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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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Adopting 3 legged pup soon!
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Forum Posts: 16
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3 September 2010
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3 September 2010 - 9:43 am
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Hi,

 

I'm so glad I found this forum! My friends English Pointer had 10 pups, one with a leg that had its circulation cut off in the womb. Part of it ended up turning black and falling off just below the knee (for lack of the term) joint. The vet gave them antibiotic cream and it is healing. It does still look like their is a scab area and still dark at the point. He is 2 weeks old so he is crawling around and using it to help get around now.

 

I'm trying to find out as much information as I can about 3 legged dogs and so far have been amazed at what I found on this forum. My friend is taking the pup back to the vet on tuesday and I have some questions, but could use some help from those of you who are knowledgeable!

 

I want to know if the leg has to be totally amputated?

 

I also wonder if his leg has to be amputated if it would be better to do it at a younger age or wait until it's a little older?

 

Can keeping it the way it is now cause future problems?

 

Do 3 legged dogs usually have problems with their spines later in life or stress on their other legs?

 

Do they need to take joint supplements?

 

If you can think of anything else I should know or anything I should ask the vet it would be a huge help.

 

Are there usually additional medical expenses associated with a dog with this disability?

 

Thanks – any info. is truly appreciated!

 

Joni

Here and Now


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3 September 2010 - 10:10 am
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Welcome, and thanks for asking. You will find many questions answered in Jerry's Required Reading List which is full of links to existing topics and blog posts about amputation for dogs.

The vast majority of dogs born with deformaties will do just fine and live a perfectly normal life. Just ask Comet and Buddy. They just won't have their spare leg should anything go wrong as they age.  

Did you search before posting? In case you missed them, you might want to review these existing topics:

New to tripawds, adopted puppy with partial limb; help please!

tripawds with deformaties of the leg

Puppies born with a bad leg

 

Dr Waldman from CARE recommends not giving any hip/joint supplements until issues arise. The best thing you can do is learn some dog massage techniques to maintain spinal health, and be sure to use an eleveated feeding station to proper tripawd posture. Hope this answers some of your questions. Keep us posted on your pup's progress. Does he have a name?

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4 September 2010 - 7:46 pm
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Hi,

 

Thank you for the links. I did read one of them, but the other two were very helpful.

 

I think we're naming him Ace. 

 

I'm going to meet them at thet vet on tuesday and get as much information as I can.

 

I'll keep you posted!

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
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5 September 2010 - 5:05 am
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Hi Joni!  I just wanted to say how thrilled I am that you are willing to give this pup a chance.  So many folks wouldn't, and they are the ones missing out.  Tripawds have such wonderful personalities, and live life to the fullest.  You will not be disappointed.  Post lots of pictures as soon as you are able.  We want to see what the little dude looks like!

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

Forum Posts: 16
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5 September 2010 - 9:01 am
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Aw, thank you! I was planning on taking pictures tuesday if not sooner….my 2 children are begging to go back and see him. : )

 

I have 2 dogs and 2 cats now and they all get along so well. This pup will have a happy family of buddies! He is adorable with a face that is mostly black and some round spots on his back. He was one of the first pups with his eyes open.

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5 September 2010 - 12:34 pm
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Bless you for adopting a dog a lot of people would not want.  Your gain will be there loss!  🙂

Debra & Emily, a five year old doberman mix, who was diagnosed with an osteosaecoma. She had a right rear leg amputation on May 19, 2009. On November 10, 2009 she earned her wings and regained her fourth leg.

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9 September 2010 - 5:57 pm
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Here is a picture of our new baby to be! The vet said he would take some of the leg off at no charge and if there are any future problems, we would look into a full amputation.

 

For those of you who have been through this- does this sound like an acceptable option? I would hate to put the pup through an operation twice if it's best to remove the whole leg.

 

Any input appreciated!

 

New pup

Here and Now


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9 September 2010 - 6:07 pm
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jwoody said:

I would hate to put the pup through an operation twice …

oh-my We would hate to see that happen too! Some dogs with partial amputaitons develop spinal issues because they grow up using the short leg. If the leg is gone, they simply adjust their gait.

If the vet is even mentioning the possibility of “future problems” that should tell you something. What is their reason for a partial amputation? I'm no vet, so perhaps it's time for a second opinion.

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9 September 2010 - 6:38 pm
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He's missing everything from the knee joint down. I doubt he would ever try to use it because it would seem impossible with that much gone already. I think he meant to leave the shoulder joint and a small nub on the end instead of taking the whole shoulder out. Do you think that could cause any problems?

 

I didn't get to talk with the vet because I was late getting out of work the day he went in. I plan on giving him a call since I didn't hear any of what was said during the vist.

 

Thanks

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9 September 2010 - 6:48 pm
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This is what I believe it would look like

 

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My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
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9 September 2010 - 7:02 pm
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He is a cutie!  Maybe you could ask the vet what he/she thinks the odds are that he would require the additional surgery?  My concern would also be putting him through a second surgery.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

Here and Now


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10 September 2010 - 9:21 am
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jwoody said:

Do you think that could cause any problems?

Vets know best … check out the comments from Dr. Lucroy that we just posted in this recent topic from a new member asking about scapula removal.

Here and Now


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12 September 2010 - 10:15 pm
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What an angel you are to give this pup a wonderful home. Thats an awesome illustration you did. How did you do that?

Titan

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13 September 2010 - 10:52 am
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Awwww, thank you! I just love this li'l puppy – can't wait to get him home.

 

I didn't do the illustration – I found it on a website!

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