Puppy - broken leg, need advice! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-15-2013, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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Puppy - broken leg, need advice!

Hello all,

New gsd owner here, have a 9 week old, got her a week ago. Amazing dog, training has been great so far, she's doing great. Yesterday, however, she snuck away fast and literally jumped off of my second story deck (in front of my wife and kids, ugly scene).

Anyways, somehow, quite amazingly she not only survived the fall but the only damage is a broken bone near her foot on her front left leg.

Surgery is scheduled for early this week, have a reputable doc on it, pins needing to be put in. Not going to be cheap, but they tell me it's the best thing long term and her health is the number one thing.

My question... Has anyone been through this before with a gsd puppy, or any large breed pup before? I have to admit, I'm a bit nervous on how I can possibly give her the proper exercise and mental stimulation she needs. She won't be able to go on walks or really "play" at all for a month or more.

Are there things anyone else has done in this spot? Things I can do to make sure I still establish myself as the pack leader with her even when she will be so limited and contained to a kennel? Training opportunities even with a puppy that can't walk? She was catching on quickly with clicker but that seems tough now (no come, sit, stay, etc).

Any advice is helpful, I have wanted a gsd for so long, have had great success training my boxer and know how much these breeds need stimulation constantly. Really throwing off my confidence here, so I'm reaching out to other owners.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-15-2013, 11:14 PM
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I don't really have any advise but am really sorry this happened to you and your puppy. Glad you are taking care of her. Hopefully others with more knowledge on this will chime in. Hope she has a speedy recovery.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-15-2013, 11:23 PM
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I had to have a steel plate put into my labs right rear leg at about one-ish, can't remember the exact time frame. We didn't have as much down time, but I do remember once the incision site was healed our vet said swimming was ok. Might want to ask the vet.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-16-2013, 01:17 AM
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I don't have any suggestions ... perhaps it's something you and the vet can discuss since I'm sure this isn't the first time he's treated a puppy with a broken bone.

Wishing you and the pup my best that the surgery goes smoothly and he gets back to being his normal puppy self fast!!!

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-16-2013, 04:34 AM
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My GSD got run over only when she was probably 2 or 3 months old. The vet said swimming is good and only keep the walks short. You just need to keep movement in the leg. We didn't train her while she was still injured but that was also because she had complications which added another month or two to the recovery process

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-16-2013, 07:32 AM
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One of our huskies broke his leg when e was about nine weeks old as well... *Sigh* He had a horrible spiral fracture in his hind leg, and we were told that he would never be an athlete, never be a real sled dog, and would probably always walk with a limp. It was pretty tough, keeping him maintained, I'll just let you know! my mom slept on the couch with him every night, to ensure that e didn't chew his cast or hurt himself in his crate (not saying that's what you have to do, that's just what WE had to do). All I can say is just keep her mind exercised and she will be easier to manage. maybe teach her little tricks like turn her head, teach her the names of objects etc. We gave our boy lots of little chewy things, Kong's stuffed with peanut butter and dog treats, you name it. If a dog is young enough, Typically (Not always) but typically the bone is still young and growing and will grow back better. And if she has the surgery your talking about She'll probably be okay, so long as she doesn't re-injure it.
well, theres my 2 cents, maybe it helped, maybe it didn't.
(Also, be sure to keep her socialized, though carefully so she doesn't hurt herself, so you don't have trouble later when she is bigger!)
Good luck!!!!!
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-16-2013, 08:07 AM
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What a nightmare, I'm glad the pup is ok and I really hope the healing happens fast

Nosework I think would be your best option, just using cups and hiding kibble or other scents under them to work her mind. Taking her for car rides so she can still experience scents and sounds, even just teaching "place" where she has to stay on her bed while people walk around her, etc.


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Loker Delgado Von Stalworth - Male GSD - born Jan 26, 2012
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Alex - Male Cocker Spaniel (rescue) - RIP Cuddlebug 2007-2010
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-16-2013, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice and kind words.

Took her into the vet today for surgery and am expecting her back today or sometime tomorrow. They are going to realign the bone and put a pin through it.

Pretty scary stuff, I have so many hopes for her - I'm a runner and was looking forward to eventually training her as a running partner (my Boxer simply won't go more than about a mile or so), I want her camping with us and feeling confident to explore and what not. REALLY hoping that long term she can still sprint/run like normal and that our biggest downside is the possibility of earlier arthritis in that leg.

In any case, we waited 6 months for her, brought her home, have already bonded with her as a family and begun training. I'm in it for the long haul. I just hope I can maintain training while she goes through this difficult time.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-16-2013, 02:44 PM
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Someone had a good idea in here once about using the old treat under the cup game. Exactly like a shell game only using cups and treats.

I would go in to the vet with a list of questions for post surgery advice. I would start that list now so your ready. Things like recomendations on recovery and what the dog is allowed to do and when to do it. Also, what to look for in the way of if infectikn sets in. Things like that. I would follow thier recomendations to the letter.

But yeh, nose games would be best. Low impact training and such. It wouldn't hurt to ask the vet the same question your asking here.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-16-2013, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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Never used the 'cup' game with my boxer, something new to learn maybe. I'm trying to stay positive, I love training dogs so much and this is only my second attempt at training my own dog to be a family pet - so I'm definitely down about not being able to do what I know works.

Anyways, I'll read into the nose/cup games, that's something I've never tried.

Yeah, will definitely have a long list of questions. Training help, ways to exercise her, how damaged could she be long term (can I run with her when she's old enough?), etc. Just came here hoping to at least prepare myself.

Honestly, she's lucky to be alive, and even luckier it wasn't multiple broken legs and that the only break was in one small bone. Things could have been worse. Just want SO much for this dog, and I know how much GSDs need in terms of leadership, exercise and mental stimulation. This will be a rough month I think.

Thanks again, I'll try and post some updates as it goes.
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