ali has been dealing with a leg injury for several weeks. She limped after running around in the yard. Diana has been getting conflicting advice from the different vets she's seen, so I'm hoping some knowledgeable people here on GT can help! :) Here is her previous thread: Ali update

 

The latest diagnosis is a suspected partial tear of the Achilles tendon. Below are the x-rays. Diana ordered a hock splint and the vet is going to fit it to Ali's leg tomorrow. Any experience with hock splints for tendon or ligament injuries?

 

 

This is the normal leg (right rear).

 

1Ali.jpg

 

 

 

And this is the injured leg (left rear), with swollen tendon.

 

0Ali.jpg

 

 

This is a photo of both back legs, note the swelling in the left leg.

 

Alibacklegs.jpg

 

 

One of the vets suspected a spinal issue or spinal tumor, thinking that Ali's leg being weak and paw turning over was neurological, so they took spinal x-rays too, but those were normal.

 

2Ali.jpg

 

 

I'm no vet, but her symptoms do not sound neurological to me, it really seems isolated to her left hock. :dunno The vet had also done a rectal exam, and Ali cried out when the left side was pressed, not the right, making them think spinal too. Diana and I talked though, and can't that just be a torn hip/butt muscle or something that was pressed? The vets are pushing for an MRI and I don't think that's necessary at this point.

 

Any comments or advice would be much appreciated! Diana has been very worried about her girl. :(

 

 

 

 

~Lindsay~

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Yeah, I'm with you - I'd think the left hock is causing the problem. And I would not do the MRI at this point either - in my experience, they are expensive options and may or may not give you anything you don't already know/suspect.

 

Has Dr. Dudley weighed in? The only other place locally I can think of might be Veterinary Specialists in West Hartford - Dr. Berzon is an ortho surgeon, no? He also has worked with greyhounds before, too.

With Buster Bloof (UCME Razorback 89B-51359) and Gingersnap Ginny (92D-59450). Missing Pepper, Berkeley, Ivy, Princess and Bauer at the bridge.

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Might PM LynnM or onrushpam and see if they'll assess for you. Best wishes to your friend and her pupper!

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Beau had torn the tendon away from bone when he was 3 being silly. 3 hours of ortho surgery and screws it's better than ever.

 

He could not put any weight on that leg at all without screaming. Bad memories.

 

Beau had torn the tendon away from bone when he was 3 being silly. 3 hours of ortho surgery and screws it's better than ever.

 

He could not put any weight on that leg at all without screaming. Bad memories.

 

 

ROBIN ~ Mom to: Beau Think It Aint, Chloe JC Allthewayhome, Teddy ICU Drunk Sailor, Elsie N Fracine , Ollie RG's Travertine, Ponch A's Jupiter~ Yoshi, Zoobie & Belle, the kitties.

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Without being able to feel it, just going off of the pictures I'd definitely say the hock is the issue. Too bad she's not a white dog or you'd be able to see right through it :lol I think the spinal xray looks nice :nod

 

Haven't ever dealt with an achilles tear so I don't know much about splinting, etc. and whether it's better to splint for a longer or shorter amount of time. IIRC at some point it's important to do lots of UPHILL walking to strengthen the area during rehab.

 

I would definitely look into some supplements that might help with promotion of healing connective tissues. At the moment my brain isn't working all that great so I can't specifically suggest anything.

 

Hope she's feeling better soon, poor girl :(

 

How old is Ali?

Edited by krissn333

Kristin in Moline, IL USA with Ozzie (MRL Crusin Clem), Clarice (Clarice McBones), Latte and Sage the IGs, and the kitties: Violet and Rose
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Guest PiagetsMom

Lindsay, I'm just going to respond based on my personal experience. Last year Mirage had a partial tear and could not put any weight on the rear leg. We don't know how it happened - we left for church and he was fine, came home from church and he was 3 legging it. After xrays and a vet consult, I was told that surgery was not the vet's first choice as in his experience, the results tended to be iffy....sometimes it worked, sometimes not. Mirage was put on 6 weeks of very limited activity (there was no mention of a hock splint) and we were very, very careful with him. Fortunately for us, he healed well, and we've had no other problems with it.

 

Don't know if this helps, but I send good thoughts for Diana and her girl Ali.

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Guest Diana

Thank you so much to Lindsay for all her help and input. Also thank you to everyone for your thoughts. She has not screamed/cried at all since day one. She walks on it but has the area between the hock and ankle angled back more than the other leg. When standing, she has the foot touching the floor but not putting full weight on it. She walks fairly normally but favors the leg (doesn't hold it up or hop 3 legged). We have a few appointments over the next few days and will go from there. If anyone has any more ideas please let me know. Thank you all again! Occassionally the foot flips under but she corrects it fairly quickly. She has some muscle loss in her butt and lost 7 pounds. But...her appetite is not good and she is used to a 45 minute walk each day and hasn't had any walks in 5 weeks.

