Jump to content


Photo

Aging dog, Flexor tendon troubles


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 Gloria Atwater

Gloria Atwater

    Talksalot

  • Registered Users
  • 2,603 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:northern Nevada
  • Interests:Sheepdogging!

Posted 03 November 2017 - 10:11 PM

Greetings all ~

Well, my good boy Nick is now 9 and a half years old and apparently his FEET are starting to show the miles. I'd noticed an intermittent lameness issue mainly in his right front leg, particularly after hiking or running in uneven ground. (Not so much while working sheep.) He would lay down after a workout, get up sore and ouchy - and the next day he'd be just fine. I'd begun to wonder if he was getting some arthritic changes.

But now I have the opinions of two holistic/integrative vets followed by the recent exam and x-rays by my own DVM that Nick's flexor tendons in that foot are basically wearing out and he's starting to get old dog feet. :(  However, he still loves to work, still loves to trial - we did good at a 3 day trial just this past weekend - and given his energy level and drive, neither he nor I are ready to think about full retirement. If I manage him against stuff like racing other dogs madly downhill or charging around in the rocks, he stays mostly okay.

So, I wanted to ask if anybody here has dealt with similar problems and moreover, to see if anyone has had success using braces or wraps as support. I was recommended the "Therapaws" website https://www.therapaw.com/carpo-flex-x as one.

Has anybody used these braces or similar ones for this kind of carpal/tendon/flexor-thingie issue? Results? I know some day he'll have to hang up his collar, but I'd just like to buy him some more time doing the things he loves.

Thanks in advance!

~ Gloria


You ask of my companions. Hills, sir, and the sundown, and a dog as large as myself that my father bought me. They are better than human beings, because they know but do not tell. ~ Emily Dickinson

To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace. ~ Milan Kundera

#2 Maralynn

Maralynn

    Senior Member

  • Registered Users
  • 5,476 posts

Posted 04 November 2017 - 08:14 AM

Before I did anything else, I would really want an appointment with a sports medicine vet and get their opinion and treatment recommendations.

That said, I do have one of those braces that I got for Kenzi because of her carpal issues (pre surgery). Its very well made and serves its purpose but I felt that it was overpriced. So, if I were buying it again, I would want to be pretty positive it was an excellent option to help the issue.

Mara
Kenzi & Kolt

Kipp, my little dude 2004-2014
Missy, my good girl 1999-2011
 

K9 Knitter blog


#3 Sue R

Sue R

    Bark less, wag more

  • Registered Users
  • 12,791 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Bruceton Mills WV
  • Interests:Stockdogs, horses, chocolate

Posted 04 November 2017 - 01:13 PM

I have been thinking about what might be causing Dan's feet to get ouchy and look old, too. He's going to be nine in January. It's funny because he gets sore when he's too active on our gravel roads (which have some nasty, sharp gravel on them and are not liked by the dogs) but also when we visit family down near DC and the walks are on leash on sidewalks. He tends to pull a bit and we see him get what appears to be sore feet just walking on the concrete or pavement. It doesn't take much reduced activity for him to seem to "recover" just fine, and he certainly shows us that he's happier walking on grass than the paved surfaces down there. 

 

I need to make an appointment to have him seen...

 

Best wishes with Nick! These dogs give us too much sometimes. 


Sue Rayburn - Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult, but not the brightest firefly in the jar.

Celt, Megan, and Dan

"When the chips are down, watch where you step."

"The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything." - author unknown

#4 Gloria Atwater

Gloria Atwater

    Talksalot

  • Registered Users
  • 2,603 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:northern Nevada
  • Interests:Sheepdogging!

Posted 04 November 2017 - 10:13 PM

Before I did anything else, I would really want an appointment with a sports medicine vet and get their opinion and treatment recommendations.

That said, I do have one of those braces that I got for Kenzi because of her carpal issues (pre surgery). Its very well made and serves its purpose but I felt that it was overpriced. So, if I were buying it again, I would want to be pretty positive it was an excellent option to help the issue.



