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The Tripawds Library
Download Tripawds e-books for fast answers to common canine recovery and care questions!
21 April 2017
Hey there! So on the 19th my 6 year old German Shepherd became a tripawd, loosing her front left leg. This is the second German Shepherd I have owned, the first died peacefully of old age, so I was overwhelmed when Zoey was diagnosed. She came home yesterday, and it was the weirdest thing to see her like this. She has always been a klutz so when I got her out of my car, she was slipping all over the place. When she laid down in my garage on the concrete floor, I sat next to her to just watch what should would do. About a half hour later, she started to move like she wanted to stand up. I scooted away and tried to hold her back end up, and she slipped and fell and let out the most terrible sounding yelp. Then I helped her to her kennel, in tears because everything felt wrong, and went inside my house (Zoey and her "sister" Milee are outside dogs - don't worry I have three acres that they have free range on) . When I got inside I cried for a long time because I felt that she deserved so much more than living life with three legs, she seemed so upset. I felt like I did wrong by her and I wondered how she would ever manage with three legs. I couldn't bare to look at her, and I had my mom give her her pills and take care of her because I felt lost. So this morning when I left, I just patted her head and left. BUT when I got home she was up getting a drink and she greeted me at my car when I pulled into the garage. I feel a so much better after discussing my feelings with my friends and family and now seeing her up and happy. I know this is just the second day, but I believe that she will do much better than what I was thinking last night. I just can't loose hope and I have to help her as much as I can. That is Zoey's story, and I guess mine as well. I'll end this post with a few questions: after everything heals, should I wait until her fur grows back before getting her a mobility harness? Also how long will it take for a German Shepherd's fur to grow back? She is not a long haired GSD. Also is it more challenging for a large dog to loose a front leg?
Thanks for reading!
18 October 2009
Hello and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.
What kind of cancer are you dealing with? I assume cancer since you said 'diagnosed'.
I have to run right now but I wanted to get your post approved so others can comment. I'll check back later tonight.
Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls
22 December 2016
Hey there! Zoey sounds like a great pup. It's good to hear she's doing better than yesterday, although from what I understand it's a recovery that takes a lot of patience (never had an amputee myself, but from what others say).
Keep us posted! We want to know how she's doing, and see pictures!
14 December 2016
Hello and welcome! Zoey sounds like a tough kid! You are still pretty early in recovery so I think crucial right now is that pain meds are adjusted in a way that won't leave her in pain but also not too woozy from the meds. Core strengthening exercises http://download.....m/?s=Rehab have helped us immensely in terms of mobility. There's plenty of info on that here so maybe take a look if you find the time.
My dog had chemo treatment after amputation so the fur took a little longer to grow back, but it started growing probably a week or two after surgery. I used a harness around week 4, but I know some people here use it right away. If in doubt, Zoey will probably tell you if she tolerates it. You can also use a towel sling or a cut-up canvas shopping for starters to help her up. Make sure she has enough traction everywhere she roams.
and yes, I think bigger dogs have more of an issue than small dogs and hind leg amputation is a little easier because the dogs carry most of their weight on their front legs. But that doesn't mean bigger dogs can't handle being tripawds at all. I just think that "maintenance" through relevant exercise is really important.
Sounds like you're on a very good way, keep us posted!
All the best
tina & Manni
PS we're also front leg amps and you can find our story here:
Guardian of Manni the Wonderdog. -Or is it the other way 'round?
Manni was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in Dec '15 and immediately had his right front leg amputated, followed by 5 rounds of chemo. Manni's real name is Manfred and he turns 10 on Jan 28 2017. So far we are mets-free...
22 February 2013
The first couple of weeks can be full of ups and downs during recovery. It is major surgery and it does hurt! Som0 pain management is important. What is he taking?
Zoey should just be resting and getting up only for potty breaks and then more rest. You may not be getting much sleep for a few nights, but recovery doesn't last forever!!
Make sure you have non slip scatter rugs for traction if you have hardwood floors or over the concrete garage floor. No jumping up on things and avoid stairs for now.
How are things going? Eating, drinking eating, pooping?
Let us kniw how we can help, okay?
Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!
Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!
4 April 2017
Welcome to Zooey, love all dogs/cats but do have a soft spot for GSD's. As you can see below my GSD Ginger lost her right front leg just a little over month ago due to accident. She has rebounded quickly but the first couple weeks were tough, we still have the occasional balance issue but getting better all the time. Wishing you both the best and look forward to seeing some pictures of Zooey.
Joined forum after Ginger, 2 1/2 year old German Shepherd, had front leg shattered by car on 4/1/17. Front leg amputated on 4/5/17. Still learning to be a tripawd mom.
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