OrthoPets Case Study: Fynn

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Fynn is a 6-year-old Australian Cattle Dog with a love for life! He has plenty of energy but unfortunately, his body did not want to cooperate. In October 2015, he presented with progressive carpal hyperextension. At OrthoPets, we receive many inquiries for dogs with progressive palmi-/plantigrade stance. While traumatic injuries generally affect at the most two (front) legs, dogs with underlying reasons (such as immune-mediated polyarthritis, endocrine disease or chronic steroid administration) may present with all four legs affected. Regardless of the diagnosis, treatment is challenging but generally consists of treating the underlying disease to avoid progression and arthrodesis/-es of the affected joints. Of course, this treatment choice is rarely elected by owners if multiple legs are affected because of the invasiveness, morbidity and cost associated with multiple limb arthrodeses. At OrthoPets we offer custom-made orthoses to support these patients.
In Fynn, there was no history of a traumatic injury, and he presented “dropped” in all four legs. In addition to the carpal hyperextension, frontal plane instability was also present. Due to the degree of carpal hyperextension and multi-plane instability, OrthoPets fabricated bilateral non-articulating carpal devices with articulating paw segments. If he continues to deteriorate, his veterinarian will have the option to immobilize the paw segment as well to assist with propulsion and add additional control.
Fynn did great with the support and stability the carpal orthoses provided. He was able to begin increasing his activities. In March 2016, his disease progressed and he was diagnosed with progressive tarsal hyperflexion. Since he did well with his carpal devices, his owner decided to pursue bilateral tarsal devices.
OrthoPets fabricated bilateral non-articulating tarsal devices with articulating paw segments. The tarsal orthoses are similar to his carpal orthoses by providing the greatest amount of support and stability by not allowing articulation. The dynamic articulating paw segments on the tarsal devices can also be immobilized if he continues to deteriorate.
Fynn adjusted to having 4 orthoses quickly and has begun to return to the life he deserves. Great job, Fynn! You’re a rock star!