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any experience with raptured achilles tendon in dogs?

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  • any experience with raptured achilles tendon in dogs?

    Updated and moral dilemma.
    Zack, 10 m old puppy cut his leg about a month ago right on top of Achilles tendon close to the hock join. He was not putting any weight on that leg but vets said that the tendon itself was just fine and probably he was bothered by the cut or stitches. After stitches came out he did not improve but actually his stifle lengthened and he was down in hock in that leg. Finally, I got a referal to specialist who diagnosed a gastrocnemius muscle/tendon tear that probably happened about the same time as the cut but was not a direct result of it. He said it was too late to repair the tear itself but recommended a tendon shortening surgery to help bring the hock up and just let the injured area to scar over.
    The appointment was couple weeks ago and the vet was fine waiting until May 10th to perform the surgery.
    When I took him in he was not using his leg much at all and when he did he was walking with his hock down and holding his leg up when pacing. Now he is using his leg almost correctly when he is walking and pacing slowly but picks it up when he picks up speed and stands still. To me he doesn't seem to be in pain or in much discomfort. At least it does not stop him from trying to run around, jump and climb. he lets me inspect the leg and doesn't ever wimper. But he is a true terrier, on other hand.
    One of my questions to the specialist vet was "what will happen if we do nothing?". He said that he will stay lame for the rest of the life and by doing the surgery he will be able to lead normal life.
    I have done some research online and read severy article about tendon ruptures and injuris I could find.
    What concerns me most of articles say that even with repaired tear, it might happen again, most dogs do not return to 100% use of the limb and there is a big chance of him staying lame despite the surgery.
    Right now because he seems to be improving, I am leaning toward leaving things like they and let things heal on their own. I don't feel good about doing a surgery that might further compromise his injured leg. (the surgery would take part of the tendon out couple of inches down away from tear). I am afraid that if we go ahead with surgery he Zack will compromise it by his activity level. He would need to be crated for up to 12 weeks. When crated for prolonged time he does "back flips" in the crate and goes totally nuts.
    I am considering going for second opinion and asking them to put a brace on his leg to help old injury heal properly.

    Has anybody had any experience with torn tendons? And even if not, what would you do in situation if you did not have 2K (which I don't) for a surgery and dog seemed to be recovering but may stay lame for the rest of the life with the surgery or without it?
    Last edited by lexapurple; 04-16-10, 08:44 PM. Reason: update

  • #2
    Updated and bumping up.


    • #3
      Oh, I am sooooo not going to get into this on an open forum. But what I would suggest, should you have a race track or one of those old horse trainers nearby, talk to a few of them about how they used to treat ruptured tendons. I did it on myself once, and it worked really well. It was a bit uncomfortable, but not horribly painful.

      If no racetrack is in your area, maybe an old farmer or two could tell you about it. Or not quite so old farmers who have had experience with horses.