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Old 11-26-2010, 01:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Ectrodactyly

Does anyone know of a doberman, or other breed of dog born with ectrodactyly surgically corrected successfully?

We have an 18 month puppy that was born extrodactyly, we visited many vets, general surgeons, orthopedic surgeons and they all told us to remove the leg, all but one vet in Virginia. Apparently she has a clinic that works with these pets and she offers strong argument to not remove it at this time. If in the future it becomes arthritic and gives her a problem to deal with it at that time.

Miz Scarlet appears to not be in any discomfort, she is a happy active dog with an enormous amount of energy and drive. She not only keeps up with, but out plays her siblings and would keep going if we didn't stop her. She is a loving pup and seems to get great pleasure when pleasing us.

I am interested to know if anyone out there knows of any other dog with this kind of birth defect, if it was corrected and the vet that performed the corrective surgery.

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Old 11-26-2010, 01:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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extrodactyly.................'lobster claw' ? i have never seen this before in any animal myself.
Not sure what to suggest.

Big Hugz to your Miz Scarlet!
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Old 11-26-2010, 02:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Is the vet's name Dr. Danoff? She has experience with a Doberman with a similar condition. She is the vet whose dog Stella was stolen by Alla McGeary (and friends?) in an infamous battle a year or so ago. I have my opinion, obviously, about the case, but, more importantly, she has experience at living with and treating this orthopedic condition. Here is a link to a thread on another forum about Dr. Danoff:
John Getter's Email re Stella and Photos of Stella with Dr. Danoff - Dog Show News Network Forums

Here is a photo of Dr. Danoff with Stella (from the thread):
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Old 11-26-2010, 02:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You posted pics of your girl here before, didn't you?

I dunno, certainly not an expert opinion, but just one from my gut--if the leg isn't an injury risk, and isn't seemingly causing her any pain, I'd leave it be.

Why do an amputation, with all the pain and recovery of that, for no good reason?
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Old 11-26-2010, 02:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Is the vet's name Dr. Danoff? She has experience with a Doberman with a similar condition. She is the vet whose dog Stella was stolen by Alla McGeary (and friends?) in an infamous battle a year or so ago. I have my opinion, obviously, about the case, but, more importantly, she has experience at living with and treating this orthopedic condition. Here is a link to a thread on another forum about Dr. Danoff:
John Getter's Email re Stella and Photos of Stella with Dr. Danoff - Dog Show News Network Forums

Here is a photo of Dr. Danoff with Stella (from the thread):


Yes, Dr. Danoff is the one vet that told me to leave the leg until such time it gives her a problem. As a matter of fact Kim was considering taking Mizzy to keep for herself, but she could not take her until she was a couple of years old as she would be spending the day with her at her practice. We did spend quite a bit of time talking and texting for about 6 months and then just slowly stopped. I have considered contacting her again, I think if I make the trip down to her practice and she sees Mizzy she will fall in love and will want to keep her.

Dr. Danoff gave up her regular vet practice and started an animal rehab practice with under water treadmills, electro treatments, massage, etc.
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Old 11-26-2010, 03:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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[quote=RedFawnRising;807616]You posted pics of your girl here before, didn't you?

Yes I did post a photo of Miz Scarlet and her mother for the calendar. The photo was when she was much younger. If you look hard you can barely make out her foot, but it is not clearly visible in that photo.

I am not talking about removing the leg, but rather if anyone has heard of successfull reconstruction surgery.

If it ever does come down to amputation I would consider an artificial leg. Kim Danoff can hook me up with a vet in the Carolinas who has invented an artificial limb that is perminently attached.

Here is a photo of Mizzy from last winter, you can clearly see her leg in this photo, and as you can see she doesn't let it stop her from enjoying physical activiity. She has no clue she is handicapped

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Old 11-26-2010, 04:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Wait, it looks like she uses the leg just fine. Does she put full weight on it?

