In Colorado, a Great Dane gets a leg up
A Great Dane named Cooper — stepped on by his mother as a puppy — has gotten rid of his limp, thanks to a procedure that, in effect, stretched his bones.
Cooper was only 11 weeks old, and unwanted by the breeders who produced him, when Sally Stoffel adopted him through a rescue organization in Boulder.
She took him to Colorado State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital, where small animal orthopedic surgeon Ross Palmer came up with a plan to repair the dog’s badly damaged right rear leg.
Palmer straightened and lengthened Cooper’s tibia using an orthopedic device not available in the U.S., and generally only used on humans.
The device, loaned to Palmer by an Italian colleague, permitted him to correct the deformity, then gradually stretch the bone as it healed, allowing it to catch up with the growing dog’s other limbs.
The device had to be adjusted daily, and Cooper spent months recovering.
The results were unveiled Monday, when the 130-pound dog bounded into an exam room at the university.
“For this to be successful, you certainly have to have the right technique,” Palmer told the Denver Post. “But you also have to have the right owner and the right dog. And in this case, we did.”
Stoffel said Cooper spent a month laying on his blanket, but when the treatment was finished, his tibia had grown about three inches as a result of corrective surgery and use of the device.
Cooper, now nearly 11 months old, appears to be healing well, and is walking normally on all four feet. Because he’s still growing, he might eventually require a prosthetic device or a second bone-lengthening procedure, Palmer said.
The treatment required 11 visits to the CSU vet hospital, and Stoffel estimated that she has spent about $7,000.
(Photo by V. Richard Haro / Fort Collins Coloradoan)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 28th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bones, colorado state university, cooper, dogs, great dane, health, injury, leg, lengthening, pets, procedure, puppy, ross palmer, sally stoffel, stretched, tibia, unusual, veterinary