Cooper Steinle

North Dakota

Wednesday April 23, 2014

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