If so, why is anyone even considering amputation? Unless it does cause her pain...
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Old 11-26-2010, 04:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I agree with RFR - if Miz Scarlett is doing fine with it, Leave It. She can play and she doesn't know that she is slightly different...so why do anything. Not all dogs or people are perfect but the body is amazing and adapts. Obviously your dog has done very well adapting.
Remember, surgeons (no offense) tend to think in terms of surgery...so, of course, they would try to push surgery.
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Old 11-26-2010, 04:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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do you have antmore pic from the front?
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Old 11-26-2010, 04:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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If she is able to function normally, I am not sure why you need to do anything. Frequently, dogs with this condition have a too-short deformed leg... these dogs will try to use the leg that doesn't work simply because it is there... they fall, they stress their joints by moving improperly, etc. (like Stella)... these dogs are probably better off, more mobile and comfortable, more structurally sound if the leg is amputated. For the most part, tripod dogs do great!

As for Dr. Danoff... not everyone considers her in a good light. I certainly do not! As far as I can tell, she has no experience addressing the issues of animals like this... she simply collects them. I would NEVER place ANY animal with her! This makes for long reading and I am not sure that it is still all there, any more... the written exchange between Dr. Danoff and DAR&E (Dr. Danoff's complaints about Stella's behavior, that she still wasn't housebroken, that she falls all the time [whole house slippery wood floors with no rugs to help Stella], that she doesn't have a specialty in nutrition so how was she to know two cans of Science Diet dog food weren't enough [huh???], blah blah blah) are revealing, to say the least... mypromisetostella.com . I don't know what the concensus is on this board (I wasn't here when it was going on), but I consider Alla McGeary to be a hero for saving Stella from life with Dr. Danoff.
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Old 11-26-2010, 07:05 PM   #11 (permalink)
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She has strenth in the single digit and not in the multiple digits, she tripods most of the time, however, she does pivit on that leg and does put it down when she is in a full run. There is the problem as I see it. Since when she does put that leg down her weight is on a single bone. I read an article where they did surgery on a Siberian in Canada where they braced both leg bones together, then they reconstructed the foot to one foot and the dog did quite well. The article does not say who did the surgery or where in Canada they did it.

As for me and my wife our concern is Miz Scarlet and we are trying to do what is best for her, not Danoff or Alla. I did have extensive conversations with Dr. Danoff during the first few months of Mizzy's life and I did hear her side of the story. I never had any conversation with Alla so I don't know her side. I do know there was a trial and she was convicted even though she did not attend her own trial. I was not there during the Stella issue and only know what I learned from hear-say, so I will not comment one way or the other.
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Old 11-26-2010, 07:18 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audrey1 View Post
I agree with RFR - if Miz Scarlett is doing fine with it, Leave It. She can play and she doesn't know that she is slightly different...so why do anything. Not all dogs or people are perfect but the body is amazing and adapts. Obviously your dog has done very well adapting.
Remember, surgeons (no offense) tend to think in terms of surgery...so, of course, they would try to push surgery.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it!



The problem is when she does put her weight on that leg it is usually in a full run and the weight is only on the single digit, not the other three. Therefore, I am thinking surgery. Only if it can be reconstructed where her weight will be supported by the entire foot and leg. I think it would make it stronger and not stress the joints or even break a bone.

At this point I am just exploring the posibilities out there so we can make an intelegent decission as what would be best for Mizzy.
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Old 11-26-2010, 07:24 PM   #13 (permalink)
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She has strenth in the single digit and not in the multiple digits, she tripods most of the time, however, she does pivit on that leg and does put it down when she is in a full run. There is the problem as I see it. Since when she does put that leg down her weight is on a single bone. I read an article where they did surgery on a Siberian in Canada where they braced both leg bones together, then they reconstructed the foot to one foot and the dog did quite well. The article does not say who did the surgery or where in Canada they did it.

