Terrier puppy born with upside-down paws now able to walk
[Oct 5, 2021: Meghan Overdeep]
Milo was diagnosed with a congenital dislocation of both elbows, which meant that the pads of his paws face upwards instead of down. (CREDIT:Oliver and Friends Farm Sanctuary)
Siggi the spotted rat terrier was born with a rare and debilitating birth defect: her front paws were upside down. Fortunately, the Dallas animal rescue group that came into possession of the sweet pup in May, knew exactly where to turn.
Siggi was just 13 weeks old and weighed only four pounds when she made the journey to meet Dr. Erik Clary, a small animal surgeon at Oklahoma State University's College of Veterinary Medicine in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The university's Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH) had performed the surgery only once before, on a Coonhound named Milo, who underwent successful corrective surgery in 2019.
"As with Milo, Siggi's problem looked like it was in the paws, but it was actually in her elbows," Clary explained in a news release. "For reasons not fully understood, these patients' elbows come out of joint early in life and the result is severe rotation of the lower front limbs and an inability to walk. At most, they might muster a crawl that seems most uncomfortable and is poorly suited for a dog's life."
Siggi underwent life-changing surgery on May 12. According to Clary, was hers more complicated than Milo's because a CT exam showed "significant" deformity in the bones in the lower elbow. By the end of June, Siggi's bones were strong enough for rehabilitation and to begin learning how to walk again.
"She proved a fairly quick learner," recalled Clary. "Siggi [is now] doing many things that puppies like to do, including chasing a ball in the yard. Truly, I could not be more pleased with Siggi's progress."
Though his team did the surgery, Clary credits this story's heartwarming ending to Milo.
"Siggi found care and came to OSU's VTH because Milo's story was shared beyond our walls," he said. "Milo has brought much joy to many people and I expect the same will be true of Siggi."
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