Hi Maralynn ~

It was a canine physical therapist in Reno who suggested the brace things for Nick. She's the closest thing we've got to a sports medicine vet. However, I didn't have Nick in to see her, I spoke to her by phone and told her what my vet had just said. I asked if I should bring Nick in but she just gave me the name of the Therapaws site.

So .... not sure what else my options might be. I could of course insist on a referral from my vet and have this canine PT lady look at Nick, but it didn't sound like she thought anything but those braces would help.  :(

I agree about the pricing! If I were to get customized bracing, the prices get even higher. :ph34r:


You ask of my companions. Hills, sir, and the sundown, and a dog as large as myself that my father bought me. They are better than human beings, because they know but do not tell. ~ Emily Dickinson

To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace. ~ Milan Kundera

#5 Maralynn

Maralynn

    Senior Member

  • Registered Users
  • 5,476 posts

Posted 06 November 2017 - 09:59 AM

I think what would bother me about this (unless your regular vet is well versed in this type of thing) is that theres no double checking or second evaluation.

If he was a pet dog, Id be comfortable with just the recommendation to get and try the braces. But hes a dog who youre hoping to maintain/extend the working career of and because of that, Id want a more proactive approach
- just for my peace of mind that it was the best approach if nothing else.

Of course maybe things your location would make this difficult.

There are some good options for online assessments (Dr Leslie Eide comes to mind).

Re: the braces themselves. I got the carpoflex one. I ended up cutting a hole for her carpal pad as it was a bit awkward without the hole. There are also some (much cheaper) options on Amazon (use the search term dog carpal brace). I would be tempted to try one of those or at least ask if/why the Therapaws one is worth the extra money

Mara
Kenzi & Kolt

Kipp, my little dude 2004-2014
Missy, my good girl 1999-2011
 

K9 Knitter blog


#6 Gloria Atwater

Gloria Atwater

    Talksalot

  • Registered Users
  • 2,603 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:northern Nevada
  • Interests:Sheepdogging!

Posted 06 November 2017 - 09:10 PM

Hi Maralynn ~

Well, my vet was actually the 3rd evaluation he's had. The first was Tahoe Integrative Veterinary Care, Dr Wendy Robinson of Truckee, who has worked with Nick since he had a back injury at age 4. (Which is unrelated to this, the back injury is long healed.) The second was Ziji Scott of northern CA who does chiropractic, acupuncture and massage for dogs.

All three say the same thing and did hands-on examinations, plus my regular vet did x-rays. The person who recommended the brace was Beth Williams of K9 Wellness in Reno, who is a canine physical therapist. I spoke to her over the phone, she won't see my dog without a referral from my vet, but she knew what I was talking about. (She also advised cutting a hole for the carpal pad.) There is no PT or cure for what Nick has going on.

I don't know what else I could really do, except talk to another DVM, whom I'd expect to arrive at the same diagnosis, and I can't afford another round of x-rays and exams.  :(

I have seen braces on Amazon, may try one of those.

 

I think what would bother me about this (unless your regular vet is well versed in this type of thing) is that theres no double checking or second evaluation.

If he was a pet dog, Id be comfortable with just the recommendation to get and try the braces. But hes a dog who youre hoping to maintain/extend the working career of and because of that, Id want a more proactive approach
- just for my peace of mind that it was the best approach if nothing else.

Of course maybe things your location would make this difficult.

There are some good options for online assessments (Dr Leslie Eide comes to mind).

Re: the braces themselves. I got the carpoflex one. I ended up cutting a hole for her carpal pad as it was a bit awkward without the hole. There are also some (much cheaper) options on Amazon (use the search term dog carpal brace). I would be tempted to try one of those or at least ask if/why the Therapaws one is worth the extra money


You ask of my companions. Hills, sir, and the sundown, and a dog as large as myself that my father bought me. They are better than human beings, because they know but do not tell. ~ Emily Dickinson

To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace. ~ Milan Kundera

#7 GentleLake

GentleLake

    Senior Member

  • Registered Users
  • 5,518 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 07 November 2017 - 12:03 AM

X-rays shouldn't have to be repeated, unless for some reason someone would want a different position or view. But having already consulted 3 vets with the same answer, I don't think it's very likely you'll get a much different opinion.

