Pets Helping Pets
VTS is the link between the generous gift of tissue donation and patients in need of bone and soft tissue transplants for orthopedics, ophthalmology and dentistry.
Every Transplant Has Two Stories
This Pets Helping Pets page is here to remind us all that there are two stories behind every graft. Click the tabs below to see the their stories!
Molly, the Donor
Our donor is “Molly”, an exuberant young golden lab – the heart and joy of her owner, Brad’s life. Somehow the side gate was open and Molly had gotten out. Brad came home and couldn’t find Molly, he saw the side gate open, looked down the street and saw a police car, and a crowd of people…. It was Molly – she had been hit by a car. When he arrived, it was too late to save Molly, but in his urgent thoughts at this sudden tragedy, Brad wondered about the possibility of tissue donation; ‘it’s done for humans; can animals donate to help other animals’? He quickly contacted his local veterinary office and luckily found a nearby VTS Donor Partner Hospital – he wanted to make something good come out of such a heart-wrenching tragedy. When our team went to pick up Molly’s remains at the pet hospital, Brad had included her ball, her leash, her blanket … the things Molly loved. Now, Molly has changed the lives of many dogs for the better.
Chet, the Recipient
Chet, the Springer Spaniel, is a hunting dog and a busy, beloved active family member with a perpetual- motion tail. He was at the lake with his family, swimming… he swam behind the family’s boat and before they could catch him, the propeller shattered Chet’s femur. There were so many small shards of bone but, Chet’s vet was able to save his leg with the help of a bone segment from a donor. Chet still hunts and swims thanks to donors like Molly. Pets Helping Pets….
Olivia, the Donor
Olivia was a beautiful, shy tabby cat. After quietly waiting at the shelter to be adopted, she was finally chosen! Her new family took her to the vet for a check-up, and kept her indoors for 6 months in order to gently acclimate her to her new family and home. Olivia had settled in nicely with her new family. They had planned to begin to let her outdoors on occasion in the springtime to explore her new surroundings. On her second trip outdoors, Olivia was hit by a car. She had a serious head injury and would not recover. Her owner was devastated. Shy Olivia had just begun to come out of her shell in her new home. When her veterinarian suggested that perhaps Olivia could be a Tissue Donor, her owner felt some relief from such a sad loss, knowing that Olivia would be able to help other animals in need. Through tissue donation, Olivia lives on in others. Pets Helping Pets…
Ivan, the Recipient
Ivan is an adventurous Siamese who fell out of a tree and fractured his mandible in three places. This was a severely comminuted fracture involving the symphyses, as well as the physes. His surgeon was able to wire it back together, but there was a lot of missing bone and concern that it might not heal well without using bone graft. With the help of tissue donation and the selfless forethought of owners like Olivia’s, Ivan’s surgeon was able to ensure that his mandible healed correctly. Today, Ivan has a normal bite and can continue his explorations – though now, from the safety of the INSIDE of his home! No more tree-climbing for Ivan!
Crickett, the Donor
Little Crickett was a flame point Siamese alone and scared in a shelter. The good news is that he was rescued by Bruce and Emily. Crickett busied himself getting into everything he could in his new household – his antics entertained Bruce and Emily every evening! Recently, they noticed that he had trouble urinating, had begun vomiting and generally was not feeling his usual inquisitive self. A trip to the vet revealed he was in renal failure with a guarded prognosis due to bilateral hydronephrosis with obstructing ureteroliths in both distal ureters. Crickett’s painful blockage would require a specialist with microscopic surgical capabilities – someone at a teaching facility. This was more than Bruce and Emily could afford and they sadly elected to euthanize Crickett. When their veterinarian offered the option of Tissue Donation, they immediately agreed… If Crickett could help other pets, they wanted to participate in the program… Pets Helping Pets.
Champ, the Recipient
Champ the cat was rescued from the shelter by 92 year old Walter and his wife. Champ had a large palatal defect – a permanent hole in the roof of his mouth, likely from an electrical cord bite. This of course required special care by Walter. Champ is truly a patient soul because he would regularly submit to having his sinuses lavaged. These weekly trips to the vet were becoming more challenging for his elderly owner. A tissue graft from a donor, in the form of a thin bone membrane was sutured in place to cover the defect in Champ’s palate. It healed well, fusing to the surrounding bone and closing the hole in his palate. He began to eat like his namesake and his elderly driver no longer had to make trips to the vet for special care. Today, Champ is on a diet since he made up for not eating as much when he had his palatal defect!
Caymus, the Donor
Caymus was a show-dog. He was a large breed dog who was as handsome and wonderful on the inside as he was on the outside. He had accumulated many champion titles in his 5 years and never tired of the show – no doubt his personal energy and great presence were at work here… His owner, Chris was watching him run in the backyard, enjoying the sunshine after a long, wet winter. Suddenly Caymus dropped to the ground. She ran outside to him and he was not breathing. They rushed him to their veterinarian, and Caymus was pronounced dead. How could it be that Caymus; healthy, strong Caymus, who was in perfect condition, could just die suddenly? It was an aneurism. Chris had heard from her vet about the tissue donation program. She chose to donate Caymus’ remains in order to help other animals and in some small way share her showman friend with many others. She knows it’s what he would have wanted. Pets Helping Pets…
Xena, the Recipient
Xena is a 5 pound Chihuahua mix. In her busy household, Xena was accidently stepped on and her radius & ulna were fractured. Her owners, a young family, didn’t have the resources for a surgery and they pleaded with their local vet to fix her up the best he could. When the splint didn’t appear to work, Xena had surgery, after a while her little bones had begun to heal, but her weakened bone fractured at the end of the plate, requiring then another surgery. Valiant Xena just couldn’t get a solid union after several months. Her vet called on VTS for a bone graft from a donor to help stimulate Xena’s own bone to heal. In just over 2 months, the fractures were fully healed; with intact cortices, her leg was strong. Xena now zips and dodges around the legs of her towering family. Without a bone graft from a donor to naturally jump start her own healing process, it is likely that Xena would be an amputee.