Ortho Issues and Canine Sports Medicine – Dr. James Radcliffe

Disclaimer: These are from my notes and recollections and any mistakes contained are mine, not the speaker’s.

Form follows function. Injury follows function.

A quick note that we have 2 strains of canine flu circulating, H3N8 and H3N2. If you are traveling with your dogs look into the bivalent vaccine for protection.

Laser Therapy has become mainstream, you can now rent a medical quality laser. Digital Thermal Imaging Cameras can now quantify results of laser therapy.

90% of lameness is in performance dog’s feet
The sartorius muscle is one of the most commonly injured

Everything is connected

Ligaments connect bone to bone. Tendons connect muscle to bone. Your dog is not lame on one leg, he is lame in his entire body! Bones never fully heal, years later it is still remodeling. Dislocation does not just involve bones, it involves everything that is connected, tendons, ligaments, muscles, etc.

Nerve problems are not common in performance dogs. Usually nerve problems do not originate in limbs, they are in the spine.

Sighthounds are dogs with a double suspension gallop (apologies to some of the lure coursing breeds). Many sports performance injuries are physics problems.

The goal after injury is to return to maximum biological potential. 100% recovery does not happen, it’s never going to be as good as it was.

Sighthounds and anesthesia – Ask your vet “How many whippets have you knocked out in the past month? What kind of anesthetic will you use?” The preferred drugs are propofol for induction and sevofluorane for maintenance.

The whippet is a rear wheel drive vehicle. The front end is the steering mechanism. Sometimes it fails.

Many bloody toe surgery pics followed. Dr. Radcliffe noted that his surgery pics are always bloody because he does not use tourniquets. You should ask your vet if they plan to use one, and if they can guarantee the blood supply will be intact and undamaged when they finish.

Collateral ligament toe injuries are common, surgical repair is an 80% solution. You can also try prolotherapy, which is using a needle or chemical agent to stimulate an inflammatory response.

Dewclaws – He doesn’t see any difference with or without, but has treated several injured dewclaws

Most injuries occur in the back yard. He sees lots of lacerations, the majority are done by housemates.

Ice is your friend. The 1st three days after and injury is the acute phase and ice should be used. After 3 days the injury is considered chronic and heat should be used. Joint function is essential to return to performance. To make your own ice packs mix 2 parts water to one part alcohol in a ziplock bag (add food coloring to differentiate) and freeze.

When he bandages a dog after a repair is is not to support the repair, it is to reduce swelling.

Muscle injuries – stage one or two (meaning the muscle is not dropped) can be treated with anti-inflammatories, laser, ultrasound. PT can be done at home, ice/heat and PROM (10-12 reps per day) Ice should be used for 10 minutes max, 2x a day. Using ice longer can actually have the reverse affect.

Preferred anti-inflammatories are Rimadyl and very rarely Metacam. He does not use ketofen, etogesic or deramaxx.