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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Front leg tripod with ACL tear in back leg - would appreciate advice!
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Member Since:
17 August 2015
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17 August 2015 - 10:47 am
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 Hi all,

Hopefully I'm posting in the right forum, please let me know if I should move this post!

My boyfriend's dog, Benji, lost his front left leg last year when he was about 6 months old (he's 2 years old now). A few months ago, we noticed he was limping in his back right leg, and x-rays suggested a partially torn ACL. After hearing about post op rehab, we wanted to try the conservative route (limited activity, water therapy, Rimadyl). He was still limping a tiny bit, but after a swim in the ocean yesterday, we think he completely tore it. He hasn't been able to get up, he whimpers every so often (especially if we try to help him up), and he can't make it up to go to the bathroom (he hasn't gone since last night). I tried slipping a towel underneath his belly to make a little sling to support him, but he yelped so loudly that I abandoned the idea 🙁

We're thinking surgery is our only option right now, so my question to the community is - what's post op like for a tripod? He'd be limited to his front right leg and back left leg. There's so many mixed opinions on surgery, and all I want is for him to be a happy puppy who can run around. To make things even more interesting and fun (*sarcasm*), he has resource guarding and is timid around people, so he'll growl and snarl at us if we try to help. We think whatever happened to him before the shelter rescued and amputated his leg was human inflicted 🙁

I would appreciate any advice or personal stories.

On The Road

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24 September 2009
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17 August 2015 - 11:00 am
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Aww I'm sorry, poor Benji!

You definitely posted in the right place. My first question is, are you working with a board-certified rehab vet? Have they evaluated him yet? Don't leap to surgery until you do, look at all your options first and get two opinions about the surgery from board-certified ortho vets if you think you're going that route.

Quite a few Tripawds have recovered from ccl repairs, hip replacements, that sort of thing. Search this Forum for Murphy and Daisy for two examples.

We've found that the Calming Cap works wonders on dogs like Benji, you may want to get one.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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17 August 2015 - 4:11 pm
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BENJI! You are o e wild pup! You surely love playing full out!

And you certainly hit the puppy lottery with your humans!

Yeah, I agree with Jerry...have Be ji evaluated as soon as possible. I know it's hard not to leap to conclusions. But honest to goodness, I'm even wondering if it's not related to his back at all, but maybe something along the lines of spi e stress....pulled back muscle...inflamed disc...all of which can be very painful.

Do you have some Tramadol you could give him to help make him more comfortable until you can get him checked out. Only with vet approval of course.

And Benji, I'd growl to if I hurt and someone tried to move me! Hang in there sweet pup...your humans will get you on tne road to recovery!! A d go potty...even if it's in your'll feel better!

A d DEFINITELY, like Jerry said, check out Murphy and Daisy!

Sending lots of hugs to all!

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

Member Since:
17 August 2015
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17 August 2015 - 4:59 pm
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Yes, we got him evaluated by two board certified surgeons back in June? (one of which was board certified for rehab as well, at his water therapy place). The surgeon advised surgery (as they usually do), and the surgeon/rehab vet said that we could try conservative treatment but we might end up having to do the surgery anyway. 

We initially thought it was related to his hips, and while he does have some hip dysplasia, the surgeons both picked up on the issue with his knee/ACL. He did about 3 sessions of water therapy, massage, and some paraspinal injections of something? Glucosamine but better? As well as a combination of asian herbs thats supposed to promote joint health. And of course he's on Cosequin. We had to cut water therapy because Benji didn't like getting massages or swimming with a guy (even though we stressed that he's bad with guys -.-), and I got the feeling that the team was pretty scared/weary of him. Which of course he picked up on, and then he started acting weird with us at home, so we just wanted to get that under control with his trainer before attempting to go back. 

His vet thankfully got back to us quickly and gave us Tramadol (50mg) and I gave him one, but he still hasn't moved from his bed. Hasn't gone potty either 🙁 His knee looked pretty swollen yesterday, and it looks like SOME of the swelling went down? My boyfriend will be home soon and he'll probably try to pick him up to take him outside, but not sure how that will go over. I would attempt to pick him up, but he's 65lbs, and the max I can pick up is maybe 20lbs! 

In regards to the Calm Cap - I literally have anxiety at the thought of putting that on him, he'd probably end up biting one of us! We'd probably need to put a muzzle on him, which I"m sure would cause more stress for him, and lessen his trust for us. Currently stalking the forums for Daisy & Murphy's stories! 

On The Road

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17 August 2015 - 7:57 pm
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Oh wow you are SO covering all of your bases, good job! You do have a good team in place and I like how you went the conservative route first.

Poor pupperz. Have you tried using the old shopping bag sling trick?  He may need more pain medication though if he's super angry and nipping.

Don't be afraid of the calming cap, it's amazing. It was invented by someone who worked at a humane society and needed it for new intakes. We put it on our Wyatt, a normally very anxious and reactive dog and he melts with it.

Here are links for ya, sorry I couldn't post these earlier:

Tripawd Tuesday: Murphy’s Miraculous Milestone

Daisy Update

Daisy having knee surgery

Here's Chuy Malone's story, he had a similar surgery, a FHO:

Tripawd Tuesday: Chuy Keeps Up with the Chase

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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17 August 2015 - 8:24 pm
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Did I mention Benji won the Puppy Lottery when he found his forever home with yiu two?? Yeah, I did...but it can't be overstated enough!!

You and your boyfriend really are standi g strong for him. Poor fella'. I feel badly for him that the therapy team didn't seem to quite understand how to work best with him. And then, like you said, using a male on top of everything else just stressed him out more.

Well, so much for a back slrain or disc issue! Looks like it's the knee. But if the swelling as gone down a touch, possibly .p o s s I b l y. conservative measures could be trIed sgain??

When you can catch your breath, we'd love to see some photos of Mr. Benji!

Hang in there!


Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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