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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is the place to learn how to care for a three legged dog or cat, with answers about dog leg amputation, and cat amputation recovery from many years of member experiences.
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How are the East Coast Tripawds?
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littlemanjake
1
27 December 2010 - 6:12 am
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Just wondering how all the pups (& parents) on the East Coast are managing & hoping all are safe!

Cynthia & Isabelle

Portage Lake, Maine
Forum Posts: 1019
Member Since:
8 December 2009
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27 December 2010 - 7:14 am
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Hi Cynthia!

here in Northern Maine, the storm just started about 4 a.m.  It's snowing and blowing BAD!  Last report I saw, we were only supposed to get 4-8″ but people South of us more…  Luckily, I only live a couple miles from work!

Tracy, Maggie's Mom

Maggie was amputated for soft tissue sarcoma 10-20-09

Maggie lost her battle with kidney disease on 8-24-13

http://maggie.t.....t-24-2013/

knoxville, tn
Forum Posts: 1705
Member Since:
12 February 2010
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27 December 2010 - 7:41 am
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very cold and snowy in knoxville.  staying in, next to the wood burning stove today for sure!!

charon & gayle

Life is good, so very, very good!!! Gayle enjoyed each and every moment of each and every wonderful day (naps included).  She left this world December 12, 2011 – off on a new adventure.

Love Never Ends

http://etgayle

Leicester, NY
Forum Posts: 215
Member Since:
23 August 2010
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27 December 2010 - 10:59 am
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We have icicles on our noses here in Leicester NY. 12 degrees this morning- ugh!. And hey! Its hard to pick up 1 foot cause its cold when you only have 3!!

Daisy is trying her best to convince us that Tripawds can hibernate like a bear. Anyway- its suppose to get up to 45 here on New Years and we should be able to get out for a walk instead of just 5 ft off the back porch and back in again.   

We hate to lose the progress we have been making with using the wheelchair but I do not want her to strain her front muscles pulling the wheelchair through the deep snow in sub freezing temps.

Hope everyone had a good holiday!

Julie, Bob

Daisy and Samson

Daisy earned her wings on Oct 22, 2011 at 14 years old

She is now the official greeter at the rainbow bridge

Everyone is guaranteed a welcome sniff and Dalmatian smile

Portage Lake, Maine
Forum Posts: 1019
Member Since:
8 December 2009
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5
27 December 2010 - 11:16 am
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@Daisy – I can't remember but have you tried any sort of PT work for her?  Do you know why she can't seem to progress in her Tripawd gait?  Does she have back issues?  Or a hip issue?  Just wondering as I can't remember her whole history and wondered if doing some strengthening work might help her?  I know it took a VERY VERY long time for my dog to gain in strength…but now, she's doing FANTASTIC!  When I was home at lunchtime, I watched her running thru the pretty deep snow and LOVING it 🙂  She couldn't of done that a year ago – or at least not as easily as she can now…

Tracy, Maggie's Mom

Maggie was amputated for soft tissue sarcoma 10-20-09

Maggie lost her battle with kidney disease on 8-24-13

http://maggie.t.....t-24-2013/

Leicester, NY
Forum Posts: 215
Member Since:
23 August 2010
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27 December 2010 - 1:03 pm
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Daisy has been in and out of PT since the end of Sept. Its been a long and complicated journey. 1st the accident (hit by a truck), surgery to try to repair the damaged leg, tail and pads, then the amputation (gangrene of the original damage) about a week later. Between the pain meds and heavy antibiotics she developed bleeding in her intestines. The antibiotics killed off all the good bacteria in her gut. All this took about 8-10 weeks to stabilize. She started trying to walk on 3 legs and was making progress and we started PT which included the water treadmill, balance balls and infrared zapper (if my PT vet reads this she will cringe…not sure what the infrared zapper thingy is actually called way-confused).  She then pulled a shoulder muscle. Got that feeling better and then her remaining back leg seemed not to be able to support her anymore- shaking. She may have pulled or strained a knee ligament. Anyway, at $60 a PT session 2x week and still paying for surgery#1 ($2500) and amputation and followup care ($3500) I am a bit tapped out. We opted for a wheelchair to try to support her remaining knee while trying to build up that back leg muscle. Bought a peanut balance ball for home and put the professional PT on hold for now.

She is +/- 12 yrs old and she came to live with us only 3 years ago so I do not know her complete background. When Cornell University examined her prior to the amputation they did a full work up and declared her fit, healthy and did not find anything wrong with her “good” leg that would prevent her from using it so its probably a combination of age, some strain on the remaining leg, neurological??. We are opting not to delve further into what could be endless poking and prodding and just let her enjoy her life as is. She seems perfectly happy to let us help her when she needs it and is actually getting use to the wheelchair .

Daisy earned her wings on Oct 22, 2011 at 14 years old

She is now the official greeter at the rainbow bridge

Everyone is guaranteed a welcome sniff and Dalmatian smile

Portage Lake, Maine
Forum Posts: 1019
Member Since:
8 December 2009
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7
27 December 2010 - 1:13 pm
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WOW Daisy…I didn't remember the whole history on her!  I was actually thinking some exercises you could do on your own at home? As I'm not even remotely close to a PT person, I have to do these things on my own…with guidance from Dr. Waldman on the Live Chats here, she helped 🙂  And there are various dvd's out by Debbie Saunders to help guide you thru PT work on your own at home…one I would recommend that is very good is actually the Osteoarthritis dvd – suitable for our Tripawds IMO.

