Spud is the sweetest, Pomeranian-mix that you would ever hope to meet; and his story is one of perseverance and inspiration.
Spud began his life at a Midwestern puppy mill, where he was one of hundreds of puppies born for the mass sale of popular breeds. Kept in the confines of a small cage and never released to run, stretch or grow properly during the first few years of his life, Spud’s hind legs were left deformed and weakened.
Walking for Spud would involve dragging his hind limbs behind him, crawling cumbersomely. Amazingly, to overcome this, Spud had taught himself to walk on his two front legs, in a full handstand, while holding his rear legs up in the air.
In the spring of 2012, the Colorado Puppy Mill Rescue stepped in to help find Spud a second chance. That second chance came in the form of Dr. William Moyle at Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center, and with Dr. Moyle came his medical staff, all very willing to help. Dr. Moyle’s extensive experience with orthopedic surgeries on dogs and cats made this a perfect opportunity for him to give back to a rescue that did so much to help animals just like Spud.
During Dr. Moyle’s first exam, Spud appeared to take his predicament in stride, happily doing his hand-stand walk around the exam room on his front legs. Dr. Moyle, however, did not take Spud’s condition as lightly. He diagnosed Spud’s knee problem as ‘congenital grade-4 bilateral medial patellar luxation’, which placed Spud’s kneecaps in the highest category of inward displacement . The condition of this little dog’s hind legs was a major issue, as well, and the muscular atrophy that had occurred in his back legs introduced an added challenge.
In spite of the severity of Spud’s diagnosis, Dr. Moyle was confident that he could surgically realign the kneecaps, allowing Spud to have a more normal gait and greatly improve his quality of life. Coupled with Spud’s happy nature, young age, and otherwise good health, Dr. Moyle felt Spud was a good candidate for the procedure.
To make it easier for Spud to recover from the procedure and re-learn to use his rear legs, Dr. Moyle decided to do just one knee at a time and selected the one that was the worst of the two to begin with. Spud’s surgery was performed in March of 2012, and the intricate procedure was successful. During Spud’s initial recovery, it became clear that he was grateful for his second chance and knew he was on his way to a happier, more active life.
As time went on, and as a result of the success of the first surgery, Spud started using his other rear leg more normally. Consequently, Dr. Moyle determined that surgery on the second leg would no longer be needed.
The process of Spud’s surgery and recovery was aided by many of the Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center staff members. He was later adopted by one staff member who had established a particular fondness for him, and he shares his life with her to this day, walking on all fours.
Our experience with Spud inspired the creation of our Mercy Care program, which was launched with the commitment of providing orthopedic and other veterinary care to abandoned pets that have no human to help them. Most of these animals have severe injuries, deformities, malnutrition, and a variety of other problems resulting from abuse and abandonment, and have never known the kindness of a loving home.
Since Spud, our Mercy Care program has helped numerous pets regain health and mobility, enabling them to go on to experience the comfort and security of a forever home.