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Gilbert Edler: Mastiff Recovering from CCL Rupture

Sep 24, 2019

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Gilbert is a beautiful four-year-old Mastiff who injured or ruptured his left cranial cruciate ligament in August of 2017. His owners decided not to get radiographs due to cost and they also chose not to pursue surgery. Despite this, Gilbert was able to function fairly well though it is likely that he wasn’t completely without pain in his joint.

In December of 2018, Gilbert re-injured or tore the same ligament again and was brought to his veterinarian for a non-surgical consultation. Due to finances, radiographs and surgery were again not an option for Gilbert’s owner. He was started on conservative medical therapies including supplements, NSAIDs, pain medications, therapy laser, acupuncture, and physical therapy. He had a significant loss of left rear muscle mass and a physical exam suggested the likelihood of a ruptured cranial cruciate ligament. Gilbert’s owner had already started him on a large breed GNC glucosamine supplement and elected to begin 150 mg of carprofen every 12 hours at this time in addition to limited exercise and an occasional therapy laser treatment. After learning about the Assisi Loop in early 2019, Gilbert’s veterinarian, Dr. Emily Helms decided to add it to his treatment protocol.

Gilbert was evaluated on 4/18/19. He had some mild thickening in the joint as well as moderate muscle loss over the hip and entire left rear limb. At that time Gilbert had a grade 1 lameness at a trot. Gilbert’s owner was instructed on how to use the Assisi Loop and began treatments at home four times per day, at least 2 hours apart while continuing the GNC supplement and carprofen. She followed those directions as much as possible but did have some days where Gilbert only received two Loop treatments. About two weeks later, she decreased his daily protocol to twice per day with her vet’s approval.

Gilbert’s owner was thrilled to see his increase in activity at home, only a month after starting the Loop. At recheck on 5/16/19, Gilbert had mild thickening of the left stifle joint with mild muscle loss over the hip and entire left rear limb. At this time, Gilbert's left rear lameness was minimal. It was decided to continue using the Loop twice daily and try decreasing his carprofen dosage to 100 mg every 12 hours.Right side 4-18-19.jpeg

On 5/24/19 Gilbert’s owner was excited to share with her vet that, “He’s still doing great and is far more active than he was last year.”  She reported she hadn’t seen any change in his attitude or behavior despite decreasing the carprofen to 100 mg every 12 hours.

While Gilbert is still a work in progress, Dr. Helms reported that the Assisi Loop seemed to make a significant difference in his level of comfort and he’s gaining muscle mass in the affected limb. Assisi is pleased to be part of Gilbert’s “circle of care” as he continues to improve. We know how important it is to keep the joints healthy, especially on an active, large dog like Gilbert!

Thanks to his veterinarian, Dr. Emily Helms, for sharing this story with us.


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Dr. Emily Helms is a 2005 graduate of the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine and has been working at Healthy Paws Veterinary Clinic in Sheboygan Falls, WI since 2017. As a life long learner, she’s always researching the newest technologies to help her clients and patients in every way possible.



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Healthy Paws Veterinary Clinic is a well-established, full-service, small animal veterinary hospital providing comprehensive medical, surgical and dental care in Sheboygan Falls, WI. We provide a broad spectrum of diagnostic procedures through in-house testing and the use of external laboratories. We also work closely with local practices when special diagnostic procedures are required. At Healthy Paws Veterinary Clinic we strive to offer not only sound advice, but also optimal veterinary care, thus allowing for the enjoyment of furry companions for a maximum number of years. Our job is not only to treat animals when they’re not feeling well, but also to help client learn how to keep their best friend happy and healthy.

Category: Patient Spotlight

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