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Surgery scheduled for April for GSD | Accidents, Injuries and Malformed Limbs

Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is the place to learn how to care for a three legged dog or cat, with answers about dog leg amputation, and cat amputation recovery from many years of member experiences.
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Surgery scheduled for April for GSD
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Forum Posts: 6
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23 February 2019 - 6:08 pm
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Hi all,

My girl Ruby will be 8 in May, but unfortunately we have had to schedule a rear leg amputation for her in April. In July of 2018 she ran after a deer in our yard and was so focused on catching it that she completely forgot about the partial fence between our property and the neighbor and clipped the last fence post with her back right leg. Luckily, we have an emergency vet in our town and got her there immediately, but she shattered her femur and needed reconstructive surgery with plates, pins, and bone grafts.

7 months and 4 x-rays later, the leg hasn’t healed properly and the vet recommended amputation. We had a feeling after her x-ray in October that she wasn’t healing and we were going down the road to amputation, but she had an x-ray this past Monday and it hadn’t improved since Halloween. Despite knowing this was probably going to happen for a while now, my husband and I are still struggling with the decision we had to make. Logically we know it is best for her, that she will get out of the house arrest she’s been under since last summer and be able to have a life again, but we feel guilty nonetheless. I’ve been browsing the pages here and feeling reassured, but still wish we could have done more. Unfortunately, her body just didn’t heal. 

Thanks for reading,

Jess

Here and Now


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23 February 2019 - 6:19 pm
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jvp717 said
…wish we could have done more…

No regrets are allowed here. Ruby will be out of pain, and that’s what matters most. It’s us people that usually need more help coping with recovery. Try to Be More Dog , and that’s not just some silly saying.

While you wait for comments from others, use the Advanced Search above to refine your forum search results with specific phrases, and you’re sure to find lots of helpful feedback. You can also search all blogs here . Or, consider downloading the Tripawds e-books for fast answers to common concerns and feel free to call the toll-free Tripawds Helpline anytime!

Please keep us posted. Your future forum posts will not require moderation. Meanwhile, start here for help finding all the helpful Tripawds resources and assistance programs.

Virginia




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23 February 2019 - 9:35 pm
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Oh my goodness!  You and Ruby have had quite an ordeal over these past many months!! 

And yes, we’ve  had many dogs who arrive to the point of amputation after lots and lots of efforts, surgeries, lots of pain, confinement,  etc  Soooo many times the surgeries just don’t  work.  It’s  not anyone’s  “fault”, it’s not about “doing more”.  It IS about knowing  when enough is enough and knowing when a decision  MUST be made in Ruby’s best jnterest!  And you are making a decision  that is in Euby’s best interest now.  PROMISE!!!

I’m  not saying that flippantly  at sll.  Not taking getting to this point lightly.   It’s  a hard decision to make.  It’s just that we’ve  seen this similar scenario and we’ve  seen how much happy the dogs are with the bum leg gone!!  IT WILL BE A REALLY  GOOD DECISION  THAT WILL HELP RUBY BE RIBY AGAIN!

ONE SURGERY!  ONE RECOVERY  PERIOD (approximately  twoish weeks) and then no more pain!  Not saying  recovery  is a picnic. It’s major surgery.   

Someone  will give you the link to MEG’S story.  It will inspire you.  PROMISE!!

Curious?  Is there any reason the amputation  can’t be done sooner?  I bet Ruby would be all in for getting it sone sooner.

Let us know any questions  you may have.   We’re  with you the whole way and cannot wait to hear all about Ruby as her sparkle comes back brighter than ever!

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie!

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!

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23 February 2019 - 9:56 pm
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Thanks for your response! We are waiting until April simply because I am a teacher and will have a week of vacation that I can devote to Ruby while she recovers. I agree that sooner is better, but also know she will need some TLC those first few days. Plus she loves her time alone with her mama… she has to share me with her human little sister most of the time, lol.

Virginia




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23 February 2019 - 10:56 pm
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 April certainly makes sense.  And she’ll love her special time with you❤  

I  looooove DJ’s avatar  picture!!  Loads of personality shining  through!   More!  We love pictures around here, especially with dogs this cute!😎

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!

London, UK


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24 February 2019 - 1:14 am
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Hi Ruby and Jess, and welcome!

im so sorry you are going through all this but really pleased that you have found your way here. 

