Puppy born with upside-down paws learns to walk after successful operation

A puppy born with upside-down paws has been given a new life after a successful corrective surgery.

Siggi, a 13-week-old spotted rat terrier, had been mustering a crawl on her front elbows for the whole of her short life until she met the experts at Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

She was brought to see animal surgeon Dr Erik Clary by an animal rescue group from Texas, who hoped to give Siggi the chance to live a normal life.

In the video released by the university, Dr Clary assesses Siggi's condition as he monitors her movement while she runs around the consultation room.

He says: "Siggi's problem looked like it was in the paws, but it was actually in her elbows.

"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."

A CT scan reveals that the expert would need an intentional break high up in Siggi's ulna bone in order to de-rotate the limbs.

The experts operated on Siggi's elbows where they placed splints and an orthopaedic fixation device.

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Six weeks later the pup revisited the doctors, who said her bones were strong enough for rehabilitation and to begin learning how to walk again.

"She proved to be a fairly quick learner," Clary said, noting that her foster owner Lorraine with the rescue group Dallas DogRRR had developed a rehabilitation regiment.

"Now Siggi doing many things that puppies like to do, including chasing a ball in the yard."

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Dr Clary had previous experience with a similar condition in early 2019 when its Veterinary Teaching Hospital successfully operated on a foxhound puppy named Milo whose front paws were also turned upside down.

He attributed Siggi's success to the university's marketing team, who helped spread Milo's story .

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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