What an adventure this has been for our family. Two days before Christmas, our beloved dog Rocco (Tweet) became paralyzed after jumping out of our car. Our friendly, outgoing and energetic 4-year-old Shih Tzu was in constant pain and could not move or even go to the bathroom on his own.
Heartbroken, we took Rocco to our local vet. She recommended VOSM and made an appointment for us the next day (which was now two days after Christmas). We gladly made the hour-plus drive, praying that it was not too late. Dr. Gallagher, and his assistant Erin Blackwood, evaluated Rocco and were cautiously optimistic based on his deep tissue response. However, Rocco had been paralyzed for five days, so the situation was critical.
To our amazement (and relief), Rocco was immediately taken for a myelogram to determine the problem. The diagnosis was that Rocco has a severely herniated disc in the middle of his back. Within an hour, he was in surgery.
Dr. Gallagher told us that the surgery was successful, but only time will tell if Rocco will make a full recovery, especially on the left side, since the nerve damage there was so severe.
Following surgery, VOSM provided Rocco with loving, 24-hour care for two days. When we picked him up, Dr. Gallagher spent a lot of time going over what to expect during the recovery process and what we need to do for the best outcome possible. The first month of the recovery process required constant confinement in a crate, performing physical therapy several times a day and carrying him out to potty, which luckily he could do on his own following surgery.
We have emailed Dr. Gallagher and Erin several times during the recovery process. Each time we have received a very prompt, helpful response. Rocco showed small signs of improvement daily, but at three weeks post-op he did something that gave us our first real sign of hope: he scratched himself with both his right and left legs! This was followed by him being able to stand, briefly, then move his rear legs while "sling-assisted" walking to potty.
At his one month post op appointment, Rocco was able to “hobble,” with considerable weakness on his left side. Dr. Gallagher freed him of the constant crate confinement, but he had to be kept relatively calm for another month. Since he could not walk on flooring, we had to cover our house with rolls of cupboard liner while he built up his balance and strength.
At two months post op he could walk on flooring and went from walking to a run/hop to running. It is now three months post op and he is able to run and quickly change directions (his favorite) without falling.
This continues to be an amazing journey for our family. We can not thank Dr. Gallagher and the wonderful, caring staff at VOSM enough.
Todd, Lynda, Kevin and Kelly Wiggins - Queen Anne, MD
There is nothing that stops you dead in your tracks like your pet in pain! This is Tank's tale.
On Dec. 17, 2012, Tank lost complete use of both rear back legs during the middle of the night. Tank was unable to walk on his own; I had to use a towel under his legs to assist him in moving. Up to this point, Tank was a very healthy 6-year-old SPCA-working Basset Hound Therapy Dog with no serious health issues.
On Dec. 18, 2012, Tank went to his standard vet for a complete check up and a battery of tests. His vet suggested Tank be evaluated by a neurologist within 24 hours. I called VOSM and made an appointment for the following day at 11:00 a.m.
On Dec. 19, 2012, Tank and I met with Dr. Ryan Gallagher, DVM and his neurological assistant Erin Blackwood. Both Dr. Ryan Gallagher and Erin spent over two hours with Tank and I explaining what was causing this immobilization and what needed to be completed. They answered all my questions and concerns with comprehensive and helpful answers. They gave me a detailed account on what was causing his leg deficit and what was to be expected after surgery and beyond.
Tank was diagnosed with a problem affecting his thoracolumbar spine. Within two hours of meeting with Dr. Gallagher, Tank was admitted and was in surgery. Tank had a myelogram to identify the extent of the injury which identified a intervertebral disc extrusion. Dr. Gallagher assured me I would have my same old dog back within several weeks!!
Tank was in surgery for over 2 hours. By the evening on Dec. 19, 2012 Tank was alert, comfortably and came through the surgery very well.
Dr. Gallagher called me after Tank was out of surgery and gave me a full diagnosis and what he was able to accomplish during the surgery. One of Tank's discs had, over time, degenerated and become crystallized and had begun to cut through nerves running in the spine thereby causing his rear legs to stop working. Dr. Gallagher removed a large amount of disc material and expected Tank to make a full recovery and be back to a completely normal dog within several weeks.
While Tank was at VOSM recovering he had several nurses tending to him round the clock and was back on all fours within 24 hours with the help of a medical sling. I was able to phone VOSM at any time and speak to his nurses and get comprehensive updates on his progress.
On Dec. 21, 2012, I was able to pick Tank up at 1:00 p.m. Both Dr. Gallagher and Erin met with me again for another 2 hours giving me a detailed report and instructions on Tank's future medical needs and medications during recovery.
Tank needed to be confined for 4-6 weeks within a baby gate and remain as still as possible. During Tank's recovery he also had several rehabilitation therapy sessions with Kathy Coffman. We were issued homework assignments post op and did all home exercises for several weeks during recovery. Tank hated his homework but we diligently did our PT exercises daily.
I am ecstatic to report that it is March 2013 and I do indeed have my old dog back!!!!!!
Tank has regained 100% mobility and full use of both his rear legs!!! His stitches are gone, his scar has healed, his hair has grown back and his old basset fun loving personality has fully returned. Tank is walking and running normally and back to chasing squirrels out of his yard!
He will return to his full working SPCA Therapy Dog duties in April 2013 after being on medical leave for only a few short months.