One exercise I am thinking that would help, is simply having her standing with her front feet on a balance disc ( or a cushion) and have her reach for treats…that works both her front end and puts weight on her one remaining rear leg to help strengthen her.  I do that with maggie and it's actually VERY tough to balance on the balance disc doing it.

My sister saw Maggie this wknd and she watched me work her some of her rehab stuff.  She told me if I didn't do all the PT work I do with Maggie, it's very likely she would be all stiffened up and not able to get around well, because Maggie is typically a VERY laid back dog…lays around alot on her own demeanor…any exercise she gets is motivated by me 🙂

Tracy, Maggie's Mom

Maggie was amputated for soft tissue sarcoma 10-20-09

Maggie lost her battle with kidney disease on 8-24-13

http://maggie.t.....t-24-2013/

Leicester, NY
Forum Posts: 215
Member Since:
23 August 2010
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8
27 December 2010 - 2:48 pm
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Tracy,

Thanks for the info. I will check out the D. Saunders DVDs. We built a teeter board and as soon as we find a dang air needle we will be able to inflate the balance ball and do some work with that. Hard to get her motivated-  Princess Daisy wouldn't dream of begging for a treat. She will take one if offered but not as a motivational reward. She also doesnt play with toys. I actually went out and bought a small stuffed Barney- thinking the Barney mojo might work on all Tripawds but she just looked at me like I had grown another head. Brother Sam was more than happy to pluck Barneys eyes off and de stuff him. She does like cats (seriously, not to chase but she will run up to sniff them wagging her tail) Must have grown up with cats sometime in her past. Thinking of rigging up something like a carrot on a stick to her wheelchair except using our neighbors catlaughing – just kidding.

Portage Lake??? Isnt that up there near the Arctic circle!!?? Guess I shouldnt be complaining of the cold here in NY rasberryGeez- stay warm!

Daisy earned her wings on Oct 22, 2011 at 14 years old

She is now the official greeter at the rainbow bridge

Everyone is guaranteed a welcome sniff and Dalmatian smile

Portage Lake, Maine
Forum Posts: 1019
Member Since:
8 December 2009
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9
27 December 2010 - 4:01 pm
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A little PT work, goes a LONG ways!  Trust me on that one!  And it's FUN!  My dogs love it!  After all, they get copious amounts of treats! YUM!

Daisy doesn't like treats?  You can use as a lure rather than a reward at first!  Is there any type of food she really likes?  Like string cheese maybe?  Or bits of microwaved hot dogs maybe? 

Check out Maggie's blog for some video's of her doing some PT work 🙂  And really, Debbie Saunders DVD on Osteoarthritis I REALLY like.

Did you get a big eggball or peanut ball?  If yes, maybe you can just get her to put her front feet on it and feed her treats just doing that?  That will get her to put more weight on that rear leg to strengthen it up.  I wouldn't put her on top of it immediately…in fact, it's considered an 'advanced' rehab move to put them up on the ball.  I don't use a big ball for Maggie my Tripawd – only balance pads and discs.  My other quadpawd works on an eggball right now for her shoulder injury.

Too funny – had that same comment about the Arctic Circle from an agility friend of mine in Vermont last nite!  😉  It's 19 degrees right now…so I'm betting not much colder than you in NY 😉

Tracy, Maggie's Mom

Maggie was amputated for soft tissue sarcoma 10-20-09

Maggie lost her battle with kidney disease on 8-24-13

http://maggie.t.....t-24-2013/

Here and Now


Forum Posts: 12363
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25 April 2007
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10
27 December 2010 - 10:26 pm
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daisy2010 said:

I will check out the D. Saunders DVDs.

Be sure to check out the Dog Fitness Training Library in the Tripawds Fitness Shop for the DVDs featuring Saunders instructing how to use the FitPAWS canine conditioning equipment.

FYI: Dr Waldman from CARE recently confirmed with us that the FitPAWS Peanut and Egg should be considered advanced rehab tools for strong healthy dogs. She recommends starting dogs off with the Balance Pad or Balance Disc for beginning and intermediate unstable surface work.

You can also download free plans for building your own Buja board in the Tripawds Downloads blog .

Leicester, NY
Forum Posts: 215
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23 August 2010
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11
28 December 2010 - 9:30 am
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We actually have a wonderful PT Vet (Dr Kristin Browne) who owns Theravet Acres Rehab and Fitness. She and her staff understand that sometimes it does come down to $ and we have to limit our visits. They are more than happy to give us “homework” and guidance when we are not able to come in. Anyone in the Rochester NY area needed a rehab vet- Daisy gives her 3 paws up! Very inspirational progression story about a paralyzed Dobe on their homepage http://www.thera-vet.com/. Just goes to show what PT can actually do.

 

I did build a buja board and I am embarrassed to say I use a piece 3' x 3' scrap 1/2 inch plywood which is more than adequate to support a 38 lb Dal……. But not her 195 lb fat @** mom ! blush  Guess I know what my New Years resolution will be.

As for the peanut ball – we are just going to start by having her lay down on top of the peanut in the sphinx position and gently rocking for a few minutes a day. She is actually developing shoulder muscles like Hulk Hogan….well maybe not THAT big but definitely some muscle.

Daisy earned her wings on Oct 22, 2011 at 14 years old

She is now the official greeter at the rainbow bridge

Everyone is guaranteed a welcome sniff and Dalmatian smile

Here and Now


Forum Posts: 12363
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12
28 December 2010 - 11:52 am
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We actually have a wonderful PT Vet …

Please feel free to recommend Dr. Browne in the Veterinary Specialist Referrals forum. Thanks!

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