Happy Pup Just Wants to Run and Play Again
Emmy, still acting like a typical puppy at six months old, wiggles, thumps her tail, and tries to lick the face of the veterinarian who’s examining her at North Shore Animal League America. Unlike other puppies, however, Emma suffered a major trauma to the left side of her body and received no medical treatment at all.
Emmy doesn’t move normally at all right now, but she pushes through any pain she may have because she wants to be a happy pup. It’s uncertain if the veterinarians can fix her orthopedic problems for her — only time will tell.
Emmy recently arrived from the Animal Care Centers in Brooklyn after they reached out for help with this sweet pup who came in as a stray. She was transported to our Pet Health Centers with an injury to her left elbow. Veterinary staff ordered X-rays to be taken immediately so they could determine how to proceed. After examining the x-rays, they saw that the fracture to her left elbow was from an old injury.
“We could see that when she used her left front leg it was very stiff and held out from her body,” said Dr. Gerard Laheney, Senior Staff Veterinarian at Animal League America. “Emmy is also lame on her left rear leg. We found that there’s a small fracture to the top portion of her femur that inserts into her hip. First, we will perform surgery on her left rear leg to alleviate her pain.”
The veterinarians can only speculate about what happened to poor Emmy. “Since we have two injuries on the same side of the animal, I am suspicious that she could have been hit by a car, but I can’t say for sure,” concluded Dr. Laheney. “There was definitely trauma involved and it was weeks ago. When time has passed, it gets in the way of repairing these types of fractures because her body has done it to some extent.”
The veterinary team won’t be able to address her left forearm until after the surgery on her rear leg. The elbow fracture is old so there may not be much the surgeon can do to fix it. “The worst case scenario would be that we may have to amputate her left front leg. But since there is a lot of functional use, and I don’t expect her to grow all that much, she might be able to keep the leg,” said Dr. Laheney. “She’ll just have a gait abnormality. We need to wait and see.”
Emmy has also shown significant abnormalities on her right side, due to overcompensation for the injuries on her left. In addition to surgery, Emmy may require rehabilitation to learn to walk again, perhaps even on three legs.
Only time will tell if Emmy will ever fully recover. But this brave girl is ready to give it all she’s got, and we’ll be there for every step of the way. Will you?