 

Hope Nick does well with whatever you decide to do.


"People in your life always come and go all the time; the dogs are always there for me. Always." ~Samantha Valle


#8 emilyfalk

emilyfalk

    Senior Member

  • Registered Users
  • 345 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:SW VA
  • Interests:All things ruminating. Stockdogs.

Posted 14 November 2017 - 03:04 PM

Hi Gloria,

I understand what you are going through with Nick. My Gabe is very long in the pastern, so his wrists look rather hyperextended when he is standing. I was worried about it, but after some discussion with my animal chiro mentor and a lot of thinking on my part, I've come up with a plan for us.

Laser laser laser. I can't say enough good things about leader therapy, but my dogs are very spoiled because I own one!

Joint supplements, Adequan

Regular chiro exams to ensure balance and proper movement

Exercise. The best thing to do to support the joints is to strengthen the soft tissue surrounding it. Tendon laxity occurs when the muscles are not strong enough to support the joint, so too much stress is being applied to the bones/joints themselves. This can be tough to keep an older dog fit without causing further injury 😔 If Nick likes to swim (and has good technique), that should be a great exercise for strengthening the flexor muscles. Walking in deep, soft sand like at the beach would be good. Underwater treadmill. I have considered teaching him to dig in the dirt, but I already have a problem digger so I don't really need any more land mines in the yard.

Excellent nutrition would be a good idea. I have Gabe on digestive enzymes so that he is getting all the necessary nutrients from his high-quality food (raw and premium kibble).

I got the Therapaw wraps for his wrists prior to thinking all of this through: I panicked when I noticed him looking a little dropped in the pasterns one day! My understanding is that braces can cause problems by taking away too much of the stress on the joints, as in they bear the weight while the muscles do not. So, the muscles don't have a chance to get stronger, instead they get weaker. So...I'm not going to use the wraps on him. I can not return them, so if you feel like you'd like to try them I'll gladly ship to you.

Anyway. Thought I'd share my approach for my own dog!
Emily

*Rae*, Ella, Gabe, Liv, Lena, Rob, Jill

#9 Gloria Atwater

Gloria Atwater

    Talksalot

  • Registered Users
  • 2,603 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:northern Nevada
  • Interests:Sheepdogging!

Posted 14 November 2017 - 11:21 PM

Hi Gloria,

I understand what you are going through with Nick. My Gabe is very long in the pastern, so his wrists look rather hyperextended when he is standing. I was worried about it, but after some discussion with my animal chiro mentor and a lot of thinking on my part, I've come up with a plan for us.

Laser laser laser. I can't say enough good things about leader therapy, but my dogs are very spoiled because I own one!

Joint supplements, Adequan

Regular chiro exams to ensure balance and proper movement

Exercise. The best thing to do to support the joints is to strengthen the soft tissue surrounding it. Tendon laxity occurs when the muscles are not strong enough to support the joint, so too much stress is being applied to the bones/joints themselves. This can be tough to keep an older dog fit without causing further injury If Nick likes to swim (and has good technique), that should be a great exercise for strengthening the flexor muscles. Walking in deep, soft sand like at the beach would be good. Underwater treadmill. I have considered teaching him to dig in the dirt, but I already have a problem digger so I don't really need any more land mines in the yard.

Excellent nutrition would be a good idea. I have Gabe on digestive enzymes so that he is getting all the necessary nutrients from his high-quality food (raw and premium kibble).

I got the Therapaw wraps for his wrists prior to thinking all of this through: I panicked when I noticed him looking a little dropped in the pasterns one day! My understanding is that braces can cause problems by taking away too much of the stress on the joints, as in they bear the weight while the muscles do not. So, the muscles don't have a chance to get stronger, instead they get weaker. So...I'm not going to use the wraps on him. I can not return them, so if you feel like you'd like to try them I'll gladly ship to you.

