Penny was referred to OrthoPets from Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, Colorado, as an 8-week-old reticulated giraffe calf that presented with angular limb deformity due to bilateral fetlock and carpus joint laxity.

Penny’s injuries occurred after she had slipped and fell. OrthoPets had the opportunity to consult with Penny’s doctors about temporary devices to help support her limbs while OrthoPets and her doctors designed custom orthoses. It was determined that long-term orthoses would be beneficial for Penny’s pathology, provide the appropriate stabilization, and would ease the daily care of her limbs as the orthoses would be easier to don and doff.

Unfortunately, before the first fitting of her custom-made orthoses, Penny was rushed to emergency surgery at CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Colorado State University where the veterinary staff discovered that an existing abscess had spread further into her abdomen and found signs of bone infection in at least three of her legs. They also discovered a hip dislocation that was not previously seen in numerous X-rays. Her veterinary staff made the very difficult decision to humanely euthanize her.

One of the major orthoses challenges related to Penny’s case was how rapidly Penny was growing. To solve this challenge, telescoping componentry was used to connect the orthosis shell components together to the mechanical hinges that would allow for length adjustments to accommodate her growth. A primary orthoses goal for Penny’s case was to maintain sagittal plane flexion ROM, restrict hyperextension, stabilize frontal plane varus and valgus ROM, and prevent abnormal transverse plane motion.

OrthoPets is honored to have had the opportunity to be a part in caring for Penny, and we hope her unique device design may benefit future large breed animals in need.