The Common Tendon Problems Dogs Face
The most common issue your pup is going to encounter with their tendons is tendinitis. Tendonitis happens from injury, some type of repetitive injury or from build up of calcium on the bone or tendon. Tendonitis is extremely common and not very serious. Lets look at the 3 main issues with tendons your dog is likely to face.
Tendonitis in dogs
is basically inflammation of tendons which has become chronic. The build up of inflammation over time causes wear and damage to the tendons. Tendons in dogs don’t receive direct blood supply like muscles do and therefore take longer to heal than muscle injuries. Tendonitis will show as some lameness likely, but it is not severe and can be treated naturally with anti-inflammatory herbs and tendon mending herbs for dogs.
CCT or common calcaneal tendon
is basically the dogs achilles tendon. This area gets a lot of wear and is prone to injury from direct traumas. General lameness with weight bearing movement and usually swelling over the area is the diagnosis of CCT injury. Additionally, CCT injuries are likely to be more common in Dobermans, Labradors and German Shepherds due to their size and how their bones heal.
Shoulder and hip tendon problems
are most common from age and degeneration. Not having adequate supplements through life, old age, and poor posture all lead to shoulder and hip tendon problems in dogs. Training posture is ideal, but very uncommon for most dog owners. For this situation you are better off ensuring your dog is getting joint care and lubrication through supplements throughout their lifetime.
Herbs and Supplements for Dogs To Strengthen, Heal, and Repair Tendons
Dan Shen / Salvia Root: Dan Shen is a perfect herb for use on dogs for tendon injuries because it increases circulation and removes swelling. So, it gives the tendons the healing properties and blood it needs while also removing the bad stuff and swelling from the area. Salvia Root is a great choice also because it is good for the heart and is a great preventative supplement to heart and liver issues.
Eucommia Bark / Du Zhong: This will always be my favorite tendon supplement herb and in my opinion is the most effective herb for tendons, fascia, sinews and ligaments. Eucommia Bark is a full body tonic, anti-inflammatory, and lowers hypertension in addition to being fantastic at helping with tendon and ligament damage
High Grade Medicinal Turmeric / Jiang Huang: Turmeric will probably not be a new herb to you, but it is very well known for a reason. Turmeric increases circulation, is highly anti-inflammatory, and reduces swelling and cools the blood. Other than herbs that work directly on the Tendons like Eucommia or Dynaria, eliminating inflammation is the next most important thing to do to help your dog.
Shen Jin Cao / Japanese Clubmoss: The Chinese meaning of this herb is “stretch and tendon herb”. So it is hard to discount herbs that are named so directly. Shen Jin Cao helps tendons flex and remove rigidity as well as strengthen and reduce pain and swelling of the tendon and joint area.
Non-Herbal Effective Supplements for Dog’s Tendons
Because some of these problems listed above can involve the joint, it is common to use a couple other things for use with tendon injuries. These are all meant for joints, but because tendons act on joints, dogs can usually benefit from these additives:
If the injury is near a joint or is due to age (degeneration) joint lubrication additives are highly recommended
Easy Home Remedies and Techniques for Dog Tendon Injuries
Massage is a free modality if you do it yourself. Sometimes our first instinct with an injury is not to touch it, getting a massage on yourself is usually considered a spa treatment rather than health therapy even though there are many scientific studies showing the benefits of massage. You don’t have to be a professional to use massage on your dog.
Tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and sinew areas benefit highly from massage because they don’t have their own blood supply, like muscles. Using light pinching and rubbing from the joint all the way over the tendon and over the muscle will help the area heal, give your pup some needed love and attention, and check the severity of the injury. If your dog is very uncomfortable or you can feel dislocation, laxity, or unattachment you should contact a vet.
Benefits of Massage:
- Helps tendon and ligament injuries heal faster
- Feels good for your pup and lowers pain levels
- Allows you to check the severity of the injury
- Increases circulation over the entire body
- Promotes bonding between you and your dog
Massage with Liniment
You can increase the effectiveness of massage and greatly speed recovery time by massaging liniment in the area. Liniment is a very concentrated herbal liquid that gets absorbed through the outside of the body to encourage healing. It has been used for thousands of years and is still a popular product today, especially in animals. Race horses may be the most popular animal using liniment, with great success I might add. These very expensive animals that get the highest level treatment and herbal liniment is one of them. A big advantage of liniment is that it absorbs during the massage and leaves only a small residue so it can’t be “licked off” by your dog.
Simply massage as normal with liniment until absorbs in, do this 3-4 times a day to greatly speed recovery. Liniment and massage will increase circulation to the injured area which is also bringing in fresh nutrients. Additionally, if your dog is taking herbs the massage will help direct them to the area. If you really don’t feel confident in the massage you can find some tips on YouTube.
High quality liniment can be found hereSoaks, Baths, and Compresses
Warm water just by itself is great for helping the body heal. If you place your arm in warm water, meaning 98-100 degrees Fahrenheit, you can visually see it opens your pores and increases circulation. Depending on the location of the tendon injury on your dog will determine what methods you can use.
Baths are easy to run and place your dog right in the tub. In the tub you can add Epsom Salt to really help the water heal. Your dog will likely only allow you to put them in so deep of water so this may not work for shoulder and high hips. Soak until water cools.
Soaks are made by heating up water in a pot and using the pot to submerge the are in. Soaks have the advantage to cook herbs into as well as add Epsom Salt. Perfect for knee and foot injuries as your dog can simply stand, if you can get them to sit in a large container or pot then the rear hips can be helped this way too. Soak for 15-45 minutes For adding herbs use: Hong Hua, Du Zhong, and Turmeric.
Compresses are made by using a towel and dipping it into your soak and then apply to the injury area. Make a soak and dip the towel into it and ring it out so it’s not dripping. Apply to the area very warm until the towel cools. Rewarm the towel in the water from the soak and reapply, repeat for 20 minutes.
Ready made dog supplement powders for Bone, Joint and Tendon care
At Doggie Herbs we offer a full line of supplements for your dog whether it is for supplementation or to heal an injury. Here is a quick list of products we carry you can use for these issues above:
- Dog Bone Care – Applicable for any bone injuries, fractures, fissures or weak bones. Aging dogs with osteopenia should be on a bone supplement
- Dog Joint Care – Containing MSM, Chondroitin, and Glucosamine this formula is perfect for any DJD or injuries due to age
- Dog Tendon Care – Our well rounded Tendon care for dogs is great for any issue with tendons including: tendonitis, tears, sprains, and weak tendons (including calcium growths)
- Anti-Inflammatory Powder for Dogs – Inflammation will be a problem with any injury or disease. Although each product is well rounded, any product could benefit from extra anti-inflammatory herbs. This product also includes herbs for increased circulation and pain relief.