Meet Butters!

Butters won the doggy lottery one day in 2005 when he came in to Mendon Village Animal Hospital for a checkup with Dr. Gluckman.  He was just eight weeks old, and had been diagnosed with a congenital heart defect called Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia.  Depending on the severity of the defect, some dogs with TVD won’t make it to their second birthday.  As Butters’ breeder was standing at the reception desk after her appointment, the fates aligned and Jody walked through the front door.  Butters was too cute for Jody to ignore.  Our receptionists filled Jody in on Butters’ diagnosis.  As a pediatric critical care nurse, Jody wasn’t deterred by Butters’ condition.  She knew she could provide a loving home for Butters and was determined to keep him happy and healthy for as long as she could.  Her family, including her young children, welcomed Butters into their home with open arms.

Butters F CloseupTen years later, Butters is still doing great!  He’s lucky enough to be symptom free and still doesn’t require medication to manage his TVD.  That’s not to say he hasn’t had some hiccups along the way.  In February 2013, Butters ruptured the cranial cruciate ligament in his right hind leg.  Two months later, he ruptured the same ligament in his left hind leg.  The cruciate ligaments play a vital role in supporting the stifle, or the knee.  When these ligaments are torn or ruptured the knee becomes unstable, which can lead to pain, stiffness and lameness.  Most ruptured cruciate ligaments require surgical repair.

Due to Butters’ heart defect, surgery wasn’t the safest option.  Jody and Butters made a trip to the small animal hospital at Cornell University for a consult with a cardiologist and an orthopedic specialist.  The risks of complicating Butters’ heart condition with anesthesia and surgery were too great.  But Butters was in pain, and something had to be done.  The orthopedic specialists at Cornell recommended custom stifle braces from OrthoPets in Denver, Colorado.  These braces would help stabilize Butters’ knees, improve his comfort and help him to walk without pain. Unfortunately, custom braces are costly and require adjustments and maintenance to keep them working properly.

Butters and his sister Sugar

Without hesitation, Jody scheduled Butters to be measured and fitted for his braces.  In order for them to work properly, Butters must wear his braces all day every day. Jody’s family began to affectionately refer to Butters as “Forrest” as he tried to get used to his new supports.  Jody patiently helped Butters become comfortable in his braces, slowly increasing the time he had to wear them each day over the course of a few weeks.  At the same time, Butters received physical, ultrasound and massage therapy at TheraVet Acres to increase his strength and mobility.

These days Butters LOVES his braces!  According to Jody, he absolutely hates to be without them. Occasionally, his braces are sent to Colorado to be adjusted or fixed.  When they return he gets so excited, hopping around with his tail wagging, eager to get them back on.  Thanks to his braces, and the time and effort his family has spent keeping him active and comfortable, Butters enjoys a very fun life!

Butters A


We think Butters is one lucky boy to have found such a loving home with a family who will stop at nothing to give Butters a happy, normal life.  If you ask Jody’s family however, they would disagree.  They say they are the lucky ones.