Ouch is Spelled...

30 Jan 2009Steve Schwarz

flexor digitorum superficialis. A couple weeks ago at class Meeker was laying in his crate and had wedged himself into a corner of it so he could obsess over a couple of the other Border Collies in the class. I didn’t realize that he was doing that and in his excitement he was panting and drooling on his front feet. He normally gets kind of excited but this time he actually soaked his feet in spit. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice.

So I took him out of his crate and warmed him up with some figure eights through my legs and brought him up to a jump to take a couple practice jumps. Well his front feet were still moist enough that when he went to jump they went out from under him and he splatted the jump and fell hard to the ground.

He seemed fine but the next day he wasn’t putting full weight on his right rear foot. I couldn’t find the source of the pain while I was massaging him. So twice a day I gave him Traumeel, Ascriptin, and massage and rested him for a week. The limping went away in 4-5 days and I started letting him do a little running in the backyard. Then he started limping a little again, not as badly as the first time, but he was still not right.

So it was time to get an appointment at TOPS Vet Rehab and have him checked out. Dr. Christine Jurek took a look at him and found that he had a sore flexor digitorum superficialis. What’s that you might ask? I looked it up in the wonderful Animal Anatomy for Artists and here is the description:

Origins: Rear surface of the femur, toward the outside, a short distance about the lower end of the bone.

Insertion: Upper end of the rear surface of the middle toe bone of all four toes.

Structure: The well-developed, fleshy belly flattens and widens as it descends. Halfway down the tibia, its edges come to the surface. They can be seen on the inside, outside, and rear views of the leg. The tendon twists, as in the other species, and at the level of the lower end of the tarsal bones, it divides into four branches that become perforated before inserting.

Or in language we all understand: it is a muscle attached at the back bottom side of the upper leg bone (femur) with tendons that go down the back of the “calf” (tibia) under the other calf muscles and over the “ankle” and connecting to the underside of the toes. I believe it is the muscle/tendons you’d use to “clench” your toes.

Our speculation is when Meeker’s front feet went out from under him all his weight was on his rear right toes and he pushed hard to still try to make the jump. It all happened so fast it is hard to really know exactly what happened.

So Meeker needed a major chiropractic adjustment and will be getting four low intensity laser treatments to the tendon over the next two weeks. I have some nice stretches he can do a couple times a day too. Then we’ll re-evaluate him to see where he is at.

The hard part is he is restricted to leash walks for at least two weeks, so no tearing around after Petey!

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