Buddy The K-9 Police Dog
June 12, 2017 began like any other day for Frederick County Officer Tim Duhan and his K-9 partner Buddy. Five-year-old Labrador Retriever, Buddy, was his usual four-legged playful self. Officer Duhan let him out of his cruiser car for some playtime and Buddy sprinted around the yard. Officer Duhan looked away briefly and back at Buddy and noticed Buddy was unable to stand on either of his front legs. Officer Duhan scooped him up in his arms and placed him in the back of police cruiser and took him directly to Catoctin Veterinary Clinic. Buddy was given fluids and his right forelimb improved but not his left forelimb. Buddy was referred to CARE Veterinary Center for further diagnostics and evaluation. Buddy was not experiencing any pain and there were no broken bones, but his left forelimb showed signs of possible radial nerve paralysis. CARE’s board-certified surgeon, Dr. Kelly Gellasch recommended a neurological consult which resulted in a poor prognosis but with the possibility the paralyzed leg would regain function during several months. Buddy went home with Officer Duhan for continued supportive care and the uncertainty if the nerve damage would repair itself and Buddy would be able to bear weight on his front leg. Officer Duhan remained hopeful.
Fast forward to April 2018. After almost a year later despite medical management there were no signs of improvement and severe muscle atrophy. Officer Duhan and Buddy returned to CARE Veterinary Center and consulted with surgeon Dr. Kelly Gellasch and received a recommendation for a forequarter amputation. Dr. Gellasch was confident Buddy would heal quickly given Buddy’s spunky personality and that he was young and otherwise healthy.
Buddy is not the first Frederick K-9 Police dog CARE Veterinary Center has treated. Frederick Police Officer 1st Class Pete Genovese brought Baron, a German Shepard-Belgian Malinois to CARE Emergency in February of this year. Sadly, Baron’s off-duty medical emergency resulted in his sudden death. Baron is credited with many drug busts and high-risk arrests during his service with the department.
Many in the Frederick community and Police Department were struck hard by the untimely passing of Baron. Doctors and Veterinary Techs at CARE Veterinary Center were distressed and saddened as well. Buddy needed to have his front leg amputated and CARE offered to perform the surgery as a gift in honor of Baron’s handler Officer Pete Genovese in remembrance of Baron.
“Buddy gave us an opportunity to honor and remember Baron for his K-9 police service work in the community.” Dr. Kelly Gellasch
CARE is delighted Buddy came through the surgery and with his sutures removed his wound is healing well. He has adapted beautifully to being a tripod dog and continues to be a happy and confident working K-9. Officer Duhan reports Buddy has retired from active duty, rehabilitation is working wonders and Buddy seems like his playful self. CARE Veterinary Center appreciates all specialty K-9 services dogs and the work they do searching for drugs or weapons, crowd control, tracking individuals and protecting their officer partners.