Sally, an one-year-old Saluki, was first found hobbling in a Kuwaiti desert by a PAWS volunteer several months ago.
After taking Sally to a vet in Kuwait, it was discovered that her left hind leg had been severed, and the vet wanted to amputate her leg. The PAWS volunteer emailed Colorado State University and its vet hospital to see if this was sound advice.
A CSU animal surgeon responded back and said that amputating her leg was the sound thing to do, and he also said that Sally may make a good candidate for new research on grafting prosthetics to bone, which would prevent her from losing more of her leg.
PAWS flew Sally with the volunteer to Fort Collins, Colorado and they arrived Tuesday.
More on Sally’s experimental prosthesis after the jump.
While humans can be fitted with a prosthetic limb to be strapped on, dogs don’t take to them well. Egger [the CSU animal surgeon] wants to try an “ingrowth” prosthesis.
One concept involves inserting a metallic implant at the bone, attaching an artificial limb to the implant, and then allowing bone to grow around it.
“The real critical part that will make it work or not is whether we can get soft tissues like skin and muscle to grow into the metal that extends into the body,” he said.
Veterinarian Robert Taylor in Denver has been working on the concept, which perhaps one day could be transferred to humans, Egger said.
It could be a month or two before Sally gets her new leg, he said. He is looking at ways to raise funds to pay for materials, which he estimates could cost about $5,000.