Touching Moment – Puppy Born with Upside-Down Paws Learns to Walk After Surgery

Touching moment (Video)

The puppy Siggi wasn’t like the others. While an eight-week-old should be running around and generally frolicking, Siggi was limited to a slower pace, getting around with something akin to a forearm scooch. The beagle and coon hound mix was born with a congenital dislocation of the elbows which forced both of his front paws to face upward instead of down. At 13 weeks old, Siggi’s owners introduced the dog to Dr. Erik Clary, who later performed the pup’s surgery.

“With both elbows out of joint, Siggi was unable to walk. Try as he may, the best he could do was an inefficient and seemingly uncomfortable ‘army crawl,’ ” Erik Clary, associate professor of small animal surgery at the Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, told the school’s press office. Siggi’s disability, however didn’t stop her from romping around and trying to do everything they did; she just did it in an army-crawl style. Unfortunately, her mode of moving around took a toll on her elbows, shoulders and spine. Clary and his team performed corrective surgery on Siggi, after the pooch was turned over to an animal rescue organization. In nearly 30 years of performing surgeries, Clary said he’s only seen three patients with Siggi’s rare condition, needing surgery that’s “very complicated,” he said.

Siggi is learning to walk

“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,” he explained. And so Siggi had the complicated surgery and was placed in bright orange casts covering the splints and metal devices helping her bones heal in the correct positions. When it came time to remove the casts, Siggi had to learn to walk; that didn’t stop the energetic pup who was up for the task. Watch the video, she’s learning to walk up a ramp with treats offered at the completion of each small task.

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