March 1, 2010
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Houston Metro Police Dog Undergoes Surgery
The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County in Houston has announced that a notable member of its transit police force will have many more years of service thanks to a local veterinary surgeon.
Vigo, a police dog who has partnered with Metro Officer John Wiggins since 2004, was suffering from a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament with degenerative joint disease and underwent his second operation to stabilize the joints. Without repair, Vigo would have suffered painful arthritis, ending his police career.
Dr. Brian Beale of Gulf Coast Veterinarian Specialists stabilized the knee for the second surgery using a state-of-the art technique called a tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO). He used arthroscopy to make the procedure minimally invasive and increase the chance of success—and he did the procedure for a discounted price. The surgery has a very high success rate.
“Vigo is a very strong dog,” Beale said. “This surgery will give him a strong chance at continuing his career for many years to come. TPLO surgery is the most common surgery at our hospital.”
Vigo and his handler won three medals at the Texas Police Games in July 2009. Wiggins called Vigo “an awesome dog … a competitor,” adding: “I want him to feel better. I feel confident that we’ll have more years together.”
Vigo will take about four months off the job to recover from both surgeries. The champ will then be eased back into his routine weekly training.