At Save-a-Bull we really love to try and help dogs with special medical needs. Because of fantastic supporters, we have the money to try and fix or at least address any obstacle that may keep a dog from getting adopted.

Pippa was one of those dogs.  She  found herself at a shelter in Indiana after being picked up as a stray. Our rescue partner in the area sent us a picture and told us she was having trouble walking, but would we be interested in taking her in?  Without knowing any other details, we said “Yes! When can she be here?” Pippa made the long trek to Minnesota on June 4, 2016.  Even though she was in a lot of pain from trying to walk with her bad legs, she was the sweetest dog and just wanted to cuddle in your arms.

When Pippa arrived our first move was a trip to the vet to get a diagnosis. Pippa had a birth defect called Carpal Flexural Deformity which caused her front limbs to fold over themselves and made her walk on her elbows with her chin touching the floor. The worst part was that there was no surgical fix for her condition.  So Pippa began intensive physical therapy both in-home and at a therapy center where she used a water treadmill to try and straighten and strengthen her legs. It was a long shot, but we hoped for the best.

After just a few treatments we were shocked to see the improvement she was making!  She slowly started gaining muscle in her legs and flexibility in her paws and would do small things like holding bones to chew on with her paws and digging in the yard. These were huge strides for Pippa!

We are extremely happy to report that Pippa’s legs now look visibly normal.  She is able to walk and run like any other happy puppy with no restrictions.  After a long day her feet sometimes still turn out, like a ballerina, but she’s no longer in pain. She is sweet, sensitive and smart and we’re so happy to be a part of her journey back to health!

Pippa’s case was a rare case, but we’ve also helped many other dogs with more standard orthopedic issues this year:

  • Chance, Roo and Polly all suffered from leg injuries and required amputation surgeries. These tri-pods didn’t let that slow them down and they’ve all been adopted!
  • Delilah had a similar condition to Pippa but was older and was not able to make the physical therapy strides Pippa did. She will never be fully able to walk on hardwood floors, go for long walks or jump.  But she was adopted by a family that is perfect for her and is happier than ever.
  • Duckie was malnourished and spent a majority of her time in her kennel as a puppy, causing her legs to bow and have what is called “paddle feet.”  With some good nutrition, a little therapy and a lot of love, you can’t even tell!  She’s grown fully into her strong legs and enjoys walks, runs and play dates at the dog park.
  • Ritzy and Opal both had leg fractures that required surgery and pins for correction. Ritzy has been adopted, but Opal is still facing a few other medical issues that we’re happy to address before she can be adopted.
  • Boss had a fracture in his leg after being struck with a  baseball bat.  He was put in a cast and the leg healed perfectly! Boss was also adopted.
  • Stella needed a Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA) to repair cruciate ligament rupture and patella damage. She’s currently recovering and in week three of a 12-week recovery process.
  • Ruby was a stray taken in by animal control. AC officers knew there was something wrong so they called us and we took her in. Ruby needed FHO surgery to repair her hip and is currently undergoing water therapy on her road to recovery.
  • Ginger came to rescue with a broken leg that wasn’t treated properly and had healed incorrectly. She’s currently undergoing physical therapy to strengthen her leg and will be available for adoption soon.

We are continually grateful for our supporters who keep us going and let us say YES to cases like these. These are all wonderful dogs who would not have had a chance to explore their best life without a little help. Thank you – from Pippa, Chance, Roo, Polly, Delilah, Ducky, Ritzy, opal, Boss, Stella, Ruby, Ginger and the countless other dogs who come through rescue each year.

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Thanks to you, Save-a-Bull has had the opportunity to rescue and rehome a lot of deserving dogs this year. But that’s not enough! Supporting spay and neuter assistance programs for our community will promote responsible dog ownership and breed advocacy which is an important part of the work we’re trying to do every day. Donate today and be a part of our Fix Your Pit program!

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Chance, Pippa, Opal and Roo photos by Tangerine House of Design.