Report by KHOU staff
One of Metro’s top cops will likely have many more years on the job thanks to a local veterinarian who has agreed to perform surgery on the four-legged officer. Vigo, a 6-year-old Belgian Malinois, suffers from a partially torn ACL with degenerative joint disease. Without surgery, Vigo’s painful arthritis would force him to retire from Metro.
The dog underwent surgery on his left hind leg a couple of weeks ago. Now he needs the same operation on his right hind leg.
Dr. Brian Beale with Gulf Coast Veterinarian Specialists (GCVS) has agreed to perform the surgery at a discount.
“Vigo is a very strong dog,” said Dr. Beale. “This surgery will give him a strong chance at continuing his career for many years to come. TPLO surgery is the most common surgery at our hospital.” Vigo specializes in bomb detection.
Vigo and his handler METRO Officer John Wiggins won three medals at the Texas Police Games in July 2009. The duo has been partners since 2004 and has received 10 awards. “He’s an awesome dog. He’s a competitor,” said Wiggins. “I want him to feel better. I feel confident that when he comes out, he’ll be better than he is now, and we’ll have more years together.”
Wiggins said Vigo was a big hit among the lady dogs at the Gulf Coast Veterinarian Specialists. Vigo will take about four months to recover from both surgeries. The dog will then be eased back into his routine weekly training.