During all our visits over several weeks at VOSM we would always pull up to the parking lot and notice several different license plates from many other far away states. I now know why ... VOSM is truly the only place in the county were your pet can receive unparalleled neurological care.
Every nurse, every staff member, every specialist we encountered was exceptionally well-informed on Tank's condition and progress. Had I required this type of serious spinal surgery, I highly doubt I would have received such consummate medical care in a human hospital.
I am forever grateful and indebted to Dr. Gallagher, Erin Blackwood and all of Dr. Gallagher's extraordinary team!!!! I had my doubts that Tank would ever be the same dog let alone work again as a pet therapy dog. I truly believe we are all given special gifts and I am so thankful for Dr. Gallagher's medical gifts - he worked a miracle on Tank!!!!!!
Douglas Magoo Valle - Silver Spring, MD
Douglas has always been a wonderful, healthy, relaxed kind of dog and very tolerant of pain with scrapes and scratches, but when our 2.5/3-year-old pit bull started limping, we became very worried about him.
We thought that he must be in an extreme amount of pain to cause such a terrible limp so we took him in to our regular vet's office for an exam and some x-rays. We were told that he had injured both elbows and would require surgery by an orthopedic specialist.
This was scary news, but since I work in the veterinary community, I knew VOSM was the best place to take our beloved boy so that he would get the highest level of care for his orthopedic problem.
Douglas first saw Dr. Leasure for his initial exam and was diagnosed with Jump Down Syndrome. This occurred when Douggie-dog decided to jump over our six-foot fence to chase after a neighborhood cat that taunts him daily. Jump Down Syndrome is when little bone fragments break off and are floating in the elbow joint capsule causing debilitating, arthritis-like pain.
His treatment consisted of surgery; they used a tiny scope to look in both of his elbow joints to identify the fragments and fish them out. Dr. Leasure then grounded down the sharp points on the remaining bone so that they did not continue to poke him and cause pain.
Doug recovered very nicely from the surgery. Though it is very difficult to keep a big dog from running and playing with our other two dogs, he managed to do really well on "cage rest." It's a good thing that he had surgery in the winter because he hates the cold weather and wanted to stay in by the fireplace most of the time anyway!
Our home care instructions included ice packing three times a day, pain meds, NSAIDs and antibiotics, and later progressed to include some light physical therapy and increasing intensity walks.
Doug is doing fantastic now! He plays like a puppy and is able to walk without that terrible limp! They say that he should not have any other issues except for some arthritis as he ages but most dogs have that problem when they get older anyway.
We are pleased with the service from VOSM's staff members and with the impeccable care that Doug received. We highly recommend VOSM and will take our pets there for ortho needs as they grow older!
Rex Chesson - Far Hills, NJ
My family and I are extremely thankful for the excellent work Dr. Canapp and the team at VOSM performed on our Rottweiler, Rex. Being such an active dog, Rex managed to tear both of his CCLs. After several visits to local veterinarians, we were directed to Dr. Canapp and his "miracle" surgeries.
When Rex tore his first CCL, he could not walk and was very depressed. Dr. Canapp performed his CCL surgery and now Rex is more active than ever! He can leap around, swim, and chase squirrels all day long... pain free.
Your office was always there to answer my questions and treated Rex as if he was a part of your family. Today is the 12th week after [his second] surgery and, as you can see from the videos, Rex is so happy and ready for playtime!
Thank you very much!
Charlie Pellegrini - Chicago, Illinois
Prior to our web consult with Dr. Canapp, we were largely without hope. Our 8-month-old rescue puppy had severely deformed tibias and luxating patellas. A well-respected, highly-recommended surgeon had already examined Charlie and his x-rays, and pronounced that the prognosis would be "guarded" at best.
Because we live in a Chicago suburb, we are blessed with a wonderful general vet. We thought that, surely, we have the best surgeons available in our own backyard, so we should just accept that surgery isn't a viable option for our puppy. Yet, I found myself on the Internet, searching for a different answer.
When I stumbled across VOSM, I couldn't decide whether I had discovered an oasis in the desert or just good marketing. As I read so many positive comments raving about VOSM's skills, I wondered, "Why on Earth would we consider driving 13 hours across [the] country for a surgery that could be performed a short 20 minutes away from our home?"
After speaking with Dr. Canapp via webcam, all doubts were resolved. Based on that one conversation, it is our conclusion that Dr. Canapp is absolutely wonderful. He is helpful, articulate, personable, and knowledgeable. Dr. Canapp's surgical plan was very different from what had been proposed to us at home. He suggested a more current procedure that is new and improved. And, he explained in logical, common sense terms why his philosophy for correction was different.
We also found Dr. Canapp to be very optimistic, with the positive "can do" attitude that it would take to solve Charlie's complicated limb deformities. VOSM has a lot of experience with cases like Charlie, and Dr. Canapp inspired confidence that Charlie would be helped. "Maryland, here we come," my husband and I declared in unison!
Unfortunately, this story does not have a happy ending. Within hours, our little Charlie's heart started to fail. He was euthanized before he ever got to see the East coast.
My hope is that another despairing puppy parent will read these comments, and try a web consult with Dr. Canapp before giving up hope.
