SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A Chihuahua puppy unable to use his back legs because of a deformity had corrective surgery and should be available for adoption in about two months, the county Department of Animal Services reported Wednesday.
The kneecaps on Scooter's back legs rolled inward, pulling on the muscles so that he couldn't straighten the legs.
The energetic pup adapted to his deformity in order to get around, and probably didn't know what his back legs were for, veterinarian Cassie Hamilton said.
Hamilton said that since Scooter was young, veterinarians performed surgery in which his back legs were broken, repaired with metal pins and placed in bandages. The tibia and femur had to be repositioned.
"He's done great," Hamilton said. "The second day, post surgery, he was able to kind of tripod himself up and stand while he ate breakfast and he's just been progressively getting better and better the whole time."
Physical therapy is ahead for the dog.
"Building that strength and learning how to balance I think is the first step, and then you can see where that neurologic reflex to put one foot
in front of the other is there," Hamilton said. "So I'm really optimistic that when we start getting to pull some of these pins and getting some of this bulky bandage material off, that he's going to pick up running and just do great."
She estimated Scooter will be available for adoption in about eight weeks.
The surgery was covered through the department's Spirit Fund, which accepts donations to provide advanced veterinary care.