Firefighter Kevin and his fiancé Natalie’s world collapses when they discover their beloved 6-year-old German Shepherd, Otto, has a life threatening tumour.

In desperation they turn to Noel in the hope that he can find a way to prolong Otto’s life with a bionic implant. Natalie and Kevin will do anything they can to give Otto the chance of surviving till their wedding day.


Kevin and Natalie with Otto


Otto came to Fitzpatrick Referrals when his owner Kevin and Natalie noticed he was unsteady on his feet and it was suspected he had a spinal problem that would require further investigation.

Otto was seen by Noel, who upon examination of the X-rays showed Kevin and Natalie a “moth-eaten” lesion of the lower portion of the main forearm bone (radius), consistent with a primary bone tumour.

Everything indicated that there was no spread of cancer in Otto’s chest at the time, and so after long discussions with Otto’s family, it was decided that limb salvage surgery was the best course of action in order to give Otto the very best chance.

The surgical procedure involved replacing Otto’s affected bone with a specially designed complex network of interlocking implants making one unit, an endoprosthesis.

The endoprosthesis completely replaced the section of bone that needed to be removed and bridged the gap between the top and bottom of Otto’s leg to allow normal weight bearing and use of the limb allowing him to perform his normal activities of daily life.

This would mean that Otto would still have full use of his leg and reduce the risk of the cancer returning. Fitzpatrick Referrals utilised special manufacturing techniques to allow Otto’s own bone to become incorporated into his new implant, and has used this technology for the management of bone cancer in similar dogs to Otto with great success over several years.

Otto is now back home and Kevin and Natalie are counting the days until their wedding day with their beloved Otto beside them!