Whiskey Lee - Syracuse, New York
Whiskey (aka CH MACH3 C-ATCH ADCH Top Shelf's Crown Royal MXF TQX SACH TM), an eight-year-old Brittany, woke up one morning in May 2012 and, in her excitement to go outside, spun in a circle, yipped, and was three-legged lame on her right rear limb. My veterinarian heart thought, "not good," and my owner-agility handler heart thought, "oh *BLEEP*!"
I brought her into work, was able to elicit a cranial drawer in her right stifle, and there was very mild effusion on her stifle radiographs. In short, she had ruptured a cranial cruciate ligament.
In tears, I called my friend (also her breeder) to let her know what happened, and her first response was, "You're taking her to the best, right?" Minutes later, I was on the phone with VOSM.
I first heard of Dr. Canapp through other Brittany owners in the mid-Atlantic area. I had also recommended that my employer consult with Dr. Canapp for her Labrador Retriever who suffered from medial shoulder instability, and she had a great experience with the VOSM team and was impressed with the facilities.
In a consultation with Dr. Canapp, the diagnosis was confirmed, and options for surgical stabilization of the stifle were discussed. My goals were (1) fix Whiskey so that she could continue to live a full life with minimal pain and, (2) return her to competitive agility, which she loved. Dr. Canapp felt these were achievable goals. Because Whiskey had a reputation for being "kinda crazy," I opted for the TPLO surgery.
Fifty hours after her injury, Whiskey was on a surgery table. VOSM has both in- and out-patient rehabilitation programs, but living in Syracuse, NY, I opted to work with a local rehabilitation program. Throughout the post-operative phase and rehabilitation, Dr. Canapp and his team remained interested in Whiskey's progress, and many emails with attached radiographs were sent.
Whiskey made her reintroduction to AKC agility in her regular height class at the AKC Agility Invitational in December. Our teamwork was still a bit rusty, but she put out several fast, furious runs. She exuded joy!
When we went back to regular AKC agility trials, she earned 4 double Qs in the first three weeks.
I attribute Whiskey's successful return to agility competition to: (1) an excellent surgeon (Thank you, Dr. Canapp!), (2) a rehabilitation program with weekly progress exams to determine when to add or intensify exercises, and (3) a patient, compliant owner (if I may say so myself).
Whiskey, my "Border Collie in a Brittany suit," never used to smile while doing agility. She does now.
- Andie Lee
To the talented and kind Dr. Gallagher and VOSM staff:
I noticed on your testimonial site, there were no testimonies from cats. I'm about to change that! After all, "cats rule and dogs drool."
Dr. Gallagher, I can't thank you enough for operating on Saint Pete's spine and making it possible for him to walk again. When I first brought St. Pete to you, he hadn't walked in nearly three weeks because, as you discovered, he had compressed disks which pinched his nerves, making him very lame in one hind leg. (That's my lay definition: Here's the formal diagnosis... "lumbosacral disease.")
He was so lame that he peed and pooped in his bed as he couldn't drag himself to his litter box two feet away. Despite all this, he purred and headbutted me whenever I got down on the floor with him and begged to get on the bed with me, since he's a snuggling lover boy.
When I came to pick him up today, you came into the exam room and placed St. Pete on the floor and he walked across the floor with ease -- four days after major surgery. I guess miracles still happen.
You were very kind and patient with me and took time to explain everything to me.
Thanks so much for giving me a few more years with one of the greatest cats I've ever had.
Judy Folkenberg and Saint Pete
Dr. Canapp and the entire staff at VOSM,
I can't thank you enough for everything you and everyone on your staff did to repair Abby's injury. From my first phone call a few days before Christmas, all the way through the process, everyone has been so caring and understanding. The surgery and her care came from knowledge and expertise. The compassion shown to her and to me came from your hearts. It did not matter that it was Christmas. Schedules were looked at and she had an appointment the next day at noon. (Did someone give up lunch?) The phone calls from you and several of the staff during and after surgery were purely to help me and I appreciated that so much. I called that evening and during the night and what a warm reception every time. Abby was usually getting blankets wrapped around her or they had to find out who was holding her. The surgical reputation of VOSM is renowned in the industry but your compassion is homemade.
I sincerely thank you,
Dear Dr. Canapp,
I want to thank you for what you have done for my dog Pepper (photo below).
For at least half of her six years, I have had her in and out of various veterinary facilities, including the veterinary school at the University of Pennsylvania. The surgeries she endured, prior to seeing you, did little or nothing to help her; she still limped quite often and running was obviously painful. Being an Australian Cattle Dog, she is typical of the breed and is very stoic. They have a high pain tolerance, so when she exhibited signs of pain, I'm sure it was severe.
Since the surgeries you performed on her forelegs, I have not seen her limp once, even after running. We're taking walks now (we both need to lose a few pounds) and playing fetch the way we used to. I love this little girl and I can't thank you enough for restoring her quality of life.
Terry Place, Greencastle, PA
Dear Dr. Canapp,
Below is a photo of Freya taken today, just three days after surgery. She's standing on all four legs. She started walking on it yesterday while going into the yard to pee.
This is amazing to us, since she didn't put her foot down for a couple of weeks after the first surgery. And the past six months following her first surgery have been so difficult, as her recovery seemed to plateau, where she was always hobbling around and always in obvious pain, even on Carprofen. Moist heat was the only thing that seemed to provide relief, and that only temporarily.
