STILLWATER, Oklahoma - A puppy born with upside-down front paws is recovering from surgery at the Oklahoma State University Veterinary Center.

The university says, a five-week-old hound, was surrendered to an animal rescue organization. Dr. Erik Clary, associate professor of small animal surgery at the Center’s Veterinary Medical Hospital, took the case three weeks later.

“We evaluated Milo with our state-of-the-art CT scanner and identified his problem to be congenital dislocation of both elbows,” explained Clary. “With both elbows out of joint, Milo was unable to walk. Try as he may, the best he could do was an inefficient and seemingly uncomfortable ‘army crawl.’”

According to a news release from the university, Dr. Clary says he's seen only three patients like this in 27 years of practice.

With the rescue agency covering the cost of surgery, Dr. Clary and his team performed corrective surgery on January 9, 2019.

“Milo’s surgery was complicated,” said Clary. “For each of his elbows, we had to go into the joint and restore the alignment. Then we placed a pin across the joint to keep it straight while his growing bones continue to take shape and his body lays down the internal scar tissue that will be needed for long-term stability. All in all, Milo was under anesthesia for about 3 to 3 ½ hours.”

The team put Milo in a rigid splint. He'll wear the splint for about three weeks, then Dr. Clary will remove the pins from his elbows. If his elbows are stable, Milo will begin intensive rehabilitation therapy.

“We’re going to have to do some work to get some range of motion in his elbows and to teach him how to walk,” continued Clary. “It’s going to be a long haul. But if his elbows stay in place for the first three weeks after splint removal, he’s got a good chance of losing the army crawl and being able to walk as dogs should.”

The staff at the hospital has fallen in love with Milo.

“Milo’s a sweet and resilient dog. He quickly developed a real following in the hospital. Many a well-wisher checked in on his progress. And since he couldn’t ambulate or stand well with the splint in place, he was happy to find no shortage of student and staff volunteers willing to hold him and help him get outside when needed,” said Dr. Clary.

If you would like to help pay for Milo’s veterinary medical care, please contact Oliver and Friends Farm Rescue and Sanctuary at 405-655-9885. Donations to the nonprofit organization located in Luther, Oklahoma, are tax deductible.