Puppy born with upside-down paws gets special surgery

STILLWATER, Okla. — A puppy, born with upside-down paws, received a unique surgery to put his best feet forward, according to Oklahoma State University.

Three weeks after getting dropped off with an animal rescue, 5-week-old pup Milo took a life-changing trip to Oklahoma State University’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences.

Milo was born with a very rare condition. He was born with both of his front paws inverted (with the pads of his feet facing up when he tried to walk).

“We evaluated Milo with our state-of-the-art CT scanner and identified his problem to be congenital dislocation of both elbows,” Erik Clary, associate professor of small animal surgery, said to the university. “With both elbows out of joint, Milo was unable to walk. Try as he may, the best he could do was an inefficient and seemingly uncomfortable ‘army crawl.’”

The rescue agency decided to cover the cost of surgery and, on Jan. 9, Clary and his team set in to help.

“Milo’s surgery was complicated,” said Clary. “For each of his elbows, we had to go into the joint and restore the alignment. Then we placed a pin across the joint to keep it straight while his growing bones continue to take shape and his body lays down the internal scar tissue that will be needed for long-term stability. All in all, Milo was under anesthesia for about 3 to 3 1/2 hours.”

When Milo woke up, he was bundled up in a full body splint.

The splint helped keep Milo from using his front legs so he can’t get in the way of his own recovery.

After about three weeks, the doctors plan to remove the pins.

“The hope is that by that time his body will have done what it needs to do to keep the elbows stable,” Clary said.

Intensive rehabilitation therapy will hopefully help Milo get up onto his feet — for the first time — as he learns how to walk instead of army crawl.

“Milo’s a sweet and resilient dog,” Clary said. “He quickly developed a real following in the hospital. Many a well-wisher checked in on his progress. And since he couldn’t ambulate or stand well with the splint in place, he was happy to find no shortage of student and staff volunteers willing to hold him and help him get outside when needed.”

Anyone interested in helping to pay for Milo’s veterinary costs is encouraged to contact Oliver and Friends Farm Rescue and Sanctuary at (405) 655-9885. Donations to the nonprofit organization located in Luther, Oklahoma, are tax deductible.

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