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Puppy who lost front legs learns to walk

Tuesday August 14th, 2012

By DogTime staff

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Panda Paws Rescue founder Amanda Giese and London five days after the dog’s surgery. (Photo credit: Gary Walters/Helix Inc.)

A Pit Bull Terrier puppy is making headlines for his perseverance following a tragic fall that left him without his two front legs.

The six-month-old pup’s front legs were shattered when he fell three stories from a window. His paws and stomach were also burned on the hot pavement.

The pup’s previous owners left his severe injuries untreated for a month. By the time that he came to the Humane Society of Del Norte in Crescent City, Calif., his front legs were in terrible shape.

Knowing the puppy had a long road to recovery ahead of him, the staff at the Humane Society contacted Panda Paws, a rescue organization that specializes in caring for dogs with serious medical issues.

Panda Paws Founder and President Amanda Giese explained that upon examining the pup, now named London in honor of the 2012 Olympic Games, veterinarians decided that the best course of action was to amputate his two front legs.

“Radiographs revealed his front legs were severely fractured and shattered,” Giese told The Huffington Post.

Dr. Brandon Sherman of the Animal Care Clinic in Vancouver, British Columbia explained that, had London’s previous owners taken him to the vet for medical treatment immediately following his three-story fall, the pup would have been able to keep his legs.

“This was a good option for London,” Sherman said of the amputation surgery, “he’s got a good chance of having a good quality of life.”

Sherman donated half of the cost of the surgery, and according to the Panda Paws site, donations were able to cover the remainder.

Amazingly, before the stitches have even healed, London has learned to adapt to his new two-legged life by learning to walk on his hind legs.

“When he fell he was pretty much stuck where he was until he eventually learned how to navigate around,” Giese told The Huffington Post. “He gets around by scooting his body using his hind legs and if he needs to steady himself he uses his face as a frontal tripod support.”

London will eventually be fitted with an all-terrain wheelchair, which will help alleviate the stress to his back and allow him to get around easily. But in the meantime, the determined London is just like any other six-month-old pup, Giese said, despite all that he’s been through and the extent to which he has had to adapt.

“He plays, he’s happy, he enjoys rolling in the grass just as any able-bodied canine would on these hot summer days,” the Panda Paws president explained. “To us, he’s our little gold medalist. We knew he was definitely a winner, definitely going to succeed,” she added.

London will begin physical therapy after his two-week recovery period and should be up for adoption in the near future.

“He’s going to make a great pet for somebody who’s willing and able to care for his needs,” Sherman said.

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