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Type: Journal article
Title: Ability to work and owner satisfaction following surgical repair of common calcanean tendon injuries in working dogs in New Zealand
Author: Worth, A. J.
Danielsson, F.
Bray, J. P.
Burbidge, H. M.
Bruce, Warwick John
Citation: New Zealand Veterinary Journal, 2004; 52(3):109-116
Publisher: New Zealand Veterinary Assoc
Issue Date: 2004
ISSN: 0048-0169
School/Discipline: School of Medicine : Orthopaedics and Trauma
Statement of
A.J. Worth, F. Danielsson, J.P. Bray, H.M. Burbidge, W.J. Bruce
Abstract: AIM: To report the long-term outcome (return to work and owner satisfaction) following surgical treatment of common calcanean tendon (Achilles tendon) injuries in working dogs in New Zealand. METHODS: Ten New Zealand Huntaway or Heading dogs (working Collies) with complete or partial tears of the common calcanean tendon, were treated using locking-loop suturing and casting, with (7) or without (3), a calcaneo-tibial screw. All dogs were actively in work on sheep or cattle farms at the time of injury, and return to work was the desired outcome. Ability to work and owner satisfaction were investigated using a telephone questionnaire at a mean followup interval of 14.6 months. RESULTS: Overall, 7/10 dogs returned to full or substantial levels of work. Post-operative complications occurred in two dogs that did not return to full or substantial levels of work. Moderate persistent lameness (score 3 on a scale of 0-5) was present in 2/7 dogs that returned to full or substantial levels of work, equating to a 71% good-to-excellent functional outcome within this group. Seven owners felt the financial investment in opting for surgical repair was worthwhile. A screw and cast method of rigid immobilisation was thought to be superior to casting alone. CONCLUSIONS: Surgical treatment of common calcanean tendon injury in working dogs carries a good prognosis if an appropriate tenorrhaphy technique is used and rigid immobilisation is achieved for 6 weeks. Care must be taken to limit post-operative complications. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: This study justifies the use of surgical repair of such injuries in the working dog even when return to work is the only acceptable outcome.
DOI: 10.1080/00480169.2004.36415
Appears in Collections:Orthopaedics and Trauma publications

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