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PBS Viewers’ Stories: Senior Shepherds Live Long by Eating Raw

Senior Shepherd Prana with VahanaRecently, New York resident Yvonne Gonski wrote to us after watching the PBS show we were featured in, called Why We Love Cats and Dogs. She was moved by Jerry’s story, and wanted to share her own experience with Prana, her amazing nearly fifteen year old German Shepherd girl.

Sadly, Prana recently passed away after a courageous battle with pneumonia. She will be missed dearly. Her Mom wrote this great post for us, before Prana went to the Bridge. We publish this story in tribute to this amazing girl. May her spirit fly free.

Here is Prana’s inspawrational tale . . .

If you’re wondering what the secret is to ensuring a long healthy life for your dog, Yvonne Gonski has two words: “raw foods.” And although many of you Tripawds are battling cancer and might be avoiding raw foods right now, we thought your pawrents still might find these general concepts about home made dog diets to be useful.

“I have been raising German Shepherd dogs for the past 28 years. My journey of learning to provide my dogs with alternate methods of care began 15 years ago, following the passing of my three male German Shepherds.Although two of them died from age related conditions, I started to question the commercially prepared food I was giving them and the conventional vaccines and medications they received over the years.

One of the books that got me started was The Complete Herbal Handbook for the Dog and Cat, by Juliette de Bairacli Levy A strong advocate of a raw foods diet and the use of herbs to treat most canine diseases, she bred Afghan Hounds for over fifty years.

Her lines are virtually disease free and many of her dogs typically lived into their twenties. Her book has become my bible for feeding and treating my dogs with herbs when they are ill.

What Does Prana and Vahana’s Raw Diet Look Like?

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Daisy: A Senior Gal Lives Her Golden Years on Three Legs

Senior Three Legged Dog DaisyMany times, pawrents aren’t sure if they should go ahead with an amputation on their senior dog. Of course all situations are very different, and there are no right answers. Lots of things about the dog’s existing health issues need to be taken into consideration.

But when a senior dog with osteosarcoma is otherwise in fair health, amputation can immediately alleviate the pain from bone cancer. And despite surgery recovery time and a bit of a learning curve, living out life on three legs can be a true gift for older dogs.

“Its all about growing old together,” says my friend Sasha, dog mom of my special girl Lalla. “A senior dog needs gentle exercise . . . and a pain free life in the ‘golden years’ is the greatest gift you can give to your senior dog.”

Daisy is a great example.

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My Dog Date With Sami

Three Legged Dogs jerry and SamiAnyone who thinks older dogs can’t handle amputation has never met Sami the Bone Cancer Hero!

This senior dog know how to party. Losing a leg hasn’t slowed her down!

I recently got together with this pretty lady for a walk in the park and we had a blast. Being a Los Angeles city park we didn’t get to run off leash. But we sure wanted to…

Sami is nearly fourteen years old! And she just had her amputation a couple months ago. I think she’s doing great, and will only continue to get stronger.

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Bracken: the Story of an Eight-Year Bone Cancer Survivor

Senior Dog Amputee BrackenA lot of people wonder whether or not the should put their senior dog through amputation and cancer treatments. Well, I want to share a story that we received the other day, about Bracken; a dog that was diagnosed with osteosarcoma at age 7, and lived to be fifteen years old! Here is her inspiring story, as told to us by Ruth, her human:

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Super Senior Tripawds

Senior dog bone cancer survivorI get a lot of letters from dog parents who are dealing with a bone cancer diagnosis. Many parents aren’t sure if their senior dog can handle being a tripawd.

We know that amputation is a tough decision, especially when older dogs are involved. And there’s no “right” answer; every dog has a different health situation, and responds to it in their own way, usually pawsitively!

Based on the dog parents we’ve talked to, it seems that most dogs who are good candidates for the surgery (your vet can advise) will bounce right back to their old selves in no time, once that nasty pain is gone.

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