Tonka, the 3 legged dog
Organized by: Tina O'Malley
About Tonka: Tonka had his left front leg amputated before we rescued him at 10 weeks old. Now at 1-1/2 years old, he tore his ACL requiring two more surgeries. This injury would not heal on its own so the surgeries were a must. Tonka is gentle, sweet, lovable and deserves to be able to have a good life including running, jumping, and playing with his older sister Katie. Tonka quickly bonded with Katie as soon as he came into the family and they have been inseparable ever since. His family is completed with 3 rescued cats, my husband, and myself. Animals are extremely important to us which is why we both spent time as volunteer docents at the Detroit Zoological Society. Tonka is truly an essential part of our family and we all truly felt his absence when he was away having surgery.
About the Surgeries: Surgery is mandatory for a Torn ACL as it cannot heal on its own. The joint itself is like an unraveling rope that is not repairable. So they do a procedure called TPLO (Tibia Plateau Leveling Osteotomy). Here is what they did according to his vet, Lindsay Philips, DVM, “The left stifle joint was stabilized by rotating the proximal tibia and leveling the angle of the tibia plateau that the femur bone rests on.” However, Tonka also required a second surgery. We found from the x-rays that Tonka had an injury as a pup that caused his bone to have a deep slope as he grew. This slope made it necessary to do the Cranial Closing Wedge Osteotomy. Again according to Lindsay Philips, DVM, “…removing a wedge of bone from the cranial aspect of the tibia. Thus reducing the stress on the joint.”
Recovery: Tonka has rehabilitation therapy at home. His movements and activities are severely restricted to include only going out for bathroom trips on a leash, and with a sling to help support his weight, for 2 weeks . Tonka can not be let off his leash for the first 2 months. During that time there will be warm and cold compresses, a range of motion exercises, timed walks that will increase in duration, and more. Most of these therapies are to take place three times a day. In month 3 of recovery he should begin to gradually return to all activities including running, jumping and playing.
Prognosis: After healing takes place, Tonka has a good chance of regaining full function on the operated limb. Physical rehabilitation and maintaining a lean body weight will help to expedite recovery and optimize the use of the limb.
Where the funds will go: The funds will go to pay off high interest credit cards that were used to pay the vet bills for the surgery. It is important that we have these paid off in case of other emergencies. My husband and I have followed all the vet’s instructions fully and will continue to work hard to give Tonka every tool he needs to have the proper life he deserves. We humbly ask you for your financial support for Tonka. If you could only meet him, you would quickly fall in love as we did.