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Whiskey, a German Shorthaired Pointer, was adopted from GSP Rescue New England in 2009 when he was a year and a half old. Whiskey joined Rosie, another GSP rescue; the two of them became inseparable, says their owner Adair Carty.
Life hummed along until about three years ago when a friend of Adair’s, who was in veterinarian school, noticed that Whiskey appeared to be walking on the tips of his toes. Thus began a long journey, a story of love and compassion.
Intervention for Achilles Injuries
After trips to various vets, Adair found out that Whiskey had Achilles injuries. They tried custom orthotics for a few months, followed by experimental injections administered through a veterinary school, but there appeared to be no improvement. Whiskey was also getting physical therapy as well as laser therapy several times a week. Ultimately, surgery was done on Whiskey’s right leg.
When Whiskey returned from the hospital, he had pins in his leg requiring special care and restricted activity. Unfortunately, Whiskey got a serious infection in the post-op leg, which required dressing changes, antibiotics, and pain medications. The pins eventually came out, followed by more physical therapy.
Sometime after, Adair was informed that Whiskey would need surgery on his left hind leg as well. The whole routine began again with surgery, pins, and dressings, followed by physical therapy and water therapy. Sadly, after several weeks in the post-op brace, the vet determined that the surgery was unsuccessful.
Wheelchair Gives Quality of Life
Adair didn’t want to put Whiskey through any more poking and prodding and decided to give him a few months to regain his strength and energy. Meanwhile, she investigated how to do something that would increase Whiskey’s quality of life and allow him to live with his disability in the best way possible.
Adair got Whiskey a new pair of braces which helped him significantly. But she wanted to do more; as much as the braces helped, he still wasn’t able to go for longer walks, nor was he able to go to the beach or on trail walks. That’s when Adair decided it was time to look into getting Whiskey a dog wheelchair.
“Whiskey has been through so much, but he is still a super happy boy who loves to play and be with people. Sometimes he forgets that he’s handicapped, but that’s what I love so much about him. He never lets his legs stop him! Whiskey is an absolutely amazing boy!”
– Adair Carty, Whisky’s Mom
Mobility Issues in German Shorthaired Pointers
Whiskey isn’t alone, mobility loss in German Shorthaired Pointers is more common than you may think. The average lifespan for a healthy German Shorthaired Pointer is between 12 to 14 years. Which is longer than other dog breeds of a similar size and weight. Diet, exercise, and overall health play a huge factor in a dog’s quality of life. Understanding common GSP health problems can help you give your dog the best life possible.
Hip Dysplasia – the most common cause of mobility loss in German Shorthaired Pointers. Along with severe hip pain, GSP with dysplasia can also experience limited range of motion.
Osteochondrosis Dissecans – a joint conditions that causes cartilage to break away and lodges in the joint resulting in arthritis and can cause lameness.
Cruciate Injuries – GSP are active dogs, which means there is a lot of wear and tear on their knees. CCL and cruciate tears are among the most common knee problems within the German Shorthaired Pointer breed.
Benefits of a German Shorthaired Pointer Wheelchair
Whether your German Shorthaired Pointer is slowing down, healing from an injury, or beginning to lose their mobility a dog wheelchair makes it easier for them to walk. Keeping your GSP active is critical for their quality of life. A German Shorthaired Pointer wheelchair allows your pup to run and play.