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The Tripawds Library
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Cali is an 11 month old healthy beagle puppy. A couple of weeks ago, Cali had what seemed like an 'innocent' enough accident running around. Unfortunately, after rushing her to the vet, she was diagnosed with a completely rupture achilles tendon in her rear leg. It was torn right in the center of the tendon. The very next day, she had surgery to repair the tendon. We were told that the repair would need to heal 6-8 weeks and to restrict her movement. We did just that for the first week. When we went back to vet for her bandage change, it was discovered that the sutures did not hold and the tendon had again ruptured. The vet once again repaired the break, but told us that she is concerned that the repair will not hold because of the way the tendon broke and the fact that it is very difficult to anchor the repair to anything. She suggests giving it another week. However, the chances of this repair holding are very low and the financial and time commitment are great. Plus, the repair could break at any time during the recovery. After a lot of thought and weighing the options, we have elected to get her leg removed. To us this is very best option. The recovery is quick and we are told that dogs are incredible at adjusting to life on 3 wheels. We have invested several thousands of dollars into this already and it would require many more months of rehab and a financial commitment that would be difficult to meet. Even if we did all of this, the chances are the repair will not hold in which case we would need to remove the leg anyway. We feel that by removing the leg now, Cali can back to being a dog quickly.
Hi Cali and family, welcome. Wow, you guys have been through so much in such a short time, we are so sorry! Nobody ever expects something like this when they have a puppy. But it is great that the vet was forthcoming in what to expect and worst case scenario if you proceed with the repair. Now at least you guys can make a plan and move forward.
Rest assured, Cali can do very well on three legs! As long as you are vigilant about managing her weight and activity levels (yep, it's hard with a puppy but it CAN be done), she can enjoy all the fun things any of those odd four-legger dogs can do 😉 One thing that might interest you is getting her into scent work, aka K9 Nosework. She would be GREAT at it.
It sounds like you've done your homework, which is fantastic. If you haven't already, check out Jerry's Required Reading List and our e-books library for more information OK? And whatever questions you have don't hesitate to ask. We're here for you every hop of the way. Best wishes on surgery day!
18 October 2009
Hi and welcome.
I'm sorry about the accident- you guys have been through a lot!
My current Tripawd is a little pug mix named Elly who lost her right rear leg after being hit by a car at 7 months old. I adopted her at 10 months old, she is now a little over two.
She was healed from her surgery when I got her but she was not very strong. We started working on her core strength immediately and continue with daily activities to help keep her strong. Also, we need to burn off that puppy energy without taxing her too much. We work with food puzzles and games, balance equipment and practice our tricks and obedience. We are doing our second Nose Work class and what we learn in class and practice at home is great to challenge her mind and tire her out!
You can look at Elly's Blog and see some of our activities. We do go for walks but I try and limit our time on hard sidewalks. When I got her the Rescue told me she was a Puggle (Pug x Beagle) but I was skeptical. The one thing that made me think she had Beagle was the way she follows her nose! Turns out she is a Pug mixed with a bunch of other small breeds but no Beagle.
Since you've been though a couple surgeries you should not have a problem with the amp surgery recovery. Most pups are back to themselves in 2 or 3 weeks, but we often see here that the young pups seem to recover quickly. I'm guessing your biggest problem is going to be keeping Cali quiet until the incision heals up!
Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls
Update on Cali...
Cali came through the surgery without an issue. In fact, she was up and walking within a few hours. The surgeon was impressed at how quickly she adapted to life on 3 wheels. She stayed in the hospital overnight and I have to admit, I was very nervous about seeing her. Would it look really bizarre? Would it be gross? Could I even look at her the same again? A lot of thoughts went through my head about how I would feel. But my wife reminded me that this is not about me, it is about her. She was right of course.
All my "questions" were answered the moment I saw my beagle come walking down the hall, tail wagging and so, so happy. We knew right away that we made the very best decision for her. Her quality of life was restored and she was so happy to get back to being a dog. Yes, she looks different, but it is certainly not gross. In fact, it is amazing how the 'clean' it looks. I suspect that as the days tick by, I will forget that she even has 3 legs.
Later the surgeon told me that when they removed her bandage on the leg in question to look at the ruptured tendon, the sutures had popped again (second time) and it was obvious that the attempted repair would not hold. This only confirmed our decision to remove the leg.
For those considering amputation, remember that dogs do not have an image problem. They do not care how they look. They just want to be able to run and play. It doesn't matter if it is on 4 legs or 3.
Update on Cali .... Well, it has been nearly a month since the amputation (rear) and Cali is back to near 100%. Her energy is as high as ever and really, she doesn't miss her leg at all. She can run, jump and play just about the same as with 4 legs. Really, there is such a subtle difference. It is amazing how quickly they adapt. The Dr. has given her the green light on activities and says she is very, very strong. The Dr. said they key for her is to keep her lean and trim (which she is). Being a 1 year old, very active Beagle this should be fairly easy. We do not give her excess treats and other than a bit of rice now and again, she rarely gets people food. Honestly, I do not see any limitation on what she can do. Being a accomplished athlete myself, I understand the importance of training and building endurance and that is how I will approach her continued 'rehab.' There is no question in my mind that this was the right choice for Cali.
22 February 2013
Way to rock life on three legs Cali!!! You are quite the spunky tough little Beagle! 🙂
There is a lot of information on here about bulding and strengthening her CORE muscles, stretches to do, etc. These exercises do what a lot to maintain an injury free life from overdoing it.
We would looooove to have pictures of this youngster! She's a Beagle so ahe has to be adorable! She's a tropawd Beagle so her adorableness is off the charts!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Thanks for the great update! Cali is clearly a well loved and well cared for pul! 🙂 I have to say though, rice as a treat?? Ugh!! Cali, you need to hold out for a scoop of ice cream!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂
Hugs to all!
Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!
Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!
WOOOHOOO Cali! We are so proud and hoppy for you and your mom!
I love that you are being conscientious about her activity. There's such a fine line between letting a Tripawd dog be a dog, and curtailing things so they don't harm themselves. We like to say that yep, Tripawds can do much of what they did before, only it's up to us to moderate them so they do it within reasonable limits. As a young dog, she'll have many years on those spare legs with the great kind of care you're giving her. Good job!
4 February 2017
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