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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Dawson is my 8year old Komondor. He had his right rear leg amputated in February 2018. 3 weeks ago he fell in the yard and couldn’t get up. He could not bear weight on his front right leg and it was swollen. We took him to the vet and the vet told me that he had an old injury at his elbow where he had chipped a small piece off and it had moved and he fell funny causing it to be irritated and swell. He told me that the elbow might rupture. Well, it did and he had a hole on the tip of his elbow the size of a Kennedy half dollar coin.
The vet saw him again and sewed up the hole and put a drain in. After 5 days he took the drain out fine but noticed that the stitches were coming out. Due to the location of the hole it is hard to keep it stitched up and heal. The vet told me he wanted to see him again on Wednesday.
I changed the bandage tonight and the stitches are all completely busted and the hole appears to be bigger than before and the skin in the bend of his elbow is blue/red. I’m worried the discoloration could be necrosis? I’m not sure what/if they can do anything if there is not enough skin to sew up the hole? He cannot walk at all right now.
I just really need some advice or want to know if anyone has dealt with something similar?
Hi Dawson and family. I’m so sorry you are dealing with this tough situation. Poor guy. Dr. Pam our fairy vet mother should come along soon with some of her expertise and insight so stay tuned. Meanwhile you may want to call the vet asap tomorrow and get him in before Wednesday, this doesn’t sound like it can wait.
I haven’t heard of any members dealing with this exact situation but I do know many have dealt with elbow pressure sores (hygromas) which present a similarly tough scenario.
How are you helping him get around? Do you have a sling or harness for him? You can make a sling out of a grocery bag if you don’t.
Thank you for the reply Jerry. I called my vet this morning and sent pictures of Dawson’s elbow. My husband and I have been sling walking him and carrying him. He has a harness as well. Most days he will hop/crawl on his old bed (he has a big orthopedic bed he sleeps on in the house) and I will pull him outside like he is on a sled. He will crawl off into the grass and do his business and then crawl back on the bed and I will pull the bed back inside. He is a large breed guardian dog so getting him around has been a challenge but he is very intelligent has maintained his happy personality.
I changed his bandage this morning and it looks like his elbow is protruding out of the skin a little bit. He does not appear to be in any pain and allows me to do whatever I need to with his elbow. He is eating and going to the bathroom like normal. He is taking antibiotics, thyroid tabs, Prednisone , and a joint supplement.
This Sunday 8/23 will be 4 weeks since he first injured his elbow (before it ruptured) and has not been able to walk on his own. He tries but just falls over and cannot bear any weight on that front right leg. I am really concerned about his lack of mobility and especially the open wound on his elbow that is protruding out. I will get in to see my vet today but advice from fellow tripawd parents would be greatly appreciated.
22 August 2008
Elbow wounds are notoriously hard to heal especially in giant breeds and he will need a heavily padded bandage or Dog Leggs. My question is what is the cause of the wound? If it is an abscess your vet might need to run a culture in order to choose the proper antibiotic. It sounds like he might have arthritis in his elbow or some sort of chip fracture so he should probably be on gabapentin and an NSAID such as meloxicam or Rimadyl.
Can you post pictures?
Dawson and I were in the yard about 4 weeks ago. He had to have fallen or twisted his elbow because when we were ready to go inside he couldn’t bear weight on his front right leg and he was knuckling his paw (his paw was rolling over and he could not use it). The vet told me it looked like an old injury where a small piece of the elbow had been chipped and Dawson had aggravated it causing it to swell and him not to be able to use it. He told me that it would probably rupture, which it did and that is what caused the open wound.
Friday I took him to the vet to have the drain removed. The removal was quick and went well but 1 stitch appeared to be coming out. The vet told me the location of the wound would make it hard to heal, to change the bandage daily, keep an eye on it and bring him back Wednesday. From Friday to last night (Sunday) all the stitches have busted and the elbow almost looks like it is protruding out. He has stayed inside on his dog bed and has been good about resting. I have been keeping it bandaged with extra padding and he is on a large orthopedic dog bed . I just wanted to get advice from others specifically related to tripawds. The pictures are from Sunday night.
Thanks for chiming in Dr. Pam!
As for the photos, I’m sorry but it appears you are trying to paste images that were embedded in a Gmail message you sent? Unfortunately that won’t work. Here are instructions for adding images to the Forums:
- Upload pics to a photo sharing site like imgur.com or your own Tripawds blog!
- Right click and copy the Image URL or just copy the image if you’re on a phone
- Return to your Tripawds Forum post and paste the image URL (or the image itself) in your post. It should automatically appear.
If you’d like help figuring out the process let me know.
Hi Dawson’s human (what’s your name?)! I’m so sorry that Dawson is going through this, although he seems to be doing as well as can be expected given the circumstances. I’m chiming in just because I saw you posted about an hour ago and there are still no photos showing up. ~ Stacy (Griffin’s Journey)
I am trying this photo thing one more time. I created a blog and added these photos and I am hoping I followed the directions correctly. Jerry I will email these to you as well just in case.
Stacy, to answer your question my name is Sierra.
Thank you Stacy for letting me know. I am so glad they came through!
I talked to my vet yesterday and he said the wound was proud flesh and he did not think we could close it up. He is mainly concerned that Dawson has not been able to walk in almost 4 weeks. He thinks there is a deeper orthopedic issue and that we might be coming to the end of the line. He said if Dawson had 4 legs it would not be as big of a problem but he cannot be non mobile. He thinks that I probably should make a decision in the next few days. I have been praying about everything and trying to determine what the best decision is for Dawson.
Woooaaaah poor pupperz. Yes the images worked, congrats!
Decision? As in euthanasia? Oh my gosh. Please get another opinion from a different practice before going there. I’ll wait to see what Dr. Pam says but my gut instinct says to leave no stone unturned. This is an unusual situation for sure but I would want another opinion before heading down that road.
I’m so sorry you guys are going through this tough time.
Jerry, I plan on getting another opinion for sure! This is an usual situation and I’m hopeful I can find a way to help Dawson. We aren’t giving up just yet!
Also, I am so thankful for this tripawd community. I could not have navigated (and still navigating) this whole 3 legged journey without it!