Brutus’ brutish brush with fate took a turn for the better when a local rescue group took it upon itself to improve the welfare of the dog, managing to raise $12,500. This paid for surgery to remove troublesome bone fragments and a couple of remaining toes, the two sets of prosthetics designed by OrthoVets, and on-going physical therapy at Colorado State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
Brutus has now found a stable and secure home with his new foster carer Laura Aquilina, who has nurtured Brutus to a healthy 75 pounds, with one extra pound for each of his new appendages. The prosthetics protect and support his collapsed and callused legs, and are helping re-align the severed legs to an equal length. Brutus leaves the prosthetics off inside the home where he plays with the children and their cat, however the hard, gravelly curbs and sidewalks of his hometown require their much-needed assistance.
Brutus is currently under the supervision of the specialist Department of Clinical Sciences at CSU who are preparing Brutus for his latest round of physical therapy. This will include underwater treadmill therapy and “neuro re-education therapies” involving exercise balls, an advanced orthopaedic technique designed to help Brutus’ muscles adapt to the influence of the prosthetics.
The team at CSU responsible for the oversight of Brutus’ development believe he is only the second dog ever to have been fitted with four prosthetics. Rest assured, Denver’s best vets are on the case, excited as they are about the future implications of the work for other animals, and indeed humans themselves. Reports from the Department indicate that Brutus is doing exceptionally well mastering movement with the aid of his prosthetics. Seems like it’s only a matter of time before he’s capable of performing higher order functions such as hiking and playing with other dogs, a far cry from the misery of the parking lot where he was left unsure as to whether he’d ever be given a normal life.