top of page

Helping your dog with
Supraspinatus Tendinopathy

Supraspinatus tendinopathy (ST) is a common condition identified in dogs with forelimb lameness, particularly sporting dogs. The cause of ST appears to be related to repetitive strain injury and does not tend to respond well with rest and pain relief. That's where we come in!

Supraspinatus Tendinopathy Overview

Signs of ST

Signs show varying degrees of lameness, from a shortened stride length to a significant weight-bearing lameness. The lameness worsens with activity. There may also be atrophy (reduction) of the muscle which is painful when touched, especially when the shoulder is flexed.

Causes of ST

Sporting dogs are predisposed due to the impact jumping, twisting and turning have on the Supraspinatus muscle. Over time, this accumulates into repetitive strain type injury. Slipping, overstretching and exercising on 'cold' muscles (i.e. lack of appropriate warm up and cool downs) can also contribute.

Treatment of ST

ST can be quite tricky to treat and often requires lengthy rehabilitation as they typically do not respond to rest and pain relief. However, physiotherapies with progressive exercise programme has been shown to be effective. For extreme cases, surgery is an option, including treatment with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

What can we do about it?

Plenty! We have numerous modalities in clinic that we have at our finger tips to help your dog. These include massage, soft tissue mobilisation, stretching, joint mobilisations, targeted exercises, laser therapy, hydrotherapy... shall we continue? These have all been shown to regain muscle function, strength and coordination and get back to competitive fitness. In some unfortunate cases, recurrence of the condition is not avoidable. With each session they undergo constant review of their clinical signs and progression in order to gain maximum recovery at a pace that's comfortable for them.

 

We have a comprehensive programme tailored for your dog's specific needs, depending on their recovery so far.  We will always assess their pain levels, degree of mobility, muscle strength, amongst more, to enable us to create the most successful treatment plan for them. If they have co-morbidities such as biceps tenosynovitis or osteoarthritis we will rehabilitate these concurrently.

Alongside what we do with your beloved pooch, there are a number of things outside of the clinic that can help them manage their condition or rehabilitation. Please find information in the sections below!  

Home Modifications During Recovery

Flooring

Wooden floors and stairs are a big slip hazard for your dog. Try using non-slip mats along the main routes of your house. Alternatively, some dogs may benefit from paw pads (please speak to us before trying this option in case of contraindication).

Feeding Stations

Raising their water and food bowls may seem like a insignificant change to us, but it can really help your dog to be in a more neutral position.

Access to Furniture

Jumping up and down from heights if often a cause of additional pain / difficulty to your dog. If they enjoy a cuddle on the sofa or the bed, make it easier for them with dog-friendly steps or ramps onto furniture. This also applies to getting in / out of cars! You may find a sling to be useful.

Keeping Warm

Especially important in the colder months, your dog will benefit from staying warmer. Keep them in a jumper and walk them out with coats. Stay dry too!

Sleeping / Resting Areas

Great quality sleep is essential. Ensure their sleeping area is free from any drafts and in a warm spot. Their bedding should be supportive and not restrictive. Memory foam mattresses without rigid or tall sides are best. Make sure your dog can access the bed and can change position / stretch out easily.

Be Wary of Terrain

Different types of terrain in the garden and on walks can be hazardous, such as steep slopes, loose or uneven surfaces. Be mindful to where they are going.

bottom of page