We are so grateful to our many clients who have taken the time to share their experiences with us. We are always striving to provide the best possible care for our patients, and your feedback helps us to do just that.
Sunny & Brandon
Sunny has been a long-time patient of Spire, dating back to 2017. The first time Dr. McAbee and Sunny met, she was an energetic one-and-a-half-year-old that hiked a lot with her owners, Sita and Kate. They noticed she was getting tired more quickly during their adventures in the mountains.
"I was hiking a ton with her, probably 12 to 15 miles a week, sometimes a little bit more. She was a good sport, she wanted to spend time with me, but on the bigger hikes, when I would stop for a water break, she would fall asleep!"
They have a cabin up in the mountains, and one day Sita's nephew had Sunny sitting passenger in their pickup truck when she spotted the neighbor's dog and jumped out of the window to play. She started limping immediately, so they brought her to their veterinarian. They said that Sunny should have a bilateral elbow arthroscopy procedure done. However, when considering their surgery options, the owner of a local pet feed store recommended they see Dr. McAbee for a second opinion, so they set up a consultation.
After a physical exam and imaging, Sunny was diagnosed with elbow dysplasia. Dr. McAbee recommended trying a treatment called platelet-rich plasma (PrP) injections. PrP can reduce inflammation and encourage healing in the joints. Sunny wouldn't need the surgery if this worked, so her owners gave it a shot.
"You guys harvested and did the treatment, and we kept her really chill for a while. It was amazing, the recovery from her limp; she stopped limping for years after that. It was a long, long time until she started limping again."
Sunny returned as a patient in March of 2022 when she started limping again, except that it was her right hindlimb. She had torn her right CCL, similar to the ACL in humans. To fix Sunny's leg, she would need a TPLO. This surgery would allow Sunny to use her leg without the CCL intact. After a long and quiet recovery, she healed wonderfully. In December of that year, she came to us for another round of PrP harvest and injections for her elbows since she was getting a little stiff. Around the same time, Sunny started limping in her back end again; they thought it might be hip dysplasia. At the appointment, Dr. McAbee did a physical exam and had imaging done of Sunny's hips and hindlimbs. He determined she did not have hip dysplasia but had an early tear of her left CCL and would now need a TPLO on her left hindlimb.
During our conversation, Sita's alarm went off to give Sunny one of her scheduled medications since her left TPLO and elbow PrP injections only happened a few weeks ago at the beginning of 2023.
"She has been recovering even quicker this time around… we are really excited for her to return back to normal activity in the next few months."
We are also excited for Sunny, Sita, and Kate to return to the trails so Sunny can be the trailblazer she once was!
Oscar & Megan
Oscar is a retired dock diving competitor. His owner, Megan, adopted him as a ranch dog with too much energy, so they started competing in 2018 when he was only a year and a half old.
“He (Oscar) went from a dog that nobody knew to jumping 26 feet consistently…he immediately became this little superstar”
He competed in Big Air, Extreme Vertical, and Speed Retrieve. They got a world invite in 2019, and Oscar placed as the #2 Border Collie in the world for Big Air.
“His biggest camera jump was 27 feet and 3 inches...He qualified in the Super Elite, which is the top dogs of the biggest jumping dogs in the world”
Due to Covid-19, they did not compete much in 2020 but attended a few events in 2021. In early 2022, Megan came home to Oscar not putting any weight on his right forelimb. Their local vet in Wyoming took an x-ray and gave them some medications, but this didn’t help Oscar’s limping overall. Megan reached out to a veterinarian that Spire Canine Orthopedics works closely with, and they recommended making an appointment with Dr. McAbee.
Oscar did very well during the exam by letting Dr. McAbee palpate his right front foot. Unfortunately, he found that it was slightly hyperextended and splayed. Luckily for this competitive and energetic dog, surgery was unnecessary for this injury. Instead, he recommended Oscar be fitted for a custom orthotic-built fiberglass brace that is removable and reusable.
Oscar had to be sedated for this brace fitting to make it into the perfect mold. Megan was present for the appointment.
“The process was very simple and smooth… He is such an active dog he still tries to do the things that he did without wearing the brace, and he would get stuck in the dog door or trip on the stairs, so he has to use his brace under supervision. I think when he wears it, he doesn’t have boundaries; it must feel well enough that he does whatever, he doesn’t realize there is a brace on his leg prohibiting him from some of the movements he would normally do”
Oscar wore the brace consistently for two months after receiving the custom brace. His foot wasn’t as splayed out anymore, and he could start doing routine workouts as he had before the injury. He also has dog housemates he was able to play with normally again.
Unfortunately, a few months later, at six years old, he developed issues in his hip that required surgical intervention. Oscar is still currently healing from this FHO surgery, so as of now, he is in retirement.
“It was nice to have a different alternative than surgery because (at the time) Oscar was not a candidate for surgery because he is so active even to this day. He had his FHO on a Tuesday and was trying to jump in the truck on Wednesday, so it was nice to know there was an alternative course of action to where we could rehab his foot”
We hope for a speedy recovery for Oscar and that he has a long and happy retirement. It was a pleasure working with a superstar!
Roman and Faliesha
Ten-year-old Roman was diagnosed with a right CCL tear in the fall of 2022. His owner Faliesha and her husband knew he would need surgery as soon as possible. Roman’s regular veterinarian reached out to our team and we got him scheduled for a TPLO within a few weeks. He got around alright on three legs with pain medications up until two days before his scheduled TPLO.
“Roman was acting depressed, he wouldn’t eat, and he couldn’t get up on his own.”
His owners had to use two slings to help him go potty in the middle of the night because he wouldn’t use his hindlimbs at all. Faliesha took him in to see their regular veterinarian the day before the surgery and Roman had torn his left CCL. This meant that he would need a TPLO surgery done on each of his hindlimbs. Our team was notified of Roman’s condition the evening prior to surgery, so Dr. McAbee decided to assess him the next morning in person.
Roman indeed tore his left CCL, so we switched gears and prepared for a single session bilateral TPLO. This doubled his surgery time, but the stars aligned that day for Roman because our team had a surgery cancellation which allowed us to perform the bilateral TPLO that day. His owners used a harness to help him get around for the first few weeks after surgery and eventually he was using his hindlimbs again. Roman is currently fully healed from his bilateral TPLO and is chasing squirrels and bunnies in his backyard like he had done his entire life before his injuries. Roman’s owners love him so dearly and would do anything for him to live a long and happy life.
“We love him to death, he does everything with us…Saint Roman…he will be our dog until the very end, that’s for sure.”