Soft Tissue Trauma Average Cost

From 392 quotes ranging from $500 - 1,000

Average Cost

$600

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What is Soft Tissue Trauma?

Soft tissue can relate to any tissue that is not bone, including oral tissues such as the lips, tongue, or tonsils. Soft tissue trauma is generally understood to be any damage that is causing symptoms such as pain, but that do not involve the bone or skin. As dogs are often quite active and athletic, this type of injury is relatively common and usually resolves completely in all but the most severe of injuries.

Damage to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments are common in dogs but can take some time and patience before they can be repaired.

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Symptoms of Soft Tissue Trauma in Dogs

Soft tissue trauma like strains, sprains, and muscle damage have many of the same symptoms as minor fractures, bone degeneration, and even cancerous conditions. This makes a confirmation of the condition by a veterinary professional crucial.

  • Depression
  • Excessive licking on joints or legs
  • Lethargy
  • Limping
  • Limp tail
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain
  • Reddened joints
  • Exercise reluctance
  • Swollen joints
  • Swollen paws
  • Unexplained crying out
  • Yelping when touched

Types

  • Medial shoulder instability (MSI) - This is one of the most common forelimb problems in dogs as it relies almost entirely upon soft tissue fibers for stability as it does not have a stable socket; along with the standard symptoms of soft tissue damage, you may see your dog refusing tight turns
  • Sprain - A sprain in an injury that tears or stretches the ligament; ligaments connect bone to bone and are a primary component to joints 
  • Strain - A strain refers to the tearing or stretching of either the muscle or of the strong bands of fibrous tissue that connects the muscles to the bones, called tendons

Causes of Soft Tissue Trauma in Dogs

Sprains, strains, and muscle damage are most often caused by trauma or injury. This can occur through traumatic incidents such as an automobile accident or a dog fight, or through a more mundane situation such as slipping on ice or attempting too ambitious a jump. Fast growing breeds and overweight dogs are more prone to sprains of all sorts and dogs with long backs, like Dachshunds and German Shepherds, are more likely to develop strains and sprains in the back and neck area.

Diagnosis of Soft Tissue Trauma in Dogs

Symptoms of anything more than an extremely mild injury should be evaluated by a veterinarian as soon as possible, and even mild limping should be treated if it lasts more than 48 hours. Muscular strains and damage, minor fractures, bone degeneration, and even cancerous conditions have nearly identical symptoms and often require imaging technology to differentiate between them. 

A thorough physical examination, paying particular attention to the joints and musculature, will help to pinpoint the area of pain as well as assess the severity of the injury. Radiographs (x-rays) will usually be employed to visualize the joints and bones in the area, in order to rule out other disorders such as fractures and osteoarthritis. Arthroscopy is an imaging technique that allows the examiner to get a clear visual image of the ligaments and tendons of any affected joints. An arthroscopy is a surgical procedure, performed by inserting an endoscope into the joint using a small incision.

Treatment of Soft Tissue Trauma in Dogs

There are some steps that you should take while you are contacting your dog’s doctor, such as placing an ice pad on the affected area to help reduce pain and swelling and making sure that the animal doesn’t aggravate the injury any further. Severe damage almost always entails some sort of surgery to remove or repair ligaments, tendons, and muscles, and if complete healing is accomplished, it will require more extensive healing time. Surgery on the ligaments can be either traditional or can be achieved by laser surgery.

Even soft tissues such as tendons, ligaments, and muscles that do not require surgical intervention take some time to heal properly and go through predictable stages of healing.

Stage 1

This is the more acute stage of the injury, usually within the first few hour hours after the injury up until around five days of healing. Treatment care at this point is focused on reducing pain, swelling, and inflammation and activity should be extremely restricted.

Stage 2

This occurs between around five and twenty-one days and is when active healing is starting to take place. Some light activity such as short, on leash walks and gentle stretching would be tolerated well at this point. 

Stage 3

This stage can be as short as three to six weeks, or it could last up to a year, depending mainly on the severity of the damage as well as the quality of care.

Recovery of Soft Tissue Trauma in Dogs

If the soft tissue damage is minor and does not require surgery, aftercare should be fairly simple. Keep your dog as inactive as possible during the first stage of the healing period to avoid causing the sprain to reoccur. Continue with the anti-inflammatories and add in new exercises as recommended by your veterinarian. After any surgery, it is essential to keep the site clean and free from dirt and debris. You will need to keep your pet from interfering with the site and examine it often over the next two or three weeks for swelling, bleeding or pus. Keeping your recovering dog in a calm, quiet environment will help encourage healing, as will having appropriate food and water within his reach.