She's obviously at the very early stage of recovery and we know we have a long way to go, but just seeing her standing there today was so heartening.
Thanks so much,
Bryce and Mara
Alex Rupp – Chicago, Illinois
Alex had been lame for a year before his owners came to VOSM. Even highly recommended vets couldn’t diagnose him.
After reading a shoulder injury article in Clean Run Magazine by Dr. Sherman Canapp, his owners contacted VOSM. They asked if Dr. Canapp would view videos of Alex, hoping he might be able to come up with a more conclusive diagnosis.
In March 2010, Dr. Canapp had a conclusion: Alex had medial shoulder instability.
“We knew exactly what to expect when we got here,” Whitney Rupp said.
Before they even drove the thirteen hours from Chicago, the Rupps had articles by Dr. Canapp in their hands.
Alex is an agility dog. But he doesn’t just run the course out of habit; he gets excited about it. He’s the second oldest of four dogs, but Grant Rupp said that, of all of them, Alex loves agility the most.
“He loves to do it,” Whitney Rupp agreed. “He just lives for it.”
He used to do dock diving, too, but since 2010 he has stuck to solely participating in agility competitions — and only after an intensive rehabilitation therapy program.
“We rehabbed the heck out of him,” Whitney Rupp remembered. She said Alex was a fan of the underwater treadmill.
In July 2012, Alex came back with medial shoulder instability on the other side. He had stem cells harvested and injected into the ligament.
For now, all competitions are on hold.
“If some day he can [return to agility], awesome,” Whitney Rupp said. But mostly, she and her husband Grant want to make sure Alex stays healthy.
Watch Alex's agility runs:
Bug Hoffmeister - Annapolis, MD
Our family was devastated when our baby Bug was diagnosed with severe congenital bilateral hip dysplasia. He was a rescue mutt found starving in a drainage ditch in Daytona, Florida. We nursed him back to health and thought we were out of the woods healthwise when we noticed he was lame and limping in his hind limbs.
We took him to the vet and were told that our option was surgery and were given a referral to a surgery center - case closed. Then, I ran into a VOSM client at a pet supply store, a total stranger who saw my sad face and armloads of glucosamine and said, "Go to VOSM." I went and am grateful every day that I did.
VOSM took unsedated x-rays, spent time watching him walk, did a complete orthopedic exam, and came up with a real plan. They put Bug on the correct medications and supplements, developed a physical therapy regimen, and painstakingly explained his plans, thought processes, and our options.
Today, Bug is a happy guy who is able to function as a normal dog... without surgery! He may be a surgical candidate in the future, but for now, he is doing great without it! VOSM gave us answers, choices, and a comprehensive plan. We learned what activities helped and hurt his condition, so we weren't always questioning whether Bug's daily activities were harming him.
We couldn't be happier and recommend VOSM without reservation.
- Dorion, Chris and Bug Hoffmeister
Cooper Steinle - North Dakota
Cooper was always active. We used to go pheasant hunting all the time. About a year ago, though, he started limping on his right side. It got to the point where he just couldn't have any fun.
We took him to three vets with no luck. After that, we took him to the University of Wisconsin's School of Veterinary Medicine for an MRI. They wanted to cut his bicep tendon, and I just wasn't comfortable with that. At the time, I'd been doing research on stem cell therapy for my father's emphysema. That led me to articles by Dr. Canapp on stem cell therapy for dogs—and I started thinking about Cooper.
The timing worked out well, too. Dr. Canapp actually happened to be coming to UW-Madison to host a seminar, so I contacted him and he offered to have Cooper be the demo dog for the day. He told me he thought Cooper's elbow was causing a lot of the problem.
Now I'm living in North Dakota. This time I stopped once, but I've driven 24 hours straight to get to VOSM. Just to be sure on the diagnosis, Dr. Canapp scoped both elbows and found a slab fracture in Cooper's right elbow causing instability and shoulder atrophy. Ten days later, I drove back to VOSM for stem cell injections. Even before the stem cell injections, though, just a day after surgery, he was walking well.
I call him my refurbished dog, because he's 80 to 85 percent refurbished.
Recently, he started limping a bit on the left side. Dr. Canapp said he thought it was another elbow issue. He's been incredible. The communication here is great.
- Justin Steinle
Really Dr. Canapp, I promise that's not me in my pool on my floatie! So if you see a really handsome English Lab in my pool when you go by, I'm sure it's either my sister Shanna or brother DJ.
The only thing I need to go with my raft (hypothetically speaking, of course) is a Corona, but my mom doesn't believe in underage drinking. I'm still only one year old!
Thanks for making me all better. You and your staff are the best!
Love Jet Holland,
your rebel patient
We just wanted to thank you again for all that you did for Nutmeg. She has recovered wonderfully and is better than she was before the surgery. We have been meaning to send you a link for a video clip showing just how well she is running, but we haven't gotten around to it. Stay tuned. We promise to do it. She is fully trained for our invisible fence again and enjoys chasing birds, butterflies, rabbits and squirrels. This would have never been possible without the surgery. We thank you and Nutmeg does, too!
We hope that everyone is doing well at VOSM and that you are having a great summer.
Susan, Drew, Ally, Thomas & Nutmeg Flechsig
Thank you so much for the wonderful job you did on little Scully's leg earlier this year. You did such a masterful job that you'd never know she ever had an issue with that leg. She runs all over the place at about Mach 10 - there's just no stopping her! Thank you so much for your excellent work and for your kindness towards us as well. Have a joyful year and much continued success!
