This is the story of a miracle girl: Monika, a Russian female dog, has regained the use of her four paws thanks to the complex fitting of titanium prostheses, a rare, expensive operation, and financed entirely online. Operated two weeks ago, the little creature with the beige coat is obviously still tired and fearful. But she’s walking.
“Luck and experience played a big part“, said with modesty Sergei Gorchkov to AFP, the 33-year-old veterinarian at the origin of this feat in the” Best “clinic in Novosibirsk, in Siberia.
This is the first time he has performed a quadruple transplant on a dog, an operation he had already performed on a cat in 2019. About thirty other of his “patients” have benefited from artificial limb poses.
Monika has come back from afar. In December 2020, she was discovered dying in a forest in Krasnodar, southwestern Russia. Its four legs are nothing but gaping and bloody wounds.
“No one knows what happened to him, some volunteers believe someone cut off his paws out of cruelty“, says Gorchkov.
Poor Monika, whose age is estimated between 2 and 4 years old, could then have known the fate of thousands of stray dogs found injured: euthanasia or, worse, a slow and painful death.
But that was without counting the mobilization of a group of volunteers from Krasnodar.
Alla Leonkina tells AFP that she took care of the dog with a friend for almost a year after her discovery. “She was in terrible shape.“
While treating the animal, Mrs. Leonkina thinks about the clinic of Doctor Gorchkov. Then, last spring, an online prize pool was launched to give Monika new life.
In the space of a month, the group collects more than 400,000 rubles (4,800 euros), a significant sum in Russia. There is still one problem: transporting Monika to Novosibirsk, 4,000 kilometers away.
“She flew with me, seated in a passenger seat“, tells Alla Leonkina.
Monika’s guardian angels also funded the making of prostheses, made using a 3D printer. One of the animal’s legs broke during the first installation, forcing the vet to repeat a test two months later.
Now, he explains, everything is fine. Monika’s bones will be able to grow and adapt naturally to the prostheses, which, according to him, will become like “the antlers on the head of a deer“.