Dog receives landmark muscle transplant surgery


Bella, a border collie, faces a "ruff" recovery after a first-of-its-kind surgery.

Bella seriously injured her leg falling off furniture three months ago. But thanks to landmark muscle transplant surgery performed at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, she can go for walks again.

"The was actually pulled back to the side the dog triceps muscle, the muscle right behind the elbow and above the elbow area that were damaged and contracted. That was pulling the leg backwards," says Dr. Michael Pavletic, Angell Animal Medical Center.

Dr. Michael Pavletic, the head of surgery at Angell, was able to transplant muscle from Bella's back to her front leg and then trained the muscle to do the work of a leg muscle.

"Itâ??s not common, we've used other muscles for reconstructive surgery in veterinary medicine, certainly in human medicine as well. This was I think one of the first for complete replacement of the triceps muscle," says Dr. Pavletic.

After a long recovery process, Bella continues to improve. Her leg is operating just as well as before her tumble.

"You want to initially restrict excessive activity and do very light physical therapy, two weeks or so, then you'd expect enough connected tissue is present so that you can start more formal physical therapy and strength training," says Dr. Pavletic.

Doctors say Bella will continue to get stronger with her physical therapy and that her prognosis is excellent.

(Information courtesy NBC News)