I am Queenie's mom. I live alone so do not have anyone who can take a picture of Queenie and I together. Maybe when her tracking classes start again I will have the instructor take one of the two of us. This blog is kind of long because I wanted to tell everyone why she needed her leg amputated.
Anyway, I just wanted to introduce myself to everyone. Queenie is a very active 12 year old female Siberian Husky. At the end of January I noticed her limping back to the car after one of her tracking classes. The next day I went to the vet who told me he thought he felt a mass by her rear left leg. I needed to bring her back the following morning so that he could sedate her to take some x-rays. When I picked her up that evening he told me there definitely was an unidentifiable mass by her knee so he was going to send the x-rays to a radiologist and would have the results by Friday morning.
I took her home and brought her up and down the steps to go outside whenever she needed to relieve herself with a towel supporting her so she wouldn't put too much weight on the leg. I did this all day Wednesday. On Thursday when I brought her out in the morning, she slipped on a piece of ice I did not notice and fell flat on her stomach. When I picked her up with the towel she was screaming with pain. I got her to my minivan and lifted a 51 pound dog by myself (my adrenalin must really have kicked in) into the car. I drove to the vet who took x-rays and said that she had fractured her femur. I then drove with her to a second vet for a second opinion but he too confirmed that she fractured her femur. When I asked if a cast could be put on it he gently told me that he couldn't because the bone around the knee was starting to disintegrate and unfortunately would need to be amputated. I then had to travel to the orthopedic surgeon of course crying all the way. But when they put Queenie on the back seat of the minivan with the car seatbelt just over her, I needed to stop twice on the side of the road because she was wiggling her way out of the seatbelt (broken femur and all) to try to sit up next to me.
I got to the surgeon's office and he told me about the procedure and I made it a point to mention to him that she was a diabetic. He then, as gently as possible told me that might make the surgery a little complicated because the surgery itself is a drastic one and the diabetes might cause havoc to her system. I brought my other dog, a female German Shephard Dog who is 12 year old but three months Queenie's junior to the hospital to visit with Queenie before her surgery which was going to cost me $3,800.
Friday I was "on pins and needles" the whole day until the surgeon called me at about 3:30PM to tell me that she came through the surgery fine and was now resting. That was a big relief for me. That evening I called the hospital to see how she was doing. The girl who answered the phone said she needed to put the OR Tech on the phone. While I was on hold all these thoughts were going through my head, she had a turn for the worst, she will not be coming home at all, etc. When the tech got on the phone she said that they have performed several amputations over the years and they always needed to practically lift the dogs up to get the sling under them to take them for a walk. She then said that with Queenie, as soon as she was coming out of anesthesia she was trying to get up on her remaining leg and every time she saw them coming toward her cage with the sling she was already up on the leg waiting to get out. They were really surprised at how well she did taking into consideration her age and her diabetes. She was such a determined dog. She just couldn't wait to go home and see her roommate Lady, the German Shephard. I picked her up Monday evening and she practically pulled me down the ramp to get to the car. When she got home she continued to progress in her walking or should I say running.
She used to take part in the sport of tracking and I couldn't wait to get her back into it again. For those of you that do not know about the sport it is where a glove is placed by a person laying a track at the beginning. That person then walks a certain pattern at first dropping treats along the way but as the dog progresses, lessens up on the amount of treats. At the end of the track they put down another glove. The owner needs to bring the dog up to the beginning glove and let them sniff it. Then the dog is on their own. They follow the scent of the person who laid the track all the way to the end where they find the ending glove. Queenie loves this sport so much that when she had her amputation her tracking instructor asked if I ever heard about wheelchairs for dogs. I told her I didn't but then went online and boy am I glad I found this website. The first time I put Queenie in her wheelchair she did not want to walk around in my yard so I took her for a walk down my street to a park around the corner. Well, she started out by my left side but by the time we got to the corner she was at the end of her six foot leash. I an really glad that I taught her left and right turns because I yelled out for her to make a right and was only able to catch up to her because her wheel got stuck behind a big tree. Once I got her wheel back on the grass she was on the go again. Without her wheelchair she runs around the yard about 45 miles an hour for about 10 or 15 minutes and then rests for about 30 minutes. In her wheelchair she can be constantly on the go until I take her out of it. She really loves it and seems to get excited whenever she sees me putting it into the car.
Dolores & Queenie from NJ