OrthoPets Case Study: Bailey

Bailey is a 6-year-old MC Labrador that is currently a patient of one of our Partner Clinics in San Francisco. Dr. Illana Strubel, owner of A Well Adjusted Pet, has come to OrthoPets and studied the use of our orthotic and prosthetic devices to use with her patients.

Bailey presented in September 2016 with a history of toe touching weight-bearing and non-weight bearing lameness intermittently over the previous 4 months. The radiographs showed inflammation and DJD changes in the left stifle with mild changes in the right stifle as well. He had a medial buttress palpable bilaterally with minimal to no cranial drawer or tibial thrust palpable on awake evaluation. He did show adequate range of motion, was able to sit and lie squarely. His measurements showed a 1-2 cm muscle mass discrepancy between the left and right thighs on girth measurements. The radiographic and physical exam conclusion was that they suspected a chronic partial to complete cranial cruciate ligament tear, +/- meniscal injury, with secondary degenerative change and crus muscle disuse atrophy for the left stifle. The conclusion for the right stifle was suspicion for equivocal increase of right stifle joint fluid volume with minimal tibial osteophyte; concern for possible early/mild partial cranial cruciate ligament tear and +/- meniscal injury.

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The owners’ goal was to avoid surgery on the left pelvic limb and increase Bailey’s comfort. Due to his discomfort, they had to decrease his walks, which led to a 10-pound weight gain. When OrthoPets received Bailey’s measurements, fiberglass impression and media, we were able to analyze his gait to determine the most appropriate orthotic design for him. In some cases, when a pet has non-prominent malleoli or an extended terminal stance tarsal angle, a tarsal cuff component is required for suspension of the orthosis because standard use of the tarsal anatomy will not be sufficient.

Bailey was fit with his stifle orthosis and has been doing very well. He is continuing his rehabilitation with Dr. Strubel. She reports that he is building back muscle mass and has been able to go on walks with the dog walker to get his weight back on track. His owners are very pleased with his progress, and best of all Bailey is happy!

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