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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I need help, hoping to get some ideas. Tyson was scheduled for his first swim therapy on Thursday. Tuesday night I discovered 2 lesions on the soft skin at the amputation site. I saw one for the first time last month, notified my vet. I kept it clean and dry, kept a shirt on him and it healed. Now spotting these I am very concerned. His swim was cancelled until he heals. again his vet has been notified but she seems a bit unsure on prevention. This area of his skin has always been very thin and soft and now with his limited movement there is much more pressure and contact to this area. He gets his brace and cart on Monday so I will be able to at least get him in the cart to exercise, it won’t touch that area. Is there anything to provide a barrier so he can heal and I can prevent it. I would have to attach it to the shirt and not the skin. I ordered some foam dressings, I’m hoping that will cushion it but there will still be pressure. Is there anything that can help improve the integrity of that skin. I have to get a handle on this now before it get worse.. any ideas or advice would be appreciated
Can you post a photo of the site? For prevention of sores you may need something custom-made by a company such as Therapaws or DogLeggs. For healing I often use SSD cream (silver-based) or mupirocin with adequate bandaging. Sometimes I will use honey. Does your vet think oral antibiotics might help?
This is what it looked like 2 days ago. so far she has not given me anything, no oral or topical antibiotic. I can’t use anything like that. There is no stop, he has a full complete amputation. This is on his chest at the amputation site. I can’t use any adhesive or tape on that skin, it will tear. I have a shirt I put on him and just ordered foam wound dressings that I will put on the inside of the shirt to cushion it. My vet was trying to think of something that would offload the pressure onto the healthy area and let the bad heal, so far no luck but I believe he needs something topical or oral to help it heal thats why I’m asking!
That is not a typical place for a pressure sore even in large dogs. I wonder is there is a nidus of infection there such as an old suture. It looks like the three lesions run along the incision line. Many times there is a secondary infection to these lesions; personally I would use a topical such as mupirocin and ideally culture the larger open wound prior to oral antibiotics since resistant Staph infections are becoming more common in dogs. The tshirt is a good idea to keep the area clean but will not provide much padding.
How long ago was the amputation?
Hi Pam, thanks for responding! Actually the amputation happened when he was 8 months old, so a little over 5 years now. He had a very traumatic life. He was used for bait, shot and thrown in the garbage. He languished for a few days before he was rescued, they tried to save his leg but the only way to save his life was a complete amputation. His leg was so shattered and infection was so bad. I got him after he healed from the surgery. He used to get around great but now he has turned 6 and has developed osteoarthritis in his remaining leg. He is overweight and been dieting but his movement is very limited. I have never had an issue with his skin until now. The skin is very soft and thin there, he slides down a lot now and lays on it much more. These are odd looking lesions almost like holes or chunks, so I knew at that point it’s not a scrape like I originally thought. I think there is something going on there and I want to get a handle on it now.
22 February 2013
While you’re waiting for more info from Dr Pam, lust want to say THANK YOU for adopting that innocent, helpless puppy.
The horror of being a “bait dog” just sickens me. The torture starts even before they are thrown Into the ring ro be torn apart. After all he has been through, the fact Tyson learned to trust and not fear a human being again is a testament to the love and care you have shown him all these years. Thank you for being there for Tyson.
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!
Aww thank you for the kind words. He has learned to love and trust.. he’s the little pitbull that didn’t give up!!! He has scars everywhere but his heart is whole. He is my third of four that have all gone through such brutality it never ceases to hurt my soul after seeing what evil people do. They all seem to have some unique needs as residual care so I try to stay on it but this one is new so I want to go in the right direction. He is getting his cart and brace today, I just want to make sure it doesn’t touch that area for now until it’s fully healed.. he’s the little (big) engine that could..” I think I can” lol.. thanks again!!
I’m gonna x2 what Sally said. Tyson is an angel on three paws, he has so much to teach all of us. Thank you for giving him a beautiful, loving home. We hope this condition gets under control and he starts feeling better.
Poor dog! I have two pitties myself and it never ceases to amaze me the way that dogs can forgive the bad things that some people do to them. You are a great pet owner!
I would still culture that larger lesion and try an oral antibiotic. Also if not already done have your vet run some labwork including a thyroid test since there may be an underlying medical condition behind the sores.
Thanks Jerry and thank you so much Pam for all the information. I truly appreciate it! He is going to see his doctor tomorrow, she agrees with you as far as infection and getting to the source. She also mentioned Mupirocin and oral antibiotic yet to be determined. I will talk with her about those labs as well. This came out of nowhere, I found the first one thought maybe he had fallen and caught his skin but knew there was a definite problem seeing 2 more . I had to keep his appt today to get the last adjustments for his cart and brace but we kept it limited as to not irritate that area. He won’t use it until he is fully healed. It’s hard enough to know with a healthy dog when something isn’t quite right but when they are handicapped things just seems to fall apart quick so thank you again and I will update. Like you said they are amazing in their resilience and capacity, ability to forgive and trust again.. and right on Jerry! Tyson is a great example of what can happen with a second chance .
1 October 2017
Omd, look at him in that pic! He looks excited and happy. He is a very handsome, heart melting pup I will never understand why people do the things they do. I totally ditto Sally’s feelings 1000%
Keeping our paws crossed that this can be a overcome quickly and without too much complication.
Hugs to you for rescuing those precious lives.
Jackie and Huck
Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Angel Mitchell, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry
Thank you for all the kind thoughts and Dr. Pam thank you again. He had a course of Clavamox and a topical ointment and healed up very nicely. I’m going to add to his blog now. He went for his first swim therapy. It was so emotional to see him, I will post pics and video..thanks again for all the support!!!