OrthoPets Blog

July 2016 Email News from the Canine Rehabilitation Institute


In Our July 2016 Issue …unnamed-1.jpg

  • Register Now for Fall / Winter and January Classes!
  • Save the Dates for Our 2017 Classes!
  • Interested in Our Continuing Ed Classes? Contact Us!
  • Register Now for Canine Sports Medicine in Germany!
  • Our Introduction Course in Australia Is Almost Sold Out!
  • We’re Headed Back to the UK in 2017.
  • CRI Students: Remember to Back Up Your Files … and more!

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Patient Feature: McKayla

Meet McKayla, a 9 year old Pit Bull cross who works as a therapy dog. McKayla initially came to OrthoPets with a history of degenerative osteoarthritis, torn cranial cruciate ligaments, and possibly torn menisci in both knees. McKayla’s owner Angie wanted to explore non-surgical options for McKayla, and McKayla was so painful that Angie was even experimenting with using a wheelchair to support McKayla’s mobility when she found OrthoPets. Her stated goal for McKayla’s orthoses was for McKayla to “be a dog again.” 

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June 2016 Email News from the Canine Rehabilitation Institute



Robbie the “Robo-Dog” wearing his first boot. Read more below.

 In Our June 2016 Issue

  • Register Now for Our August Veterinary Orthotics and Prosthetics Class!
  • Coming in October … Aquatic Therapy and The Business of Canine Rehabilitation
  • Our 2016 Courses Are Filling Up! Register Now!
  • Register Now for Canine Sports Medicine in Germany!
  • Registration Is Open for Our Introduction to Canine Rehabilitation Course in Australia!
  • We’re Headed Back to the UK in 2017
  • CRI Students: Remember to Back Up Your Files … and more!

read more…

May 2016 Email Newsletter from the Canine Rehabilitation Institute


 In Our May 2016 Issue …


  • Join Us in August for Orthotics and Prosthetics!
  • Coming in October … Aquatic Therapy and The Business of Canine Rehabilitation
  • Registration Is Open for November and December Classes in Florida!
  • Fear of Heights? You May Want to Skip This Story!
  • Register Now for Canine Sports Medicine in Germany! We’re Excited to Return to Australia in October!
  • We’re Headed Back to the UK in 2017 … and more!

read more…



Since retirement, our family now consists of Charlie and Parker and the two of us. Charlie and Parker are Golden Retrievers and we will be talking about Parker primarily with a little bit about Charlie thrown in. Parker is 12 years old and Charlie is eleven. The two of them are best buddies. Last summer they spent glorious days at our daughter and son-in-law’s home on Lake Kellogg. It’s their idea of Heaven no doubt about it. Wonderful swimming, boat rides and running with abandon! But summer ended and their activity level decreased. A little later we noticed a distinct limp affecting Parker’s left front leg. The first thing we did was take her to our Vet. To start, he had x-rays done and gave us a script for medication that would keep her comfortable. That was the first of multiple trips to the vet. She was not responding to any approach that we tried. We literally said “stop” when the medication she was on had her sleeping all the time. Her discomfort level was all too obviously, at an all time high. Charlie sensed this also when she refused to play and have little to do with him. She was miserable and it was so obvious that she found getting around and putting her weight on that leg a real trial. The vet., in frustration because he tried everything, re x-rayed her. This time there was a huge arthritic deformity in the elbow joint. We had a choice. Stronger medication or surgery. We did not make a decision at that moment. When we got home I went to the Internet. I started with a link to find a splint for that elbow. The Company that I tried was nice enough to say that they didn’t make splints for the canine elbow. They referred us to OrthoPets for evaluation for a brace. It was the best advice we got for Parker. I contacted OrthPets for information after viewing their web site and talked to LiLen who became our case manager. She led us through the project step by concise step. Perfect information and she was very up front about the cost of our project and what was expected from us in order to get the brace done. She was so professional and kind to two people starting out with a completely foreign subject and nothing more than our love for our dogs. LiLen has always been available to us with answers to questions through the whole process, and right up to to-day. We took all the information talked about it and decided to give it a go! Now great care was given by LiLen as to instructions for the procedure. First an assessment of Parker had to be done and this was accomplished through close up photographs of the leg in different positions and instructions given on how they were to be taken. Their assessment of Parker was done with the photographs and documentation from our vet and we live about 2000 miles from Denver. Their assessment and conclusion was 100% accurate! Measurements of the affected limb were done by our vet (who by now was so enthused and interested in our project) When OrthoPets received the information, they sent the casting kit directly to our vet. He in turn called us and set up a time to cast the leg. LiLen told us the amount of time it would take to make the brace and it was right on time. They sent it directly to the vet. for proper application and any possible adjustments he would recommend by OrthoPets. It was perfect!.Parker accepted the brace immediately and had no problem trying it out by walking on it. She has not chewed on it or shown any signs of discomfort. Parker will come immediately when she’s called in the morning to have it applied. She even lets her Groomer apply it without fuss.She has mastered the stairs and the grounds of our home with ease. As time went on, she progressed in her abilities. Charlie has his play partner back, which he is so happy about.

