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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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Hind leg weakness help!
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Member Since:
7 February 2021
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7 February 2021 - 12:21 pm
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Hi, I have an 8 year old mastiff, she’s 1 year post amp, rear leg. Over the last 3 months she hasn’t been wanting to go on her usual walks. She will just sit down and this has more happening more often. I took her for acupuncture, cold laser and a chiropractic adjustment. She did great for 2 days and then Totally went downhill. Now, after walking about 50 meters, her back end just sinks away and she almost drags herself. She starts out strong as normal and then her leg gives out. Inside, she still jumps on the sofa and bed and acts normal. She has been on crate rest for 2 weeks and we’re not really seeing much improvement. Any idea what this could be? Thank you!!

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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7 February 2021 - 1:47 pm
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Hi there, welcome. I'll let our Fairy Vet Mother chime in with her thoughts. Dr. Pam is a giant breed dog mom and her Tripawd Tazzie was a Tripawd hero too! 

A few questions to provide more info for Dr. Pam:

What is the reason for her diagnosis? Was it cancer? If so, has she had any recent scans to check for metastasis?

Also, it sounds like she is already getting rehabilitation therapy? What is their plan for helping her build strength?

Finally, is your pup on any pain medication right now? If so, what are the dosages and timing schedule?

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Member Since:
7 February 2021
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7 February 2021 - 7:15 pm
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Hi Jerry!
our road to becoming a Tripawd is a long one... she was scheduled for TPLO after a fall after which her leg became basically useless. The surgeon then decided that her leg didn’t look typical for a tear and he suspected cancer. We did 3 separate biopsies which all came back negative, also multiple scans. Although we never found cancer, it was very strongly suspected by the vet and we were urged to amputate before metastasis happened. So then her leg got sent for biopsy and no cancer was ever found, only inflammation.

When she started slowing down in December, I decided to give acupuncture etc a try. There was never talk about building strength. 

we had her on deramax (1/2 tablet per day at lunch) and gabapentin ( 2x 300m one in the morning, one at night)for 12 days but the vet asked us to stop it for now to see if we notice a difference.

thank you so much for your help!

Member Since:
22 August 2008
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8 February 2021 - 8:30 am
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Have they evaluated her other knee for a cruciate injury?  This may require minor sedation and they can xray her lower back at the same time; does she act painful or just weak?  Other options include trying Adequan but this is more for arthritis. Her Deramaxx dose seems low but maybe your vet has a reason for this such as liver or kidney issues. My Mastiff Julian has recently responded well to the Chinese herb Body Sore but you will have to get this from the vet that does acupuncture for you.


Member Since:
7 February 2021
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8 February 2021 - 8:26 pm
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Hi Pam, 

we went back to the vet today. She was checked for a ccl tear but it seemed fine. They did find some muscle atrophy along the spine right where her sciatic nerve goes, so they think that’s what’s bothering her. She also has a slightly curved spine from being a Tripaw, maybe that caused the problem?

She received more acupuncture and cold laser therapy and was walking much better afterwards! Now, she’s been told to rest, rest, rest and heal. I got more Deramaxx and the vet put her back on it because there also seems to be some arthritis pain in her leg. She did say 1/2 to 1 tablet daily. So I may just do the 1 tablet to stay ahead of things. Bloodwork from 2 weeks ago was completely fine, so no concerns as far as liver or kidney issues with that.

I’m wondering now if it should be complete rest, or do some light and controlled exercises to keep her leg strong?

They do have Chinese herbs but the vet never mentioned them, I’ll ask about it next time.

It’s so stressful when there are issues with the remaining leg! Thank you so much for your help 😊

Member Since:
22 August 2008
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9 February 2021 - 9:08 am
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I would try for as much rest as possible but you can do muscle massage.


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