In 2016, Franny was rescued from a puppy mill, where she was kept in a small kennel her whole life. The 11-year-old Shetland Sheepdog was experiencing a severe deformity in both of her front legs from inflammatory arthritis. Leg wraps didn’t help, and bone eventually became exposed from the way Franny was having to awkwardly bear her weight.
In order to provide Franny with the most comfort possible, Betty Kramek, DVM, MS, DACVS, amputated Franny’s front legs and fitted her with prosthetics. Franny’s new paws have had a great impact on her mobility and quality of life.
Now, Franny is on the move.
“Limb prosthetics are becoming a viable option in dogs that cannot tolerate the loss of one limb or have lost more than one leg,” says Kramek. The VMC is one of the very few places in the area that offer custom prostheses for companion animals. Kramek has also helped dogs with types of cancer that require amputation, but cases that require prosthetics are rare since many dogs can do well with three legs and custom prosthetics can be expensive.
Kramek says cases like these might be few and far between, but they’re impactful. “Use of the prosthetics has allowed Franny to stand upright and walk in a more normal position. They also protect the ends of the bone from pressure sores.”
Support shelter and rescued animals
Although she was a rescue dog, Franny was lucky to find her forever home, where her new family could support her through this leading-edge procedure.
You can help other rescue and shelter animals who haven't been adopted yet get a second chance at moving through life with ease, just like Franny. Consider making a gift to the VMC Shelter and Rescue Animal Medicine Fund, which relies on the generosity of donors and partnerships with Minnesota-based rescue organizations to provide funding for qualified rescue or shelter companion animals in need of specialty care.