Turbo the Chihuahua might have been born without his front legs, but he hasn’t let it hold him back.
Three weeks ago, Turbo was taken to The Downtown Veterinarian in Indianapolis, Indiana by his owners because it was difficult for the 4-week-old pup to compete with his littermates for food. He was underweight at only ten ounces.
The couple had turned to The Downtown Veterinarian as a last resort, as many other vets said there was nothing that could be done to help the disabled pup.
Amy Birk, the practice manager of The Downtown Veterinarian, said:
“The couple was besides themselves. They didn’t want the dog to be euthanized.” [source]
The owners signed Turbo over to the staff so he could be treated properly. Birk said:
“A small dog can do well with a cart . So, unless he had another medical condition, there was no way we were putting him to sleep.” [source]
Once in the care of professionals, Turbo began to eat and put on weight while the staff focused on building him a cart so he could move around. Because dogs can’t be fitted for a standard cart until they reached 6 months of age, the staff got creative.
The first attempt at a cart was created by using parts from a toy helicopter.
Their next attempt was made out of straws, but it was too flimsy. The vets finally found a good solution by using pipes from a toy welding kit. Dr. Trish Wiggers said:
“We need the cart so he can get support on his front end, so he can move around more naturally and use legs more naturally and his back. So, there is not stress put on all his other joints.” [source]
The clinic is now raising money for a cart to be specially designed for Turbo, as he will grow out of his pipe cart soon. The starting price for such a cart is $200.
Turbo is now 6 weeks old and just like any other spunky Chihuahua. He has even found a home with veterinary technician Ashley Looper, who has adopted him. Looper said:
“He definitely has a different personality because he is handicapped. He is just spunkier. In the morning, he is alert and ready to go and you see him walk and he is just happy!” [source]