The operation was carried out by veterinarian Sergei Gorshkov, who is based in the city of Novosibirsk and has fitted 37 animals with prosthetic limbs since 2015 – although Monika is the first dog to benefit from her work.
Two weeks after her operation, the dog is adjusting well to her new mobility – and Gorshkov says she will soon lead a normal life, although he was “surprised” at how quickly her recovery was.
“I don’t think we were optimistic about it,” he told CNN. “But on the third day, she started to get up and walk around the clinic, going from room to room. “
However, getting Monika into the operating room was not easy.
Gapich told CNN that she and Leonkina had had “sleepless nights” with Monika and that they did not agree with the vet’s advice to have her euthanized. The two women contacted Gorshkov and collected 400,000 Russian rubles (over $ 5,400) for the operation.
Monika’s prostheses then had to be printed by a 3D printer in the city of Troitstk, not far from Moscow, and then bio-clad at Tomsk Polytechnic University before Gorshkov performed the procedure.
For the vet, much of his work has taken on new meaning over the past 18 months, with the “pandemic pet” being particularly important to some.
“I am happy to give new life to animals especially now during Covid,” said Gorshkov. “People find some solace in animals and so in treating animals, I am treating people. “
And Monika has already found her place in the hearts of the volunteers who saved her. When asked if the dog would stay in Novosibirsk, Gapich’s response was an emphatic no.
“We are her caregivers, we are responsible for her! She told CNN, adding that she and Leonkina were in contact with a London-based animal behaviorist who could now be consulted on Monika’s case.