Soft Tissue Trauma Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Charlie
maltese/shi tzu mix
2 Months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Limping
Limping swollen

my maltese shi tzu mix either went to jump down from my bed or he went to jump on my bed. he was on his back i went to pick him up he yelped so loud i thought he broke his right leg or shoulder. i had my parents check him out they said, if he had broken anything he would scream louder then wha the was, so i massaged his right shoulder and leg for a good 2 to 3 hours he walked on it fine just a little but holds it up. he jumps around when he see my brother or people period he paws at you with is right paw but that the paw that he hurt. my questio is since he is swallen since he jumps to play but how he holds it is werid looking but do u think it a soft tissue or he pulled a muscle?

if so i have my heating pad on his leg to hopefully help the swelling to go down his right leg is proped up.
i jsut hope he is ok by tomorrow my dad my step dad n mom said he should be ok if he still limping we should tak ehim to the vet i hope it doesnt come down to that he is still a baby he is two years old.



he eats normallu and drinks normally he acts fine yet he still has that limp and he is swollen he has his leg looking lik eit pulled in a werid postion i just hope he okay what do u think?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2974 Recommendations
Without examining Charlie I cannot say whether or not there is a muscle injury, sprain or other injury; if the leg was fractured or dislocated we would expect to see a more severe response to pain. You should give Charlie strict rest for the time being so he doesn’t cause himself any further injury; if there is no improvement you should visit your Veterinarian on Monday for a checkup. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Sydney
Cocker Spaniel
9 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

back arched and head low

my nine year old cocker spaniel was chasing a bird when he was out on his chain with a collar on and it snapped him back hard, since then 2 months ago he has been arching his back and when he is in pain his neck area is stiff and puffed up. We have been to the emergancy and to our regular vet, he has had xrays done, all came back normal. He is on an anti-immflamatory and seriods. How long can a soft tissue neck injury take to heal?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2974 Recommendations
Soft tissue injuries typically heal faster than orthopaedic injuries, however if there is nerve damage (or other soft tissue trauma) in the area the recovery time will be longer; there is no set time for recovery with each case being different, I cannot give a set number of weeks or months especially without examining Sydney first. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Jack
French Bulldog
7 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Depression

My dog has had a slight limp for the last month, with what feels like fluid around his bottom joint in his leg. He has been lethargic and what can only be described as depressed. I've taken him in 3 times, for x-rays and blood work. The xrays just showed fluid around that inflamed joint.

I tried to find the source of the pain, and he yelped when I applied pressure where his leg meets his hip. Anti-Inflam and antibiotics haven't helped much.

The symptoms haven't gotten worse, but haven't really got much better. He can now do steps again, which is progress.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1397 Recommendations
Without seeing Jack, I'm not sure what might be going on with him, but it would be worthwhile to have a follow up visit with your veterinarian and let them know that he isn't improving the way that you would expect. It may also help to get a second opinion if they are not sure what might be going on with him, as different veterinarians have different experience and methods. I hope that everything goes well for him.

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Sita
Belgian Malinois
Two Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

lifts leg to trot or run

My 2-year old, female, Belgian Malinois, got her rear leg hooked into a piece of machinery resulting in the need for stitches. We had xrays too, and asked repeatedly about a possible muscle tear. It has been 4 weeks. She walks on all fours, but if she does much of a trot or run, she lifts up the damaged leg. The swelling has gone down quite a bit, but is not entirely gone yet. We got another X-ray yesterday which shows the tendon is torn. Is it too late for surgery to repair this kind of injury? We are seeing a specialist in a few days but we keep reading articles that say we need to act quickly with surgery.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2974 Recommendations
It is always good to correct tendon injuries as soon as possible, however you may need to wait to see a Specialist for evaluation and surgery. You should stop allowing her outside and restrict her movement so that she doesn’t cause any further injury to herself and she is as rested as possible; without examining her I cannot comment about the possible success of any surgery. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Edgar
English Shepherd
1 Year
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Limping when running

My dog sprinted up the stairs and tripped and it looked like he whacked his knee. He dragged his back right leg for a few moments then walked like normal but then limped on it. He doesn't seem like he's in pain and doesn't yelp or anything. When he runs he hops on his back leg like a bunny rabbit.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2974 Recommendations
Edgar certainly injuries himself, but wont rest without you telling him. You should try to restrict his movements to help him recover but if there is no improvement over the next few days in the severity you should visit your Veterinarian for an examination to make sure it isn’t something more serious. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Jasper
Dachshund
4 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Pain When Lifted

