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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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I adopted a newly made tripod
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The Rainbow Bridge



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1 April 2019 - 10:12 am
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Awwww I can tell you two are going to make great partners once you get a better understanding of each other’s communication styles. That sounded like a crazy scene in the car, poor guy! It reminded me of one our members here, Karen, who has done a lot of work on getting her Tripawd Elly to enjoy car rides. She does now but it took tons of work and patience. I hope she sees this and chimes in. 

Yep, he’s been through so much but he’s got you now and over time that will develop into something really beautiful. If you’re looking for good behavior and training insight, my friend Sarah Wilson of MySmartPuppy has some wonderful online courses that may be helpful. She was a huge help when we brought home our Wyatt Ray , another pup who came from a ruff background.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Livermore, CA




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1 April 2019 - 11:09 pm
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Hi again,

On harnesses- I use the Ruffwear WebMaster harness for Elly, I’ve actually used that harness for one reason or another for my past 4 small dogs (including Elly). I’ve had a problem with the fit though as based on the girth measurement all four of the dogs should have fit in a XS. However the XS size was way too long on their bodies, including Elly who is by far the longest. The XXS is a great fit length wise but the straps are too short. My solution was to modify the straps to make them longer so they fit. It does invalidate the warranty so keep that in mind. I can share what I’ve done in the past if you decide to try the WebMaster and run into the fit problems I’ve had. My Pug boy now wears the Webmaster Front Range and it fits him very well without modification, however it doesn’t have a handle. 

On vehicles- Elly has severe separation anxiety, which is at it’s worst in my truck. I think it is partly due to the trauma of being hit by a car but mostly due to the fact that she was driven and dropped off with strangers 4 times by the time she was 10 months old (I was # 4) which sounds a lot like Jake’s experiences. Her foster Mom actually brought her to me and dropped her off in exchange for me following up with her post eye surgery vet visit. In hindsight that was a mistake but I didn’t realize it until well after the fact. We had the best intentions for Elly but I never thought about the repercussions of the ‘drop off’. One thing that foster mom said when she was leaving was that Elly didn’t ride well in the car- she cried and whined all the time so she let her ride on her lap!! Once we figured out the sep anx that comment made sense. I do not let my dogs ride on my lap or in the front seat. But as I worked with trainers and Elly I finally allowed her to ride on part of the center console of my truck so she could touch my arm if she wanted. The crying and whining stopped for the most part, until I tried to leave her in the truck… but that is a long story about her sep anx.  I can share that if you are interested but hopefully you are on the right track already with Jake and he will do better than Elly getting settled in the car.

Elly also has fear issues and is the most sensitive dog I’ve ever had. She turned 4 last December, I’ve had her about 3.5 years now and we have made huge progress with all her issues but we have periodic setbacks. She had an invasive dental surgery in February so she stayed at the vet all day. The next time I took her out in the truck it was almost like we were starting over with the whining, crying and grabbing onto me. I did expect it and had brought my Pug boy with us and we went to two pet stores. We went somewhere fun every other day or so and after a few trips she didn’t whine as soon as we got in the truck.  Sounds like what you are doing too! 

One thing we did that really helped was to get her Canine Good Citizenship title.  We took a prep class where we could practice the 10 tasks she would need to accomplish.  I knew we could pass all the obedience type tasks, but when we started there was no way she would let strangers touch her, not react to another dog, or survive a 3 minute separation.  Knowing the test items gave us something to practice and a goal to attain.  We practiced for several months before we took the test but we passed on the first try!

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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5 April 2019 - 7:41 pm
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Thanks all of you for the information. I’ve been ill and haven’t had a chance to take Jake out in the car for another walk but I thought next time I’m going to take my Poodle, Jaremiah with is. He’s the most calm of my three other dogs. I think that will help Jake feel more comfortable. I agree with you, Karen that I need to take him through the steps to get her Canine Good Citizenship title. I’ve done the program once before with a Australian Cattle Dog who was born deaf that I rescued from death. (His original owner was going to kill her because she was born deaf. Believe me that deaf dogs adjust well to life. There’s no reason to put a deaf puppy down.) Jake continues to adjust and has begun to realize he doesn’t need to have me in his sights all the time when I’m home. He seems to do okay when I leave the house but he has his buddies around for company. I’ve noticed a change in how he stands, walks and runs. His back leg has moved more to the middle rather than side making him more stable. I’m guessing that this is normal as it improves stability. How he learned that on his own I’m not certain but I can tell that he’s adjusted to this three legged way of life quite well. I don’t think that length for the Ruffware Webmaster Harness will be too much of an issue because he has the Dauchshound in him making his body longer. I have to wait until the middle of this month to order it as it wasn’t in my budget for this last check. I’m trying to figure out if he is still in pain or not. Dogs don’t complain much and as we all know they cannot talk to us and tell us what they are feeling. I know if he gets bumped where his scar is by the other dogs it causes pain but when I lightly touch or press in around the area he doesn’t flinch or cry out. I still have him on the Gabapentin and use the Tramodal depending on how he acts. I just wish I knew if he needs it more often or not. Any or suggestions so be appreciated. I’m not certain if I should have the veterinarian refill the Tramodal or not. 

