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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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Advice about amputation following RTA please
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Edmonton
Forum Posts: 428
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13 January 2010 - 8:57 am
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Good to hear that Billy's leg is improving. 

Yes, he would just be fine on three, but of course, we would like him to keep the spare one! Smile

(Sarah, please consider registering as a member, so that any of your future posts could be shown almost instantly without waiting for moderation.)

Here and Now


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13 January 2010 - 10:35 am
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Billy is beautiful, glad to hear he’s feeling better!

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16 January 2010 - 6:11 am
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Hi there – I'm in England too, so I know what a lurcher is.  My tripod Sid is an ex-racing greyhound who lost a rear leg due to an un-fixable break on the track.  He shattered his hock.  From what you said in your first post, I was about to comment that it sounded like his pain meds needed adjusting, but I'm glad to hear now that Billy is doing better and starting to eat.  Sid's trainer said she'd never seen a dog in so much pain as him in the few days before his leg was amputated, and knowing greyhounds as I do, I understand how distressing it must have been for you during that period when Billy was moaning and not doing anything else much.

There are plenty of greyhounds with amputations – in the US there is a much greater incidence of osteosarcoma than there is here.  So there are front-leg amputees and rear-leg amputees running around all over.  The consensus of opinion is that it's harder on a dog to lose a front leg, since they carry most of their weight at the front, and being tall dogs, it seems a little harder for them to learn to balance too, but they do learn.

I'm glad that Billy has got to the point where you are comfortable with trying to save the leg, but it sounds as if his injuries are very severe.  If you do end up going with amputation, as others have said, the healing is faster and most of the pain will be gone in quite a short time compared with what he's gone through already.

One thing you could ask your vet about though, is the use of medical grade Manuka honey in getting his surface wounds to heal.  This is a certified honey, with naturally occurring antibacterial ingredients which can do wonders in cases where there is a large area of skin loss.  I've seen some pretty good stories with pictures about it on Greytalk (a greyhound forum) and the progress some of these dogs have made is stunning.  You can also buy Manuka impregnated dressings if your vet is more comfortable with that.

You can get the honey products from here.

Winnipeg
Forum Posts: 1349
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16 January 2010 - 9:09 am
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The honey suggestion is interesting. Never heard that (just leaches, but I doubt they use those in vet medicine). But I am curious – how do you keep the patient from licking the dressing?

The Rainbow Bridge



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16 January 2010 - 11:14 am
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I recall hearing something about honey too. And my question is exactly the same as Tazzies! Seems like it could get realllly messy, and if you have an ant problem if your house, look out!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 1216
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16 January 2010 - 11:28 am
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I, too, am glad to hear Billy is doing better!  He would be fine as a tripawd but if you can save the leg without causing more pain and stress for Billy then I am glad for you.

Debra & Angel Emily

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.

Forum Posts: 176
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16 January 2010 - 12:38 pm
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Tazzie said:

The honey suggestion is interesting. Never heard that (just leaches, but I doubt they use those in vet medicine). But I am curious – how do you keep the patient from licking the dressing?


I recall hearing something about honey too. And my question is exactly the same as Tazzies! Seems like it could get realllly messy, and if you have an ant problem if your house, look out!

Well, of course, some dogs might want to lick it if you use the honey out of the jar, and I suppose they might be interested in the honey 'gel' dressings too.  I suppose you'd have to put protect the dressing, put PJs on the dog and/or a Bite-Not collar or something.  Actually the foreleg is about the only bit the Bite-Not won't help with, so maybe the old-style 'lampshade' collar would be better. 

Some people have sprayed a chew deterrent on the outside of the dressings to prevent them being licked.  I think you have something in the US called 'bitter apple'?  Another tip I heard just yesterday on Greytalk re a dog with a compound fracture c/w pin and open wound was to apply Vick's vapour rub near to the wound.  The smell is so strong that it puts them off going anywhere near it.

But the ready made gel dressings are fairly tidy, if expensive.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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16 January 2010 - 1:01 pm
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Well, I sincerely hope the leg can be saved for Billy!  I'm glad to hear he's doing better.  He's a neat looking dog!

Thanks Jay for your input!  It seems the UK has some advanced techniques….Feeling rather good that my specialists vet is from England!

Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

Mesa, AZ
Forum Posts: 355
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27 April 2009
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17 January 2010 - 10:12 am
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We're happy to hear that Billy is doing better too!  As for the honey, we have a friend in Chile that runs a cat sanctuary and she uses honey to help heal wounds all the time.  You just have to keep it covered and watch out for those ants when the go outside.

Keep hopping Billy!!!

Chuy, showing everyone that Tripawds do everything 3 times better than regular dogs!

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