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Retrospective study of Achilles mechanism disruption in 45 dogs
  1. S. A. Corr, BVMS, CertSAS, DipECVS1,1,
  2. D. Draffan, BVMS, CertSAS, MRCVS2,
  3. E. Kulendra, BVetMed, MRCVS1,
  4. S. Carmichael, BVMS, MVM, DSAO, MRCVS3 and
  5. D. Brodbelt, MA, VetMB, PhD, DVA1
  1. 1 Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Hertfordshire AL9 7TA
  2. 2 Wey Referrals, 125–129 Chertsey Road, Woking, Surrey GU21 5BP
  3. 3 Vets Now Hospital, 123–145 North Street, Glasgow G3 7DA
  1. E-mail for correspondence: sandra.corr{at}


Forty-five cases of canine Achilles mechanism disruption were reviewed, mostly involving medium-sized dogs, among which dobermanns, labradors and border collies were most commonly represented. Most cases were acute in onset (66.7 per cent), and were usually closed injuries (75.6 per cent). In the majority of cases, the damage involved all tendons (26.7 per cent), all tendons except the superficial digital flexor tendon (22.2 per cent), or the gastrocnemius alone (20 per cent). Damage most commonly occurred at the tendo-osseous junction (60 per cent), with injury occurring less commonly at the musculotendinous junction (20 per cent) or in the body of the tendon (13.3 per cent). A plantigrade posture was not predictive of involvement of specific tendons, but was more likely if the injury involved the musculotendinous junction. The most common method of treatment was a primary tendon repair using polydioxanone suture in a locking-loop pattern, with placement of a temporary calcaneotibial screw and cast. The outcome was not significantly influenced by whether the injury was open or closed, the duration of the injury, the tendons involved, or the method of repair. Complications were recorded in 16 cases (35 per cent), of which 10 were minor and six major. Complications were significantly more likely if the damage involved the body of the tendon. Long-term follow-up was available for 19 dogs; the outcome of surgery was considered to be good to excellent in 18 dogs.

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