Livermore, CA




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5 April 2019 - 8:42 pm
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He sounds like he is doing really well!  And yeah, the leg moving to the middle is normal and will help him be more balanced.

As far as pain meds- most pups here are on them for 2 weeks, some 3 weeks.  Dogs with other issues or older pups sometimes go longer.  If my calcs are right you are into the third week, right?  I do think you were behind the pain curve though when you got him from the rescue- so it could be that he needs meds a bit longer. 

Remember too to ramp up activity level slowly.  Much easier said than done with a youngster! 

I often wonder how the incision site feels well after recovery.  The biggest surgery scar I have is on my ankle and is decades old.  It doesn’t hurt when I touch it by the nerves still feel funny all these years later.  Elly doesn’t really like me to touch her surgery area but it doesn’t seem to hurt her.  She does fall on her amp side from time to time (all Tripawds fall!) and she has no reaction.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

The Rainbow Bridge



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6 April 2019 - 1:17 pm
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I love that you have always had a place in your heart for special animals, and have done so much work to help them settle into a great home. clap

I’m trying to figure out if he is still in pain or not. 

This is so challenging, especially because animals don’t like to show their weakness. And you’re just getting to know him. They do tell us, but in non-verbal ways that we can learn to recognize. Check out these articles about recognizing pain signals :

How Dogs Show Pain and What You Can Do About It

Do Dogs “Self-Limit” Their Activity? Or Are They in Pain?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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8 April 2019 - 4:08 pm
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Checking out the pain information helped. I’d read it before but I couldn’t remember all the signs. If he had been a dog that I had for a longer time it would have been so much easier. I can tell with other dogs I’ve owned how they feel but since I didn’t know him before all of this happened it’s been hard to figure out how he feels. I’m pretty certain that pain is not an issue with him. He continues to do so well and he’s quite a happy little guy who is quite active. I’ve got to get some Jake sized squeaky toys to play with. I have larger ones for my bigger dogs and he happily chases the cat toys, much to their dismay! It’s been fun seeing him happy and active.

He has dealt well with the visit of Piper, my friend’s Great Dane who periodically stays at my house for a play date. This time Piper was here overnight as they had to go out of town. He certainly has that Napoleon complex I’ve seen by other Chihuahua mixes. However, I have to work with him to know what is acceptable behavior when other dogs come to visit. He’s not overly pleased to have another critter in his household. Piper is still a slightly younger dog than him. I won’t accept aggressiveness from him when another dog comes into my house. He knows this is his place but I do periodically have close friends dogs when they go out of town. So, I just need to work with him on socialism and behavior, especially when those dogs come over. He’s pretty smart and not crazy about the squirt bottle, which is good. I continue to work with him to follow my directions. 

The Rainbow Bridge



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8 April 2019 - 4:54 pm
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Oh good, glad to be of service! In time you’ll be able to read him like a map.

And I love how you are introducing him to so many new friends (or future friends 😉 This is really good for him, and you have the kind of attitude it takes to shape him into a pawesome doggie who gets along with everyone. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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24 April 2019 - 10:11 pm
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Quick Jake update: He is doing so well! We have really bonded over the last three weeks. I really liked him before but he is now one of my “heart” boys. When my 15 year old Miniature Poodle, Jeremiah, passes one day Jake as well as my other two dogs and two cats will all help comfort me during that time. But Jake, being so small will help all the more. Jeremiah has always been the dog on my lap or hanging out on the arm of my recliner. Now he and Jake share the lap and chair. 