Your story has a number of parallels with my Meg, who will celebrate three years on three in a couple of weeks’ time. She likewise lost her leg to complications following a nasty break. In her case the original break was repaired but in a couple of years developed end stage arthritis in her elbow. This is pretty much inevitable, as I understand, after a break of this nature. As amputation was not considered an option for her because of problems with her remaining elbow, we went for elbow replacement surgery and there followed nine months of increasingly desperate attempts to save her leg. Multiple surgeries, scans, X-rays and a total of more than two months in hospital as her leg failed to heal. In the end she developed a chronic infection and further scans revealed that not only was the bone failing to join with the implant but actually retracting from it. We were left with two options: amputation or euthanasia. I decided that after all she had been through I owed it to Meg to give her a chance at life on three. 

I felt, as you do, that at least she would be able to be free of the restrictions she had been living under for close to a year. In her case, she LOVES to swim and had been unable to get her leg wet because she still had an open wound on it. I felt great trepidation though, particularly as I didn’t know whether her remaining front leg would be able to support her. I now look back on her amputation with a feeling of immense relief. That was when everything started to get better. As Sally says, this is major surgery and certainly Ruby will appreciate having her Mums undivided attention for a week or so, but certainly for us, compared with Meg’s previous surgeries this was FAR less stressful. With a fracture repair, or an implant, you are constantly stressed that she is somehow going to damage it and send everything back to square one. Amputation is actually extremely simple. Of course you need to keep on top of pain as with any surgery and keep her as quiet as possible to give her body a chance to recover, but there’s not that feeling of constant tenterhooks. Also, as Ruby must have been pfretty one sided for months now, it is likely that she will adjust more easily than a sudden and abrupt change from four to three. Her body will have already started to adjust, in terms of all the muscles and tendons etc. In fact, perhaps you could even start some core strength exercises now (check with your vet first, of course). That will help her even more when it comes to recovery. 

Sally is absolutely right. One more surgery and THAT’S IT. You can put all this behind you and get back to enjoying life. Click on the link below to Meg’s blog, and check out her videos. You will see that life on three can be every bit as fun and full of joy as life on four. 

Sending love to you both. There is light at the end of this tunnel, I promise. 

Meg, Clare and Angel Pie xxx

Meg, Mutt, aged around 10, adopted 31/12/2009. Sudden explosive right elbow fracture 06/12 (caused by IOHC), diagnosed with End Stage Arthritis 03/15, Total Elbow Replacement 08/15, problems with healing leading to skin graft & skin flap surgery, Chronic Infection leading to implant breakdown. Became a Tripawd 9th March 2016. 
Lives with Mum, Clare, watched over by Angel Pie and Angel Billie
My life as a MEG-A-STAR 


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24 February 2019 - 6:01 am
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My biggest fear since the initial break has been the pins/plate failing as she is just doing a normal everyday activity and her being scared and in pain. She doesn’t deserve to suffer like that again. She is crate trained and we have our living room gated off because we have a toddler, so keeping her confined has been easy, and she does the stairs 2x a day to sleep in our bedroom. Otherwise it’s been short leash walks for potty time and that’s it. For a dog that has had a ton of outdoor freedom her whole life, it was a big change for all of us. It will be nice just to let her come outside and help get the mail or hang out while we push the toddler on the swings again.

Wherever the Wind Takes Me, Dude

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24 February 2019 - 1:49 pm
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Ruby! Don’t you worry, we GSDs make pawesome Tripawds if I do say so myself! I’ve been one since I was 8 months old and haven’t missed a thing. And my friends the Oaktown Pack, all rear-leg amputees, will tell you the same thing. You are gonna do great, we know it!

#GSDTripawdsRock!

Wyatt swims at Carcross, YukonImage Enlarger

20140919w_oaktownpack03.jpgImage Enlarger

Love,
Wyatt Ray Dawg

Wyatt Ray Dawg . . . The Tripawds Leg-A-Cy Continues!

Read all about my adventures at my Tripawds Blog

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16 April 2019 - 4:56 pm
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Hi again forum folks,

Ruby had her surgery today. She made it through without any issues and is resting, hopefully they give us the ok to bring her home tomorrow evening as planned. According to the nurse I spoke to she lost the whole leg because the metal plate was so high up on the femur from her initial break and repair job. Feeling pretty anxious, so if anyone has words of encouragement, I’m all ears! Tomorrow our new life begins.

The Rainbow Bridge



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16 April 2019 - 6:04 pm
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Oh my gosh wow she’s a Tripawd now? Whooooeeeee, she made it through surgery!

