Pullman – “Chocolate,” the Chesapeake Bay retriever that has captured the hearts of many, is out of surgery and is resting comfortably at WSU’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital. The large dog underwent a five hour procedure to help repair old breaks to both of his front legs that had healed improperly.
“I am pleasantly surprised at the range of motion we have in the left leg,” said WSU veterinary orthopedic surgeon Dr. Steve Martinez. The procedure involved removing muscle and ligament tissue that had become adhered to the bone callus formed when the broken leg healed improperly. The WSU Team measured an increase of range in motion from only 10% of normal, to now 80%. “It leaves me very optimistic that with proper physical therapy Chocolate will dramatically improve the use of his left leg.” said Dr. Martinez.
Surgery has been scheduled for noon on Monday to begin repair on Chocolate’s right leg. The primary goal has been to straighten the bones, while rehabilitation will add back the strength needed to support Chocolate’s weight. Additional surgeries may be required.
This morning, Chocolate was in good spirits, even showing signs of being playful. His playful nature is dependent upon close proximity of his favorite toy; a yellow rubber ball.
He will remain in WSU’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit over the weekend.
Chocolate was seen running at large by many residents of south central Washington with multiple fractures and dislocations to both front legs. Over a period of months, good Samaritans tried to coax the injured dog to them so they could seek care. Last week, Sonia Ayala of Pasco, Wash., a local resident was able to capture the dog and get him to a local veterinarian who then referred him to WSU’s teaching hospital.