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Koda says Hi: Newly Adopted Puppy, Vet Suggests Amputate | Accidents, Injuries and Malformed Limbs

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Koda says Hi: Newly Adopted Puppy, Vet Suggests Amputate
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Forum Posts: 18
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12 May 2009 - 6:31 am
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I am a new mom to Koda, a 7month old beagle I adopted from Petsmart adoption days, whom I have been mom to for 6 weeks.  When we first started going out for walks I noticed he would lift up his front left leg when he ran.  I mentioned this to his vet but aside from looking at x-rays there was nothing that felt out of the ordinary on him. 

This weekend he jarred the leg when he landed wrong when playing.  He was in pain and couldn't put his foot down.  I took him to the emergency vet and in the x-rays they noticed a previous injury in his elbow and that there was arthritis and that the growth plate had been damaged when he was younger.  She mentioned amputation as an option down the road.

He is getting an new x-ray this morning to make sure nothing is fractured and his regular vet has also mentioned amputation as a possibility. I just can't afford the orthopedic bills if it went that route, and from personal experience – I have a fused ankle – the arthritis is painful.  He is in pain right now and I almost wonder if I won't be given the option to tri him by days end. 

Friends are saying – cut your loses since you haven't had him a long time – but the little guy has my heart and deserves a fighting chance.  I have had that internal fight of living as a tri or putting him down, as a co-worker says – there are other dogs that need a good home – makes me want to slap him. 

So for now I am going to read the forums and read some hopeful stories and get some advice on taking care of a tri. 

Thanks Debbie

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12 May 2009 - 8:15 am
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Whatever you decide to do, you'll get the support you need here.  I know I have.  Thanks Tripawds!  🙂  It is definately a scary thing to have to go through with you dog, but they bounce back so quickly… you'll be amazed, I promise.  The first two weeks, before the stitches or staples come out is the hardest part.  Taking all the meds can make them act so weird.  Jake is six weeks post op and other than the fact that he tires easily, he's the same dog he always was.  My biggest trouble with him is getting him to take it easy, like when he wants to climb up on things and jump off!  Also you'll probably run into people who “feel sorry for the dog” and think you should've “put him down”…. I hate that part.  If they'd just open their eyes they'd see how happy he is and that he never for one minute feels sorry for himself, so they shouldn't feel sorry for him either.  Anyhow… I wish you the best of luck with your decision.  Money was a big issue with me as well, so when Jake was shot and needed the emergency amputation my vet took pity on me and did the whole thing for $237 including his medicines!  Maybe you can talk to your vet, or find one that has a soft heart and ask them to work with you?  Or maybe talk to a local humane society?   Keep us posted!  Oh yeah.. Welcome to our group!   

The Rainbow Bridge



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12 May 2009 - 9:38 am
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Debbie,

Thank you for joining us here and sharing Koda's story. We are so sorry that he is in pain, and hope that he feels better soon. What a tough situation to be in, and you are a good pawrent for weighing all your options. I have to admit, I just about choked on my breakfast when I read what your coworker/friends are suggesting. Yikes! I feel really sorry for them, since they seem to have no real idea of the kind of lessons that ALL dogs can teach us about resiliency and determination. Well, their loss. Here are some things to consider:

Koda is a puppy, and will grow into a relatively small size, which lends itself to adapting on three legs quite well. As you've seen here, bigger dogs can do fine as tripawds, but smaller dogs tend to have an easier time. Plus, you won't be dealing with cancer so how fortunate is that? He'll hardly know life any other way if you do the amputation now.

Once you amputate, that could be it in the way of dealing with this injury. I'm no vet, that's what I'm guessing. The initial cost would be high: typically between $1k to $1500k, but after surgery and recovery, you're most likely done with this phase of his life. Like Jake's Mom suggested, perhaps you could get the humane society and/or the vet to help out by reducing the cost, since he is so new to your family? Just a thought.

We don't want to tell you what to do, but just want to share our exprience. The Tripawd lifestyle ain't no big thing for dogs, especially when they're also not dealing with cancer. It's the silly, uneducated humans that make a big deal out of it. But just take a look at how well dogs can live on three legs, you'll be amazed, and learn so much from them!

One thing to consider is the activity level of a tripawd can sometimes be reduced a little bit. Their muscles are working harder than four-leggers when they run and walk, so if you're into long distance hiking and running, Koda could have a hard time with that. But then again, maybe not, due to his size and the fact that he's growing into Tripawd living. It's when adult dogs suddenly become tripawds that they tend to have a significant reduction in endurance levels.

Good luck. Please keep us posted on what you decide to do OK? We'll support your decision no matter what, because everyone is different and has different circumstances, we understand completely.

