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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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Front leg amputee... remaining leg's pastern (wrist) is starting to bend?
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Wesley Chapel, FL
Member Since:
13 September 2009
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29 September 2009 - 6:08 pm
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Today is day 12 post-op... Jake seemed full of life when I got home... Hopping around the kitchen, watching what we were making for supper, eating his own dinner, etc. What a difference just one day made.

But I am noticing something that's kind of worrying me (well, everything is worrying me! Laugh) I'm noticing that Jake's other front leg, his pastern (wrist area) seems to be bending alot more than usual, almost starting to look a bit like his hind legs... probably due to all the extra weight it's supporting now. Has anyone else noticed this in their over 80 pound senior dogs, so soon after their surgery? I'm wondering if anyone has tried to use some sort of splint or support, to help stabilize this area, while their muscles develop and adjust? If so, what did you use and where did you get it? I ordered some supplements but they're only arriving on Friday... My biggest fear is that he breaks or injures his good leg... and then how will he get around??

Jake's Mom

Jake, 10yr old golden retriever (fractured his front right leg on 9/1, bone biopsy revealed osteosarcoma on 9/10, amputation on 9/17) and his family Marguerite, Jacques and Wolfie, 5yr old german shepherd and the newest addition to the family, Nala, a 7mth old Bengal mix kittie. Jake lost his battle on 11/9/2009, almost 8 weeks after his surgery. We will never forget our sweet golden angel… http://jakesjou.....ipawds.com ….. CANCER SUCKS!


Member Since:
22 August 2008
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29 September 2009 - 6:21 pm
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I think that it is normal to worry about damage to the remaining leg.  Fracture would be pretty unlikely (unless the cancer comes back in another bone). It is normal for dogs to develop new muscles and experience some soreness in the first few weeks after amputation.  Ligaments and tendons also have to become stronger and that could result in the change in your dogs wrist (technically called a carpus).  Tazzie has developed some pretty major bone spurs/arthritis in her remaining shoulder in this last year.  The best thing we have found to help her is acupuncture. She is due to go back next Monday but I think that she could use it sooner!  We started with every 2 weeks, then every 5 weeks, and we were trying to stretch it to every 10 weeks but for her I think every 6-8 weeks would be best.

Keep up with the glucosamine supplements, and consider adding fish oil if you haven't already.

Pam and Tazzie

Wesley Chapel, FL
Member Since:
13 September 2009
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29 September 2009 - 7:12 pm
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Pam, what dose of glucosamine would you recommend in Jake's case? 1000mg, 200mg, 3000mg?? The average I have seen is usually 1000-1500mg. Would Jake need a much higher dosage initially, followed by a lower maintanance dose?

Jake's Mom

Jake, 10yr old golden retriever (fractured his front right leg on 9/1, bone biopsy revealed osteosarcoma on 9/10, amputation on 9/17) and his family Marguerite, Jacques and Wolfie, 5yr old german shepherd and the newest addition to the family, Nala, a 7mth old Bengal mix kittie. Jake lost his battle on 11/9/2009, almost 8 weeks after his surgery. We will never forget our sweet golden angel… http://jakesjou.....ipawds.com ….. CANCER SUCKS!

Member Since:
7 August 2009
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29 September 2009 - 8:37 pm
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Dear Jake and Mom: Sorry we haven't had a chance to write sooner, but we have been following your story. Jake seems like he is doing great! We love all the pictures of Jake and Wolfie. Romeo had his surgery on Aug 17 and has also had a great recovery. His is a big lab/golden mix (and maybe something larger?). He is 9 1/2 and weighs about 90 pounds.

We're not vets, but we just wanted the second the benefits of acupuncture. Romeo was a little apprehensive at the beginning of the treatment but then he fell asleep with his head in our lap. Our regular vet practice has a vet who practices acupuncture/eastern medicine.

It all just made a lot of sense to us since Romeo was working to get back in alignment and balance after surgery. We are using it as part of our keeping cancer at bay/quality of life care (we understand of course it it not a cure). We are also using it to treat some persistent GI issues.

Romeo jumped a fence today chasing a squirrel!

Also regarding your post the other day regarding Jake seeming very tired---Romeo also has days like that. He will be very ambitious with his morning walk, amazing us, and then crash. Romeo can run and play, but I think his stamina will never be what it was. And 12 days post op is still very very early. 

Hope Jake is feeling better soon. Sounds like he is getting the best in attention and love!

Take care, Eve and Romeo


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22 August 2008
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30 September 2009 - 11:47 am
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I would give Jake 1000mg of glucosamine and 800 mg of chondroiten sulfate daily.You could double the dose for 1 month to get a good blood level if he has not taken these meds before. I like Dasuquin but there are other products available.

Pam and Tazzie

Wesley Chapel, FL
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13 September 2009
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30 September 2009 - 1:41 pm
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Thanks for the info... Jake and I really appreciate it!! I really hope it makes a difference...

Jake's Mom

Jake, 10yr old golden retriever (fractured his front right leg on 9/1, bone biopsy revealed osteosarcoma on 9/10, amputation on 9/17) and his family Marguerite, Jacques and Wolfie, 5yr old german shepherd and the newest addition to the family, Nala, a 7mth old Bengal mix kittie. Jake lost his battle on 11/9/2009, almost 8 weeks after his surgery. We will never forget our sweet golden angel… http://jakesjou.....ipawds.com ….. CANCER SUCKS!

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