Giselle’s journey to walk again

A big thank you to everyone who has been a part of getting Giselle this far in her journey.  To read about how Giselle came to us, see our press release.

Update: 28th May 2021

Giselle continues to progress in foster. She is still swimming three times a week and getting stronger with each session. Her rear wheelchair has now arrived and we hope to gradually introduce it in a couple of weeks once we are sure she is strong enough to hold her own front weight. We finally got to the bottom of her stomach problem and she has been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease which requires short courses of steroids throughout her life when she has a flare up. The good news is the steroids for this bad bout have worked and her tummy has settled really well and we have also discovered she likes to play fetch! There really is nothing stopping his girl from enjoying life. Keep an eye on our social media for her progress in the rear chair over the next couple of weeks.

Update: 30th April 2021

Giselle has now recovered from her bilateral double rear amputation. She has also received her brand new prosthetic leg and has begun her daily training to learn how to use it. Prosthesis training begins with around two 10 minute walks a day, and is built up over the space of 8 weeks to 30-40 minutes per day. The reason the process is slow is to allow the partial leg, from which the prosthetic is attached, to physiologically acclimatise to it. If a prosthesis is worn too often too soon, it can cause a host of medical complications and set a dog back even further to the point where they have to totally rest (and we don’t think Giselle would appreciate that now she has a new lease of life!).

Giselle has also begun hydrotherapy sessions three times a week to help strengthen her chest. She will continue with this for around 8 weeks. The next 10-12 weeks is crucial for Giselle. It is important a strict routine is followed with the prosthetic and we are still having to keep her entertained! The long term goal is for her to acclimatise fully to the prosthetic and to put her on a rear wheelchair so she has even more mobility when out and about and when it comes to walking in different places.

Thank you to everyone who has donated so far. We really couldn’t do this without you! If you wish to help us continue her journey to walk again, we’re still accepting vital donations via our Just Giving page.

Update: 31st March 2021

Giselle underwent a successful double rear leg and tail amputation on the 8th of March, which took 7 hours to complete due to the terrible state of her pelvic area.

Giselle following her operation

She is still in foster care with our founder, Natalia, who is providing her daily care which has consisted of: hourly bedding changes, stitch cleaning, keeping her as still as possible and administering pain relief and antibiotics. To ensure Giselle is not frustrated, Natalia walks her two to three times a day in a dog pram to enable her to get some fresh air and change of scenery and familiarise her with the local area for when she is ready to start walking again. She is also kept busy with toys, bones and plenty of cuddles.

Giselle getting some fresh air in her dog pram

She’s now four weeks into her recovery and the last of her stitches were removed on Friday, which means she can roam at home and begin the next stage. This consists of getting her used to wearing a nappy and training her to walk on a quad wheelchair, which has been ordered and with any luck should arrive by April 14th. This process will take some time as she needs to gradually build the muscle to walk successfully on the chair, acclimatise to having a frame around her body and generally become confident in her ability to use it. If all goes to plan this should take around four weeks of daily practice three times a day. 

The final part of her journey is still a long way off; fitting her prosthetic front leg. Once we have raised the money to be able to get her one, she will have it professionally fitted and will need to be trained to walk on it, which may take a few months. After around five weeks of using the prosthetic, she will need to have it adjusted at the prosthetic clinic in Gloucester. The prosthetic is key as it will enable her to: 

  • Regain mobility in the home without the chair (disabled dogs do not use chairs inside)
  • Take some pressure off the one working front leg when using her wheelchair
  • Enable her to enjoy longer walks like any other dog 
  • Enable her to learn to stand up alone

We are still some way off achieving the financial part of the prosthetic and would greatly appreciate any donation towards this cost. We’ll keep you up to date with how she’s progressing.

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