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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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Failed CCL surger (x2)
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Forum Posts: 2
Member Since:
9 April 2015
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9 April 2015 - 8:51 pm
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New to Tripawds-

I am in search for advice and guidance. We have a wonderful 5 yr old golden/ great Pyrenees mix who has had several CCL surgeries in the past year and a half. The first leg took with no problem. Her second rear leg is now on her 5th surgery. She is rejecting the material (twice now) used in the joint implant and has learned to live as a tripod the past several months resulting in lameness of the leg. Her incision continues to have intermittent fluid filled bullae that opens, then heals, then repeat. The fluid cultures have all been negative for bacteria. Due to the chronic complications, our vet has discussed amputating her leg. Her knee continues to be a source of pain and she has been on meloxicam, tramadol and steroids since the initial surgery last January. As dog parents we are struggling with deciding what to do. I am concerned about putting her through more surgeries (more than one). I want her to enjoy her days with out experiencing pain. I also want her to not have may more surgical procedures and complications.

Has anyone experienced similar issues with CCLs and their babies? Has anyone else been in this situation- and what were your options?

Thanks in advance for the insight!!!

~Jessica

The Rainbow Bridge



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9 April 2015 - 9:22 pm
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Hi Jessica, welcome. I hope you don’t mind I moved your post here, this Forum is a good place to discuss situations like yours. If you’d like to post a specific question in Ask A Vet please feel free to do so, I just thought since your post was more general it would be better here so more people could see it and help.

So sorry to hear about the complications, you and your pup have been through a LOT. I’m wondering if your vet is a board-certified orthopedic specialist? Whenever there are situations with lots of factors involved, it’s so good to have another opinion from a specialist. And even if your current vet is a specialist, getting a second opinion at another clinic or teaching hospital is worth the peace of mind.

Otherwise how does your vet feel about your dog’s candidacy as a Tripawd? It sounds like your dog would be OK. Your dog is so young and has lots of living to do. Yes, we’ve had other members in similar situations, either surgical complications or infection, that caused the amputation. In nearly every case pawrents are glad they proceeded with the surgery but I know it’s a tough decision for you.

Hang in there, you’ll get great feedback from members in the community so stay tuned OK?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Martinsburg, WV
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10 April 2015 - 7:55 am
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Welcome Jessica!

My Leland (108lb Dobie) had his amputation due to a failed TPLO procedure to fix his knee.  Leland had a few things go wrong after his TPLO procedure.  First, the screws were not holding in his meniscus and ended up bent.  Then he came down with an infection that the clinic couldn’t get under control after 4 days of hospitalization.  We were left with either doing the amputation or putting our boy to sleep.  After he came in dragging a useless leg to see us and ate for us we knew we had to give him the chance to live so we opted for the amputation.

However, we found out from the surgeon (prior to initial surgery) that Leland was dealing with hypothyroidism.  Then after the amputation he had a lot of muscle wasting occur in his head and neck which our local vet attributed to an autoimmune disorder.  After the autoimmune disorder started Leland’s health declined pretty quickly and then the CCL went out in his remaining knee.  We couldn’t put our boy through a 3rd surgery within 6 weeks and the orthopedic surgeon indicated he could do a procedure to fix the remaining knee but with all of Leland’s other issues he was not optimistic with the outcome.  So we made the tough choice to let our Leland go 4 weeks to the day after his amputation.  Leland was 4 1/2 years old.

Anyway, I’m not telling you this to deter you from amputation…Leland apparently had underlying health issues that seem to have really kicked in after surgery.  It sounds like amputation would be a good option for your pup.  Like you mentioned she’s pretty much getting around like a Tripawd now.  And you know the bad knee is painful.  There’s some other folks here that had amputation due to broken bones and the difference in the fur kid’s behavior is a total turn around because they are no longer living in constant pain.

What procedure did your girl have that doesn’t seem to be taking?  I have another Dobie boy…Lucian (10 month old) and god forbid something happen with his knees but I’ve looked at the new Tight Rope procedure as a possibility instead of going the TPLO route again.  I was just curious if your girl was having a reaction to the material used in the Tight Rope or if it was something else.

Well, I hope so of that helps and I’m sure others will chime in with their experiences!

Stay in connected here…there’s a lot of knowledge here in people that have been on the journey of amputation. 

Sahana and her Angel Leland

Leland

November 17, 2009 - June 30, 2014

May you finally be healthy and running free at the Rainbow Bridge. Until we meet again my sweet boy!

The Rainbow Bridge



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10 April 2015 - 10:57 am
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Thank you for sharing Leland’s experience and yours Sahana, it’s invaluable to know these details.

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14 April 2015 - 9:41 pm
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Sahana-thank you for sharing about Leland and everything you went through. I appreciate all the information and experiences.

To both you and Jerry- all of the questions and information have been very helpful. We took Maya for a second opinion from a certified ortho vet. The options were very similar of removing the tight rope appliance (or suture as they call it) or possible amputation. She is not a good candidate for the TPLO procedure. Currently the plan is to remove the suture and send the actual material for a culture to see if there is an infection deep in the material. We are set up to see a rehab specialists who specializes in pain management  (acupuncture ect) and physical rehab, then go from there. Her leg has extreme atrophy and is a source of severe pain. Fingers crossed things will start to get better and we will figure out what path to take.

Again thank you for the support- I will be posting updates and questions as we go through this next journey!

~Jessica and Maya

The Rainbow Bridge



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15 April 2015 - 10:22 am
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Wowwee she’s getting some pawesome care, kudos to you for seeking it out. Let us know how things go OK? We’re always interested in these kinds of situations and the follow-up specialty care so keep us updated in Hopping Around. And smooches to Maya!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Martinsburg, WV
Forum Posts: 923
Member Since:
3 June 2014
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15 April 2015 - 11:24 am
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Yes, please keep us posted on Maya’s situation.  I’m always very interested in these CCL procedures and how they go.  I guess that comes from our first dog Lucky needing both his knees fixed (first was a TPLO and the second was the earlier suture/fishing line method) and then of course Leland with his knee issues that ultimately led to amputation.  I had read previously about the newer Tight Rope procedure in that sometimes pups can have an adverse reaction to it.  I’m not sure if it’s the material that is being used or if somehow germs get into the material which causes the issues.  These CCL issues are so prevalent anymore in our pups that I’m always keeping an eye out for newer methods.

Sahana and her Angel Leland  

Leland

November 17, 2009 - June 30, 2014

May you finally be healthy and running free at the Rainbow Bridge. Until we meet again my sweet boy!

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