When Brutus was just a puppy, his breeder left the young Rottweiler outside in freezing temperatures.
The pup suffered frostbite in all four paws. The breeder tried to salvage the puppy’s paws with an at-home amputation, but Brutus was maimed and couldn’t walk without pain.
Now 2 years old, Brutus is living with a dedicated owner in Loveland and has become the second dog ever known to receive four prosthetic limbs. He is learning to walk again with help from OrthoPets, an animal prosthetics developer in Denver, and pet orthopedics experts at Colorado State University’s James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
“I believe prosthetics will play a big role in the future of veterinary orthopedics,” said Dr. Felix Duerr, an assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences who practices small animal orthopedics and sports medicine at the university’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital. “Brutus shows how we can explore new technologies to find solutions, and how our partnerships with companies like OrthoPets really help.”
Fostering leads to fundraising
Laura Aquilina, the dog’s owner, has provided a caring home for Brutus for seven months in an attempt to find “better paws” for the young rottie. She began fostering Brutus, and more recently adopted him, after he had trouble navigating hardwood floors and stairs in his first foster home, and the family could not meet the disabled dog’s needs.
Aquilina and a pet rescuer in Canon City joined forces to raise nearly $12,500 for Brutus’ prosthetics and physical therapy through Go Fund Me, an online fundraising site for personal causes. The crowdfunding project was appropriately named “Better Paws for Brutus.”
In preparation for prosthetics, Brutus underwent paw surgery with Dr. Trent Gall, a CSU veterinary alumnus working in Longmont. The procedure removed bone fragments, dew claws, and two toes left from the botched amputation.