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Angular and rotational limb deformities: Slumdog has his day in the OR

Posted Oct 13 2009 10:01pm

I have the best luck. My veterinary surgeon boyfriend holds a rarefied kind of certification human and veterinary surgeons share. It grants him the ability to perform research and lecture on all kinds of fiddly limb deformity-fixing techniques. Yesterday his talents came in very handy.

Slumdog is the newest addition to my family. Every bit of this puppymill pug mix signals that he’s worthy of his name––not least of all his painfully twisted limbs.

When Slummy (AKA, Mumbai, Smeagol) runs, he falls. When he jumps, he lands all wrong (on his face, usually). When he walks, he uses a unique gait more akin to an equine pacer’s trot than to a proper dog’s. The toes of his forelimbs splay out like a duck’s (for increased stability, presumably). In three years,’ time, his wrists and elbows will increasingly fail him. They’ll be feeble and arthritic. Without pain relievers, they’ll hurt all the time.

Here's are his legs:

That’s why we finally decided to put him through two painful procedures designed to right the wrongs his “breeders” committed in creating this canine aberration. (We suspect a puggle-puggle outcross––a stupid human trick no one should attempt after observing my Slumdog as specimen.)

Here’s what the X-ray of his left leg looked like before (the straightest we could get it):

The first of the surgeries took place yesterday morning. After weeks of X-rays and measurements and digital reconstructions of his twisted limbs, Dr. Wosar was ready. In a two-hour procedure, Sumdog’s most twisted upper forearm was incised.

There, he received two neat slices to each of the bones beneath (radius and ulna).

The bones were then repositioned based on his degree of abnormal rotation and altered angulation, then plated together.

Here are his post-op rads:

Yes, LOTS of pain relief throughout.

Indeed, this is was a stressful surgery for me. Sure, it’s always hard for a mom to watch her own go under the knife, but it’s even worse knowing that the suffering is only necessary because of all we humans have actively done to turn dogs like him into abnormalities––all in the hopes of producing a profitable product. Worse yet, someone along the line almost certainly cashed in.

Sick, right? All so he could undergo two $5,000 surgeries.

Now the clincher: How many "purebred" dogs suffer as he does? After all, Slumdog’s degree of abnormality may be severe, but it’s not unique. I’ve seen plenty just as bad over the years. And they all deserve surgery. But who can afford to pay like this? I certainly can’t. I just happen to have gotten lucky. Slumdog, too.

 

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