By Barbara Fawver

When an 8 ½-year old black male Labrador Retriever named “Weezer” hobbled into Dr. Jeffrey J. Schuett’s veterinary clinic in Pewaukee, Wis., it was a classic case of a tom cruciate ligament injury During training, the Labrador yelped in pain while running to make a blind retrieve and then refused to put weight on his left rear leg.

The dog’s owner, Bob Johnson of Madison, Wis., took Weezer to Schuett, an upland game hunter and retriever enthusiast. Johnson not only wanted the injury repaired, he hoped his accomplished retriever could return to field trials.

“We discussed the options and decided that a TightRope procedure would work best for Weezer,” says Schuett. “Weezer stayed at my clinic for one and a half months postoperatively while undergoing hydro-therapy treadmill rehabilitation six days a week.”

A finalist in six National Retriever Championship Stakes before his injury, FC-AFC Weezer Retreezer went on to qualify for the 2010 National Open Stake after taking a year off for rehabilitation. In 2011, he qualified for the National Amateur Retriever Championship and won a double header at Vicksburg, Fla.

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Used with permission from Today’s Breeder, Nestlé Purina PetCare Company.