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Great Dane gets unique surgery, new life

Cooper, a Great Dane, was 11 weeks old when he suffered an injury that left him with a badly damaged right rear tibia. His mother stepped on his leg when he was 2 weeks old and he was going to live life with a perpetual limp when a small animal surgeon went to work on him, The Denver Post reports.

The surgeon, Dr. Ross Palmer, used a human orthopedic device that is not yet available in the U.S. On loan from an Italian colleague, the device allowed Palmer to correct bony angular deformities and can gradually stretch the healing bone so the bad leg can catch up to the health of the other limbs, the news source reports. At 10 months and 130 pounds, Cooper is now a running and walking miracle.

According to Doctors Foster and Smith, splints, casts, pins, steel plates and screws are used to heal broken bones and other fractures in animal bones just as they are in human bones. Puppies also have an advantage in healing from fractures - because they are growing, their bones heal faster and they have less weight to put on the fragile bone, the news source reports. 
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