As for me and my wife our concern is Miz Scarlet and we are trying to do what is best for her, not Danoff or Alla. I did have extensive conversations with Dr. Danoff during the first few months of Mizzy's life and I did hear her side of the story. I never had any conversation with Alla so I don't know her side. I do know there was a trial and she was convicted even though she did not attend her own trial. I was not there during the Stella issue and only know what I learned from hear-say, so I will not comment one way or the other.
Since I only know what the word means from wikipedia, could you clarify if your girl is 'missing' two toes on one foot...or how many toes on one foot? and which toes those are?
When you say her weight is on a single bone - you mean a single toe? Does she have only one toe on one of the feet or does she have two and are they the outside toes?
If so and since she uses it for full-out running, then obviously she feels comfortable enough for that. Her paw pads will cushion and the toe(s) she has will give her enough grip and stability. If she pivots on that leg, that's great - she's got good muscles and her muscles and structure have accommodated for it.
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Old 11-26-2010, 08:47 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Since I only know what the word means from wikipedia, could you clarify if your girl is 'missing' two toes on one foot...or how many toes on one foot? and which toes those are?
When you say her weight is on a single bone - you mean a single toe? Does she have only one toe on one of the feet or does she have two and are they the outside toes?
If so and since she uses it for full-out running, then obviously she feels comfortable enough for that. Her paw pads will cushion and the toe(s) she has will give her enough grip and stability. If she pivots on that leg, that's great - she's got good muscles and her muscles and structure have accommodated for it.


Please don't think I am trying to insult your or anybody else intelligence but I am going to try to explain it in it's simplest form.

the front leg of a dog has two bones, the ulna and the radius. These bones are tied together at the elbow and at the ankle by ligaments. Each bone in it's self is week, but together they have strength.

At the ankle there is the foot with 4 toes. Now Scarlet has both the ulna and radius, however, they are tied at the elbow with ligament but not at the ankle. She also has all 4 toes, only her foot is split into two with one toe attached to the ulna with ligament and the other 3 toes attached to the radius, but again the ligaments there are week and these three toes somewhat flop (no strength). When Scarlet puts her weight on that leg the weight tries to seperate the bottom of the ulna and radius even more, kind of like a wish bone all of her weight is on one side of the wish bone. Since Scarlet does not know she is handicapped and runs full bore with the two healthy puppies, her sibblings, my concern isshe is running on one toe and one of the two bones of the foreleg. I believe this is putting strain on the ankle joint and the ulna bone it's self.

Now the article I read from Canada, they operated on a Siberian Husky with a the exact same problem. They put a stainless steel plate in the foreleg and screwed the two bones to the plate. This transfers the weight form one bone to both bones increasing the strength of that leg. They also reconstructed the foot into one solid foot instead of two partial portions of a foot which takes the weight off of one toe.

If there is such an operation that could make things better for Mizzy then I am willing to spent what ever it takes to do this for her.

I again must say I am not trying to insult anyone by explaining things so simple and the wish bone explains it quite well, joined together at top and seperated at the bottom.
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Old 11-26-2010, 08:54 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Please don't think I am trying to insult your or anybody else intelligence but I am going to try to explain it in it's simplest form.

the front leg of a dog has two bones, the ulna and the radius. These bones are tied together at the elbow and at the ankle by ligaments. Each bone in it's self is week, but together they have strength.

At the ankle there is the foot with 4 toes. Now Scarlet has both the ulna and radius, however, they are tied at the elbow with ligament but not at the ankle. She also has all 4 toes, only her foot is split into two with one toe attached to the ulna with ligament and the other 3 toes attached to the radius, but again the ligaments there are week and these three toes somewhat flop (no strength). When Scarlet puts her weight on that leg the weight tries to seperate the bottom of the ulna and radius even more, kind of like a wish bone all of her weight is on one side of the wish bone. Since Scarlet does not know she is handicapped and runs full bore with the two healthy puppies, her sibblings, my concern isshe is running on one toe and one of the two bones of the foreleg. I believe this is putting strain on the ankle joint and the ulna bone it's self.

Now the article I read from Canada, they operated on a Siberian Husky with a the exact same problem. They put a stainless steel plate in the foreleg and screwed the two bones to the plate. This transfers the weight form one bone to both bones increasing the strength of that leg. They also reconstructed the foot into one solid foot instead of two partial portions of a foot which takes the weight off of one toe.

If there is such an operation that could make things better for Mizzy then I am willing to spent what ever it takes to do this for her.