Of course we have lots of words of encouragement. Feel free to call the Tripawds Helpline anytime and we can even give them to you in person. I’ll be staffing it tomorrow, Sally is on it tonight.

You can also find me in the Tripawds Chat room right now for a few more minutes, then later after dinner and tomorrow during the work day.

She can finally put her long medical ordeal behind her, this is great news. Yes, life will be a bit different now but she is still Ruby and just wants to get on with life. You will be SO impressed at her resiliency. And as a Tripawd GSD momma myself I can say for sure that this breed is tough when it comes to recovery. She’s got this covered. All she needs is for YOU to be strong and pawsitive, and she will reflect that right back to you. Together, your pack WILL thrive and get on with life! 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Virginia




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17 April 2019 - 9:20 am
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YAAAAAAAAAAY  FOR RUBY!!!  SURGERY IS DONE AND THE HEAL CAN BEGIN. F I N A L L Y!!!

Stay connected  and let us know ANY questions  you have!  Recovery  is no picnic, but when it’s  done you will be  so happu as Ruby’s sparkle returns!!

We’re  with you the whole way!!

Hugs

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!

Livermore, CA




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17 April 2019 - 11:36 am
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I bet it seemed like forever for the surgery date to get here then… OMD she is having surgery!

My current Tripawd is a little Pug mix named Elly who was hit by a car at 7 months old and lost her right rear leg as a result.  I saw one x ray on the rescue FB page and the break looked pretty bad.  She was amputated to the hip so no piece of femur remains.  My first Tripawd was a Pug named Maggie who lost a rear leg to cancer.  I think leaving a bit of the femur has advantages but in Elly’s case and sounds like in Ruby’s case it just wasn’t possible.

Elly is now about 4.5 years old and does pretty much what ever a dog her size and age can do.  I do limit some ‘burst’ activities and try to keep her from jumping too much off the one back leg.  I have stairs or stools by all the furniture she is allowed on and she uses them most of the time.

I got Elly about 2.5 months post amp, but I did go through recovery with Maggie.  She was a 7.5 year old stubborn Pug who hated any changes to her routine.  She was a slug for several weeks after surgery and I was sure I had done the wrong thing.  In hindsight it made sense that she took longer than most to get used to her new normal. 

This is major surgery and the meds can really wack them out, but I bet Ruby will feel so much better with that bad leg gone.  She may not be completely herself at first so have patience.  You have the advantage of having been through major surgery with her so that will help you.  Amputation recovery will be much quicker!

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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17 April 2019 - 7:38 pm
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Hi all!

Ruby has been home for about 3 hours now and I am so surprised by the difference between this time and when they repaired her broken leg… when we got her home after the accident in July she was in Lala Land due to the drugs and this time she is so alert! Cried the whole car ride home because she hates daddy’s SUV and was a little excitable when we got home because her grandma was over, but once we put our toddler to bed Ruby finally let herself relax. Scarfed down her dinner, had a special biscuit, has peed twice, and had to patrol the first floor before settling in on her doggie bed. Right now I have the lights off and the tv on in our living room and have her crated for the night while I have set myself up for the night on the couch right next to her crate. Slipped her meds into watermelon chunks which she happily ate and we are done for the evening. 

It seems strange to say, but this recovery is shaping up to be less stressful than the leg repair not only because of her demeanor but also because we aren’t trying to support and avoid re-injuring a bum leg. She seems to be adapting very quickly and tolerating any pain very well, although I’m sure the fentanyl patch is helping with that. Hopefully this is a good sign for the next 2-3 weeks!

Virginia




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17 April 2019 - 8:23 pm
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WELCOME HOME RUBY!!!!   THIS UPDATE HAS ME GRINNING  EAR TO EAR!!

Yes, compare to everything  she6 been through and you’ve  been through, this may not be nearly  as rough!  That would be so wonderful!!

Try and get some rest.  You deserve it!

Hugs

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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17 April 2019 - 10:54 pm
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What a pupdate! Wow she is such a rock star, that’s pretty darn wonderful she is getting around so well and eating too. My guess is that things are gonna go pretty well. She may slow down a bit once her body catches up with that big brain of hers, but she will get back to herself in no time.

Bet you’re really glad that she is crate trained! And yeah I would totally agree, based on member experiences here, that amputation recovery is much easier than any other leg surgeries. 

Meanwhile Ruby is like “Duh, told you not to worry Mom!”

I’ll be in the Tripawds Chat tomorrow, let us know how things are going. Hope you have a restful night.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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