P.S. Hope it's OK but I moved your post to the “Beyond Cancer” forum topic, for dogs that are facing amputation for reasons other than cancer.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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12 May 2009 - 11:43 am
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jerry, Thanks for moving the thread.  I will look into calling humane societys and see  if any can help and I hope the vet will be able to.   The reduced activity level will actually be good for me since I have a fused left ankle and can't run or go hiking.  Kind of funny , I get a dog whose elbow is in the process of fusing due to an injury and I have a fused joint as well ….. 

The Rainbow Bridge



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12 May 2009 - 1:29 pm
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Wow, that IS really ironic!

We have some financial resources listed here that might be able to point you in the right direction. Good luck, let us know how it goes OK?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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18 May 2009 - 8:52 am
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I just got a call from the surgeon and they told me that it is going to be an amputation.  I was prepared for this but still it is sad.  I can't wait to hear that he is waking up.  I wonder if they will let me go see him at the vet or if I have to wait till tomorrow…

The Rainbow Bridge



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18 May 2009 - 1:49 pm
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Oh gosh, many hugs. My pawrents understand completely, they had about 30 seconds to decide if they wanted to proceed with my amputation when I was under anesthesia for an MRI. It’s hard to make that call, but in the end, getting rid of the pain is the best thing.

We hope everything goes well, please let us know when you hear something. You are both in our thoughts.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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18 May 2009 - 2:07 pm
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He came out of surgery fine and I will be a good mom and NOT go see him at the vets.  I don't want to get him excited and I would also start crying seeing him all bandaged and want to take him home.  I will be picking him up tomorrow afternoon and have off on Wednesday.  I'm glad this is a three day weekend so I will be able to pamper him. 

I will take him to my sisters on Thursday and Friday , she lives 10 minutes from me and is a real estate agent so she is home alot.  This way he isn't alone and has someone watching him, but I have already told my boss if she is gone for more then an  hour then Koda is coming to work Winker

I ordered him the little shirt and got a magnet for my car – I am used to people feeling sorry for me with my foot so this won't be any different – maybe tell people I wanted him to be like mom Laughing    With my fusion I have learned to attempt a sense of humor or else I would be crying all the time. 

Thanks for the support and the information on the site, I have been looking into the joint supplements already and I will talk to the vet tomorrow and see what he suggests for recovery.  BTW I love the videos section, I looked at the one with the new amputee and he seemed to cute

The Rainbow Bridge



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18 May 2009 - 2:25 pm
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Oh yeayyy!

Yeah, as hard as it is not to rush over there, you're making a good call. It's probably best to let him recuperate at the vets for a night.

Remember, when you do go pick him up, be strong. It's a shock to see the scar and bandage, but you want to let him know that you are there for him no matter what, and you believe he WILL be a happy healthy tripawd! Remember to ask your vet about what to expect, when you should call if you need to, and what signs to look out for if you suspect something's wrong.

It'll be nice to have someone watching out for him, sounds like a good plan. We always suggest keeping a new tripawd in a small confined area, like a bedroom, with non-slip floors, and easy access to water.

We would love to see a pic with the t-shirt when he's feeling stronger. Thanks so much for ordering from the Tripawds storefront.

You two will be just fine, we know it. Hang in there, and let us know if you need anything.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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21 May 2009 - 7:13 am
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He is bouncing back to his old ways, but he does try to milk the whole hurt puppy dog look.  He seems to want to keep going for a walk and he wants to stay out longer then the 5-10 minutes recommended.  He tries to get to the stitches,  he hates the e-collar , so when I get the shirt I will ask the vet if it is ok if it stops him from licking the stitches can he wear it. 

He has piddled twice on the rugs since being home, stress of car rides, going to the vet and coming home missing a limb.  I blocked him into the master bath last night and he did fine, he was able to see me and not get stressed.  Today he is at his aunts getting puppy sat so I can come to work.  Now to get him used to car rides. 

I can't figure out how to post pictures to the forum yet but they are on my facebook.

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21 May 2009 - 3:22 pm
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I'm a little late jumping in here, but wanted to welcome you and Koda.  Hang in there, Koda will be back to himself in no time.  You may have a tough couple of weeks, but after that he will run you a good race.

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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21 May 2009 - 7:30 pm
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What a handsome guy.  Good luck, Koda.

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.

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27 May 2009 - 9:42 am
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Bounce Bounce Bounce —-   he definetly has alot of energy for someone one week post op.  I have to get a picture of him in his shirt but that shirt is great.  Besides looking cute on him it is great as a replacment over the e-collar.  I would recommend this to anyone who has a dog that licks stitches. 

His seems a little constipated and that is probably the antibiotics from surgery , though I will mention to the vet on monday when he has his stitches out.  Thank you for the support , I am glad I found this site.

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