Tendon Damage - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
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Tendon Damage

Hi everyone. Been a long time since I posted here but I'm in need of Dobe owner help/advice.

Darcy is four an half now. She's damaged the tendons in both her back legs and is now walking on her knuckles. The vet said that this wasn't just an accident, it was always going to happen because of a disease that is rare but most commonly found in Dobermans.

The tendons have become inflamed in the hock area, thickened and started detaching from the bone which has developed roughness (osteophytes). If left untreated sometimes the tendon gets permanently long causing a permanently dropped hock.

The condition is potentially treatable but to avoid surgery they want to put external fixators (pins going through the skin and bone that are attached to bars outside of the body) to keep the joint still. Then they'll inject the area with platelet rich plasma from her blood to promote healing. The problem with this is that she will need to be crated and sedated for a total of 16 weeks. Darcy has complex behavioural issues that mean she will undoubtedly break those pins and if she does that they'll have no option but to fuse the joint completely.

I've approached a physio to assess her to see if there is another alternative (physio/hydrotherapy etc) but thought that the forum might be a good place to find out if anyone else has been through the same thing. Can anyone help?

Many thanks, Dan x
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 02:34 PM
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I have never heard of this. Is there a name for this malady? I would like to read more about it. I am really sorry you are going through this. That would be a nightmare.
I will be curious to hear other opinions and experiences with this. Sorry I cannot be of help.

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 02:35 PM
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Sorry you are experiencing this.....I have no experience in this area...but others will chime in soon..........hold tight...some are at work so more info might come in later.........poor pup

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 02:46 PM
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check out :
Wag site ..they have some info

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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Cressrb and LadyDi, lovely to hear from you. I'm trying to get as much detail from the vet/surgeon as possible but he's not very forthcoming. I did ask for the name of this 'disease' but I've not had an answer - I'll chase him on it. It's an awful thing and there really was no warning, we went to the park to play with her ball and by the time we got home she was unable to sit down. Her legs ballooned within a couple of hours. She's a perfect weight and fit as a fiddle.

She's still dashing around the house, fighting with my GSP Oscar and basically doing everything the vet has told her not to do. In my experience there's not much that will keep a Dobe down. Worst part though is that she hasn't been able to go out for a month so far and I hate leaving her at the door looking so hopeful when I take Oscar out.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 03:01 PM
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Is she just seeing your standard veterinarian or an orthopedic specialist? Very sorry
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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Brilliant, thank you so much LadyDi. Would you mind giving me the web address? If I google it I get lots of sites about footballer wives and girlfriends!

x

Last edited by Dandobermanowner; 05-01-2019 at 03:07 PM.
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Greenkouki. Thanks for replying. She's seeing an orthopaedic surgeon but if I'm honest I'm not that impressed with him. I've been given a couple of recommendations but in the interim was hoping for some alternatives. x
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 03:15 PM
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Anytime there is a strain, or tear or even after surgery to repair a cruciate tear, for example, the instructions are complete exercise restriction for 12 wks. That means never let off lead even to go outside
to do their business. And, no rough playing inside. Rather put the dog in the crate and let him/her heal. I wouldn't leave her out in the house if you leave so she does not jump on/off furniture.
Even a partial cruciate tear, without surgery, the instructions would be the same. Bedrest and let her heal.
It will require you to be very tough.

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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 03:31 PM
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Google it this way ( I am using google chrome )

"external fixators dobermans"

Should see alot of intel including videos......

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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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Google it this way ( I am using google chrome )

"external fixators dobermans"

Should see alot of intel including videos......
Found something straight away, thank you
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenkouki View Post
Is she just seeing your standard veterinarian or an orthopedic specialist? Very sorry
100% agree with GK that this requires a specialist. It sounds like you are seeing one, but you may want a second opinion. If there are sports and rehabilitation veterinarians in the UK, you may want to see if you can get in to see one of those.

I would be a little cautious about using "Dr. Google"...it's really not a good substitute for a good veterinarian and a little bit of information (or, worse, misinformation) can really lead you astray. Find a good vet that you are comfortable with and trust and trust their expertise. There's SO much inaccurate information online.


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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 09:46 PM
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I have no experience with this specific condition, but I did choose to do a platelet rich plasma injection for a torn cruciate in hopes to avoid surgery. It was followed by 12 weeks of crate rest to allow the tendon to heal, and the day he was cleared for normal activity he tore the tendon completely and went in for surgery the next day. Due to the crate rest he had significant muscle atrophy in that leg and a little in the other, which caused him to have a lengthier recovery than had he just had the surgery to start and ended up needing professional physical therapy. A year and 3 days later he tore the cruciate in the other knee, which is quite common but I was told that his chance was greatly increased bc he was lame on one leg for so long and put extra stress on his “good” knee. I would never choose the platelet injection again for a torn cruciate and I feel guilty that he had to spend an extra 12 weeks of his life’s in a crate.
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 01:50 AM Thread Starter
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100% agree with GK that this requires a specialist. It sounds like you are seeing one, but you may want a second opinion. If there are sports and rehabilitation veterinarians in the UK, you may want to see if you can get in to see one of those.

