Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Zane visits NC State Vet School

Zane had a rare treat on Friday. He made a guest appearance at a seminar on prostethics and orthotics for a class of up and coming vet students at NC State Vet School in Raleigh. He loved all the attention from the students. He enjoyed trotting around the lecture hall, up and down the stairs, and in and out of the rows of seats. Jeff Collins, of Canada, makes all types of prosthetics to help dogs with disabilities live the best life possible. He demonstrated his equipment to the students and used Zane to model a neck brace for dogs with spinal problems. He took measurements of Zane and consulted with 3 neurosurgeons and an orthopedic surgeon to get input on the angling of the brace. Zane seemed unaffected wearing the brace. He appeared to be more comfortable in it than his traditional cotton and tape wrapped brace. Now that Jeff is back in Canada, he is busy building the brace that will hopefully further stabilize Zane.

Meanwhile, the prednisone seems to have helped Zane greatly. He is still taking 20mg once daily. I believe that we are to start cutting that back to a half dose very soon. Since we needed to cut off Zane's brace for the fitting on Friday, I decided to try the towel wrap brace. I tri-folded a thick towel and tightly wrapped it around Zane's neck. I used 2 very large and wide buckle style dog collars to hold it in place. On Monday, a friend of mine sewed down the folds of the towel and attached velcro for ease in removal. I have been letting Zane sleep at night without the wrap. Daizy Lu, our foster Rottie, loves the velcro and tries unwrapping Zane all the time. I don't feel that this towel wrap provides as much stability as the wrap that Dr. Durkes puts on the dogs post implants. We should have our new brace this weekend and I will post pictures for the curious.