Julie, Pedro, Carabella, Brian & Scully Dieguez
Dear Dr. Canapp,
Before the surgeries, Edward walked in pain and with a limp for a good portion of three years. After four surgeries for Edward (all for different things), we were just hoping we could hike with him for a couple of miles and maybe play a little ball. As you can tell from the pictures, he can do so much more than that. He's so much happier and healthier. Our vet tells us that this is the best he's ever looked. We cannot thank you enough for all that you have done!
Miracles happen. They just happen more often at VOSM under your care.
Tham, Bryan, Edward, and Archer
Dear Dr. Canapp,
In 2005, you performed the first of two TPLO surgeries on our dog Hepburn. Before we came to you, she was not walking — she was hopping. She was in a great deal of pain and we thought we were losing her. I remember quite clearly that you explained, very simply, the procedures you had planned for her. You not only took into account our feelings but you also treated Hepburn like she was your own kid.
We didn't know, at that point, what gift you had actually given us — another seven years with our beautiful Hepburn. We had to let her go just yesterday and the pain we feel is only tempered by the fact that through you, her life was doubled. She was over 13 years old.
Thank you, Dr. Canapp. Thank you for everything you did for us... without even knowing it.
Bonnie, Glen, & Gillian Tomlinson
Dear Dr. Gallagher,
I wanted to thank you again and let you know that Denny Crane is doing wonderfully! It's been over a year since his spinal surgery and he's walking 15 to 30 minutes twice a day. We have to keep him from running, but sometimes will let him on the leash with us. He went to the Outer Banks last weekend and experienced the ocean for the first time. Chased waves! He loved it! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
I have been wanting to send you a note thanking you for all you did for Caper. He has recovered very well and is back to being his happy self again. We live on a lake and he has loved swimming this summer and playing with his little sister Kea. He started agility again in late summer and has shown at 3 trials. I put him in preferred, as I thought the lower jump heights would be good for him. He has finished 3 preferred titles so far and has legs on 2 others. As you can see from the picture, he has been quite successful.
I appreciate all the wonderful care you have given him and love having my boy back, happy and loving life again. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate all you did for him.
Dear VOSM Staff,
We want to thank you all for your awesome care of our beloved Ronan. Each person at VOSM works with excellence, efficiency, and compassion. I am so impressed with all of you and I have referred many dog-lovers to you! It is truly amazing how you have surgically transformed Ronan from a lame dog into a fully-functioning, rambunctious normal dog! Thank you. Thank you for all you and your excellent staff have done for Ronan and for us.
Claudia & Rick Powell
Dear VOSM Team,
Thank you so much for everything you did for Frank. We really appreciate the love and care that went into his knee surgery and recovery.
There is a lot of comfort in knowing that your doctor wants the surgery to be as successful as you do! I appreciate your willingness to answer all of our questions — big and small.
Frank is doing great and everyone is looking forward to his off-leash days, which are approaching quickly!
Meghan & AJ
Dear Dr. Canapp & Team,
Thank you for the wonderful work you did with Elwood. He is thriving. We are scheduled to take his Canine Good Citizen test on Sunday, May 15th.
Thank you VOSM for fixing my hip so I can keep playing with my mom!
Dear Staff at VOSM,
We want to thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for the successful surgery, the wonderful care and outstanding physical therapy you all provided for our dear Shakespeare. He is running again, playing with his toys, fetching, eating well, sleeping soundly, and has gained all of his weight back.
All of you have made such a great contribution to our wellbeing!
We love you all!
Maureen Harrington and family, including Shakespeare's brother and sister, Pearl & Geronimo, and especially Shakespeare
Dear Dr. Canapp,
Just a short note to thank you and your wonderful staff for helping Missy regain use of her hind leg. I appreciate how everyone made us feel so special and the very clear and excellent instructions for her rehab. We are still taking it slow and letting the injured leg catch up. She is doing long walks and treadmill workouts each day.
Phyllis Hutton for Missy Hutton
Dear Dr. Sherman,
Thank you so much for fixing me up after six other doggie doctors failed.
Those were dark days — or should I say eight whole months — of erroneous diagnoses and treatment, not to mention my style being cramped with my royal Cavalier King Charles Spaniel robes hanging in a crate. Anyway, once we found you — thanks to Dr. Alexandra Bray of Bayside Medical in Severna Park — all was bow-wow again.
In ten minutes, you gave my mistress the low-down on my case and, although I concede that I didn't relish going under the knife, if it had to be that way, I was glad I was in your hands.
Today, more than 20 months later, I walk two-and-a-half to three miles six days a week. I don't think my mistress is doing all this walking just for my entertainment, although she'd like me to believe that. I've seen her expression when she's stepped on the scale; to put it kindly, the numbers whizzed by (haha, just a little levity, Dr. Sherman). In truth, she'd be packing on the pounds if I didn't take over as her personal trainer. And I couldn't have done it without you.
My mistress talks your name up all over the state and beyond. You're her hero. And, I'm grateful too. Just think: if I couldn't run (or even walk again, with that dreadful, horrors, limp), this place would be overrun with squirrels. Banish the thought!
Here are lots of licks and even more appreciation.
