Calcaneal tendon rupture

Rupture of the calcaneal (Achilles) tendon is an infrequent injury to dogs and cats. It can be associated with trauma, or with degenerative disease of the tendon.

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Rupture can be partial or complete.


Most cases are treated surgically. This involves debriding the damaged ends of the tendon, then rejoining them with a special suture technique. The joined tendon must then be protected from strain while it heals, often using an external skeletal fixator device to immobilise the hock joint for several weeks.

Suitable candidates

Otherwise healthy patients with damage to the calcaneal tendon are good candidates for surgery. This includes patients that may have had previous surgery that has failed.

Time involved in clinic

Most patients will be kept in the clinic for 24-48 hours after surgery to monitor the wound and any possible tissue swelling that can occur.

After care

Rest is essential for a long period of time while the tendon heals. Lead-restricted activity for dogs and cage rest for cats is likely for 10-12 weeks after surgery.

How to book

Give reception a ring on 09 238 7486 to discuss transfer of your patient to our clinic for assessment and treatment. You may be asked to bring any clinical notes, xrays images, and medications with you when you come.