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Niki, the dog who loves to run

car accident dog rear leg amputated

Niki, the dog who loves to run

Almost a month later

May 21st, 2010 · 7 Comments · Uncategorized

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It is still hurting ME when I see her limp!  It seems like she gets tired much easier.  We went to one of our old places – she looked at one of the hills she used to bound up and didn’t go.  When she slips or can’t get up, those are the times that it just grips my heart.  Now I’m worried that it will be more strain on her other leg and she’ll develop arthritis rather than making it stronger.  It’s very uneven ground here so she’s learned to make tight turns, etc (no need to use exercise pads).

We just ordered a Waring MG-800 grinder so soon the freezer full of beef parts will come out.  So far, we’ve just been doing ground turkey and hamburger with the other ingredients.  Found a place about a mile away that has fresh eggs.

Her hair is taking a long time to grow back.  Is she still in shock?  When I scratch her stomach, her little stump wiggles.  If they folded the muscles over at the base of the incision, do those muscles till work? Do I need to try to exercise her stump somehow so it won’t shrivel up?  Her leg has turned almost black.  The vet said it’s pigment from being hairless and I wouldn’t have thought that was true until the spot where they put the i.v. in her front leg turned dark too.  i purchased the harness for her and it has helped a few times helping her get into the car.  She has no problem getting out – she just can’t jump up as good unless she sort of gets a running start.

Some days I just feel like this is all too much.  First my other little dog disappears, then this happens to Niki.  She would be so happy if Waltz would just come home….

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7 Comments so far ↓

  • etgayle

    ok, you need to stop beating yourself up, or you’re gonna wear out that stick!!! you did what you had to do to save niki’s life. you love her, she loves you – has this changed…NO. life is full of changes and challenges. we all wish we didn’t have to go through this, in a way it’d be nice if didn’t have to exist…but that’s not the hand we’ve been dealt. don’t let nike see you so frustrated and down. don’t give her the idea that you’re disappointed in her, or have pity for her. she can read right through you, so get the good vibe going for her!!!

    happiness is not having what you want, it’s wanting what you have. you have niki, she has you…really isn’t that a wonderful thing!! take a breath and give her a big hug…love on that baby!!!

    sorry for the scolding, but we all care about you and want you to feel better about yourself!!!

    charon & gayle

  • majorbubbatank

    Charon is right. You’ve done no disservice to Niki whatsoever. Keep in mind it’s only been a month and she will continue to get stronger, faster, and more sure footed with time. As for the slow regrowth of hair and the darkening skin, Major is 3 and a half months post-op and his fur is FINALLY growing back (about halfway there). Shepherd breeds just have the wrong kind of coat to shave. She’s fine. Also, Major has a stunning black tan on his stump, too. Be careful not to let her burn. Sunscreen is your friend. Most importantly, ease up on yourself. She still needs you to be strong.

    Rachel (Major’s mom)

  • admin

    Niki isn’t limping! It’s just much easier for her to hop along since she no longer has her spare leg to help her stride normally. So, she naturally will tire more easily. But it has only been a month and she needs more time to build her strength.

    Regarding her fur, it is very doubtful that she is in “shock”. Some dogs take much longer to regrow their fur after surgery. Check out the comments on Jerry’s post about fur growth for more insight.

  • cometdog

    Hey, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Gayle/Charon are tough southern Tennessee gals! But she is right – you have to accept what has been dealt to you and Niki. It is what it is. There’s no looking back.

    Comet was born without a functioning leg – so was Buddy, Rosie and Grizz. Should they have been put down just because they have to hop through life, instead of walk?

    I can’t imagine my life without Comet. Comet has enriched my life. I’ve never loved a dog like her and I’ve had plenty and I love all dogs. I have been blessed to have her in my life. I am so very thankful the shelter didn’t put her down because of deformity. I don’t see her as a 3-legged dog. I see her as a part of my heart and soul.

    And we all have bad luck stories…
    My father was diagnosed with heart failure at 34 years old and he died at 44 years old. My only sibling and brother died from water on the brain unexpectedly at 43 years old. My mother has rheumatoid arthritis and is totally disabled.

    It just a matter of accepting and finding happiness with what has been dealt to you.

    And yes, I worry too. We all do. That’s because we love. But focusing on the “what if’s” will only lead to heartache.

    Try to look at the bright side. I bet you’ll see there is a lot of happiness all around you with Niki. Your better days may be still ahead – because there is something to be learned from disabilities.

    Warm wishes for better days,
    Comet’s mom

  • maggie

    Oh girl, I know what you’re going thru. Honestly, you sound like how I felt back when this all started with my dog and then after amputation.

    Learn to love the Tripawd you have now and what she CAN do NOT what she can’t. My dog competed in agility for 8 years….we aint’ doin’ that any more! BUT we found another silly sport to compete in that’s easier on her Tripawd body…Rally Obedience.

    Nikki can’t climb that hill today but doesn’t mean whe won’t be able to in another month! Give it some time. But if she still can’t climb that hill…take joy in the smaller hills she can climb.

    My dog still gets weak/tired and she’s 8 months post amp. Nope…she can’t do what she used to. Some other dogs seem to not be affected at all…others, yes.

    Be Happy she’s still here and stop worrying and beating yourself up…she loves you 🙂 Savor the little accomplishments….bigger accomplishments just might come some day! 🙂

    Tracy, Maggie’s Mom
    PS all of Maggie’s hair has yet to grow in…almost but still not 100% yet…that’s the least of my worries 😉

  • Carmen (Catie's Mom)

    Charon and Gayle are right – put away that stick even though I’ll admit I have one just like it, by the way.

    For sure, some days are just hard. It hasn’t been that long since Niki’s surgery; she will get stronger. Catie’s never been a real athletic dog (her boisterous brother is a wild dog at the park with a ball; Catie’s preferred exercise is swimming not running) but she does tire more easily now after activity than she used to. A 20-minute leash walk is just about enough for her. Having said that, I swear she trots faster on three legs once she gets her momentum than she used to walk on four.

    Of course, she’s also underwent 5 bouts of chemo too; I’m sure that’s played on her stamina.

    Take it easy on yourself. As Tracy said, savor each and every accomplishment. They’re all steps to bigger ones. 🙂


    (So sorry Waltz disappeared.)

  • jakesmom

    It’s normal that Niki doesn’t have the same stamina as before… Just hang in there… she’ll start feeling better soon…

    Angel Jake’s Mom

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