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OSU Veterinarians share how puppy’s surgery for upside-down paws will inspire students

STILLWATER, Okla. - It`s a story that captured hearts around the world.

A puppy whose paws were turned upside-down getting a second chance at life.

Little Milo lives at a rescue in Luther but his story has potentially reached more than 330 million people.

Now the veterinarians at OSU who operated on him are telling us how his story is shaping the minds of future vets.

Life is not always easy.

Milo, a hound puppy from Luther, knows that better than anyone.

It may be hard to understand why Milo`s paws were upside down.

Well, as it turns out, the problem started higher up.

Vets say either before birth or shortly after birth, Milo`s elbows - went out of joint.

Likely days from euthanasia, the puppy was surrendered to Jennie Hays, of Oliver and Friends Farm Rescue and Sanctuary.

"It`s hard to think back that he was so small and so I hate to use the word broken but he could hardly do anything," Hays recalled.

So she took Milo to the veterinarians at OSU.

Dr. Erik Clary, who operated on the pup, has only handled three cases like this before.

He says it`s hard to know how rare this condition because often in cases like this, the puppies are put down.

In surgery, Clary made incisions on both sides of Milo`s elbows to realign the joints - then inserted pins to both sides.

"Not a real sturdy repair so that`s why Milo had to wear this big front-body splint," Clary said.

That full-body splint led to round-the-clock care from Hays and her husband.

But when it came off, it was worth the wait and the risk - and not just for this pup and his team, but also for future generations of animals and vets.

"What seemed like maybe a hopeless situation seems to be turning out well," Clary said. "Do they all turn out well? No. That`s just the nature of medicine. So I think it`s been a great lesson for the students."

Milo's story was shared online millions of times.

Hundreds reached out to rescue the internet-famous pup but Hays couldn't part from him.

This tale will certainly be shared at the OSU vet school for years to come.

But there's more to this lesson than just skill in a complicated operation.

"It is also a story that tells the impact that veterinarians make to strengthen the human-animal bond that improves the well-being of the pet and the owner," said Carlos Risco, DVM DACT, the dean of the OSU college of veterinary medicine.

"It`s pretty incredible to maybe be a part of a bigger solution for a lot more dogs," Hays said. "He`s an amazing little soul."

Milo's biggest future health risk is arthritis.

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