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Shelter dog 'Machiko' recovering from hip surgery in foster home

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When Gina Wirth of the Jefferson County SPCA went to Lewis County Humane Society to transport some lucky pups back to Watertown, she never expected to fall in love along the way. But an attractive young Lab mix limping around his kennel caught her eye and heart immediately. After hearing his story she had to help; otherwise, "Machiko" would be euthanized because there were no funds available to help injured animals. Without care, he was considered un-adoptable.

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No one seems to know how Machiko was injured. But his enthusiasm for life proved contagious, capturing the hearts of the staff at North Country Animal Health Center, where the dog was taken for treatment.

The treatment plan involved performing a Femoral Head Ostectomy, or FHO; the surgery was performed on Monday and Machiko is recovering well in his new foster home.

Says Ms. Wirth today, "Machiko is doing very well and even putting some weight on his surgery leg. I was able to talk two two people who have first hand knowledge of dogs that have had this surgery." Ms. Wirth notes that FHO surgery is commonly performed for animals with hip dysplasia.

The fund set up to help him has raised $1,249 toward the $2000 surgery to date. Anything in excess of the cost of treatment will be donated to the NCAHC Angel Fund to help other animals in need.

Machiko will be fostered by Ms. Wirth and will be on cage rest for the next two weeks to allow his hip to heal. After that, he will receive therapy to strengthen his muscles and leg. But once he is healed there will be no limitations and his prognosis is very good.

A note from Gina Wirth to supporters:

"Thanks to everyone for donations so far. "Wepay" has deposited the money to date so I will be dropping off a check to NCAHC today or tomorrow. I really appreciate all of the donations and shares from everyone. Please keep sharing :) I would love it if we exceed the vet bills so that I could give them a donation for their Angel Fund. I am grateful for all of their help and know they have gone above and beyond to help Machiko."

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