'Bella' Schmidt and 'Shasta' Paul


This month we are featuring two special dogs, Shasta and Bella, who are recent amputees.  Limb amputation is always a last resort for our pets but in certain circumstances it can be a lifesaving option for a much loved family member.  Shasta, a senior dog, underwent amputation of her right front leg due to a very aggressive soft tissue cancer.  After exploring limb saving options such as debulking surgery and radiation treatments, it was determined that given the size and aggressive nature of the tumor the only guarantee of a cure was amputation.  Despite the fact that she is 12 years old Shasta has amazed us with her resilience and adaptability.  Very quickly after surgery she was up and about.  Bella is a 2 year old Bull mastiff mix who suffered a severe fracture to her right hind leg.  The fracture was repaired with a bone plate, pins and wires at Washington State University, but following surgery Bella developed a very resistant post-operative infection around the surgical implants.  After much consultation and research into options to save the limb, it was decided amputation was the best option.  Bella is such a happy dog that nothing gets her down, not even having only 3 legs!  Immediately after surgery she was standing up, smiling at us and trying to walk.  This month, Shasta, Bella and their owners have reminded us at West Kootenay Animal Hospital why we love what we do - Thanks Shasta and Bella!