I again must say I am not trying to insult anyone by explaining things so simple and the wish bone explains it quite well, joined together at top and seperated at the bottom.
OH, OK! Thanks! I now understand. How unusual. Thank you for explaining. Yes, I can see why surgery would be recommended. Best to you and Mizzy.
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Old 11-26-2010, 09:01 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Thanks for the explanation. That made it very clear.
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Old 11-26-2010, 11:29 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Renorey View Post
Please don't think I am trying to insult your or anybody else intelligence but I am going to try to explain it in it's simplest form.

the front leg of a dog has two bones, the ulna and the radius. These bones are tied together at the elbow and at the ankle by ligaments. Each bone in it's self is week, but together they have strength.

At the ankle there is the foot with 4 toes. Now Scarlet has both the ulna and radius, however, they are tied at the elbow with ligament but not at the ankle. She also has all 4 toes, only her foot is split into two with one toe attached to the ulna with ligament and the other 3 toes attached to the radius, but again the ligaments there are week and these three toes somewhat flop (no strength). When Scarlet puts her weight on that leg the weight tries to seperate the bottom of the ulna and radius even more, kind of like a wish bone all of her weight is on one side of the wish bone. Since Scarlet does not know she is handicapped and runs full bore with the two healthy puppies, her sibblings, my concern isshe is running on one toe and one of the two bones of the foreleg. I believe this is putting strain on the ankle joint and the ulna bone it's self.

Now the article I read from Canada, they operated on a Siberian Husky with a the exact same problem. They put a stainless steel plate in the foreleg and screwed the two bones to the plate. This transfers the weight form one bone to both bones increasing the strength of that leg. They also reconstructed the foot into one solid foot instead of two partial portions of a foot which takes the weight off of one toe.

If there is such an operation that could make things better for Mizzy then I am willing to spent what ever it takes to do this for her.

I again must say I am not trying to insult anyone by explaining things so simple and the wish bone explains it quite well, joined together at top and seperated at the bottom.
Yeah, I think you filled in some big gaps, with this explanation, that were puzzling folks trying to follow along.

From the picture you posted, and prior to your explanation of Mizzy's internal anatomy, it just looks like her body has an extra "bonus" appendage there, and since she is running "full bore" on it, as you say, surgery sounded a bit drastic.

As a human who has endured a couple big ortho surgeries, I can't say I recommend it as a lot of fun

If, however, she could have all the benefits you're describing, then it may be worth it. One other thing I'd investigate before making your decision, is to find out what quality resources--if any--you have in the area for canine PT.

We have nearly nothing where I am, and it's a problem. Even if you take her somewhere for a great surgeon, the aftercare, I'd imagine, is going to be about as important as the skill of the actual surgeon.
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Old 11-27-2010, 08:55 AM   #18 (permalink)
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This is going to be a little lengthy.

The problem, when talking to three different orthopedic surgeons (one is supposed to be the best in the NY/NJ area) is that they all told us there is no surgery that can correct this condition except amputation. The vet that did our pups' ears mentioned Kim Danoff and Stella. I googled her and reached out to her and had extensive conversations with her. I read above that everyone is not in favor of her and I only know the story second hand, but it was Kim who convinced me not to amputate the leg. Every other vet told me the younger the dog the better she would be able to adapt to three legs. Kim said "she is tripodding now so she should have no problem adapting at any age." I thank Kim for convincing me to keep the leg until such time it becomes a problem. The article I recently read was about an experimental surgery done on a Siberian Husky in Canada. The article did not say anything about who did the surgery or even where, I am assuming it was at a teaching college, but that is ony my assumption.

As for PT I have already looked into that because even if Scarlet never has surgery to correct her problem I am thinking she will be come arthritic and with the strain on what is there I am also thinking she will be quite young when she does. Dr. Danoff suggested a great place about 30 miles away in Clifton, NJ that has all kinds of modern fantastic equipment for just about any kind of rehabilitation. I did have a consultation with the head vet there. At that time after examining and spending time with Mizzy he said there was nothing for him to do then, but he also thought she would be needing his services by the time she is 3 or 4 years of age.