Helio (sun god) Boetig
Thank you to all the receptionists, rehab therapy staff, and doctors for everything you've done for Guinness. From the warm smiles to the continuous encouragement, I can't thank you enough for all that you do.
Thank you giving Guinness his quality of life back. He runs and plays at the dog park just like he did before surgery.
Hi VOSM Staff,
Just wanted to let you know that Hot Shot is enjoying his new hip.
About two weeks ago, he came and sat in front of me, put his front paws on my lap and raised himself up on both hind legs so that he could then put his paws on my shoulders.
His side movement in the yard is excellent, and he seems to have no after-effects from his surgery.
Although "thank you" would seen inadequate, I do not know of any better words.
We all wanted to thank you for taking such good care of Ellie. Her leg really seems as good as new, and you guys were terrific doctors and caregivers along the way. We appreciate everything you did for us!
All the best,
Jim, Trustman, & Ellie
Dear VOSM Team,
It has been almost a year since you repaired Zeek's left elbow. We started upland bird hunting in late September and finished March 12th. It was a very productive season for both of us and it was Zeek's most comfortable and fun-filled season so far. We both thank you very much and are looking forward to fun hunts to come.
Words can't express our thanks.
Mike and Zeek Etchberger
Hi Dr. Canapp!
We just wanted to give you a quick update. I am the very active, young rottweiler from PA that you did a TPLO on in September. I just graduated from the water treadmill therapy and tonight I had my first 5 minutes off-leash in my backyard. I am so very happy now and am loving having my toys back to shake and play with. I am also thrilled to be allowed in the kitchen with my mom and dad now. Thank you so much for taking such awesome care of me and for fixing my leg. My mom tells everyone about this journey we have gone through and how fantastic your team is.
Dear VOSM Team,
Just wanted to let you know that Morgan did make it to AKC Agility Nationals. She remained feisty and sound throughout the weekend. In fact, she placed 7th out of approximately 100 dogs in one of her jumpers runs. Not bad for a 10-year-old Corgi just 15 weeks out of TPLO surgery.
I want to thank Dr. Canapp, Dr. Zink, Courtney Molino, and the rest of the staff for all that you did to make this possible. It truly was a team effort.
I am most appreciative of the fact that your goal is to get performance dogs back to the games they love.
Donna Brown and Morgan too!
I believe Toro is going to be your star student/patient. He is, of course, extremely happy to be home. He is, amazingly enough, walking with little problem. He is even lifting his leg to pee and not losing his balance. He is peeing and pooping with no problems. We have mastered the sling to get up and down the front stairs, but other than that, on flat surfaces, he is walking on his own.
His appetite is great. He is doing well on all the medicines. He isn't drinking much at all, but he eats Eukenuba Senior formula and I put water over that so he is getting water. We have been icing down his back and doing the exercises Holly told us to do with no problems. Knock on wood. He has left the incision alone — no scratching or biting. He isn't really even paying attention to it.
I think the biggest obstacle is going to be keeping him from doing too much too soon. He is already getting antsy and not loving spending so much time in his crate. He is an amazing dog!
He is not just a dog, though. He is a member of my family and I can't thank you and your staff enough. Lisa, Susan, Melissa, Stephanie, Mindy, Joe, Amanda, Tanya, Holly, Courtney, the entire front desk crew, and the others whose names I don't know, they are all wonderful! Extremely professional and yet still caring and personal. I thank you all again for helping Toro. We begin therapy next Monday so maybe we will see you then.
Valerie & Toro
I recently took my 1 and 1/2 year-old Bouvier, Marley, back to VOSM for a re-check and wanted to let you know what a wonderful experience we both had.
First of all, let me compliment you by saying that your new facility is gorgeous and very comfortable for both humans and pets. Secondly, your staff was extremely friendly and accommodating. Even the refreshments were great!
I want to mention two people from the front desk, in particular, who were particularly helpful: Shannon and Andrea. These two young ladies were not only courteous and friendly but also professional.
In addition, Colleen, the veterinary technician who worked with us, was extremely competent and, again, friendly and professional.
Overall, mine and Marley's experience was a pleasure. I will highly recommend VOSM to anyone considering orthopedic specialists.
I imagine everyone at VOSM is happy to be in the new hospital. I'll bet it is a really top-of-the-line facility! My wife and I still have Rocky — we don't want to let him go — and he is doing great. He loves to play with our dogs and he has no trouble at all keeping up with them. If he overdoes it, he might limp a little for a day or so, but Dr. Noto gave us some medicine for that.
Rocky is never going to win any beauty or agility contests, but he is an absolutely wonderful dog, always happy and sweet and grateful. I really cannot find strong enough words to express how happy we are that he can just be a regular dog after all he went through. We will always be deeply thankful to Dr. Canapp and VOSM!
Today is Keller's 10-month birthday. Thanks to you and the support of your great staff, I have a precocious active blind boy! I tried to download a very short video to show you of Keller running around the backyard, chasing his 2-year-old uncle.. Unfortunately, I am more computer-challenged than I realized! Though he doesn't do it with the utmost grace, he can stop and change direction without missing a beat. Given that 3 months ago, his leg was close to perpendicular to the ground when he walked, I consider this quite a feat. The last snow storm dumped 7", which forced Keller to really pick up his hind leg. We spent many days taking progressively longer walks through the woods with the deep snow and the need to step over fallen branches. Last weekend, we hiked — I call it walking with my other guys but Keller is different — 2 miles on the roads around our home. With all this extra activity, his muscle has started to return. We have a long way to go if it is every going to equal his right thigh muscle, but at least you can see a little definition. With his determination, however, I have no doubt the majority of the muscle will return.