 

Without being able to feel it, just going off of the pictures I'd definitely say the hock is the issue. Too bad she's not a white dog or you'd be able to see right through it :lol I think the spinal xray looks nice :nod

 

Haven't ever dealt with an achilles tear so I don't know much about splinting, etc. and whether it's better to splint for a longer or shorter amount of time. IIRC at some point it's important to do lots of UPHILL walking to strengthen the area during rehab.

 

I would definitely look into some supplements that might help with promotion of healing connective tissues. At the moment my brain isn't working all that great so I can't specifically suggest anything.

 

Hope she's feeling better soon, poor girl :(

 

How old is Ali?

 

Ali is 10 1/2 years old...11 in December. What is IIRC? We haven't been given the go-ahead to go for walks yet although Ali really wants to go! We have been taking car rides instead but it is not the same. If you think of any supplements please let me know. We may also do some accupuncture.

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IIRC = if I remember correctly :)

 

Age isn't really a factor, I was just curious as to how old she was :)

 

Is the swollen area warm compared to the rest of her? Might ask about applying heat or cold packs periodically throughout the day. Cold helps reduce inflammation and heat increases blood flow to promote healing.

 

I can't remember any tendon or ligament injuries that I've dealt with in the past that were splinted. Mainly just rest until the inflammation was reduced, and slowly building exercise as time goes on (and as I mentioned, uphill walks at a slow pace :nod).

 

I will do some more reading tomorrow and let you know about supplements if someone else doesn't chime in with suggestions :)

Kristin in Moline, IL USA with Ozzie (MRL Crusin Clem), Clarice (Clarice McBones), Latte and Sage the IGs, and the kitties: Violet and Rose
Lovingly Remembered: Sutra (Fliowa Sutra) 12/02/97-10/12/10, Pinky (Pick Me) 04/20/03-11/19/12, Fritz (Fritz Fire) 02/05/01 - 05/20/13, Ace (Fantastic Ace) 02/05/01 - 07/05/13, and Carrie (Takin the Crumbs) 05/08/99 - 09/04/13.

A cure for cancer can't come soon enough.--

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Partial Achilles tendon tears/injuries are usually just treated with rest and pain meds. Some will splint for 2-4 weeks to reduce strain on the tendon and promote healing. Is the hock splint you have one that you can easily take on and off daily? If not, you'll want to take it off or change it at least a couple times a week to make sure no sores are developing.

 

For a tendon injury, the rest period should be at least 4-6 weeks, and I would be cautious with any strenuous exercise. If the Achilles tendon is further strained and tears completely, your only option will be surgery. Additional therapies that may help are therapeutic laser or ultrasound. Any vets in your area who specialize in rehab?

 

If you're considering acupuncture, that can often be combined with Chinese herbs for better effect. Your acupuncturist may be able to suggest some herbs, or here's a link to a Chinese herbal pharmacy that offers free consults for vets, if any of your vets are open to this idea. I've taken a course taught by Dr. Xie who runs the pharmacy, and also consulted with them for my own dog.

Edited by jjng

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Guest CampWhippet

I just posted about this with Tansy's ligament. It remains swollen but she does not limp and no longer is standing with less weight on it, although we have not been letting her do crazy running with on the road. We'll see what happens when we get home.

 

I think you have a partial tear, a bit worse than what Tansy has but with the same swollen ligament. My fear here is that is tears the rest of the way requiring surgery or it causes her discomfort down the road.

 

I have given Tansy ONLY leash walks since noticing the swollen tendon and she has improved, or at least not gotten worse.

 

ETA: Tendon=ligament in my dumb brain

Edited by CampWhippet
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I heard this woman speak recently, and she might be a good consult: Debbie Gross Saunders, Wizard of Paws, Colchester, CT linky

 

Also, Dr. James St Clair of Top Dog Rehab Health Meriden CT might be another name to put on your list. linky

 

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I have experience with this: my angle Rascal.. he tore BOTH Achilles tendons in a fun run. he had surgery to repair them,, then another surgery by a BETTER VET! (first one wasn't done right) he had 6 weeks in a ridged hock casts --- remember BOTH LEGS AT THE SAME TIME!! then after a year of rehab, physical therapy, water therapy, he had another surgery to cut the tendons on the underside of one foot,, that Achilles tendon was too tight, so we released the tension from under the foot.

 

Rascal was a champ all the way thru this ordeal. I learned how to do bandage changes on my own, and re-wrapped his legs every 3 or 4 days. then weekly,,

 

He was a happy boy, and after the rehab, never missed a walk : he even did some hikes with me in the mountains,, he trotted and even ran in the back yard,

 

I sure miss Rascal, he went to the bridge last May.

 

good luck!

lorinda, mom to the ever revolving door of Foster greyhounds

Always in my heart: Teala (LC Sweet Dream) , Pepton, Darbee-Do (Hey Barb) , Rascal (Abitta Rascal), Power (Beyond the Power), and the miracle boy LAZER (2/21/14), Spirit (Bitter Almonds) 8/14

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  • 3 weeks later...

 

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