Hero Dog: Roxy's Story

Boxer/German Sheppard dog wearing a Hero Braces ACL knee brace standing by a red soccer ball

When you're a soccer star like Roxy, a little bump here and there is to be expected. In August 2013, Roxy received a little bit more than a bump.

Born to humble beginnings, Roxy was the runt of her litter. She has now grown to a 70 lb. playful Boxer/German Shepherd mix who is the star of Pete and Debbie's team and their hearts.

Roxy is an extremely playful and active dog who especially loves frisbee and soccer. One of her specialties is a twist move that she does when catching a toy mid-air. When she came down hopping around on only three legs, Pete was immediately concerned. He hoped she may have only strained her leg, but made sure to keep an eye on her.

A veterinarian confirmed that Roxy had completely torn her CCL and suggested a few options for the family: 1. Surgery on her knee to repair the injury or 2. A new Hero leg brace.

The family was hesitant to go the surgery route. Roxy just had surgery six months prior to remove a benign mast cell tumor from the same leg. Her vet had been hearing success stories of other dogs who had used a Hero Brace and suggested that as a primary option.

That's when the team got busy. The vet ordered and received the casting kit to make the cast of Roxy's leg. Pete studied the videos on the Hero website in order to best put the brace on Roxy's leg when it arrived. Roxy was very patient with Pete and he attempted to get the fit just right. Roxy and Pete went for a short walk as Roxy gingerly attempted to put some weight on her paw, but wasn't completely sure about her new device.

After a video evaluation from the Hero team and some tweaks to the fit, Roxy was so comfortable with her knee brace she began walking normally again. She never fought Pete when it was time to put it on, nor did she try to chew it off.

For the first few months of wearing her brace, they kept Roxy confined to the main floor of their house. She was able to walk normally, putting full weight on her leg. As Roxy became used to her brace, she was given free reign and immediately began to rebuild her strength. Her leg has now healed to the point that she only needs her brace for long walks, for runs and other rigorous playing.

Because she likes to have so much fun and is so athletic, Roxy's brace had to be returned recently to Hero to replace the Velcro. While the brace was being refurbished, Pete took Roxy for a walk without the brace and let her off-leash in the woods. Pete reports that after walking a couple miles, she broke out in full play mode, running full speed and jumping over ditches.

"She was playing super dog!" Pete smiled. "It has been 15 months since the vet diagnosed her with a full ACL tear. We got the brace back this week all spruced up. We are very grateful for Hero and their support. Thanks to them, Roxy is happy and enjoying life. In fact, she is looking at me right now asking if we can go for a walk."

We're glad to have been able to help. If we can help a dog score the winning goal, catch a frisbee, jump over a ditch or just feel like a super dog again, we know we've done our job.

Hero Braces, Veterinary Equipment, Benkelman, NE