| Karlene Wieland

Self-proclaimed Bionic Dog prepares to Help Others

Let’s step back to last year. It was a cold fall night, the Vice President of Quality Assurance (Koszi to her friends) ran outside for a last pit stop before her Bedtime Bone and tuck-in ritual.

She tripped over something and steadfastly acted like nothing happened. Puppy smile and swagger in tact, she ran back in the house, got her treat and went to bed. Well, fast forward to the next morning when she got up to run outside and did so just a little slowly. Turns out she had torn an injured knee. Our holistic veterinarian recommended acupuncture and supplements to help her mend and alleviate pain.

We did as prescribed and Koszi got her first acupuncture treatments and special supplements. For her, what was not to like? She was getting undivided attention and petting for an entire 30 minutes by not only her mom but the veterinarian too. That was followed by a treat that tasted like salmon (she didn’t need to know that the treat was actually a supplement designed to help increase blood flow and healing.)

After a number of treatments, the vet recommended that we take more aggressive measures. Surgery was impending.

Turns out the University of Minnesota has an extraordinary vet school which even includes large animals. Being half-Newfoundland, Koszi nearly qualifies for that status.
Koszi went through all of the requisite assessments and a treatment course was planned. She was officially about to become a bionic dog with the replacement of her knee.

The surgery was kind of a big deal, compounded by the fact, of course, that even with Koszi being a brilliant as she is, we couldn’t explain to her what was about to happen. As far as I could tell her approach was along the lines of “Cool, even more people are petting me now.”

The day of the surgery I waited outside in a makeshift cubicle as waiting room set-up. They brought her out after surgery.
We brought her home in a few brief days after she was cleared to be moved. She was carried home by my loving and very strong husband (did I mention she’s half-Newfoundland?). For the next six weeks she advanced from being carried to helping her walk with a sling and using a ramp to get to the yard to eventually losing the sling and the ramp and being allowed to go up and down stairs again.
This meant she was confined to one floor of the house which also meant so were the rest of us. (Slumber party anyone?)  It took nearly all spring for her to recover and most of summer to get her puppy groove back, so to speak.

Well, one of the things that happens in both of her breed(s), Newfoundland and Husky, is that not only is this injury prevalent but the arthritis that follows is as well.

So this Monday, the University of Minnesota Vet School contacted us to see if Koszi would like to be part of a study that helps her and other dogs who have these injuries and developed arthritis. So, this bionic dog is going to help herself and others along the way.

Her first appointment is on President’s Day. We will keep you posted.