Scarlet's life has been in question from the moment she was born, even before she was born. Everything with the pregnancy went as normal until the moment of birth, or should I say lack of birth. A trip to the EM clinic at 1:00 AM proved right as the litter had to be taken by "C" section. The vet came out from the back room to give us the good news with a BUT. The but was that one of the pups was born deformed. When we saw her we thought this can't be so bad, then the vet asked us if we wanted her to be put on the mother to nurse or if we wanted to just let her go. I thought at the time, if the vet asked us if we wanted her to give the pup a needle to put it down, I may have considered it, but to starve the poor thing was against everything I believe in; on the other hand my wife wouldn't consider it at all. As the days went on and we saw the rest of the pups make it to their feet and find mom to feed while Scarlet was still dragging herself in the whelping box to nurse (but still making it) I questioned if we did the right thing for her by letting her live. Well, Mizzy eventually made it to her feet and after a couple of days of falling over she quickly found a way to keep up with the others in the litter. As a matter of fact, I would dare to say she became the most tenacious of the bunch, the most energetic of the bunch, and the instigator that starts the play and is still wanting to play after the rest of her siblings poop out (pun intended).

It didn't take very long for my wife and I to know we made the right decision in keeping her in this world. We built a handicapped ramp on our deck and carpeted it for traction, she handles that much better than the steps.

My wife originally named her Scarlet after the Scarlet Letter Hester Prynne wore in the novel of the same name (I married an English teacher). We soon added the Miz after Scarlet O'Hara from Gone with the Wind because of the tenacity she shared with that character.

Scarlet's refusal to let her handicap become a limitation is such an inspiration to not only us, but to anyone who has met her. My wife would like to train her to become a therapy dog with the hope of inspiring physically challenged children.

Last edited by Renorey; 11-27-2010 at 09:05 AM..
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Old 11-27-2010, 03:59 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renorey View Post
This is going to be a little lengthy.

The problem, when talking to three different orthopedic surgeons (one is supposed to be the best in the NY/NJ area) is that they all told us there is no surgery that can correct this condition except amputation. The vet that did our pups' ears mentioned Kim Danoff and Stella. I googled her and reached out to her and had extensive conversations with her. I read above that everyone is not in favor of her and I only know the story second hand, but it was Kim who convinced me not to amputate the leg. Every other vet told me the younger the dog the better she would be able to adapt to three legs. Kim said "she is tripodding now so she should have no problem adapting at any age." I thank Kim for convincing me to keep the leg until such time it becomes a problem. The article I recently read was about an experimental surgery done on a Siberian Husky in Canada. The article did not say anything about who did the surgery or even where, I am assuming it was at a teaching college, but that is ony my assumption.

As for PT I have already looked into that because even if Scarlet never has surgery to correct her problem I am thinking she will be come arthritic and with the strain on what is there I am also thinking she will be quite young when she does. Dr. Danoff suggested a great place about 30 miles away in Clifton, NJ that has all kinds of modern fantastic equipment for just about any kind of rehabilitation. I did have a consultation with the head vet there. At that time after examining and spending time with Mizzy he said there was nothing for him to do then, but he also thought she would be needing his services by the time she is 3 or 4 years of age.


Scarlet's life has been in question from the moment she was born, even before she was born. Everything with the pregnancy went as normal until the moment of birth, or should I say lack of birth. A trip to the EM clinic at 1:00 AM proved right as the litter had to be taken by "C" section. The vet came out from the back room to give us the good news with a BUT. The but was that one of the pups was born deformed. When we saw her we thought this can't be so bad, then the vet asked us if we wanted her to be put on the mother to nurse or if we wanted to just let her go. I thought at the time, if the vet asked us if we wanted her to give the pup a needle to put it down, I may have considered it, but to starve the poor thing was against everything I believe in; on the other hand my wife wouldn't consider it at all. As the days went on and we saw the rest of the pups make it to their feet and find mom to feed while Scarlet was still dragging herself in the whelping box to nurse (but still making it) I questioned if we did the right thing for her by letting her live. Well, Mizzy eventually made it to her feet and after a couple of days of falling over she quickly found a way to keep up with the others in the litter. As a matter of fact, I would dare to say she became the most tenacious of the bunch, the most energetic of the bunch, and the instigator that starts the play and is still wanting to play after the rest of her siblings poop out (pun intended).

It didn't take very long for my wife and I to know we made the right decision in keeping her in this world. We built a handicapped ramp on our deck and carpeted it for traction, she handles that much better than the steps.