Medication Used

Carprofen

My dog recently jumped off the furniture and ever since he has been yelping if you touch his chest. There is so an audible "clicking" sound if you press on it. Vet did x-rays and nothing is broken or out of sorts. They said it might be a pulled muscle. Does this sound right or should I get a second opinion? He is on kennel rest, but seems to not be improving at all.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2974 Recommendations
It is difficult to say where the origin of the clicking noise is coming from, I would ask that the x-rays are sent to a Radiologist for a second opinion to see if they are able to see anything different on the x-ray. I cannot think of anything, but do not continue to press the area to induce the clicking noise. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Cooper
English Bulldog
9 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Swollen Joints

My dog torn his knee ligament in his rear leg. He was able to walk on his three legs fine because we could not afford the surgery. Several months later if atrophied and now all of a sudden it is starting to severely swell. He has not been using it? He doesn't seem to be in pain unless I move the leg around.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2974 Recommendations
It is possible that the joint is becoming inflamed which may occur for various reasons, if you are unable to afford surgical correction, then a partial amputation should be considered which is significantly cheaper and will prevent further issues with the leg. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Dexter
Golden Retriever
9 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Limping

I have a 9 month old golden he is a great dog and is in training to become our therapy dog at work, He has been limping on his right front leg since November. I have taken him to two vets both have done x-rays and his bones and joints all look normal, we have had him on pain killers and steroids all which really didn't do much. He has also been on exercise restrictions which still isn't making a difference. The limp stays the same everyday but does worsen if he exercises. At this point it seems like it is a soft tissue injury but our vet said a CT to find out exactly is around $2000, I do not have that kind of money and do not know if I should go to specialist, which I also cant afford or what I should do next?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1397 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. It may be a good idea to see an orthopedic specialist at this point, if your veterinarians are not able to pinpoint the cause of his lameness. Large breed growing dogs are prone to a number of musculoskeletal disorders, and a specialist may be able to provide more insight into what might be going on. You may be able to take the x-rays that you have already had taken with you, to save some cost if they are able to use them and not have to retake them. The initial cost will be the office visit, and you will have a better idea as to where to go from there.

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Monty
Shih Tzu
6 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Depressed

My 6 yr old shih tzu walked into my living room, whimpered, then walked out. He is now limping and holding up his back left leg. There isn't anything he can get into in the living room. He doesn't jump up or off the couch or chair. I've checked the pads of his foot to see if there is something stuck in them and checked in between as well. I've moved his foot and knee in and out and he doesn't seem to be uncomfortable. He doesn't have any appetite. Any suggestions?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2974 Recommendations
Without examining Monty I cannot determine the extent of any injury or say whether it is a bone or soft tissue injury; you should keep Monty’s movement restricted for a few days to prevent any further injury but if there is no improvement or he is showing signs of pain you should visit your Veterinarian for an examination. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Maxx
Black lab and boxer mix
5 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

limping front leg

Medication Used

pain med
Anti inflammatory

My 5 month old puppy was limping and after several days of limited activity no improvement. WE took him to the vet and was prescribed anti-inflammatory and pain medications. We have him in a crate several hours a day and overnight. Taking him out on a leash and not letting him play with our other dog which he hates. He is an active puppy so all of the limitations are hard for him and us to enforce. It has been 10 days since injury (from playing with our other dog) and 1 week since on medications. He is still limping. I just read no stairs for him. I will start that today (hard since stairs to get in and out of the house and he is 42 pounds to carry up and down, boxer/lab mix) What else can we do to help him heal as quickly as possible he is so young still and we want him to be able to go on walks and play. He was limping less and then he chased our 1.5 year old dog through the house and up the stairs a few times before I could stop it and it seems like we are starting over. We have lots of medication left and giving it regularly but I am concerned with no progress.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2974 Recommendations

It can be frustrating to keep an active dog restricted especially when there are other dogs around and they like to chase and play; but rest and pain management is usually the best course of action, if you haven’t already an x-ray may rule out any skeletal anomalies which may be present. Other than movement restriction, walking on the lead and giving pain medication there is little else that can be done at this point; I know his energy will be bubbling over and he feels like he can run around the world, but recovery comes first. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Rocco
Boxer
11 Months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Swollen wound area

Hello. My boxer got a little cut on his nose (on the top) from another dog today at the dog park. A couple of hours later, I no longer see where the wound was, but the area is now swollen. Is this normal?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2974 Recommendations
Swelling is the bodies natural reaction to trauma, you should bathe the area where the wound was with a dilute antiseptic twice per day; applying an antibiotic ointment may not be beneficial as it may be licked off if in range. Keep an eye on the swelling, but if you have any concerns you should visit your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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