Maggie's Story 

Click here for Latest Update 3-9-08

Maggie is a very special little dog.  She is a Toy size American Eskimo Dog.  Maggie needs YOUR help.  Please read her story below and see how you can help Maggie.


Maggie came to us from a shelter in South Dakota.  Her paperwork said she had been confiscated from her  previous home for neglect.  She had been left outside in below zero temperatures.  Her previous owners told the authorities she had arthritis.  

Nine Months later... a fellow rescuer found out about her and contacted us.  At that time we were told that both her back legs were broken and when ever it was too hot or too cold, her back legs would give out on her.  As far as we know, no vet care was given to her during her stay at the shelter.


After a long trip here to Iowa we took her straight to the vet.  Dr. Scott Moline and Dr. Jane Tabor at Kindness Pet Clinic in Indianola, IA took x-rays and examined little Maggie.  Then they gave us the good news, the bad news, and the worse news. 

The good news is that Maggie actually had one broken leg and one hip was dislocated and the other was damaged as well.  The vets estimated the break was about 9 months old.  The hip dislocation was from a very severe genetic disorder called hip dysphasia.  

This video was taken of Maggie shortly after she arrived.  She seems to be getting along just fine, but remember that each and every movement is bone rubbing on bone and very painful.


The bad news is that she would need three surgeries.  One to fix the broken leg, two FHO's (Femoral Head Ostectomy), one on each hip.  The first surgery would straighten her broken leg.  The next two surgeries, FHO's, are common surgeries for dogs with hip problems.  Right now, there is no cartilage in Maggie's hip joints.  In an FHO, the ball of the femur is removed.  The hip joint as it heals forms a soft joint and makes movement much more comfortable. 


However, the worse news was that the surgeries might fail.  The most critical of the three surgeries would be the one to fix the broken leg.  They would have to cut the misaligned fused section of the leg (shown in the top x-ray) and remove and extra calcification.  Then they would align the clean edges and pin it together.  She would need to be kept absolutely still.  She could not jar the leg at all or the bone would not heal.  If this one did not heal, then the other surgeries would be useless.  We would have had to make a crucial decision at that point.

The current decision we had to make was; Do we want to put Maggie through this with the possibility that it would not work?  We thought about it and had a meeting with the vets.  After meeting Maggie and seeing what a great personality she had, Dr. Jane was willing to take the risk.  So we decided to go ahead.

Maggie had her first surgery on October 8, 2007.  It was a very tense and stressful two weeks.  Maggie is a very interactive girl and keeping her still was very difficult.  The first two weeks check-ups went well.  They did not take x-rays because it was too soon to tell if it was healing or not.  On her three week checkup, they took x-rays.  Waiting in the examining room, all of a sudden we heard a shout and a YEA!!!  We knew then that Maggie's leg was healing.  We still had to keep her as still as possible, but that was a wonderful sign.

This video was taken during her last checkup on 11/5/07.



Maggie's next visit to the vet is on 11/12/07.  At this time the vet will take more x-rays.  If it is still healing, they will remove the hard splint and put a soft splint on it.  Maggie will need another 9 weeks of recovery time from this first surgery before the first FHO can be performed.

The estimated expenses for Maggie's full vet care is $2,500 - $3,000.  If you would like to help, click on the link below:


Update 01-30-08

Unfortunately Maggie's first surgery did not succeed. So she was brought to I.S.U. veterinary college were she has had more surgeries.  Maggie has been there all week and had some major work done (3 surgeries). The first picture shows the old break and the broken pin on the left. The x-ray on the right is how they have re-fixed it using plates and screws 

She will be coming home today 01-30-08  she was in a lot of pain to start as she had both her back and her tummy cut open because they found a tumor on her mammary glad and had to remove it and the limp node, a spinal injury and the leg that needed to be re fixed.  
The next pictures are her back incision for the spinal injury and the one on the right is were the mammary gland was removed and the leg was repaired again.


Maggie continues to do well even with all this.
They are starting some new exercises with her to help her strengthen her
legs and back. The incision on her tummy is healing well and she is
being her usual sweet loving little self. 
Here is a movie of her at I.S.U. with her care giver, vet student Jenny

alternate video link

Update 3-9-08

The Miracle

Be sure to check out this amazing must see video below!

As you recall in our last update, little Miss Maggie when through three surgeries at once.  The surgery on her spinal cord was the most crucial as this was the reason she no longer had use of her back legs.


Well….We have wonderful news!!!  MISS MAGGIE IS WALKING!!! Ten days after surgery, Maggie had all her stitches and staples removed.  The next week she went back to ISU for a week long stay in their rehab facility.  There she had 24 hour care and a regular therapy schedule including walking on a water treadmill.(Seen in the video)  Then she came back home for a week of rest and back to the rehab facility for another week of intensive therapy.  She started walking on her own last week in therapy and is super excited that she can walk. She is bopping all over the place!


Erica, her rehab momma, got the okay to let her free around the house when they are home (excluding stairs of course), but still need to kennel her when they are not home. However, at the end of March they have the okay to let her go back to normal activity. That's 4 weeks earlier than they originally thought!!!   She is doing so well the surgeon at ISU doesn't need to see her again and said to only do follow up X-rays if there is a concern.


So now the next step is: Maggie is going to get 3 to 6 months to recuperate and get back to normal activity and strengthen her legs.  Then she will go back to ISU to have her first hip surgery.  About 3 months after that, she will have her second hip Surgery.


To date Maggie’s vet bills have totaled over $5,000.  Her courage and tender heart have given her the will to live a normal happy life again.  She has inspired so many people with her ability to come through this entire trauma and still be the sweetest little loving girl in the whole world. A super special THANK YOU to all the wonderful people that helped in very generous ways.  This is your victory as well.


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American Eskimo Rescue and Sanctuary of Iowa is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization



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