Milo has been through more in his first three months than most pups go through in a lifetime. The Treeing Walker Coonhound was born with a rare congenital defect in which both elbows are luxated, forcing his paw pads to turn upwards.
Milo’s disability was more than his breeder could handle. When he was 5-weeks-old, she reached out to Jennie Hays, founder of Oliver and Friends Farm Rescue and Sanctuary.
Hays agreed to take him in, not yet realizing the extent of Milo’s disability.
“Initially, they sent me a small video and the quality was pretty crappy,” Hays told Mother Nature Network. “I was surprised when he showed up and thought, ‘Oh wow, this is a severe defect.’ Our regular veterinarian wasn’t able to do surgery on it because it was such a rare condition.”
Rather than walking on all four paws like a healthy puppy, Milo “army crawled” on his chest, using his twisted front legs to pull himself along.
“He was putting pressure on the sides of his wrists and was getting pressure sores. His chest never left the ground,” Hays said. “It was kind of if we’re going to do something, we better do something now. He was certainly on the road to causing a lot of skeletal issues, too.”
Milo’s surgery was a success, but it wasn’t time to celebrate just yet. The poor little pup was fitted with large casts on both front limbs as well as his chest. Luckily, he quickly learned to adjust.
“When he first came home, when he was first in that full frontal cast, he was miserable,” said Hays. “And he was so confused and I’m sure he was pain. But by the end of that first week, he was like, I guess this is my life now, and he went back to his normal, feisty self. And then he just didn’t seem to notice them anymore.”
After several weeks, Milo had a second procedure to remove the pins from his legs. He is currently staying at the veterinary hospital while he heals and builds his strength. He has months of intensive rehab and physical therapy in his future, but Hays is devoted to continuing his care when he comes home.
Although he is yet to stand on all four paws or walk, Milo is starting to sit up on his own! If he continues to make such wonderful progress, he’ll be running and romping like an average pup in no time!
Milo’s veterinary bills are expected to reach $3,000 or more. In order to care for him and the other dogs, cats and livestock at Oliver and Friends Farm, Hays depends on donations from other animal lovers. You can contribute to Milo’s care through PayPal using the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org or on Venmo at Venmo.com/oliverandfriends.
H/T to Mother Nature Network