Gus- Walking Tall (Again)

Gus is a handsome three year old 145 lb. Great Dane that lives a very active lifestyle.  This Dane is an athlete.  He trail rides with his caretaker up to 5 miles, 3-4 times a week. When not hiking, he is part of all aspects of the day.  During one of his athletic days, Gus suffered a partially torn right Achilles tendon.  The owner was unaware of the seriousness of the injury in the first few days.  When Gus continued to be non-weight bearing on that leg, he was taken to his veterinarian.

After rest and medical management treatment for 1 week, progress and improvement on his condition was not evident.  With a re-injury incident that first week, it became apparent something much more serious was going on in the right rear leg.  At that point, Gus was referred to a veterinarian surgeon for consultation.

On palpation of the right hock, it was apparent the Achilles tendon had partially ruptured.  Surgery stabilization was performed utilizing mesh and suture to re-attach the tendon.  Gus was placed into a cast to stabilize the joint, while tissue healing occurred.  At 6 weeks post- op the cast was removed, with instructions from the surgeon to continue with strict confinement.

Being the high energy boy that he is, Gus suffered a setback and his leg was placed back into the cast.  The cast failed, so alternate support was provided, fitting Gus with an Ortho pet brace.

Gus was introduced into rehabilitation 4 weeks after being placed in the brace, 3 months post op.  At his initial rehabilitation evaluation, the Achilles tendon was intact with moderate to severe fibrosis proximal and distal to the joint, as well as swelling around the calcaneus.  Range of motion (ROM) and gait assessment was performed both in the brace and out of the brace.  Therapy protocols were based on initial evaluation.  Modalities included in Gus’s rehabilitation were, Class IV laser Therapy, Water Treadmill, Swim Therapy, and Therapeutic exercises designed around his specific needs.

Gus came for therapy 2 times per week for 16 weeks. 

Through Rehabilitation Therapy, Gus has regained 100% of mobility and is back living his active lifestyle.  The brace is still employed for support during active exercise.  Gus continues now with Therapy – 1 visit per week utilizing Laser and Water Treadmill Therapies.  Swim Therapy is incorporated as well.   This is a critical step to continue strengthening for avoidance of further injury and neurological gait re-education.  Therapeutic exercises are now part of his normal routine at home as well.  

Gus comes to Motiv for an additional visit each week for a half hour Swim Fitness session in the therapeutic temperature pool.  This continues to build his strength in a non-weight bearing environment.  And it is just good fun for Gus.

The combination of these modalities synergistically and effectively improved and maximized the surgical outcome.Gus is a good example of medical management, combined with client participation, supported by non-invasive therapy.  And most important – facilitated his return to his active lifestyle. 

 The results have exceeded the owner’s expectations.