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Aussie-Shepherd Mix Finds Relief from ACL Tear with Custom Brace

August 09, 2018

Aussie-Shepherd Mix Finds Relief from ACL Tear with Custom Brace

Clare Kagan has always loved animals. So when the Rockford, Ill. resident decided to pursue an associate’s degree in massage therapy, it was a no brainer for her to take a course on equine and canine therapy as well.

For nearly 10 years she’s been treating humans, dogs and horses. And right by her side through the journey there’s been Oliver, the Labrador Australian-Shepherd mix Clare adopted when he was just 7 weeks old.

“Oliver means so much to me,” Clare says. “He’s such a dear sweet dog. He comes to my office every single day.”

Oliver is a natural at greeting Clare’s clients. He brightens everyone’s day, she says.

Last November, he tore the ACL on his back right leg jumping off the deck at home. Clare couldn’t afford the surgery her vet recommended to repair the leg. She asked whether the leg would heal on its own, but was told Oliver would have scar tissue.

Suddenly, Oliver, her in-office “therapy” dog needed some therapy of his own.

A client who trains and works with sporting dogs recommended Clare Google “ACL tear dogs” to see what ads popped up. That’s how she found Animal Ortho Care.

Working with Glenn Meidl, VP for Sales & Marketing at Animal Ortho Care’s parent company Caerus Corp., Clare tried out the Ready to Fit Brace. When the brace arrived, Clare said Oliver tried it out for about a month. She did everything Glenn recommended to fit it properly, but it just wasn’t working for Oliver.

“It’s a great product, I’ll give it a good review. But I have to send it back,” Clare recalled telling Glenn.

His response was immediate; he said after all the effort Clare had put in to make the brace work, they could make Oliver a custom brace for the money she’d already spent on the ready-to-wear model. Clare took a cast of Oliver’s leg with the kit Animal Ortho Care sent. Within two weeks of sending it back, she had the custom brace in hand.

The first time she put the brace on Oliver she said he kind of sat down like Eeyore from “Winnie the Pooh,” with a funny look on his face.

“Then he got up and it almost surprised him that his leg didn’t hurt, that it gave him support,” she says. “He never chewed at it; he took to it right away.”

As recommended by Animal Ortho Care, Oliver only wore the brace for a little bit that first day. Over the following weeks, they slowly built up the number of hours he’d wear it a day, making sure he had it on for walks and anytime he was active.

After four months, Clare took Oliver in for a follow up visit with her vet, who was surprised at how good the muscle looked in his injured leg.

Oliver wore the brace consistently for two months before Clare began weaning him off of it as she noticed his gait improving.

“He had not hitch in his giddyup,” she said. “He had a nice smooth walk.”

The brace allowed Oliver to keep up his daily one-mile walk and get to his weekly water therapy sessions, both of which were important to helping him shave some of the extra pounds off.

“I don’t know what I would’ve done if I didn’t have the brace. It’s been such a huge help for him and a huge help for me,” Clare says.

She’s been so pleased by the products and service from Animal Ortho Care, she tells all her clients about the company- keeping information on hand at her office.

Glenn even sent another product- the P.A.W. Relief System- a state-of-the-art wrap that utilizes pulsated magnetic fields (i.e. PEMF) to treat animals with arthritis and other chronic pain problems. The first PEMF system was too big for Oliver to use, so Clare passed it on to a client with an older arthritic dog. That client says the P.A.W. definitely helped out her dog. She plans to test drive another, smaller P.A.W. system from Animal Ortho Care.

Clare has only positive feedback about her experience working with Animal Ortho Care. 

“I can’t say enough about it, it’s been wonderful,” she says. “The follow up was always good. If I ever have a question, the delivery was very good. The product is phenomenal.