Believe it or not, this pup who started out at 6 oz, 10 months ago, now has become the alpha dog in this pack of 5. The only one who doesn't cower to Keller's head high in the air and his commanding bark is his 6.5 year old grandmother. She can still put the little whippersnapper in his place. Thank you so much for giving me back my puppy. I used to tell folks I had a blind, nearly crippled puppy. Not so any longer!
God bless the VOSM staff.
Have a great day.
Dr. Canapp asked how Melo was recovering...
Too well! She thinks she’s ready for the next DC marathon. I may need to be the next patient after trying to keep her in line! Only 50 days, 3 hours and 12 minutes to go — at least for this knee.
Everyone at VOSM has been wonderful. And Lisa, what can I say? She’s great! And Holly and Courtney and Courtney and Katelin and, of course, you and Debra!
Thanks so much for asking!
Shirley, Scott and Melo
PS: Molly is an entirely different dog. Wish we had done those elbows years ago. Only problem now is that she is taking great pride in bullying Melo at every opportunity! Pretty funny to watch! Thanks again from all of us.
In the summer of 2007, my son’s chocolate lab Rocky was diagnosed with luxating patellas. We live in northeastern Pennsylvania, and the corrective surgery was performed locally. Everything went wrong, and both of Rocky’s patella tendons tore. He could not put weight on his hind legs, and another local veterinary surgeon attempted to reconnect the tendons. He told us it was a long shot, and indeed it was, as both repairs failed. At this point, we began to realize that Rocky might never walk again, and we were totally devastated. Then some web surfing told us about Dr. Canapp and VOSM. We made an appointment, and Dr. Canapp told us about a tendon graft procedure that would enable Rocky to walk and play again. After a preliminary surgery to clean out the metal and wires in Rocky’s hind legs, Dr. Canapp performed the graft procedure on Rocky’s right leg on January 2, 2008. The plan was to do the left leg once the right became strong enough, but miraculously Rocky’s left leg began to heal on its own. Within a few months, Rocky was able to resume his life as a very happy and playful, and occasionally goofy, lab. This was made possible by the extraordinary skill and care of Dr. Canapp and his wonderful staff at VOSM! We could not be happier with how everything turned out for Rocky.
Just wanted to share my Christmas pictures with all of you and thank you again for fixing my ACL. Dad and Mom won't let me do anything fun though and I really don't like that PT stuff either, but Dad says it will help me, so I guess I'll have to keep doing it.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Years to everyone at VOSM.
Molly Bloskey and Family
Hi Drs. Canapp and Zink,
I wanted to drop you a note to let you know what Tasha has been up to since we finished our therapy last April. She spent the summer swimming in our pool and re-training in agility, two things she absolutely loves to do. While I’ll never let her retrieve her Frisbee or ball on land, she can play agility within reason and can retrieve in the water to her heart’s content.
Our biggest brag is that Tasha WON her division at the NADAC Championships in September of this year. She accomplished this with 6 out of 6 first place runs, beating the competition by a wide margin. People are amazed at the speed she has given her age of 10 and considering what she went through last year after her fractured shoulder and severe medial shoulder instability. But Tasha is all heart and never one to let anything stop her from enjoying life. She gives everything she does 110% and her joie de vivre is unmatched. One of my students says the thing she loves best about watching Tasha run agility is that she runs it with an air of authority. She just knows she’s in charge out there; it’s so true.
I’ve attached a copy of Tasha’s Championship photograph and am sending along a hard copy for your bulletin board. We are both so happy to be playing agility together thanks to the terrific care and support you gave us. From lame to champion within a year, what a terrific success story.
Raising K9 Companions: Dog Training, Nutrition and Fitness Counseling
I wanted to give you an update on Caila’s progress since her surgery. She runs like the wind, plays very hard, and is extremely happy without even a head bob! I would surmise that the surgery you preformed was a complete success!
Thank you so much for your expertise.
Angie Nys (Caila’s Mom)
Please feel free to use the stifle braces as long as you wish. We are very pleased to know that Rocky's situation and treatment will benefit veterinarians and dogs throughout the country. At this point last year, we thought Rocky would never walk again and we were absolutely devastated. Then, most fortunately, we discovered VOSM and that was the first step towards Rocky's remarkable recovery.
My family and I - and Rocky especially - thank you so very much!
Sherman wanted to send you and everyone at VOSM a thank you for the adorable card! He thought that the card looked very familiar, see attached (picture of Sherman)!!
We’ll see you guys on Monday!!
Hi Uncle Sherman and Aunt Debbie,
I was at the lab specialty last week and got to perform my first jump in the ring! Wow, less than a year ago I cried whenever I jumped. My elbows had a problem and you Uncle Sherman fixed them. Aunt Debbie, you helped me with therapy.
I just want you to know that your work made it possible for me to do what I enjoy. Oh, by the way, I won a blue rosette! Yep, first in my class! Check out the picture attached of me jumping. Mom didn't want to jump over so she ran by the jump.
