‘It’s a Major Gesture:’ Formerly paralyzed dog recovering from 3rd surgery

A German shepherd named Monika – left paralyzed by a stray bullet nearly two years ago – received a new leash on life after undergoing a highly-anticipated third surgery, bringing her closer to walking again.

Monika – whose name means “miracle” in German – underwent the intricate surgery in Tampa, Florida on Tuesday, officials with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals told Fox News.

Her initial procedure resulted in the amputation of a portion of her left rear leg to prevent her from dying. The amputation was done in January 2014 in collaboration with Russian veterinarians and US surgeon Dale Aiken, of the Animal Medical Center in Jackson, Miss.

Monika received prosthetics at the beginning of the year and was able to get out of her wheelchair and move around the backyard. She had been undergoing regular physiotherapy sessions at the Jacksonville Center for Pet & Wildlife Care. The third, more elaborate surgery took place in Florida to help Monika’s pelvic muscles and pelvis.

“Her entire pelvic area was modified into multiple prosthetics and redesigned around it so it supports her pelvic bones,” Paul Burke, president of the ASPCA’s Animal Hospital, told FoxNews.com. “The pelvis is very strong, and her uvula and larynx are small but strong and supported the whole time.”

Burke said the latest surgery was “more complex” and took five hours to complete. The dog weighed a little more than 70 pounds, and was wearing a special collar that weighed more than two pounds.

After the surgery, Burke said she was “cuddling with her people” at the veterinary hospital. She was also given a wheelchair and a leash with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals crest embroidered on it.

“There are no cats with this much battle scars,” Burke said. “This is a massive dog.”

Check out the full video above to see the video of Monika’s amazing ordeal.

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