Anthony Overcomes LCPD in a Big Way
Our first post in our new series, Tails of Triumph, is about a little Chihuahua named Anthony. We bring his story to light because it truly is a story of triumph in a big way!
Anthony was the only boy in his litter, much like Howie. He began frequently limping at the very young age of 3 months old. His owner, Brett Colton, took him to the vet after the symptoms did not improve and he was diagnosed with LCPD. Brett was troubled by the cost of the surgery, looking for donations within his community and using his Social Security payments, putting the dog’s needs over his own.
When Anthony finally made it to the operating table to extract the disfigured femoral head there were many complications. During the surgery, he had to be brought out of sedation because his heart rate had dropped to an unsustainable level. This led to three days in intensive care and a longer recovery. During recovery fluid began to build up in Anthony’s body, starting in his affected leg and traveling to his lungs, heart and brain. He wasn’t able to use his leg because it was so sore.
Brett took Anthony to the vet multiple times to extract the fluids. After a while, the vet decided to gather other opinions about Anthony’s condition by consulting with specialists from the University of California, Davis’ Animal Hospital. After reviewing Anthony’s health, the specialists were inconclusive on how to help him. They told Brett that there was nothing else they could do for poor Anthony and it may be better to end his suffering by putting him down.
Brett was feeling hopeless and refused to believe this was the only way for Anthony, “they told me I needed to put him down, there was nothing I could do.” Growing up in foster care Brett had never had family of his own and felt close to his dog, they had a special emotional connection, “I’d be devastated without him.”
At six months old, Brett paid for two additional surgeries and vet bills that amounted to over $900 for Anthony. The first surgery helped clear out the fluids that were building up in his body and the vet was hopeful for his recovery. However at seven months, Anthony’s health took a turn for the worst and the vet decided surgery was needed to amputate Anthony’s affected leg.
Brett was distraught, but Anthony began to recover. He began to teach him how to use a dog wheelchair, which works as a tripod in this case since he has three legs. The wheelchair was donated by an anonymous person via Brett’s Facebook page, which he maintained for donations during the whole process. Anthony got the hang of it and began to be his puppy self again. He now uses the wheelchair to go on trips to the park with Brett, he doesn’t let it slow him down. “At this point, I’m watching his quality of life,” Brett said, “it’s pretty fantastic having him around. It’s really heartwarming to give him love and receive it back.”
I asked Brett what he learned from going through this process and he told me that, “having (Anthony) has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. I don’t have any kids or family, as I grew up in foster care so having him as my son is pretty special.” His advice is to other dog owners is to, “stay strong and never give up on these wonderful babies.”