Since your animal friends are not able to speak to you, it's important to keep a watchful eye on them in order to notice any health chances. A dog's joints are supported by a network of ligaments and tendons. Tendons are composed of fibrous tissue that help to connect muscle to bones -- they serve an important purpose in keeping your buddy navigating through his world with ease. Inflamed tendons can result in tendinitis.
Symptoms of Tendinitis
When tendinitis is present in a dog, it is usually after he has reached his full size. When tendinitis begins, it is usually subtle, so it can be difficult to notice any changes. Your dog may be sore after a long walk or playing in the yard chasing after his favorite ball. If you try to move the area where tendinitis is present, it may be visible that your dog is experiencing discomfort. Your dog's muscle mass may decrease.
A sudden accident can contribute to the development of tendinitis. After a strenuous day of exercise where a dog has overexerted himself, tendinitis may also present itself. When your dog is walking, if you notice that the lower part of his leg swings away from the rest of his body even when his paw is faced in a forward direction, this can be a sign of tendinitis. A repetitive strain on a tendon is the most common cause of canine tendinitis, according to PetMD.
Diagnosis of Tendinitis
Your dog's veterinarian may require X-rays and ultrasounds in order to properly diagnose tendinitis. Depending on your dog's individual case, the veterinarian may also need a joint tap, which analyzes the fluid in and around the joint. Anthroscopic exploration, which uses a tubular device with a camera attached, may be necessary to get a closer look at your dog's shoulder if your dog is experience tendinitis of the bicep.
Severe tendinitis may require surgery with hospitalization. After surgery, the veterinarian may recommend using ice on the area every 10 to 15 minutes. Less severe cases of tendinitis in dogs require no surgery, but the veterinarian may prescribe an individualized treatment plan. He may also recommend massage as well as range-of-motion exercises to prevent the loss of muscle mass. Weight management is necessary to prevent tendinitis from returning or worsening.
Pamela Miller has been writing for health, beauty and animal health/welfare publications for seven years. Miller holds a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Communication from MTSU.