Rosie may become a prosthetic poodle

Posted: Wednesday, August 26, 2009 5:25 pm | (6) Comments

RACINE - If you don't look at her back half, Rosie looks like any other miniature poodle - cute, petite, with bright brown eyes.

It's her back legs - just like her back story - that are horrific.
Here  is Rosie, our minature poodle with the deformed backwards legs
Douglas Reichert, left, and Dr. Brian Ray of Belle City Veterinary Hospital, 4701 Spring St., discuss treatment options for Rosie, a poodle with disfigured back legs, Wednesday August 26, 2009.
Mark Hertzberg
  Rosie was seized July 23, 2009 by the Hot Spring County [Arkansas] Sheriff's 
  Department and an anti-cruelty group in Rockport, Ark. She was one of 34 
  dogs rescued from an unscrupulous breeder's filthy trailer.

 The Malvern (Ark.) Daily Record reported, "Many of the dogs were in poor
  health, covered in feces and urine, and living in cages that in some places
  were stacked up to the ceiling of the residence."

  Rosie - who'd been bred to produce litters of puppies - had arrived with a  
  skin condition, fleas and an ear infection.
Besides all of that, she had a special problem, says Dr. Brian Ray of Belle City Veterinary Hospital in Racine. She had a congenital problem: kneecaps that slide in and out of their joints.

Because it was never surgically corrected, and in view of her caged existence, her hind legs are now horribly twisted. Ray called her problem a "severe grade 4," with 4 being the highest level. She cannot defecate or urinate without soiling herself, and hobbles around on her rear knees.
"The amazing thing is, they bred this dog. Can you believe it?" said Mary Palmer as Rosie was being examined Wednesday. She said Rosie's case was being used to prosecute the breeder.

Palmer is president and founder of Northcentral Maltese Rescue, a Racine-based nonprofit. She accepted Rosie from the Arkansas anticruelty group which had too much on its hands without having to deal with Rosie's special medical problem.

Palmer plans to find a way for her group to pay for whatever comes next. She knows it will likely get very expensive but said, "She's in rough shape, but this is a happy little dog.

"You can't save all of them, I understand that," Palmer said. "But there are some that come along that touch your heart so deeply that you can't turn away. [Read about another case where we helped Michael, a dog with a similar, but not as severe, problem]

"We're just jumping in with both feet."

The "both feet" metaphor is ironic considering that Rosie is highly likely to lose two of hers to partial amputation of her deformed limbs.

What comes after that could get very interesting. Joining Ray Wednesday in examining Rosie was Doug Reichert, a licensed prosthetist with Reichert & Kelsey, Kenosha [Wisconsin]. They are considering having Reichert make Rosie two prosthetic, removable legs.

At one point Rosie tried to thank Reichert for his concern with two air-licks toward his face.

Reichert has never done prosthetics for a nonhuman before, but he thinks he could help. After amputation, he told Ray, "If I have a femur, that's all I need."

If they choose that route, the dog's prosthetics could be something like the leaf-spring prosthetic feet that South African runner Oscar Pistorius has, Reichert said.

Another option being pondered is to get Rosie a cart - essentially replacing her useless rear legs with wheels. By day's end Wednesday, after talking to a cart manufacturer, Ray was leaning toward trying that first.

"If we can avoid surgery it would be best," he said. "I think it would be the quickest route to having her running around and having some fun."
Rosie Gets Her Wheels!
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Puppy mill survivor heading for surgery, prosthetic legs

Posted: Thursday, September 24, 2009 3:30 pm 

RACINE - Rosie, the miniature poodle rescued from an Arkansas puppy mill, is getting a new pair of legs. Artificial legs, that is, following surgery to amputate part of her useless, deformed rear legs. Northcentral Maltese Rescue's directors decided Tuesday that it's worth taking the rare step of having prosthetics made for this minuscule poodle.

The group's president and founder Mary Palmer said there were numerous reasons, despite the fact that Rosie can wheel around in a small cart that hoists her rear legs. The dog can't find a comfortable sleeping position in the cart; she can't climb steps in it; and she cannot urinate or defecate without soiling herself, among other reasons. Also, "From the knee down is pretty much useless for her," Palmer added.

Dr. Brian Ray of Belle City Veterinary Clinic will perform the surgery Monday [Sept. 28, 2009]. Palmer said Ray will leave enough of a stump below Rosie's knees to attach her artificial legs.

Doug Reichert, a licensed prosthetist with Reichert & Kelsey in Kenosha, said he will donate the prosthetics. It will be his first time making prosthetics for a nonhuman. Reichert said Rosie will start with "stubbies," then graduate to a longer pair so she can get used to the new legs gradually.

Palmer said Rosie will always have the cart as another mobility option, even if her new legs work out fine. And if they do, the next step will be putting her up for adoption. "Eventually she will need a home," said Palmer, Rosie's current foster mother. "Eventually she will be up for adoption, and it will have to be a special home."
Dr. Brian Ray of Belle City Veterinary Clinic operates on Rosie, the miniature poodle rescued from an Arkansas puppy mill, Monday morning, September 28, 2009, as he amputates part of her useless deformed rear legs in preparation of Rosie getting artificial legs. 
Puppy mill survivor undergoes surgery to get new rear legs

Posted: Monday, September 28, 2009 6:15 pm

RACINE- Rosie, the miniature poodle rescued from an Arkansas puppy mill, underwent surgery Monday to amputate part of her deformed rear legs.

Dr. Brian Ray of Belle City Veterinary Clinic, who performed the surgery, called it successful afterward. He left about a 1-inch piece of each tibia, or shin bone, so that Rosie may be fitted with prosthetics that will clamp to each stump.

Reichert & Kelsey, a Kenosha company, plans to make and donate the prosthetics. It will be the first time they have worked with a nonhuman patient.

Rosie was seized, along with 33 other dogs, from a breeder's filthy trailer in late July. Because of her severely deformed rear legs, she ended up with Northcentral Maltese Rescue in Racine.
Sent: Wednesday, October 14, 2009 6:46 PM
Subject: Rosie first fitting

Below: Rosie is getting her first casts for her new legs.  It will take a week or two before she goes for the first actual fitting.  
Rosie Visits the Junior Girl Scouts with Mary Palmer
October 27. 2009
Rosie today getting fitted for her first set of proesthetic legs.  She will go back in a week for one more inch to be added.  Thanks to Doug Reichert CP, LP for all he is doing for Little Rosie.  

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