My wife originally named her Scarlet after the Scarlet Letter Hester Prynne wore in the novel of the same name (I married an English teacher). We soon added the Miz after Scarlet O'Hara from Gone with the Wind because of the tenacity she shared with that character.

Scarlet's refusal to let her handicap become a limitation is such an inspiration to not only us, but to anyone who has met her. My wife would like to train her to become a therapy dog with the hope of inspiring physically challenged children.

Do the therapy dog thing, please.

And, the next time I get so very discouraged--to the point of despairing--when someone comes on here, asks for medical advice for a Doberman clearly in trouble and in need of veterinary care, and then they dismiss the advice outright...I'm going to search out this thread and read it again.

I need reminders that there are in fact humans who do their utmost for their Doberman's health.

Ear rubs to Miz Scarlett. And ask your wife what she thinks about the "sequel" by Alexandra Ripley
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Old 11-27-2010, 04:36 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renorey View Post
This is going to be a little lengthy.

The problem, when talking to three different orthopedic surgeons (one is supposed to be the best in the NY/NJ area) is that they all told us there is no surgery that can correct this condition except amputation. The vet that did our pups' ears mentioned Kim Danoff and Stella. I googled her and reached out to her and had extensive conversations with her. I read above that everyone is not in favor of her and I only know the story second hand, but it was Kim who convinced me not to amputate the leg. Every other vet told me the younger the dog the better she would be able to adapt to three legs. Kim said "she is tripodding now so she should have no problem adapting at any age." I thank Kim for convincing me to keep the leg until such time it becomes a problem. The article I recently read was about an experimental surgery done on a Siberian Husky in Canada. The article did not say anything about who did the surgery or even where, I am assuming it was at a teaching college, but that is ony my assumption.

As for PT I have already looked into that because even if Scarlet never has surgery to correct her problem I am thinking she will be come arthritic and with the strain on what is there I am also thinking she will be quite young when she does. Dr. Danoff suggested a great place about 30 miles away in Clifton, NJ that has all kinds of modern fantastic equipment for just about any kind of rehabilitation. I did have a consultation with the head vet there. At that time after examining and spending time with Mizzy he said there was nothing for him to do then, but he also thought she would be needing his services by the time she is 3 or 4 years of age.


Scarlet's life has been in question from the moment she was born, even before she was born. Everything with the pregnancy went as normal until the moment of birth, or should I say lack of birth. A trip to the EM clinic at 1:00 AM proved right as the litter had to be taken by "C" section. The vet came out from the back room to give us the good news with a BUT. The but was that one of the pups was born deformed. When we saw her we thought this can't be so bad, then the vet asked us if we wanted her to be put on the mother to nurse or if we wanted to just let her go. I thought at the time, if the vet asked us if we wanted her to give the pup a needle to put it down, I may have considered it, but to starve the poor thing was against everything I believe in; on the other hand my wife wouldn't consider it at all. As the days went on and we saw the rest of the pups make it to their feet and find mom to feed while Scarlet was still dragging herself in the whelping box to nurse (but still making it) I questioned if we did the right thing for her by letting her live. Well, Mizzy eventually made it to her feet and after a couple of days of falling over she quickly found a way to keep up with the others in the litter. As a matter of fact, I would dare to say she became the most tenacious of the bunch, the most energetic of the bunch, and the instigator that starts the play and is still wanting to play after the rest of her siblings poop out (pun intended).

It didn't take very long for my wife and I to know we made the right decision in keeping her in this world. We built a handicapped ramp on our deck and carpeted it for traction, she handles that much better than the steps.

My wife originally named her Scarlet after the Scarlet Letter Hester Prynne wore in the novel of the same name (I married an English teacher). We soon added the Miz after Scarlet O'Hara from Gone with the Wind because of the tenacity she shared with that character.

Scarlet's refusal to let her handicap become a limitation is such an inspiration to not only us, but to anyone who has met her. My wife would like to train her to become a therapy dog with the hope of inspiring physically challenged children.
Thank you so much for sharing this with us. And for explaining her condition so that we understood, in the earlier post. Miz Scarlett is lucky to have you as parents and I think you, your wife and Miz Scarlett have taught a lot of us about life and love.
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