The brace, coupled with appropriate arthritic pain medication, has given Parker a new lease on life. She’s a happy, happy camper!

Let me tell you just a little more about Parker. Aside from the surgery she had when she was spayed, she later underwent surgery for a malignant Mast Cell tumor on her chest. It was done at Michigan State University. She survived! Surgery for a torn ACL (Parker loves to run) She survived!

Later she had surgery for a torn ACL in the other leg. at Michigan Veterinary Hospital. She survived!

Later she developed a lump on her shoulder. After it was biopsied, surgery was performed to remove it. It was malignant. She survived! Parker is a survivor with all the love and class of a lady! She is a wonderful, loving, warm part of our family and Community. Everyone knows Parker.

We thank OrthoPets for providing the ability for her to enjoy her Senior years while she plays and lives almost like a puppy again.

If Charlie ever has the same problems, we will be on the telephone to OrthoPets in a heart beat.

Thank you one and all——especially LiLen.
Judith and Les Harding
Parker and Charlie
May 7th, 2014

Jack the Border Collie

Meet Jack an 11 year old Border Collie who just was fitted with his stifle orthosis at our partner clinic, Pawsitive Steps Rehabilitation & Therapy for Pets. Over the next few months Jack will be participating in their rehab program so that he can learn how to use his orthosis correctly as well as work on specific exercises to strengthen him while he is recovering from his Crucuiate tear. Our partner clinic does a phenomenal job rehabbing their patients in all of our orthotic and prosthetic devices. If you are near Rochester Hills MI you should check them out!jack



Pretzel and I wanted to thank all of the kind people at OrthoPets who have helped him regain mobility and enjoy pain-free exercise. Due to the unique shape of his legs (broken as a puppy), only a completely custom-made device would fit him. Within a week he had achieved a very natural gait while wearing the brace. Since Pretzel can now put his full weight on the braced left leg, his right front leg is also feeling better. We may eventually get a brace for the right leg also, if it is needed. He can now run at the dog park and play with kids until he is tired instead of stopping at 15 minutes because his legs hurt. After only a few days Pretzel recognized his brace as a signal that we were going to go do something fun and will bounce over to the door and raise his paw have the brace put on when I pick it up.

Robin and Pretzel the Wonder Dog



Martin, Amy, Dr. Patsy, and OrthoPets staff, On behalf of our family and Jasmine, we would like to thank you so much for all you have done for our 7 year old German Short-haired pointer. Jasmine keeps improving daily. When she tore her ACL we really didn’t want to do the surgery route since she had just had surgery 3 months before to remove a 5 lb tumor attached to her spleen. In addition, we had heard horror stories of how the surgery is so hard on our 4-legged friends and the fact that sometimes it doesn’t take the first time and eventually you may have to do the other leg since it gets overworked. We really didn’t want to go through with this. We were reading an article called “Say No to Surgery” in the whole dog journal which mentioned your company and orthodics and how they have helped other canine owners in the past. Was I really excited to find out that you were located in our state, let alone less than 3 miles from our home. It was meant to be. In the 2 months since Jasmine has had her brace, she has gotten stronger and it doing so well. She loves to run and play with balls and hunt. Jasmine has not been able to hunt for over a year. 1) because she injured her knee a year ago and 2) because when she reinjured it, we weren’t sure she would ever be the same and we didn’t want her to hurt. After our visits with your wonderful staff, we were so excited to hear from Patsy that there might be a chance she will hunt again. This is Jasmine’s most favorite thing in the world to do. All we wanted as a family was for her to enjoy playing, walking and running like she used to, but to hunt would be tremendous. Jasmine has done so well in her rehabilitation because 1) she is eager to please all and 2) she really enjoys the exercises and the attention. Jasmine will be starting her hydrotherapy in just a couple of weeks to improve her strength and muscle tone. We can’t wait. She will do well as she has done thus far. We get lots of comments and people even pull over in their vehicles to ask what happened to her and where we got the brace when we are out walking. We pass on the name of your company to everyone we know. If there is ever anything that we can do for you, please let us know.

Thanks so much and keep up the good work