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October 18, 2010

Happy Returns: An HSVMA Canine Success Story

A year later, a young dog and his owner reunite with the HSVMA-RAVS team whose surgery changed their lives

Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association

  • Pyuppy and his owner, Dan, spend some quality time together after the surgery. HSVMA

  • A year later, a fully-recovered Pyuppy has returned to his active and happy lifestyle. HSVMA

By Cara Yanussi, CVT

We met Pyuppy a year ago, when he was brought to us after being hit by car. Veterinarians had told his owner, Dan, that the dog would need surgery on his right hind leg. Without it, this otherwise active dog would most likely suffer from chronic pain and arthritis in the years to come.

So Dan brought Pyuppy to a free HSVMA-RAVS clinic on the Quinault Indian Reservation in Tahola, Washington, hoping that there was something we could do for his constant and loyal companion.

Dr. Eric Davis, a long-time HSVMA-RAVS leader, examined Pyuppy and agreed to perform the surgery. The surgery went well, and a student and I were assigned to his case, keeping a careful watch over the young dog and ensuring his comfortable recovery. A few days later, he was cleared to go home to Dan.

What a difference a year (and surgery) makes

This year, when the HSVMA-RAVS team returned to the Quinault Reservation, I was hoping to see Dan and Pyuppy. Luckily, just two days into our stay, we received news that they would be coming for a visit the following day.

When they arrived, I could hardly believe my eyes—standing before me was a strong and magnificent husky mix, nothing like the young pup with a broken leg and atrophied muscles that I had seen just a year before.

The transformation was powerful. As several staff members gathered to watch our reunion, it was hard for anyone to keep a dry eye. We were amazed to see this fine creature, who once seemed so discouraged and weak, now bounding around us and playing fetch with his owner.

Looking back on this experience, and on every HSVMA-RAVS trip I have had the fortune to participate in, I know that the team makes a difference—I see it in the faces of the owners who trust us with their pets, and I hear it from the students who come to learn. And while I always come home from these trips having gained new knowledge and perspective, I returned from this trip with an incredible story, one that I will cherish and share with friends forever.

Cara is a certified veterinary technician and an avid HSVMA-RAVS volunteer. This is her third year participating in our field clinics.

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