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22 July 2018
I've searched the web, with no results and am hopeful I can find help here!
My back leg amputee loves hiking. Going uphill is easy, but coming down she drops her butt and essentially uses her stump as a brake if she needs to stop abruptly. I'm looking for some sort of protective gear that can prevent her stump from abrasion and irritation.
Anyone have any leads? Know of a company I can reach out to have one custom made. All help is much appreciated!
25 April 2007
Hi LaceyK, welcome! Your future posts won't need approval so post away.
We'll do our best to help but first, what's your dog's name? Breed type? Age? Why did she lose her leg, and when? Sorry I know, lots of questions!
Tell us more about the hikes. How far does your dog go? Oops, more questions!
It sounds like she is in great shape overall. For a rear-legged Tripawd not to have issues going up hill is a good indicator that she's doing well, since going up is a lot harder than going down for most rear-leggers. The reason I'm asking so many questions is to get a better idea of the overall situation, and I think I'm going to go out on a limb (haha, Tripawd humor!) and say that before addressing the stump protection challenge, you may want to consider having her evaluated by a canine rehabilitation therapist if she has not seen once since her amp.
This is only a guess, but it sounds like the hikes may be too long for her, and the reason for her sudden braking and sliding is that she is too tired from the hike up to come to a proper three-legged stop. I'm making that assumption that based on what a rehab therapist told us long ago: anytime a dog sits down on a walk, it's a sure sign that the dog has gone too far and the walks should be shortened. I could be totally wrong, so forgive me if so.
Our Wyatt Ray , also a rear-legger, sometimes slides on his rear stump when he is playing hard or doing a fast turn while running (that rapid turning motion we try to avoid to protect against a cruciate ligament injury, something very common in Tripawds), but the stump spot that hits the ground has never shown signs of abrasion.
A consultation by a canine rehab therapist will be invaluable, so that you can continue enjoying the outdoors together but not put her at risk of long-term joint stress and muscle injuries. As enthusiastic as our Tripawds can be when it comes to playing outside, it's up to us to make sure we moderate their activity so they don't overdo things.
The rehab therapist can show you where her strengths and weaknesses are, and how to help her get strong so that she doesn't need any kind of stump protection (which isn't something sold/available as far as we know). The best part is the Tripawds Foundation may even pay for your first rehab visit !
To learn more about canine rehab therapy check out our latest podcast,
I hope this isn't too much information all at once. Let us know what questions you have OK? We're glad you joined us and look forward to learning more about your girl!
P.S. I'm in the Tripawds Chat room for a bit today if you want to talk.
22 July 2018
Hey Jerry - thanks so much for the reply.
Lena (since when she sits she Lenas to one side hehe) is a 3 year old American Bulldog mix. She lost her leg at 6 months old when she was hit by a car. She was left at the pound, with a mangled backside, retrieved by a local rescue and we got her 2 days post-op.
Hikes vary from rolling hills to mountains and only a few miles with lots of water and rest stops. Lena definitely has a harder time going down hill than uphill and some may be due to decreased stamina after going up, but what I'm often seeing is that gravity takes control, she goes too fast and she drops her butt to stop herself, not to rest necessarily.
I appreciate the information about a canine rehabilitation therapist (I didn't even know such a thing existed until now.) I'll do some research in to this and see if we have any local individuals to consult with! 🙂
25 April 2007
Lena...what a great name! Too cute!
So thanks for the background info, it does sound like you are doing a great job with her. She's lucky to have you.
Many dogs who lose a leg at a young age like her develop skeletal issues as they grow. I would also consider having her evaluated by an orthopedic vet just to get a baseline for her current status in that department. Over the years, periodic ortho checkups are helpful to find out if and where issues are occurring. Perhaps her inability to stop herself may be related to an underlying skeletal issue? Maybe not. I'm no vet. But an ortho vet can answer that.
Yes, a therapist can be SO beneficial. And if you find one in a larger referral clinic they may already be working with an ortho vet, so there's a bonus by choosing a practice like that. If you cannot find one near you please let me know and I will help point you to the nearest provider.
18 October 2009
Hello and welcome.
My Tripawd has a similar story and time line as Lena! Elly was hit by a car at 7 months old and lost her right rear leg as a result. She is now about 3.5 years old and approaching 3 years on 3. Elly is little however, a 15.5 pound Pug mix.
Small does not mean sedentary though, Elly easily outpaces me and would go much farther on walks than I let her. One thing I have realized is how important core strength is for her. I've been around here a long time and Elly is my second Tripawd so I know how important it is in theory, but seeing the difference her core work does for her strength and balance is quite an eye opener. I should say that I really see the difference when we are NOT doing her core work. A couple times since I've had her, including recently, I've been lax on doing her exercises routinely. What can I say...sometimes life has different plans!! Anyway, she isn't as balanced and not nearly as strong.
Besides working on balance equipment we usually do lots of food puzzles and games. Another good workout for her is deep, wet grass especially on hills. Although I live in drought country there are two parks near us that over-water their lawns which provides a great workout. Elly loves to hunt for gophers and look for feathers so she is having fun while exercising.
My thinking is to second Jerry's suggestion of Rehab. Even if you only go a few times (or even one) you can get a good, safe program to help Lena build strength and balance which might help her keep her feet going down hill. Elly doesn't have a stump, her entire femur was removed. My first Tripawd Maggie had a stump left but she was a 8 year old Pug so hiking really wasn't in her wheelhouse. Maggie did have a move where she would fall into a sit when she wanted to change directions on slippery surfaces, but she never had issues with her stump from that.
As far as some kind of wrap or protection- you might try to modify some type of rear harness or drag bag. I have found it difficult to keep something on the back end of a rear Tripawd without the second leg to keep it in place so you might need to attach it to a front harness somehow.
I haven't really seen anything for rear amps like you are looking for. But a couple websites to check:
HandicappedPets.com- I gave you the link to the drag bag page.
DogLeggs.com. Not a lot of rear amp stuff but maybe something you could modify.
If you can't find anything maybe you can get inspired to create something.
Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls
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