CLAW patient endures amputation of smashed leg

Titus, who was found near the clinic, had a severely injured back leg, which was quickly amputated.En route to the CLAW clinic one day, I received a call from Angela Voyiatzakis, one of our vet nurses, asking me to please be on the look-out for an injured dog in the vicinity of the clinic. She had spotted him on her way to work, and tried to follow him, but the dog disappeared deep into the overgrown veld (open rural landscape).

Upon arrival at CLAW, I asked two of our long-term staff David Khoza and Hassan Kassim to sweep the area. It wasn't long before we heard the distinctive sound of one of our vehicles reversing in to offload. They had found him!

Only after Titus was brought into the consulting room did we see the full horror of his injury. His back right leg was smashed, the bone broken and exposed. It wasn't a fresh injury either; we estimated that it was at least a few days old.

Despite his obvious pain, the big dog just wanted to make friends – his heavy tail thump, thumping from side to side and a silly grin on his face. Perhaps he knew that he had found a place of loving and caring and was very happy to be here.

We called him Titus, which means “strong” or “defender”. Our veterinarian Dr Marike Calitz examined him and decided he would manage just fine with three legs, as there was no chance of saving the injured limb. Barring his obvious wound, Titus had no other problems, so the decision was made to go ahead and amputate his mangled leg. 

He went through surgery with no complications, and as soon as he woke, he was up and seemingly very relieved to be rid of his painful, shattered, useless leg.

Titus can only be described as remarkable. Two days post-surgery, he is bouncing, mobile and full of happiness. I am so glad we found him and were able to save him. I despair to think of what would have happened to him otherwise. It would have been a slow, painful and lonely end. Instead, he now has a wonderful tale of bravery and kindness to share and we look forward to seeing him transition into a happy home.


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Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
Senior Advisor, Policy Development
Gail A'Brunzo, Manager, Wildlife Rescue
Manager, Wildlife Rescue
Jan Hannah, Campaign Manager, Northern Dogs Project
Campaign Manager, Northern Dogs Project
Kate Nattrass Atema, Program Director, Community Animal Welfare
Program Director, Community Animal Welfare
Shannon Walajtys
Manager, Animal Rescue-Disasters