Helping a Rural Wyoming Dog Get Back Up on All Four Legs

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Maggie, a four-year old Puggle was found injured on the side of a rural road in Wyoming. No one knows how the black dog ended alone on the road, but rescuers knew she needed immediate help.

Maggie at the vet the day she was found. Photo Credit: Karin Kruse
Maggie at the vet the day she was found. Photo Credit: Karin Kruse

“My daughter and a coworker [were making a delivery when they] came across a black dog sitting by the side of lonesome stretch of road,” said Karin Kruse. “They stopped and found the dog was shaking and seemed to be in distress. They were able to pet the dog, but when my daughter tried to lift little Maggie, the pain was too great, and the dog nipped at her. Maggie then got up and tried to hobble down the road. Her hind leg was completely unusable and it hung limp and dragged on the ground as she stumbled along.”

It took a few hours and a lot of planning to help get Maggie off the road. Her rescuers were able to coax the dog to lay on a tarp they used as a stretcher, and moved her into the back of a car for transport to a vet clinic. At the clinic, Kruse learned the injured dog was probably tossed from a moving vehicle. Her hind leg had compound femur fractures and a dislocation at the hip. The dog’s front legs were injured too.

Because of State laws, veterinarians had to place Maggie on hold for five days, this to give her owners a chance to come claim her. During those five days the injured dog only received pain medication and veterinarians advised Kruse that if no one claimed the dog at the end of the holding period, she should put the dog down.

Maggie today after two surgeries.Photo Credit: Karin Kruse
Maggie today after two surgeries.Photo Credit: Karin Kruse

Kruse didn’t take the advice. When the five days were over, she picked up Maggie, took her home, and made arrangements for her to be seen by another vet. The new vet performed femoral head ostectomy on her hind leg and placed her front legs in casts to allow healing.

Days passed and even though surgery was done, Maggie’s disposition didn’t change. She continued to be in pain and refused to move. A worried Kruse took the rescued dog to an orthopedic surgeon and learned the first surgery was done completely wrong.

“We learned that the original surgery had to be redone,” said Kruse. “The plate screwed onto the femur during the first surgery needed to be removed as it was too long and extended over Maggie’s knee causing reduced flexion in the stifle joint. Some of the screws inserted to hold it in place were too long and interfered with the intramuscular function.”

Maggie had a second surgery and the femur was re-plated successfully. The surgeon is confident the former abandoned and injured dog will regain some function on her hind leg.

As for Maggie’s front legs, they do have soft tissue damage and she will need a third surgery to help her regain mobility and be pain free.

The black dog’s road to recovery is still a long one. She will need laser treatments and physical therapy to become a happy normal dog once again. Once she is all healed, Kruse hopes to find her a forever home of her own.

Learn more about Maggie.