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Local veterinary hospital receives national attention

Brenda Mader and her Labrador, Max, talk with CNN medical producer Val Willingham as she is filmed by videographer Kim Uhl.
Brenda Mader and her Labrador, Max, talk with CNN medical producer Val Willingham as she is filmed by videographer Kim Uhl. Photo provided

A local animal hospital is making national attention after providing a one-of-a-kind surgery to a service dog for a Lewisburg woman.

On Friday afternoon, a CNN news crew made their way to Metzger Animal Hospital on Benner Pike to chat with veterinarians, and the family who owns Max, a 7-year-old service dog.

Brenda Mader, a retired elementary school teacher from Lewisburg, has multiple sclerosis. Max has been her right-hand man for a handful of years, helping her walk.

But when Max injured his leg and knee while playing fetch earlier this year, it required surgery that Mader needed help paying for, said animal hospital owner Fred Metzger.

Last winter, DePuy Synthes, a medical device provider, donated a type of knee plate the Labrador needed, Metzger said.

Veterinarian Bob Rider performed the two-hour long surgery in February that allowed him to use the implant to reconstruct Max’s knee.

Metzger said that Rider is the only vet in central Pennsylvania who does the kind of surgery Max required — similar to ACL surgery in a human.

Rider said it took Max about six weeks to recover from the surgery, and was back in full-service within 12 weeks.

“Max is a very important part of Brenda’s life, so being able to get him back for her is huge,” Rider said.

“You do this job to help animals that help people … Brenda was thankful to get Max back.”

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