Managing/rehabbing the canine amputee UPDATE WITH PICS!

So two Thursdays ago one of my beloved dogs crossed the Rainbow Bridge, right before I was leaving town for a week. Last Thursday, while I was gone, this sweetie shows up in my carport.

As you can see, she’s missing part of her left hind, with some pretty gruesome proud flesh/scar tissue. DH wraps her up and takes her to the vet. She was so sweet and meek, never offered to snap or growl out of fear or pain. Vet feeds her for the weekend and performs mid-thigh amputation yesterday. She can come home in 2-3 more days.

I’ve never dealt with a three-legged canine before, much less one with a fresh amputation. I’ve heard that hind limb amputations are much easier for them to adapt to than forelimb loss, so that’s good I guess. I know that the vet will give us care instructions, but what can I expect on a day to day basis as she heals and adjusts? We have two steps up into the kitchen/down into the living area: problem? The vet surmises that she’s only 5-6 months old, so I’m hopeful that the adjustment will be easier for her than if she were older and more used to having the leg.

We have another dog who has been sorely missing our departed girl, and DH is sure that our current dog kept this girl company during the night before he found her in the morning. They have touched noses/met through the fence.

FYI, we are working through our rural county’s humane society to do things properly. She is technically on a 10 day hold in case an owner comes forward (posted on Facebook when we found her, no leads), but HS officer is not hopeful (she’s seen a lot in our rural county, and very little of it involves caring owners and happy reunions). At the moment we are officially her foster home, but Sunday is the 10-day mark and then she’ll be officially a family member.

And I’m sure it’s the height of magical thinking/anthropomorphizing, but I can’t help but think that my departed dog sent this girl our way, knowing that she needed us.

So any tips, advice, and extravagant admiration of this sweet girl are welcome!


She is adorable!!! You’ll get a happy dog with every ability to run and play. Keep this doggie slim its entire life! My amputee foster dogs showed no difference in mobility. There is some chance for athritis when they age but today is today and tomorrow is tomorrow.


I am guessing that once her surgery is all healed she will feel so much better not having that horrible injury that she will be running around in no time.

She is quite adorable and so lucky to have landed on your door step.

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What a beautiful dog! I am a sucker for German shepherds and she looks like a nice one. Your DH sounds like a keeper, too.

So sorry about the recent loss of your dog. I hope this one helps ease your family’s grief.

ETA: You might want to put some anti-slip tape on the stairs.

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No advice or experience just a huge thank you for helping her. She’ll reward you in spades. I bet she’ll be up and around in no time!

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Oh lucky you!! I’m such a sucker for abandoned female German Shepherds. They are the best.
I’m on my second.
First, they will always, forever be grateful to you. I hope you’re able to get into her deep brain as
they really are unbelievably intelligent. I talk to my current shelter dumpee like she understands
everything and she just nods in agreement.
So sorry about losing your other dog, and yes this reminds me of that poem/ditty that mentions
your passed doggy sending another ‘needy’ pooch your way. And you made room for them.

Bless you for your generosity of heart and spirit.


Oh, she’s beautiful! I am glad she found you. Does he vet have any idea what happened to her leg? Poor girl.

I am sorry about your other dog. you know she was sent to you, right?


The vet thinks it was likely a trap. It makes me sad to think that there are people out here that use them. He said he’s also seen similar injuries from a cable tie-out getting wrapped around the leg.

Besides having no-slip surfaces where you can, maybe some sort of sock or boot on the hind leg to prevent it from slipping? And regular chiro work, as her body will be out of whack compensating.


I believe she was sent by your “treasure” in heaven …. something similar happened to me once … ((hugs)) bless you for accepting your new gift ~


Well, this gorgeous girl has made herself right at home since she came home from the vet on Wednesday. We are calling her Alice.

I am shocked at how quickly and easily she is able to get around. Going up the stairs was pretty easy for her; it took a little time to figure out going down but now she’s a pro. I put down strips of rubber bathmat (the kind with the suction cups on the bottom) on each stair and the floor at the top and bottom in case she needs extra grip.

She has picked up pretty quickly on how to potty outside and has only had a few accidents. So far her energy level has been moderately puppy-ish: she’s probably still a little too undernourished and sore from surgery to be too rambunctious. I can foresee that changing as she gets healthier.

She loves our Gabby dog, and though Gabby is skeptical about being an auntie, she is very tolerant. Gabby has the best temperament on the planet, but we’re monitoring closely to make sure that Alice doesn’t annoy her or get in her space, and letting her know that she is loved and that the new dog isn’t taking us away from her.

Alice is starting to show a tendency to nibble on things, so we’re redirecting that to a rope toy as soon as we see it. So far so good.

My poor sweet DH is a little shell-shocked. He had never really been around dogs until he met me, and never around puppies. I think he’s amazed at how quick she is.

On Sunday the 10-day hold is up and she will officially be ours!


Aww what a sweet heaven sent gift, she will bring you much joy.

Now I’m not going to be the only one who after admiring the pups do a double take at the guy standing in the doorway with his shorts round his ankles :open_mouth: :rofl: It took a minute to see past it.

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Just what my Friday needed-- a VERY happy ending indeed. You’re lucky to have found each other! I believe in what another poster said, she was sent to you for sure :slightly_smiling_face:

THANK YOU for giving this girl a new outlook on life!

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I do believe they are ankle weights, not shorts.

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They are ankle weights (I tried to get him to move out of the doorway for the pic but Alice would have gotten up). DH practices a martial arts discipline and is wearing them for a month. Which is better than the year he wore them last time…

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Job well done @cllane1! Alice is lovely as is your other dog. Best wishes and so happy that poor sweet girl stumbled into your life.

And please come back and update over time with pics of this beauty as she blossoms.

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Aww, she’s beautiful!!

She picked the right house to go to. I hope she heals quickly and fits in well with your other dog.

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I am so happy for her and you both! Her leg looks much better than it di and I hope she heals well and I know she will have a long and happy life with you.