Muscle Tear in Dogs

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A typical muscle can be extended, pinched, or hurt directly, leading to fiber disruption, weakening, and immediate or postponed separation of the unscathed parts. Typical activity may cause muscle disturbance. Alternatively, the muscle structure may be compromised by systemic or iatrogenic (physician-caused) conditions. The rupture may be total or insufficient, and might be in the middle of the muscle or at the muscle-tendon junction. The severe (sudden and severe) stage is identified by a normal inflammatory reaction that ends up being chronic over time, with cross-linking, and adhesion development with time. Often, the severe stage is overlooked, as the signs might be temporary and respond well to rest. The chronic effects are typically progressive and unresponsive to support therapies.

The muscles of the limbs, and the chewing muscles are the main structures impacted. Distressing injury is indiscriminate, though certain activities may incline since of direct exposure. The ruptures that are apparently unrelated to injury appear to impact middle-aged to older working dogs, without any reported gender preference.

Symptoms and Signs of Muscle Tear in Dogs

  • Immediate lameness that is identified by the specific muscle affected
  • Usually present for a few days to a week
  • Severe injury
  • Pain-free
  • Chronic phase (if it develops).
  • Progressive.
  • Localized swelling, heat, and pain

Normally associated with scar tissue that hampers normal function of an extremity.


  • Trauma.
  • Overextension.
  • Degenerative (unidentified etiology).
  • Myopathy (a neuromuscular disease), secondary to medical conditions.
  • Myositis (inflammation).

Apparent risk factor for dogs is involvement in hunting, tracking, or comparable activities in the outdoors that put stress on the muscles.


Your vet will perform a thorough physical examination, trying to find proof of neurologic dysfunction and tendon rupture. Diagnostic imaging will consist of X-rays to try to find evidence of bone piece problems and translocations, and ultrasound to search for swelling and disorientation of the typical muscle fiber at the site of injury in intense cases. Scar tissue and contracted areas of fibrous tissue can be seen in the muscle in chronic cases. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used to search for edema and hemorrhage, and to accomplish localization of the problem that will help to determine the kind of problem.

Your doctor will also test your dog’s joints for proof of joint instability or malalignment. Quantifiable differences between typical and unusual sides might work in documenting the affected muscle site. Another thing your doctor can do is conduct a biopsy of the affected muscle to discover the presence of fibrous tissue and loss of muscle cells. Differentiating atrophy due to disuse from neurologic atrophy, and from injury-induced scarring, may be impossible without supporting evidence.


There is no documented evidence to support a single best method to treat severe muscle injuries, or to prevent fibrous contracture (shortening of muscular or connective tissue) and adhesions. It is generally believed that instant post injury care must involve rest and local cold application followed within hours by heat and passive physical therapy. A vital part of muscle repair works tension relief for the injured muscle so that healing can take place without disturbance as function returns. Analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs must be used for numerous days to weeks to manage inflammation and pain. Light or non-weight bearing activity is proper for an extended time period (4-6 weeks).

Internal or external orthopedic devices may be required to offer effective stress relief. Scar-related issues can impact your dog’s gait in the long-term. It is inappropriate to hospitalize or cage a just recently injured animal for muscle problems unless surgical repair is planned. Surgery might be carried out within a couple of days of the injury to fix apparent, acute muscle rupture that leads to a separation of the unscathed muscle sections.

When the muscle injury ends up being chronic and is associated with contracture or adhesions, treatment is targeted at function salvage of the muscle. Rapid symptomatic relief often accompanies surgical release of the adhesions or fibrous tissue bands. The avoidance of re-adhesion and progressive contracture is much less rewarding.

Specific muscle injuries have commonly diverse diagnoses. Rotator cuff contracture reacts well to surgical excision of the tendon of insertion. Gracilis (hamstring) contracture has a 100 percent recurrence rate after surgical resection. Quadriceps contracture has a similarly dismal failure rate after surgery.

Muscle injuries that have actually healed in a lengthened state have a much better prognosis for surgical enhancement of function than contracted muscles. The most typical elongation injury impacts the muscles of the Achilles group. Hock hyperflexion can be surgically rebuilded to return affected dogs to relatively regular function. Shortening the Achilles tendon rather than surgically repairing the hurt muscle usually achieves this.

Living and Management

Your vet will wish to monitor recurring range of motion, along with taking actions to control inflammation. Non-weight bearing passive physical therapy may be beneficial for recovery.


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References and used sources

Reyus Mammadli

Having engineering and medical education, in recent years actively engaged in the study of the development, reproduction of domestic animals. Special attention is paid to the treatment and prevention of diseases of Pets.

Author of several hundred articles about health and healthy lifestyle. In recent years, he has been treating Pets and birds together with specialists. In their articles on shares both his knowledge and experience, and, based on reliable sources, methods of primary diagnosis of diseases in Pets and General recommendations for their possible treatment.

Of course, the articles are only informative. In each case, diagnosis and treatment should be carried out and prescribed by a qualified veterinarian.

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