It’s been so fun to watch him blossom. Last week, while I was mowing the lawn, I looked over to see Jake, Jeremiah and Border Collie Shawnee wrestling and playing the dog chase game. Then Monday  I was inside the house and Jacob and Nikki, my God only knows dog, we’re wrestling and having a good time.  He is beginning to act like he’s been a part of this menagerie of mine his whole life.  It’s been fun watching him race around the backyard, which is a nice sized one he is so speedy and agile. This little guy loves to run. 

 I’ve been working some with him on strengthening his leg and getting him to get out a little bit more. Yesterday his new harness came in. It is one of the Ruffwear harnesses that was suggested to me earlier.  Boy am I in love with this harness! I think it might be better than sliced bread! He did great in it and I love being able to just grab the little handle and pick him up and put him wherever I want to. On today’s walk I brought Jeremiah and we all got in the car and went over to my friend’s house. She and I often go walking together.  This time he had absolutely no issues in the car, I think it’s because Jeremiah, his buddy, I made sure to put him in the backseat and he seems to know I’m not going send him  back to the “that place”. It was his longest walk to date and I know just because of his size he’s taking at least two extra steps for Jeremiah and Edith Ann’s (my friend’s red Heeler) one. But he did well. We walked about two miles. I was so proud of him. 

Jake says have a “hoppity” day my tripawd friends!

The Rainbow Bridge



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25 April 2019 - 9:48 am
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Awwww this totally made my day, what a lovely pupdate. The furkids are all getting along, life is good and I’ll say it again, Jake SCORED!

Got any photos of the pack? We would love to see them! Let me know if you’d like help adding images

And I’m thrilled you are finding the Ruffwear Webmaster so useful. We feel exactly the same way, don’t know where we would be without it on our Wyatt Ray . It’s like his uniform now!

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

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Livermore, CA




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25 April 2019 - 10:19 am
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Boy am I in love with this harness! I think it might be better than sliced bread! He did great in it and I love being able to just grab the little handle and pick him up and put him wherever I want to.

Elly doesn’t leave the house without her webmaster harness . I’m pretty sure she thinks she gets in my truck by herself when in fact I’m boosting her with the harness!  I need to get a vid of that sometime… I grab the handle and count one, two and on three her little legs start moving and magically she is in the truck smiley4

I’m so glad Jake is doing so well and fitting in! And really glad that riding in the car seems to be better, that’s been a tough one for us.

And yes please, pictures!

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

Virginia




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26 April 2019 - 10:49 am
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I’m  grinning  ear to ear as I’m  reading all about your pack……and all about the love you have for them, and they for you!  Special  Souls like you always have special  Souls like Jake find you❤

Lots and lots of rest stops on that two mile walk for Jake, right?  Spunds loke he’s a real go getter and doesn’t  want to slow down at all!  His muscles  and joints may feel otherwise though if he over does it.😉

Cannot wait for pictures of all your pack.  And give your sweet “mature ” Jeremiah  an extra pat on the head for us.  He’s  such a good role model.

Hugs 

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie 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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3 May 2019 - 6:34 pm
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I will indeed get pictures of the pack. I love every single one of them. They have all been graced with special personalities that fill my life. I feel blessed by God to have such a special menagerie. I was so excited this week to see Jake has truly gotten used to going in and out of the doggie door. He knew the other dogs used it regularly but I had never seen him use it on his own. This week Shawnee was barking at something outside and he raced off my lap and flew out the door to join her at letting whoever or whatever was passing through the ally that he was there as well and he or she had better get a move on. 😉 

His walks with his cool harness have frequent rest stops as he asks. He’s really become such a part of the family it’s like he’s been here since he was a puppy. 

Glo

The Rainbow Bridge



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3 May 2019 - 6:42 pm
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I just love how life has gotten back to normal for your pack and everyone has settled in like they’ve known each other for a lifetime. What harmony! Isn’t it great?!

Yes do share photos, and some video of Jake going through that doggie door. Lots of people ask about that. We can’t wait to see.

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

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Virginia




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3 May 2019 - 9:59 pm
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Thanks for this delightful pupdate.  You have sich a precious pack.  And Jake clearly is a fast learner😎 And they are very lucky  to have  you as their hooman.

Extrz treats for everybody!

Hugs 

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie 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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4 May 2019 - 6:50 am
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Cannot wait to see pictures! I am thrilled that you are all doing so well sp_hearticon2

Hugs,

Jackie and Hucksp_hearticon2

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Angel Mitchell, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

Huckleberry's Blog

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