Thursday, April 15, 2010

New Possibilities for Carmella
A company called Ortho Pets is improving the lives of lame dogs and even some cats with custom-made braces and prostheses making normal ambulation easier and more comfortable.

After speaking with Dr. Muller a few weeks ago I did some reading and found that with rest and protection from further damage some ligaments can improve and in some cases heal.

Scar tissue can build up around damaged ligaments and strengthen them enough to bear the weight a dog normally puts on his or her legs.

Carmella now has an appointment for Wednesday, April 21st with a veterinary orthopedist named Dr. Corse of Northlake Veterinary Surgery who will take a look at her Carpal Ligament and make a mold of her right front leg which can then be used to create a custom brace.

I went to the website of Ortho Pets which seems to be the leader in the orthotic and prosthetic device field for animals, and what I saw was quite innovative!

After reading everything I e-mailed them and sent pictures of Carmella's leg, and one of the owners of the husband and wife-run business wrote me back with some initial recommendations.

Included was this link to a video of one of 4 types of devices used in cases like Carmella's in which the Carpal ligament is unstable and lax. This particular dog is wearing two braces of this type, and has the problm in both front legs. The dog, is able to get around quite well, and unlike with the surgery that is usually recommended for these dogs the legs are not fully rigid and the device allows for some natural bend in the leg. This type has a shoe at the bottom;

Here's a dog with a similar model but on just one front leg;

This one is another variation that does not have a shoe on it, for dogs that don't need quite as much support;

This is a dog with only 2 legs using two of their prosthetic devices!

The quote I was given for Carmella's particular orthotic is around $500 (for just the brace, not including whatever else she might need).

I don't know for sure whether this is paid for through the vet's office or directly from the company but I hope I can initially pay with Care Credit, as I don't have that kind of cash! I am still way far away from my financial goal and have several thousand dollars yet to raise. Carmella has had more than her share of bad luck for one lifetime, maybe even two lifetimes!

I've been trying to limit the amount of exercise she gets until she can get one of these, but that is pretty hard to do beause she tears around the house even when I let her into my room at night to get up on my bed. I'm always worried she's going to injure her leg further because she bounces around so much. She hardly ever just walks from one room to another; she runs at top speed and makes sharp, jarring turns just about whenever she moves. Giving her a rawhide bone keeps her still for awhile, but she is so high energy that  she'd nearly have to be sedated to get her to slow down!

In an effort to bring in some funds I've pulled out a few art pieces I made that I've held back for a few years, but will now offer these for sale to pay for Carmella's expenses. I hope there are historical collectors and other enthusiasts who would like to buy these.

The first two are paintings from my September 11th Series. They are the only remaining paintings I have, as the others were lost at a gallery and I have been unable to locate the rest of the set.

It Makes You Realize What's Really Important
12 1/2" X 12 1/2"
These are both framed.

George W. Bush in the Oval Office
12 1/8" X 15 1/4"

The third is a ceramic sculpture.
6" X 3 1/2" X 4"

The sculpture was inspired by Eskimo art.

Please leave a comment if you're interested in purchasing one or more of these art pieces and leave a way for me to contact you and I'll provide you my Paypal e-mail.

If you would like to help Carmella there are a number of different ways to do so;

1) Purchase one of the art items in this article

2) Buy a small Top Spot banner ad in my sidebar through Scratchback

3) Purchase jewelry from

4) Purchase supplies from my supply store at

5) And/Or use the donation link on the top right of my sidebar in whatever amount you can afford.

Please also forward the link to my blog to as many people you know as you can and ask that they be a part of the solution as well. I'm beginning to worry if things don't pick up soon that I may not be able to pay the minimum payment on my veterinary credit card. With your help the balance can eventually be paid off and we can get her the help she needs to fully heal from what has happened to her.

Keep Carmella walking and running!
My goal is $6,000

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