Our Small Animal Sports Medicine team shares the latest in pet orthopedics and rehabilitation in a national Associated Press article out this week. Dr. Felix Duerr, veterinarian, and Sasha Foster, rehab therapist, offer information about a fast-growing field in veterinary medicine and how it helps companion animals to heal and be their best.
The two wild river otter pups were abandoned in Alaska and didn’t receive adequate nutrition as babies, resulting in weakened bones. Aquarium curators consulted with Dr. Terry Campbell, CSU professor of avian, exotic and zoological medicine, and they devised a plan to build up the otters’ strength through a diet of shrimp, trout and smelt, physical therapy, and plenty of playtime.
This persistent pup strutted his stuff out of our CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital today, after undergoing cancer surgery and rehabilitation therapy during the past month. Hank, an 8-year-old mixed-breed, is returning home to Columbus, Ohio, tumor-free and on a path to recovery after extensive post-operative rehabilitation. View Story
Better Paws for Brutus
The unique prosthetics have three purposes: to protect and make Brutus’ limbs more comfortable, to support his front collapsed legs, and to realign each leg to an equal length.
Sasha Foster, CSU certified canine rehabilitation therapist, guides Brutus in exercises with props to help him learn to use his prosthetics. Laura Southworth, a veterinary technician, also helps with the therapy session.
As his devices are refined, Brutus has entered a new phase of rehabilitation with physical therapy guided by Sasha Foster, CSU’s certified canine rehabilitation therapist.
“We’re working with Brutus to help him adjust to wearing his new prosthetics,” Foster said. “He’s learning how to move with them on. Once he’s mastered that, we will help him achieve higher-level functioning activities, like hiking and playing with other dogs.”
In upcoming months, Foster will use underwater treadmill therapy, balance activities, exercise balls and other neuro re-education therapies to help Brutus adjust to his new limbs.
“This was one of those collaborative cases where every step you take, you’re talking to everyone on the case,” says Sasha Foster, a physical therapist who switched from working with humans to animal patients. She and technician Laura Southworth helped Boone get back on his feet, literally. And like every patient that comes to the hospital, Boone gave students a chance to learn.
During an early physical therapy session, Foster gently touches Boone along his spine. “If you tell us where it hurts, Boone, we’ll make it feel better. He still has pain on his sacrum,” says Foster as she shows a student how to feel for discomfort. “Angela, isn’t that cool? A nice patellar reflex. Boone, you’re a good teacher.”
Angela Abbott, a fourth-year veterinary student, sets up poles between orange traffic cones, just a few inches off the floor. She leads Boone to step over a pole while Foster watches, assessing how he puts weight on his back feet. He’s favoring the right leg and at times his toes fold under, rather than extending normally.
Next, laser therapy and electrical stimulation relieve pain and help Boone’s damaged tissue heal. “This is the cool part,” says Foster, as she places dark glasses over Boone’s eyes to protect them from the laser. “After five to seven minutes of the TENS unit, the dogs just melt. It’s the exact same technology that’s used on humans.”
“A draining, open fracture on a bear is anything but ideal, and we will need to surgically treat it immediately,” said Dr. Terry Campbell, CSU veterinarian who specializes in treating wildlife and exotic animals in a statement.
Dr. Felix Duerr, a small-animal orthopedic surgery specialist, and Dr. Jeremiah Easley, an equine orthopedic surgeon, together performed a successful surgery on Marley Tuesday morning.
Exoskeletons are usually associated with animals like grasshoppers, crabs, or tortoises – not dogs. But a canine exoskeleton being created by CSU engineers represents a new direction for the rehabilitation of injured dogs.
Anura Jayasumana, a professor in CSU’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and an associate faculty in the School of Biomedical Engineering, leads a group of undergraduates in this long-term project that supplements movement for semi-paralyzed dogs. Instead of a prosthesis to substitute a missing limb, the canine exoskeleton supplements movement for dogs with weak or non-functioning limbs. Until recently, the technology needed to process information fast enough to capture and imitate movement did not exist, so the project may be the first of its kind.
Meet our #VTHClientOfTheWeek, Ivy, pictured here with her four foster siblings! Ivy, a 4-year-old dachshund, is undergoing physical therapy in our Canine Sports Medicine &Rehabilitation service after having back surgery six weeks ago. After Ivy’s surgery, her family was unable to give her the care and support she needed to rehabilitate, so a VTH staff member is fostering her until her family can once again care for her.
Remember this guy? You can see why his name is Flex.
Last year, Flex had surgery at our hospital to repair ruptured tendons in one of his hind legs. Last week, he showed off his progress for our Small Animal Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation team. We must say, this agility competitor is looking doggone good! #Pupdate