Achilles tendon injuries in dogs can occur due to various reasons, including trauma, such as sudden twists or falls, overexertion, repetitive stress or degeneration over time. Sometimes classed/divided into ‘traumatic’ or ‘atraumatic’ Achilles injuries. Breeds that are more prone to these types of injuries include larger or more active breeds.
What age does a dog get an Achilles Tendon Injury?
Any age of dog can sustain an Achilles tendon injury however younger dogs are more likely to sustain traumatic tendon injuries from things such as severe stretching/pulling, repetitive strain, lacerations, overexertion etc. In contrast older dogs are more likely to have atraumatic Achilles tendon injuries from chronic and degenerative causes. Some breeds of dogs are more prone to this (Labradors, Retrievers, Dobermans).
Help Around the House?
Try and restrict the amount of activity your dog is doing, encouraging them to rest. If you have a young and active dog which find this difficult, you can try something such as a snuffle mat, which can help to mentally stimulate them while keeping them less mobile.
Applying an appropriate brace to help support your dog’s joint. Whether your dog has surgery or can be treated conservatively, recovery can be very slow, sometimes taking years, so often a supportive brace needs to be applied for long periods. Try and restrict activities such as going up or down the stairs or jumping on or off furniture.
Treatment for Achilles Tendon Injuries
Treatment for Achilles tendon injuries in dogs will depend on the severity of the injury. In some cases, conservative management may be all that is needed. This involves rest, restricted activity, pain medication and also the use of a splint or brace to help support the leg and joint.
More severe cases, such as complete tendon tears, may require surgical intervention. Surgery aims to repair or reconstruct the damaged tendon to restore function and stability. Post-surgical rehabilitation, which can involve wearing a brace, which can aid in the healing process, providing support and help to regain strength and mobility.
If you suspect that your dog has injured their Achilles tendon, it's essential to consult a vet who can assess the extent of the injury, and make a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.