Case: Flexor tendon problems in pups

Flexor tendon contraction in pups is reasonably common and can be pretty upsetting for owners as the pups look “crippled”.

The good news is that the great majority can do very well indeed if the legs are splinted in extension. This stretches the flexor apparatus and give the extensor apparatus a chance to tighten up and restore a balance between flexion and extension.

We usually splint the affected leg(s) for a few days, then try them without the splints, and are prepared to replace the splints for a few days at a time until the problem sorts itself out.
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Not everything is surgical!!

This 3 month old pup presented with knuckling of the left forelimb. This looks a little similar to some limb deformities that can develop if the growth of the bones of the forearm (radius and ulna) doesn’t proceed as it should.

But in this case radiographs were normal (and similar to the other side). The carpus (wrist) and the elbow joints felt normal when manipulated. The assumption was that this was a flexor tendon issue. The flexor tendons run down the caudal (rear) aspect of the forelimb. We splinted the limb in extension for a few days to keet the tendons stretched.photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 412