David Loyd told KODE, "We thought the leg could be saved, but then the x-rays showed that most of his bones were shattered, so it was necessary to have the leg amputated. But either way, we had already decided to adopt him." Rambo's wounds have healed and he has regained all the weight he lost after being abandoned in the countryside south of Carthage. "Oh, he's happy...the way he is, I mean. He gets allot of love and he's pretty special", Loyd said with obvious admiration for the dog's resilience. "He doesn't seem to notice his disability, or the winter weather. He usually spends the night inside. And then once daylight hits he's ready to head outdoors." Rambo's case is not unusual. Veterinarians say that one of the most visible pet disabilities is a missing limb, but despite the attention it gets from humans, animals hardly seem to notice the difference.
Dr. Ben Leavens, Veterinarian at Main Street Pet Care in Joplin agrees, "When a human loses a limb, you have all kinds of psychological issues to deal with too, and that goes on for the rest of their life, but dogs and cats don't really care when they lose a limb. They wake up from surgery, and sniff their wound. Wherever that wound may be, they'll kind of sniff it, and they go, 'that's interesting', then they just walk off." Dr. Leavens also reminds us that animals with disabilities sometimes require a little extra care and consideration…especially during winter, "As far as seasonal changes, the biggest things are injuries from a slip and fall. A dog with only three legs is in allot more risk on slick surfaces, so you definitely have an issue with a three-legged dog being outdoors on ice in the wintertime. It's allot more difficult."
Veterinarians recommend clearing ice and snow from steps and walkways where your special needs pets travel, and check their paws for ice, especially if your pet has tufts of hair between their toes on which ice balls can form. You might even consider having your pet wear booties which are available at specialty stores, or you're handy with needle and thread, maybe you'd prefer to make your own. And when you walk your pets, use a harness instead of a collar. The harness gives your pet better support in case they fall.
"Rambo likes playing with the neighbor dog allot", Loyd said, smiling, "They play for hours on end, and he plays just as hard as the other dog. He has a good time. He even plays with the cats."