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Riley's blog

12 1/2 year old German Shorthair Pointer

Riley's blog

One year post amputation

April 27th, 2018 · 7 Comments · Uncategorized

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Today marks a year since Riley lost her leg.  What a year it’s been.  She went to the oncologist yesterday for a checkup, and the vet said that Riley looks great.  Blood work came back all normal except for a very slightly high albumin reading.  Chest x-rays had an anomaly, but the radiologist thinks it’s just a fatty mass (Riley has an “old lady bump” on her chest), so it appears that our dear Riley is still in remission.  Woo hoo!

We caught her digging in the yard last week – a bit clumsily- but she was having a good time.  She will occasionally bring a tennis ball to us, but one throw is generally enough.  Riley’s remaining hind leg is not strong enough to get her up a flight of stairs, so we hoist her up with her Webmaster harness at least once a day.  Currently, Riley is receiving acupuncture every few weeks.  We also just started swim therapy, which is allowing her to get good extension on her legs.  She is taking an array of supplements to keep her as healthy as possible.  We are trying a different harness to see if that has anything different to offer.

She still struggles with mobility.  Her remaining knee clicks audibly, and the therapist says there is also some difficulty with the tendon back there.  Riley has some arthritis in her remaining limbs, so that certainly doesn’t help with getting around.  Perhaps it’s because of her age, but since the surgery she has never gotten back to being able move easily.  She can run a bit, if the spirit moves her, but it is a very ungainly gait.  I see many dogs on this website who are able to get around nearly as well as a four-legged dog, but that isn’t the case with Riley.  All Riley’s vets said that we would be surprised at how well she would do with three legs, but none of them said that she would be noticeably disabled.  That being said, we are still glad to have her in our lives.  Our Riley is now 13 1/2.  We are grateful for every day.

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7 Comments so far ↓

  • arynzmuse

    Riley, you are awesome. Keep enjoying your doggo-ness, digging in the yard, playing with tennis balls, or taking a nap in your favorite spot.. Riley humans? Awesome job loving on and taking care of your sweet pup. 🙂 Thanks for the update.

  • jerry

    Hey Riley and family, HOPPY AMPUVERSARY! One year is remarkable, especially for a mature gal like you.

    We are glad to hear that things are going pretty well and you are getting some pawesome care. Sounds like life is pretty good for you. Tell your people not to worry, even though those other Tripawds look like they are getting around a little faster than you, they are by no means YOU, a one-of-a-kind, rockin’ senior gal who is on her own timeline and daily adventure path.

    May you have many, many more celebrations ahead. We hope you’ll share some photos too!

  • benny55


    And a good checkup on top of tjat! OUTSTANDING JOB!!!

    Riley is happy and could care less whether she runs a marathon or not. To outsiders looking in, she is doing spectacularly well for a very senior big dog gal who has been on three legs now for a full year ….and with arthritis!! How many 94-95 ur old humans are outside running or chasing tennis balls………..while hopping in one leg??

    Do you have her on Rimadyl, or maybe adequan injections in addition to them other therapies. Sometimes they can make a difference as well as keeping her on a low dose of a pain med.

    You and Riley are quite a team! She is clearly very well loved and very well cared for! Stellar job!!

    Ice cream and cake for everyone!!😎

    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!!

    • jogswithdogs

      Thanks for the good wishes. Yes, Riley’s on Rimadyl and Adequan. She doesn’t seem to be in pain, although we have done a trial run with Gabapentin and Tramadol. Neither of those last two seemed to make any difference, so we have discontinued them. She is on a few supplements for joint care and immune health. Riley really looks remarkably bright and alert, and just… like Riley. Her appetite has never waned, even through five rounds of chemo, and she is interested in her surroundings and life with the other dogs. We are very glad that she is still with us.

  • rottwlr2

    One year, that is great news! I hope we get so lucky with Beau. Beau is our 10 y.o. (May 15) Rottweiler who had his right rear leg amputated March 13th. Beau too has struggled with mobility issues. He started out strong after his surgery recovery but apparently injured has other back leg in some way or his back or? Perhaps it is he is permanently out of whack from having to compensate from a different center of balance. It is hard and I constantly worry things will get worse. That said, he is generally quite happy and content so I try to be as well. I am grateful for whatever time we have. Hang tough Riley!

    • jogswithdogs

      Thanks for commenting. I will keep Beau in my thoughts. Many of the things that we are currently doing for Riley are in an attempt to strengthen her remaining legs. Have you taken to Beau to physical therapy?

      We hope that Riley will continue to get around well enough on her own, but are quite prepared to assist when needed. We are all accustomed to the routine of hoisting her up the stairs. So much so, that Riley will stand at the bottom of the stairs every evening and whine for her ride when she’s ready to go to bed. The harness has been a real lifesaver. Do you have one for Beau? The thought of having to carry a big rottweiler is daunting. In her current configuration, Riley is about fifty pounds, and that’s about all I can handle.

  • rottwlr2

    Thank you for responding! Beau is currently having both acupuncture and/or chiropractic work done as suggested. The vet we found does home visits which are very helpful as going to the vet and all it entails is quite stressful for him and exhausting. We went to a physical therapy appointment and were prescribed at home excersises and are trying to keep up with that. Beau was really not a fan of water, he liked to get his feet in but not swim, so we didn’t try the hydrotherapy that the U offers. Do you feel it has been helpful? We just ordered the Blue Dog help ‘em up front and rear harness. We will have it Monday. We live in a rambler so no stairs except to get from the deck to the yard. We have borrowed a ramp for going up with assistance from us with a towel under his hips. Down he can do on his own. He is 80 lbs so not huge for a Rottweiler.

    Thanks again for the response, it helps to know that other folks have challenges.

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