Karla (our gentle female Rottweiler, our black marshmallow who has been called an embarrassment to her breed because of her temperament) had two TPLOs with you, the left on January 18, 2007 and the right on June 20, 2006. We wanted to let you know that the outcome of the surgeries has exceeded all our expectations. She is now just over six years old and is acting more like a puppy than when she was younger. She is very frisky in movement, loves to run and play and gets so excited for her 3- to 4-mile runs 4 to 5 times a week. She is very strong and leaps over downed trees with some speed. She's just a happy, healthy girl. Before the operations, we thought she may also be having hip problems and some stiffness, but that's all disappeared since her surgeries. Thank you again.
Karen Swiderski and Jim Prust
I've been thinking a great deal about how, at this time last year, Ebony was in constant pain and steadily but slowly getting worse. And then, in December of last year, she suddenly plummeted and I truly thought she was a goner. When I brought her to you, I had serious doubts if she would even make it through the surgery.
Her recovery was slow, probably due to the length of her illness and her age, but she did, in fact, recover. She will never be the bounding puppy she used to be, but she sure is happy and enjoying life. She has become something of a celebrity in our neighborhood and even complete strangers will stop to talk to her and ask questions. Believe me; she is eating that attention up, too!
Thank you and your staff for having the courage to try something different in amputating her leg where you did, instead of at the shoulder. And thanks for your corroboration with Derrick Campana. The two of you worked what appears to be a miracle.
Who knew an old dog could learn to walk on a prosthetic leg and be happy too!
I have been planning to write you and Morgan once Willow reached the 6-month post-op point. Well, that came and went a couple weeks ago. Finally, I am getting around to emailing you.
Willow runs around the house and our small yard playing like a pup. She is back to walking 30 minutes or so with us and uses the stairs unassisted (not yet as frequently as before). She is fine on the stairs. We are just trying to break her of sleeping on OUR bed and the guest bed! The only things we have not done yet is ball chasing in a large area or frisbee. Don't know if we will ever do frisbee again, but if we do it will be low to the ground. At my parent's home last weekend (out in the country in WV), she was having a great time running around like a wild dog.
With all that said, it is probably obvious that she is doing GREAT! We do notice her stretching pretty good now and then and she maybe seems a bit stiff once in awhile, but if it was anyone else besides us or a vet watching her, they would not notice anything was ever wrong. We are SO pleased with the success of the surgery and the therapy! THANK YOU for all you did for Willow and for us!
Dear Dr. Canapp,
I really appreciate your caring for our rescue, Molly, and for the patience you had with her foster family. The rescue discount was awesome! Please extend my sincere thanks to your staff. Lisa and Melissa were wonderful.
Dear Drs. Canapp,
I just wanted to say how appreciative I am to you for taking time you really didn't have to see me and my boy, Ferrell. Getting him on the road to recovery is hugely important to me and I now have a comfort level that we are on that path. That kind of service is what separates you from the ordinary folks. Ferrell seems a bit brighter today and maybe a tad more steady on his feet. I'm counting the hours until his MRI. Anyway, thanks again.
Pam, Kia and Ferrell
Dear Dr. Canapp and Staff,
Thank you for giving Bailey a new life. Bailey is enjoying her newfound leg, and is getting stronger every day. Her left hind leg is stronger and almost normal now. She is standing tall and jumping to all places like a normal naughty puppy. We are so grateful for the successful operations and care that she has received from VOSM. Bailey can finally have a full life. Thanks again to everyone!
Bailey and The Liu’s
Dear Dr. Canapp,
A sincere note of THANKS for everything you have done and are doing for Quincy and Mom and I. Quincy has been in your expert and loving care for a year now. This year has brought about countless blessings for Quincy and us, too.
Our little boy is now the happiest, healthiest and most carefree that he has been in several years. Your advice, care and skills have saved his life and given him a sweet little life to enjoy again.
We notice how much you do for us ~ huge savings in treatments. Huge! We notice and are amazed and so thankful for your kind and generous heart. You have made it possible for us to see you and give Quincy what he needs through your financial generosity. We are in awe of you and your husband ~ your talent and commitment.
With great appreciation,
Quincy, Della & Chrissy
Dear Dr. Canapp,
I just found out that you have a new practice from a friend of mine whose dog just had TPLO surgery. I was thrilled when I found your website. Being an active retriever field trialer, it's good to know someone in veterinary sports medicine - especially someone who I trust. Do you remember Solo? She was my 5-week-old black Lab pup that got a terrible bite in the face. Below is a link to my website. When you get a chance, please visit and click on "Our Dogs," then click on Twin Pine's "Let's Go Solo" for pictures of her and a brief story of what happened to her. Maybe we can come visit you sometime.
Thanks for saving our little pup, who has grown into a very wild, but wonderful girl.
Yesterday I brought in our Golden, Nugget, to see you.
I greatly appreciate your approach to Nugget and his aging body. PT makes a world of sense.
You should know that over Nugget's life we have taken him to at least 10 of the "top" guys in the DC area and none of them have done the measurement, range of motion and checking of muscles that you did.
I believe that we will wait to pursue PT and acupuncture until you open your shop.
When will you begin taking appointments?
Finally, I have another dog, Chessie, who I will be bringing to you.
Again, thank you so much. I just feel so much better about Nugget's future.