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“Bait dog” gets surgery, thanks to community support

HOUSTON, Texas – After suffering repeated bite wounds as a victim of dogfighting, a sweet-mannered pit bull named Calvin will undergo surgery on Friday to give him a great quality of life.

A tremendous community outpouring helped raise money for the surgery.

Calvin, a pit bull who was rescued from dogfighting, is set to receive surgery at the BluePearl Veterinary Partners hospital in Spring, Texas.

Calvin, a pit bull who was rescued from dogfighting, is set to receive surgery at the BluePearl Veterinary Partners hospital in Spring, Texas.

In Friday’s operation, Dr. Michael McFadden, a board-certified veterinary surgeon, will relieve Calvin’s suffering either by fusing the dog’s right ankle joint or by amputating the right hind leg. Either way, Calvin’s prognosis is good and he should have many long years of comfort and safety ahead of him.

“Calvin is such a sweet and loving dog, even though he was mistreated so badly,” said Corinne Manley, a BluePearl veterinary technician who is adopting Calvin. “No dog needs to be abused like that. I’m just glad that after this surgery, he’ll get to live in peace and comfort with me.”

Calvin has a damaged Achilles tendon which needs to be repaired quickly before further damage occurs. McFadden plans an operation which will essentially fuse the tarsal joint, similar to the ankle joint in humans. Dr. McFadden describes the upcoming surgery here:

“Calvin suffered a traumatic injury to the caudal aspect of his right hind limb. In addition to significant skin and muscle loss, the injury has also affected his Achilles tendon so he is unable to put any weight on his leg. In acute Achilles injuries, surgery can be performed to repair them. But with chronic injuries like Calvin’s, this is not possible due to contracture of the muscles, making it impossible to repair the tendon without tension. The options that are available to Calvin are an amputation or a pan tarsal arthrodesis. The arthrodesis, or joint fusion, will allow him to put weight on his right hind limb even though his Achilles tendon is not functioning. Although many consider an amputation the easier option, I feel that if we have a chance at saving the limb and providing good function that should be our first option. After surgery and the appropriate healing period Calvin should have good function in all four of his legs!”

Calvin has suffered multiple bite wounds, inflicted at different times, which leads to the strong suspicion he was used as a “bait dog,” bitten by other dogs as training for dogfighting.  McFadden has been treating these wounds all this week.

A good Samaritan found Calvin and rescued him.

Amputating the leg is no one’s first choice, but it could be done if that’s the best option for Calvin. Pets typically have a great quality of live even after losing a limb.

This surgery is an example of the advanced veterinary medical care practiced at all three BluePearl’s hospitals in the Houston area, in Spring, Katy and Willowbrook. All three hospitals are open 24/7 every day of the year, and employ specialists such as McFadden who have received years of additional training and testing to become board-certified in such veterinary specialties as surgery, critical care, internal medicine, oncology and others.