Wesley, a Bedlington Terrier cross Whippet, is now firmly back on all four paws after rupturing his Achilles tendon, resulting in him having to spend six weeks wearing an external skeletal fixator – a metal device which supports damaged bones, joints and tendons during the healing process.
His owner brought 16-month-old Wesley to our surgery when she noticed that his hind leg had dropped below the hock. A physical examination confirmed the Achilles tendon rupture. The most common reasons for dogs to suffer an Achilles tendon injury is from lacerations, blunt force trauma or severe stretching/pulling.
In Wesley’s case it is believed that his injury was caused by play fighting with other dogs in his family. Signs of injury to the Achilles tendon can vary and include lameness with swelling around the injury, standing with curled toes or walking flat-footed. During a 90 minute operation we repaired Wesley’s tendon by attaching the healthy ends of the tendon back together with sutures.
Vet Leanne Hall said: To prevent the sutures from breaking we fitted Wesley with the external fixator – this consists of multiple fixator pins and fastenings to keep his hock in a rigid position and prevent excessive weight bearing during the healing process.
“He came back to our surgery once a week so that we could look at the stability of the fixator and also check for signs of discharge or infection from the fixator pins. After six weeks the tendon had healed and we were able to remove the fixator.”
Margaret Hartley, Wesley’s owner, said: “It’s incredible how quickly Wesley has bounced back after his operation. He’s running around and jumping on and off things just like he did before his operation.”