I would be a little cautious about using "Dr. Google"...it's really not a good substitute for a good veterinarian and a little bit of information (or, worse, misinformation) can really lead you astray. Find a good vet that you are comfortable with and trust and trust their expertise. There's SO much inaccurate information online.
Thanks Meadowcat, I'll look into the sports and rehab suggestion. I didn't mean that I'd be using Google as a substitute, just to understand the condition better and perhaps learn of others that had experienced the same thing to learn how they dealt with it. Especially since she's been super unlucky and damaged both legs at once - she never did do anything by half Also, this vet has been useless, first said he'd never met a dog like Darcy and then cooed over how great the x-rays were. Won't be using him x
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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 07:00 AM
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You are smart for doing your homework via internet .......just homework or course.
When I use the internet for things such as this..... I read many.... many..... articles and look for the "consistent" information.
You are right to do this IMO ......as this will allow you have have a better understanding regarding what your vet is talking about during your initial consultation.
I work for surgeons ...they do not like the internet either...but they will also not spend 1 hour in a consultation room to fully educate a person about a said condition. To many folks in the waiting room..... pressure to hurry up seems always present.
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post #16 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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I have no experience with this specific condition, but I did choose to do a platelet rich plasma injection for a torn cruciate in hopes to avoid surgery. It was followed by 12 weeks of crate rest to allow the tendon to heal, and the day he was cleared for normal activity he tore the tendon completely and went in for surgery the next day. Due to the crate rest he had significant muscle atrophy in that leg and a little in the other, which caused him to have a lengthier recovery than had he just had the surgery to start and ended up needing professional physical therapy. A year and 3 days later he tore the cruciate in the other knee, which is quite common but I was told that his chance was greatly increased bc he was lame on one leg for so long and put extra stress on his “good” knee. I would never choose the platelet injection again for a torn cruciate and I feel guilty that he had to spend an extra 12 weeks of his life’s in a crate.
Thank you so much for passing on this information, I really appreciate it. Must have been an awful ordeal for both of you and I'm sorry you had to go through that. The vet admits that it might not work and of course there's nothing to say she just won't do it again. Darcy's autistic and like a bull in a china shop so crating her will be a nightmare. The vet has said she'll need to be heavily sedated for the whole time. I'm hoping for an alternative solution and probably kidding myself but have to try.

Thanks for replying, you've been really helpful. x
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post #17 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 01:54 PM
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See of you can get your "useless" vet to tell you the name of the tendon that has stretched and partially detatched?

One of our vets recently asked a really good orthopedic surgeon about the platelet rich plasma injections for something that involved a tendon--that surgeon said that as far as he is concerned it's a pretty useless type of treatment for a tendon problem. Tendons because of their structure really don't often repair themselves with rest--the damage has to be minimal for that sort of thing to work. Significant tears or total ruptures of tendons are generally only going to be fixed by surgery.

I've been in this breed a long, long time--and having also worked in a vet clinic for the last 16 years and in an area of human medicine before that I have a pretty good knowledge of dog diseases and disorders and Doberman specific medicine--I don't think it can be very common or I'd have at least heard of it--but then I'm not a vet.

I wish you luck but as others have already said--any kind of tendon repair will involve restricted exercise. Very restricted. And it really does mean crated and on leash only for 12 to 16 weeks--but mostly tendons just don't don't heal well and you almost always end up with a surgical repair.

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post #18 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 03:06 PM
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I did a quick consult with Dr. Google, and it sounds like an Achilles Tendon tear? From what I was reading, it's almost always the result of an injury, so it's interesting that hers is caused by something else.


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post #19 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 03:29 PM
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Dan , Sorry to hear about your Dober - Anyway - there is a Local Hospital on the Eas Side Of Indianapolis IN - I know people that took there dogs there for Tendon problems - I have heard nothing but great things on this place . I am putting up there website - Might be worth a shot to e-mail them or call them and I'm sure they would give you advice .

Brookville Road Animal Hospital - Veterinarian In Indianapolis, IN USA :: Home

Best of luck

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post #20 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 03:30 PM
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I did a quick consult with Dr. Google, and it sounds like an Achilles Tendon tear? From what I was reading, it's almost always the result of an injury, so it's interesting that hers is caused by something else.
Thanks Rosemary for passing that information along--it kind of sounded like it might be an Achilles tendon to me but I hadn't gotten to looking anything up yet.

So, for what it's worth, I know of two Achillies tendon issues in Dobes and both were successful surgical repairs--14 week post op restricted exercise for one (a 65 pound 4 year old bitch and a 16 week restricted exercise post op for the other (an 85 pound 3 year old male). Both were the result of injuries.

