Two TPLO surgeries, elbow dysplasia and now biceps tendonitis! Can it get any worse? Biceps tendonitis in dogs is debilitating and when considering all of these problems, might be the hardest to treat. Biceps tendonitis is inflammation of the biceps tendon where the tendon courses over the front part of the shoulder. Oftentimes, it results from blunt trauma or from a change in the biomechanics of the gait. Most of these dogs are athletic, hard-working dogs that like to run, play, and jump. This is the main reason why it is so hard to treat successfully. In this athletic patient, altered gait biomechanics from bad stifles and elbows led to biceps tendonitis. The most consistent clinical sign is progressive front-end lameness with exercise and pain over the point of shoulder on extension.
Treatment of Biceps Tendonitis in Dogs
You have a few options depending on the case. If the owner chooses, I employ all the options!
- Rest. The tendons need rest to rehab and heal.
- NSAID‘s. NSAID’s will decrease the inflammation.
- Laser Therapy. Laser therapy aids in decreasing inflammation.
- Swimming. Swimming will keep the shoulders strong and well toned.
- Biceps Tendonitis Injection. Injecting the shoulder joint with steroids can help eliminate tendonitis.
- Surgery. Surgery is the last resort after all else fails.
Sometimes, I use acupuncture or some other alternative medicine depending on the clinical presentation. In a nagging, debilitating and painful situation like tendonitis, however, I find it more effective to use the faster-acting medicine at first as “emergency intervention” and later use the alternative medicine to help rebuild muscle and strengthen the shoulder area. Remember, tendonitis is painful and changes daily. You must change your treatment based on your patient’s progress. Watch Dr. Smith treat biceps tendonitis in dogs. This patient has undergone two TPLO surgeries, therapy for elbow dysplasia and now has biceps tendonitis.