Anyway. Thought I'd share my approach for my own dog!

 

 

Thanks for all this!  :)

My doggie chiro was the one who first detected his issues, backed up later by another one and also my vet, so I am confident in the diagnosis. His periodic lameness showed up at a trial for the first time last weekend, when we ran a big hill course in California. He was fine during his run, but that night he was limping, so it's a "thing," sadly.  :(

But I agree about visiting his dog chiropractor regularly, or as regularly as winter permits. She's up at Truckee in the Sierras and winter is coming on, but I try to get up when I can. I'm not sure who might do laser therapy for dogs in this area, but I'll look into it.

I do have him on joint supplements, have since he hurt his back 4 and a half years ago. I've also had him on digestive enzymes for the past few years. I don't know if Adequan will help a tendon issue? My vet did not seem to think so.

We don't have any place to swim that's not ice water and there are no beaches in Nevada ;) but I do think I need to try to get him back into better shape. This last summer we both fell wayyy behind on our usual hiking due to heat, risk of wildfires and horrible wildfire smoke for weeks at a time. Now that it's cooler and skies are clear, we'll try getting out on the trail more. Digging unfortunately is one of the things that causes him pain afterwards, so I actively discourage that. Otherwise he loves to dig in stream beds while hiking, but ... again, it causes him soreness later.

So, I will hope that a return to judicious exercise may help him regain some soundness. You are spot on about muscle tone supporting everything else and he and I have both lost condition the past few weeks!  ;)

What size are your Therapaw wraps? I think Nick would take a medium, as he is a good sized boy. I would not want him to wear them full-time, but I thought they might help support his wrists during active exercise.

~ Gloria


You ask of my companions. Hills, sir, and the sundown, and a dog as large as myself that my father bought me. They are better than human beings, because they know but do not tell. ~ Emily Dickinson

To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace. ~ Milan Kundera

#10 emilyfalk

emilyfalk

    Senior Member

  • Registered Users
  • 345 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:SW VA
  • Interests:All things ruminating. Stockdogs.

Posted 16 November 2017 - 12:56 PM

I really like Adequan. I have seen it used for soft tissue injuries as a diagnostic: dog comes up lame, give dose of Adequan, better next day means you have a soft tissue injury, not better means you have a bone or joint injury. I do not know if there's science behind this theory, but it has been accurate in the cases where I've seen it used this way. The molecular "building blocks" in Adequan are found in places other than the joint cartilage, so I usually figure that it's worth a try. Also, if the joint is abnormal due to conformational changes (due to tendon laxity), there will be correlated abnormal forces/strain in that joint as well as others, and since Adequan works systemically it should help out wherever needed.

I'm away from home right now so don't know the Therapaw size...Gabe is 50+ lbs. I can get back to you.
Emily

*Rae*, Ella, Gabe, Liv, Lena, Rob, Jill

#11 Gloria Atwater

Gloria Atwater

    Talksalot

  • Registered Users
  • 2,603 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:northern Nevada
  • Interests:Sheepdogging!

Posted 16 November 2017 - 02:42 PM

Emily, thanks for all that! I'll ask my vet about Adequan. You may have something there, that conformational changes could be happening due to tendon laxity and it's possible the Adequan could indeed help the overall issue.

No need to worry about the Therapaw if you are out of town, I'm probably still going to order one to try out. Thank you again for the info and relaying your experiences with Adequan.  :)

~ Gloria


You ask of my companions. Hills, sir, and the sundown, and a dog as large as myself that my father bought me. They are better than human beings, because they know but do not tell. ~ Emily Dickinson

To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace. ~ Milan Kundera


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

Copyright: All posts and images on this site are protected by copyright, and may not be reproduced or distributed in any way without permission. Banner photo courtesy of Denise Wall, 2009 CDWall. For further information, contact info@bordercollie.org.