Hero Dog Chloe

Diagnosis: CCL Tear
Breed: Labrador Retriever
Weight: 68 Lbs
Age at Onset: 8 years old


History: 8 year old yellow Labrador Retriever returned to the house unable to bear weight on right rear leg. Diagnosed with a torn CCL that occurred months earlier, worsened by repeat injury.

Treatment: Due to previous problems with anesthesia, the owners felt that surgery was not an option. With surgery option out, owner still wanted to provide best quality of life and discussed conservative management options including bracing.

Results: Chloe wears her brace during the most active part of her day; approx. 10 to 12 hours. Chloe’s activity level has greatly increased since she started wearing her brace, now being able to walk 1/2 – 3/4 of a mile per day.  We are slowly increasing our distance. She does not wear her brace at night.


Diagnosis: Bilateral CCL Ruptures
Breed: Airedale Terrier
Weight: 102 lbs.
Age at Onset: 6 ½ years old


History: Annie’s right stifle was injured playing fetch and her left stifle was injured six days after her surgery on the first side. The owners are not clear how she was injured as she was found at the bottom of their stairs in pain. With both injuries, she was visibly lame and in pain. Diagnoses were made by positive cranial drawer signs.

Treatment: The right injury (1st) was treated three weeks post injury with a Patsaama Stifle surgery. The left injury (2nd) was treated with a HERO stifle brace 10 days post-injury.  Pharmaceutical treatment included Adequan injections 1x week for 5 weeks, Tramadol and Rimadyl. The owners were instructed on home Physical Therapy (PT) including ladder and side to side exercises as tolerated with increases as Annie accepted. Two months post brace fitting, the brace was remade due to weight changes. She was also put on a metabolic diet to further help with weight loss.

Results: Five months post injury, Annie is very active and playful with no signs of lameness. Daily she can be seen playing with her favorite chew toys and tugging rope with her owners. She no longer uses the brace on a day to day basis, only for very high activity times. She now weighs a manageable 67 lbs. Comments: “We were very excited she could go from non-ambulatory to playing in 5 months.” – Anna Bade, LVT

Hero Dog Kepa

Diagnosis: CrCL Rupture
Breed: Rottweiler/German Shepherd mix
Weight: 85 Lbs
Age at Onset: 10 years old


History: 10 year old Rottweiler, German Shepherd mix. Owner noticed a limp on walks. Mobile veterinarian diagnosed a torn cranial cruciate rupture (CCL) in Kepa’s stifle with a positive drawer test.

Treatment: Due to additional physical issues that were discovered at the time of the injury, it was determined that Kepa was not a surgical candidate.  The owner chose to do conservative management with bracing.

Results: Kepa generally wears her brace only on longer walks, especially if she needs to get into the car.  She does not currently wear the brace around the house.


Diagnosis: Left CCL Tear
Breed: Cocker Spaniel
Weight: 30 lbs.
Age at Onset: 9 years old


History: The owners have no report of how the injury happened, as they found Freedom non-weight bearing when they came home from work. The CCL injury was diagnosed with a positive cranial drawer sign. Freedom also has a long history of glaucoma with a removal of an eye.

Treatment: Because of the health factors and age the owners chose not to have surgery. A Hero Stifle Brace was fit four weeks post-injury. Ten months later, the brace was lost and a second was made, because the owners saw the improvements in Freedom’s activity level.

Results: Two and a half years post-injury, Freedom is moderately active; any lack of activity is due to loss of eyesight. The owner reports no longer wearing the brace.

Hero Dog Luke

Diagnosis: Pelvic fracture with neurological crouched gait
Breed: Malamute, Husky, Akita, Wolf mix
Weight: 123 lb
Age at Onset: 3 year old


History: 3 year old Malamute, Husky, Akita and wolf mix was hit by a car resulting in a fractured pelvis. A veterinary surgeon performed a stabilizing pelvic surgery with a titanium plate, but sciatic nerve pain persisted.

Treatment: Series of physical therapy treatment and acupuncture treatment to restore muscle mass to the atrophied limb. Six month later, the Hero hock brace was introduced.

Results: Luke took to his brace immediately helping with his crouched gait.  He continues to run, hike and swim with his brace regularly for the past three years.


Diagnosis: Bilateral Epicondyle Fractures
Breed: Chocolate Lab
Weight: 84 lbs.
Age at Onset: 2 ½ years old


History: Rufus presented painful and lame. X-rays revealed bilateral epicondyle fractures. Four years later lameness had returned and x-rays revealed tibial-tarsus joint arthritis with left being worse and bilateral hip dysplasia.

Treatment: Initial treatment was Rimadyl 2x day for 14 days and Adequan injections 1x week for 5 weeks. With this original treatment, Rufus’s symptoms subsided. After the later lameness, a HERO hock brace was fit to limit the range of motion of the hock to limit the arthritis formation and help control the pain.

Results: Three months post brace fitting Rufus is very active and shows no signs of lameness.