Acquired: Other (stray, given dog by friend etc.)
Training: I haven't learned care / training techniques, Attended conferences / shows, Books
New York, United States
Posted August 8, 2012
Zoey is a German Shepherd/Husky mixed breed dog. We got her from a family that was forced to give her up when she was a little under 2 years old. Zoey has always been a wonderful dog. She has a great temperament, is beautiful (looks like an all-white German Shepherd with one blue eye), is good with cats and other dogs and great with people, is very smart and well-trained, and generally just a great dog. Unfortunately, Zoey recently ruptured her ACL (knee ligament), which required a very expensive (thousands of dollars surgery). Being that Zoey is a younger dog (about 5 years old), of course we went ahead with the surgery, which was completed by Dr. Bookbinder, an excellent veterinarian/surgeon in Canastota, NY. After her surgery, the recovery time is up to 6 months and we have to keep her from running, jumping and playing which has been very difficult as she is a very active dog. I love German Shepherds, but in talking to other German Shepherd owners, it turns out that torn ACLs and ruptured ACLs are very common in the breed. In fact, according to Dr. Bookbinder, there's a 60% chance she may injure her other knee. Zoey also has had hip problems for several years, and has evidence of severe arthritis in her hips on her x-rays. Again, unfortunately I think this is a common problem for dogs of this breed. She is on cosequine, which seems to be helping a bit. We had a hard time bringing Zoey home after the surgery and getting her into the house, as she could not really walk and she weighs 80 pounds. She also had trouble squatting to go to the bathroom for a few weeks after the surgery, although she is getting better now that it has been a few months (finally!). Zoey also sheds quite a bit of fur, and looks like she is "molting." Not sure if this is the German Shepherd part of her or the Husky part, but there are always tufts of white fur in our house! I really do love this breed and would recommend it to anyone willing to accept the cost and responsibility that comes with owning a dog. If these health problems really are prevalent in this breed, as I suspect they are, any German Shepherd owners should be prepared for the high cost of possible surgeries that may be necessary for their dog.