Innovative Student-Led Project Aims to Improve Mobility for 170-Pound Great Dane with Unique Orthopedic Challenge

Zeke and the Prosthetics and Orthotics Team
Zeke and the Prosthetics and Orthotics Team

In a heartwarming initiative spearheaded by Stephen Charry in the Prosthetics and Orthotics program at UHart, students have embarked on an innovative project to enhance the mobility of Zeke, a 170-pound, 7-year-old Great Dane owned by Biology Professor, Laura Enzor.

Zeke faces the challenges of a canine CCL (Cranial Cruciate Ligament) injury, akin to the ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) in humans, making walking a strenuous task and causing his leg to buckle.

Recognizing the potential for positive impact, Laura Enzor approached the P&O program earlier this semester, wondering if the students could take on Zeke's case as a unique project. There was an overwhelming interest from the second-year cohort and now a motivated group of six second-year students are working to address Zeke's orthopedic challenge.

Students have now completed many pivotal moments in the project. After meeting with Zeke, the initial steps involved a comprehensive evaluation of Zeke's condition, followed by the casting process to gather essential data for the project. With the groundwork laid, the students then geared up for the crucial next phases of the project.

In the second stage, students channeled their skills toward modifying and fabricating a customized leg brace designed specifically for Zeke. The project was recently featured in a heartwarming news report on NBC Connecticut. This hands-on experience allowed them to observe the brace's fit and functionality, ensuring that it caters to Zeke's unique needs.

The final step in this endeavor will be the delivery of the specially crafted brace to Zeke, ultimately aiming to improve his overall quality of life. By undertaking this initiative, the students not only gain invaluable practical experience but also contribute to the well-being of a beloved community member, Zeke the Great Dane. You can stay tuned for project updates on social media

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Darian Berdysz