Superficial Digital Flexor Tendon Contracture in a Dog with Gastrocnemius Tendon Avulsion

Laura Marques da Costa , William G. Marshall
CC BY 4.0 · VCOT Open 2024; 07(01): e6-e10 DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-1778094

Avulsion of the gastrocnemius component of the Achilles tendon is a well-documented condition in dogs. The most common treatment is to restore tendon function with surgical reattachment to the tuber calcanei. However, repair can fail. Pantarsal arthrodesis cannot only salvage a failed repair but is also a first-line treatment that may have a more predictable outcome. We describe a case of contracture of the superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) in the hindlimb of a dog with avulsion of the gastrocnemius component of the Achilles tendon, treated previously by pantarsal arthrodesis. Digital flexion and lameness persisted despite non-surgical treatment, and tenotomy of the SDFT was performed at the level of distal calcaneus to allow digit extension. The dog was re-examined 2 weeks and more than 2 years after surgery. No complications occurred, and the dog maintained an excellent long-term improvement in limb function.

This is the first case report describing SDFT contracture alone in the hindlimb, and a successful surgical treatment. We have re-examined the dog more than 2 years after the surgery, and she has maintained an excellent improvement in her gait. No minor or major complications occurred with this procedure.