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post #21 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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See of you can get your "useless" vet to tell you the name of the tendon that has stretched and partially detatched?

One of our vets recently asked a really good orthopedic surgeon about the platelet rich plasma injections for something that involved a tendon--that surgeon said that as far as he is concerned it's a pretty useless type of treatment for a tendon problem. Tendons because of their structure really don't often repair themselves with rest--the damage has to be minimal for that sort of thing to work. Significant tears or total ruptures of tendons are generally only going to be fixed by surgery.

I've been in this breed a long, long time--and having also worked in a vet clinic for the last 16 years and in an area of human medicine before that I have a pretty good knowledge of dog diseases and disorders and Doberman specific medicine--I don't think it can be very common or I'd have at least heard of it--but then I'm not a vet.

I wish you luck but as others have already said--any kind of tendon repair will involve restricted exercise. Very restricted. And it really does mean crated and on leash only for 12 to 16 weeks--but mostly tendons just don't don't heal well and you almost always end up with a surgical repair.

dobebug
Hi. Thank you, you've given me some really useful info there, particularly regarding the opinion of the ortho surgeon. I found a great piece here https://www.acvs.org/small-animal/ac...endon-injuries
that explains it pretty well - particularly for those of us those don't speak 'Vet'. It also describes it as a 'chronic degenerative condition' and that it 'may be due to repetitive injuries'. She's never had anything more than a swollen hock on one occasion so it's interesting (and disturbing) that this has been happening over time.
My vet mentioned the gastrocnemius tendon so I understand it to be a rupture of that in both legs.

Thank you so much for your help x
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post #22 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ECIN View Post
Dan , Sorry to hear about your Dober - Anyway - there is a Local Hospital on the Eas Side Of Indianapolis IN - I know people that took there dogs there for Tendon problems - I have heard nothing but great things on this place . I am putting up there website - Might be worth a shot to e-mail them or call them and I'm sure they would give you advice .

Brookville Road Animal Hospital - Veterinarian In Indianapolis, IN USA :: Home

Best of luck

Doc
Hi, good to hear from you and thank you for the referral. You're right, it's worth emailing them for their opinion and I'll let you know if I get a response.

Thanks again x
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post #23 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Rosemary for passing that information along--it kind of sounded like it might be an Achilles tendon to me but I hadn't gotten to looking anything up yet.

So, for what it's worth, I know of two Achillies tendon issues in Dobes and both were successful surgical repairs--14 week post op restricted exercise for one (a 65 pound 4 year old bitch and a 16 week restricted exercise post op for the other (an 85 pound 3 year old male). Both were the result of injuries.

dobebug
Hi Rosemary and Dobebug and thank you. I've just posted a little bit about it and now know its the gastrocnemius which is the largest of the 3 tendons that make up the achilles. The surgeon has consulted with other specialists and they are quite adamant that, because it's both legs, surgery for Darcy is not an option. Not only would she be a terrible patient but in order for one leg to recover, the other needs to be strong enough to support it and this just isn't the case. Particularly after the first has had surgery. Flippin' nightmare

Really do appreciate all of the help. x
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post #24 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 04:26 PM
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I’m so very sorry for this nightmare you’re dealing with. Just from the standpoint of having seen a good number of dogs over the decades of owning a vet clinic who had problems involving both hind legs, those are often based in genetic faults. Those inherent genetic issues plus the fact that there is not one strong leg to support the other during healing, can bode ill for decisions about how to “fix” the problem.

So, I’d want a good evaluation about the rest of her body and how it might stand up to any treatment and a very long prolonged rehabilitation. What is the actual condition of her hips? Her spine? That requires films by an expert. Her mental state during recovery is a huge issue. Can she endure it or will it cause her great stress?

It’s very important to ask: what other genetic and temperament problems could crop up, possibly permanently, because of the recommended treatment? And, is this all just too much for this sweet girl? I’m sorry, but a caring veterinarian would be addressing that with you. What are the chances she will actually be HAPPY and PAIN FREE as a result of this?

I will step up and say that I believe that any veterinarian should advise you if this dog has a strong potential to live in pain for the rest of its life even after treatment. I, personally, don’t think we talk about that elephant in the room, setting a dog up for a lifetime of chronic pain, nearly enough these days when such very serious problems arise. Humane ethics in the pet ownership world has not necessarily kept up with modern technologies. Those technologies can often be miserable failures for the patient in ways that count, specifically, quality of life.

It’s very hard. Hugs to you for all the difficult decisions. I know you love your girl and just want her to be okay.


Always Playin’!
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post #25 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 05:48 PM
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We tried Platelet Rich Plasma injection with Capri; I didn't really see that it made any difference. But the vet gave her the injection before her brace to stabilize her wrist was completed and then there was a longish delay in getting the brace finished....so basically it was money down the drain, as far as I was concerned.

I am so sorry you're having to deal with this issue...tough decisions all of the way around.
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