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Adonis was taken in by OCR after he was found wandering the streets of the lower mainland with a broken femur (the thigh bone of the back leg). His broken leg was completely non functional and he walked only on three legs. His fur was covered in mats and he weighed only 42 lbs.

Adonis was cared for by OCR for several months until the organization found a physiotherapist (Maria) with a love of dogs. She agreed to work with OCR and Adonis to seek the best surgical options available and, subsequent to any surgical treatment, to do his post surgical rehabilitation. Maria brought him home for fostering and searched for an orthopedic vet who could provide an opinion as to whether his leg could be saved, or whether amputation would be the only option.

After having Adonis examined at Animal Critical Care in Vancouver, the surgeon stated that she would not know if she could save the leg until the time of surgery. This was because the fracture appeared on X-Ray to be 1 to 2 years old. In addition, there was no union of the bones – confirming that this poor boy had been hobbling around for over one year with this broken leg.

On the day of surgery, all concerned were fully aware that amputation of the leg was quite possibly the most medically advisable outcome. Maria was in the waiting room for 3 hours, anxiously waiting for a report from the OR. After an hour, the vet assistant reported that the leg could be saved, but due to severe shortening of the soft tissues, it was unlikely that he would ever walk normally. After some consideration, Maria made the decision to go ahead with the procedure to unite the 2 sections of the femur, rather than amputate the leg.

Following the completion of surgery, the Dr had a discussion with Maria – it was restated that Adonis would likely walk without any bend of his knee, resulting in a ‘peg legged’ gait pattern. This was because the soft tissues around his knee had shortened significantly. It would be a challenge to regain flexibility of these tissues without damaging the surgical repair.

The surgical procedure involved reuniting the two ends of the femur and then applying a six inch plate and nine screws to hold the fracture in place. The rest of the work to regain the function of his leg would be up to the physiotherapist.

Maria applied her prior experience in working with humans to Adonis’s rehabilitation. His rehab required daily massage to his incision, and progressive exercises to regain the bend of his knee. A number of physical exercises were developed to strengthen the muscles required to support his reconstructed leg. With the help of friends, family and neighbors, he received a considerable amount of rehabilitation time and effort. This was a six month process. Against some considerable odds, and with the knowledge that the soft tissues (specifically ligaments and tendons) could fail at any time, Adonis eventually regained full knee flexion (full knee bending), walked without a limp, and could run with his other collie buddies. The only apparent difference between the two legs was a slight limp when he was running vigorously – and this was only noticeable to those with a ‘trained eye’.

Adonis (who is now Donny) has been in his ‘forever home’ since the day of his surgery – this was the day Maria and her husband decided he belonged with them. Maria often receives comments about what a great job she did with him, and her reply is always: ‘Donny has given me one hundred times what I could ever have given to him’.

Donny has been with Maria for 2 ½ years now, shows absolutely no signs of the neglect he must have suffered from in his earlier life, and still runs through the forest, goes on long walks, and loves to play with his friends, some of them canine, and others not……

2 weeks post-surgery
9 weeks post-surgery
Donny as TV Celebrity!