Dogs and cats come through our doors for various reasons, and many of them have something in common: they need life-saving medical attention. These pets may come to us from Austin Animal Center or from under-resourced shelters throughout Texas. Fortunately, APA!’s programs, such as our Medical Triage & Wellness Clinic, are able to provide the care needed to give these pets a chance at life.
Our skilled medical team cares for hundreds of pets each year with injuries more extensive than many shelters can care for including pets with severe orthopedic injuries.
Each case is approached with care and consideration for what will be the most beneficial and most comfortable solution to support animals throughout the remainder of their lives. Our veterinarians explore many paths to help the pet heal, and sometimes, in the case of orthopedic injuries, that may mean amputation of a limb. That’s what happened to Hercules, who arrived in our care with a badly wounded leg. The best medical attention from our team combined with the attentive care from his foster family could not save his leg. While Hercules’ skin and muscle were able to heal his bone simply couldn’t bear weight anymore. After his amputation surgery, however, the light came back into this senior boy’s eyes and is now a ball of energy and fun!
In some cases, our team knows immediately that amputation is the best choice. After being hit by a car and likely dragged, Paver’s wounds were severe enough that our veterinary medical specialists worked quickly to remove the damaged limb so that this young pup was able to rapidly get his zest back! Paver now moves through life as if romping on three legs is all he’s ever known!
Occasionally, pups come to us after amputation has occurred, like Miss Nora. We don't know her full story, but we do know that at just two months old one of her front legs had been removed, causing the remaining front leg to develop abnormally. Our staff and volunteer teams work daily to ensure she receives the care she needs, including a custom made sling that supports the front part of her body when she walks.
While It may feel sad or be hard to see a dog have only three legs, amputations are often the only way we can help dogs return to the feeling of normalcy after experiencing a traumatic event. It’s an honor to be able to provide the support these pups so deeply need and to help them find a loving home.