Pooch Gets Prosthetic Paw
"Peg-Leg Polo" thrives with new artificial paw.
A new procedure once reserved for people is now available for your pet.
For the the Swift family of Nashville, Tennessee it began with one of those family nightmares: Friends were over for Christmas, and one friend accidentally ran over their dog.
The family was faced with grim decisions.
There were three options for Polo, the 9-year-old Siberian husky: amputate the leg and become a three-legged dog, commit to multiple surgeries -- a minimum $5,000 bill and no guarantee of success -- or something relatively new: a fake paw, a dog prosthetic.
Small-animal surgeon Trey Calfee of Nashville Vet Specialists fit Polo with a custom prosthetic paw.
He will use a temporary prosthetic for several months, then the vets will study the wear and recast for a perfect fit.
The prosthetic cost $995, about 1/3 of the cost of surgery.
Polo is a big dog, and while the Swifts waited for the prosthetic, they got a glimpse of what his life would be with three legs.
They said he fell over a lot.
Now that's over: They said he uses his prosthetic like a real paw.
Polo rests a lot and tires out more easily, they said, but the new paw has brought him much closer to the dog he used to be.