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Expirience of tendon injury causing a flat foot?

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My dog came back lame on a front foot after a run on icy rough surface. Just small scratches, but the foot is all flat and the dog has a severe lameness. X-ray didn´t show any fractures, the quite unexperienced vet said that there is a tendon ruptur at at least 3 toes and that this requires surgery. She´s geting back to me after consulting an ortopedic. But is surgery going to fix this? How easily will it retear? And what if we don´t do the surgery- will it heal? Please tell your story. 


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A flat foot is definitely indicative of a serious tear/rupture. I would get an Ortho consult asap. I'm not a vet, but I don't think there's any way it's going to heal on its own.


Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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I think it will require surgery too as although the dog may learn to cope with it, the condition may become chronic and affect the whole limb in later life. The figures show some 70-94% of dogs should see a good recovery from surgery within about 9 months, but the path to get there is quite involved and you will need to follow your chosen veterinarian's advice as the dog gets weaned off using any support structure.

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An update; According to the orthopedian consulted this kind of injury is treated whit rest and NSAID. If the tendons would have been cut off surgery should be  the choise of treatment, but in this case the dog has run on hard, rough, icy surface and the tendons have been badly streched/ torn and surgery isn´t usally successfull. The dog will not have any career in any running- or agilitycompetitions, but there are good possibilities that she will recover and can live a normal doglife. I really hope that this will be the case for her. At the moment (a week after injury) she is limbing less but still choose to not bear weight on the injured foot all the time. 

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Sweep has chronic toe issues so she's on an NSAID anyway, but several months ago she did this to a front middle toe (not the whole foot like your poor pup!). I think she came down on the edge of our concrete patio during a run in the yard. The toe was quite flat but now it is back to normal (well, normal for her anyway) and she doesn't limp. It just took time and patience. Best wishes for a smooth and full recovery for your dog.


Rachel with Sweep and kitties Olive and Momo.
Always missing my boys Mud and

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Time time time - any injury like this is going to take weeks/months to heal.  One of ours had this issue - tendon injuries following an insane running session - that impacted several toes.  He limped for a few months, was on nsaids and pain meds for a few weeks, and rest, and then he began using his foot normally again.  His foot was flat as a pancake, but it never impacted anything he wanted to do as a pet.  He could still run and play and do whatever he wanted.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)


Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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My Greyhound Ivy had a tendon rupture in his rear knee joint and the first vet wanted to do surgery to fix it with nails. I went to another one to get a second opnion and this

second vet fixed the knee joint with a cast-like bandage. The dog had to wear the bandage for one month, after that he got a smaller bandage which he wore for another 3 weeks.

The injury healed perfectly withour surgery! I hope, you habe luck and can avoid surgery.


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Marion, Ivy & Soldi


Perseverance is not a long race...

it is many short races one after another.

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  • 1 year later...

Hi @Ingeborg, do you have any updates on how your dog has recovered from her injury?

My girl has something similar going on (she was running full force in the woods and when she stopped she was limping.. I noticed that her right front paw now appears flat.) it has been 3 days now of rest and some anti inflammatories, the limping is better but the paw is still flat and she's still not putting as much weight on it. 

I have an appointment to see Ortho this Wednesday, it's been hard to get a sooner appointment because of covid. 

I hope your girl is doing better. Hope to hear good news! :)


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