Recently Milo, the puppy with the upside down paws turned right side down, returned to Oklahoma State University’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences for a scheduled recheck visit.
“Milo continues to progress in his recovery,” reported Dr. Erik Clary, the board certified small animal surgeon who operated on Milo. “Milo is gaining more and more functionality as his muscles strengthen with the rehabilitative care. His quality of life is much improved as he is quite mobile now and able to play and do many things that puppies should be able to do at his age.”
Now at 4 months of age, Milo is still a very young puppy with much growth potential left from an orthopedic standpoint.
“While he continues to improve, Milo is not out of the woods yet,” continued Clary. “We will be monitoring his growth closely, especially as it concerns the long bones related to the elbow joint. These are the bones most vulnerable to a growth disturbance that could complicate his recovery.”
Milo first came to the Center’s Veterinary Medical Hospital in January 2019 to see if there was anything that could be done to correct his upside down front paws. Clary and his team identified Milo’s problem to be congenital dislocation of both elbows.
Explaining Milo’s surgery, Clary commented, “For each of his elbows, we had to go into the joint and restore the alignment. Then we placed a temporary pin across each joint to keep it straight while his growing bones continued to take shape and his body laid down internal scar tissue needed for long-term stability.”
Milo spent the next three weeks in a front body splint to prevent him from using his front legs and to allow his body to do what it needed to do to keep his elbows in place. Once the temporary pins were removed, Milo began intensive rehabilitation therapy with Dr. Cara Blake, also a board certified small animal surgeon on staff at OSU’s Veterinary Medical Hospital who has expertise in rehabilitative therapy. Due to Milo’s congenital deformity, he had never walked but only crawled. As a result, he developed abnormal posture, decreased flexibility, significant muscle atrophy, and weakness. After surgery, Milo needed to be retrained on how to lie down, sit, and walk in a ‘correct’ fashion. Much of that work has happened in his home environment after his release from the hospital on Jan. 31, 2019.
Back at the hospital for his recheck exam, Milo drew a crowd.
“In the small animal reception area,” Clary commented, “clients and their children recognized him. Elsewhere, students, staff and clinicians stopped to see him and ask how he was doing. He has a lot of people rooting for him.”