Dr. John Keating normally operates on patients with only two legs, but the orthopedic surgeon made a special effort to help two dogs who were hit by a car. Without his help the two dogs would’ve been put down.
Smith, an American Bulldog, and Sherman, a German Shepherd, were hit by a car and suffered serious injuries. Both had broken legs and would require complicated surgery that would cost more than $10,000.
The dogs were rescued by Fulton County Animal Services and with the help of Lifeline Animal Project they were able to get the help they needed.
“Before they would write off a dog with these kinds of injuries,’ said veterinarian Dr. Michael Good who donated his space for the surgery. “With this new organization Lifeline in place, they are taking advantage of every resource at their disposal to try and save as many as possible.”
Dr. Keating is a dog fanatic and a volunteer at Lifeline. They called to see if he could help save these dogs. Keating didn’t think twice. He has been an Orthopedic surgeon for 25 years, and previously done some work on dogs, but it had been a while and never two dogs at the same time.
Keating brushed up on dog anatomy, which he says is similar to human just rearranged a bit differently. He then asked second year resident Dr. Casey Spivey to assist with the surgery.
“I had a case this morning; he caught me in the hallway. He said, ‘what are you doing this afternoon?’ I said ‘nothing,’” recalls Spivey. “I have never operated on a dog, it was awesome. When he asked me to go, I kind of got the chills.”
The surgery was performed on Friday and although it was complex and time-consuming it was successful. Medical equipment was donated by Synthes to help offset the cost. In the end the dogs got top notch care that saved their lives.
“With veterinary medicine we could have comprised and come up with something that would possibly make this dog functional,” said Good. “But John (Keating) is a perfectionist. Without his expertise, without his equipment, it would have been a very bad situation.”
Keating and Spivey are both thrilled to have helped the dogs. Both dogs should make full recovers within two to three weeks.
“This dog is going to find a new home,” said Keating. “He is going to be somebody’s best friend.”