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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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Little Bubble, born a tripawd.
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Forum Posts: 4
Member Since:
17 September 2019
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17 September 2019 - 7:35 pm
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Hello all,

I’m Dannie, and I am very new to this. Our little miracle baby will be 3 weeks old tomorrow, and she has already had a tough start to life. My mother has been helping us through this.

Bubble is a toy poodle, we think she will be blue or silver, and is the 3rd born in a litter of 3 (both her sisters are normal and thriving). The first thing we noticed when she was born was her belly, it did not look right. It didn’t take us long to realize she had a massive intestinal hernia. So she was immediately rushed to the vet in the hopes we could save her.

Her vet was not optimistic, but she already seemed strong so at our insistence he agreed to do what he could. It didn’t take long, maybe an hour, but when he returned he was beaming. Not only had he managed to put everything back where it belonged, but her breathing had improved. He allowed us to see her while they were still waking her up. She even pooped while we were in there!

It’s been touch and go since the surgery, with a few stitches ripping because her skin it so new and thin, and a minor infection that didn’t cross the skin barrier, but we avoided antibiotics and she’s never lost strength. She’s almost healed now and gaining weight like a trooper.

But she still has the missing leg. We were so caught up in the hernia issue, we didn’t even notice until we were almost at the vet that she only has 3 paws. I was looking to make sure she was comfortable when I realized it wasn’t there.

From what I can tell, she has the humerus, but it’s tucked into the skin on her chest, rather than hanging free like normal. She does try to use it, but of course it isn’t of much use without the forearm or paw. Mum and I have discussed getting X-Rays and and possible amputation, but being early days we’re reluctant to put her through too much too soon.

At almost 3 weeks she’s slightly ahead of her sisters in trying to walk. She’s as wobbly as a 3 week old would be expected to be but I’m hopeful she will manage to gain her balence.

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 25742
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17 September 2019 - 8:53 pm
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Hi Dannie and Bubble, welcome! Wow what a story of resilience, love and survival. And great vet care! How exciting! I would say that her birth order (3 of 3) is a darn good sign of great things to come.

Like other young Tripawds who have joined us here, Bubble may have some extra challenges as she grows. Since most dogs lose limbs after they have developed their motor skills, rehab therapists tell us that super young dogs who lose limbs (or are born without) tend to take longer to learn to walk and run. But that doesn’t mean she won’t. Of course she will!

Before amputating, I would recommend having a consultation with an orthopedic specialist and a rehabilitation therapist. A good team can help guide you through any major decisions, and maybe see if she’s a candidate for a prosthetic limb, which could be life changing. Also, if you take her to a credentialed rehab therapist, the Tripawds Foundation may reimburse you for your first rehab visit . So we hope you’ll take advantage of it.

All of us are sending lots of love and healing thoughts for a speedy recovery. Keep us posted and be sure to post pics of your adorable little hero. Here are instructions for adding images , let us know if you’d like some help!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Virginia




Forum Posts: 17910
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18 September 2019 - 9:38 am
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You are such a good advocate for Bubble!  And she’s  clearly a little fighter! That name….precious!   

Jerry, as always, has given great input.  You have plenty of time to do sone researxh snd check out options.  We’ve  certainly seen puppies thrive on three, but, as Jerry said, it takes longer to figure things out.  Obviously  no surgery would be done anyway at this point until she gets stronger and fully recovers from all jer other hurdles.  What a Champ!!

Keep us posted.   We would love to follow her journey AND see pictures of this amazing pup!

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!

Forum Posts: 32
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19 September 2019 - 8:22 am
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This is such an amazing story of love and advocacy. I was really touched by it and what a name! 🥰 I LOVE it. I am eager to follow this story and support any way I can. It’s really cool to see pet parenting like this. I will be thinking of you and wishing you the best. Keep us posted! 

Forum Posts: 4
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2 October 2019 - 9:36 am
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Hello again! Thank you for your replies =)
I apologise for not updating sooner, I had some trouble with the login system but hopefully that’s resolved now.
I’d like to thank you for the offer for financial help, but we live in Australia so things might be a bit different here than in the US.

Bubble is doing very well. She turns 5 weeks old today (Thursday the 3rd of October). She is beginning to eat solids, and has already figured out how to move around. It took her a little while to work out that she needed to hop with her front leg. There was a lot of face-plants (onto soft carpet and bedding of course so no injuries) and alot of frustrated whimpering when she couldn’t move as fast as she wanted to, but she’s getting the hang of it. She’s moving a lot faster now, actually leaving her bed to pee like her sisters do, and I haven’t seen a face-plant for a few days now.
The only thing that seems to be making walking an issue for her is her very tiny hooked claws. We have tried to trim them but it’s not easy with a little puppy and for fear of making them too short we left them a little long, she still gets them hooked on the carpet and her blankets. But she is managing and improving every day. 

Our vet happens to be an orthopaedic surgeon. Bubble has had a checkup with him since my first post, and we did briefly discuss amputation of the bone she has. He said that we will play it by ear, but unless it gives her trouble in the future, he thinks it won’t need to be amputated.

Forum Posts: 32
Member Since:
18 October 2018
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2 October 2019 - 10:21 am
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So glad to hear from you! And hooray that it is going okay. “I haven’t seen a face plant in a while” had me hysterical laughing. I will be watching and cheering you on. Yes, the nails are an important challenge. Cashew has to get a mani pedi every two weeks (Mommy> never. Lol). It helps her utilize her remaining front limb to the best of her ability and of course prevents snags…which, we had a yucky snag once and is no fun at all. Tough decision between amp and prosthetic….Hoping the crowd will weigh in on that. Still loving the name and keep us posted. 💜

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 25742
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2 October 2019 - 10:22 am
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Oh good it sounds like she is going to have a great vet looking out for her! 

I would looooooove to see video and photos. Let us know if you would like help with sharing them here, we are happy to assist. Sorry for the log-in issues, glad you made it back.

As long as the physio therapist is CCRT or CCRP trained, it’s all good. There are many therapists in Australia and other countries who have been trained in both those schools (which are based in the States but the accreditation is good worldwide) so no worries.

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Posts: 32
Member Since:
18 October 2018
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2 October 2019 - 10:24 am
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Second the motion on the CCRT/CCRP therapist. Shu wouldn’t be where she is at without hers. 🌷

Forum Posts: 4
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2 October 2019 - 10:27 am
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I’m working on adding photos. It’s proving more difficult than I initially thought it would be.
That is her in my profile picture, but of course that was taken when she was teeny tiny (maybe a little under a week old) so she’s a bit bigger and fluffier now.
This one is an Instagram image, of her face today. I have some others but Instagram seems to be making all my images square and cropping out bit because of that.

I have started a blog, but it takes 24 hours for the 1st post to go live. Perhaps I can post more images when that happens.

Forum Posts: 32
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18 October 2018
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2 October 2019 - 10:29 am
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Yes I STILL haven’t figured out the photos and been here forevers! We need a class *hint hint 🙂

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2 October 2019 - 10:35 am
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Yeah it’s still not working
One last try here or I might just have to wait till my blog goes live lol.

Forum Posts: 32
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2 October 2019 - 10:36 am
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You did it!!!!!! Omgoodnessss the cuteness!!!!!

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 25742
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25 April 2007
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2 October 2019 - 10:36 am
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Ohhhhh what a smoochable doll! Wow. Thank you for sharing.

Admin is approving your first blog post now. 

We have these instructions for adding images to the Forums. If you’d like help figuring out the process let me know. It’s pretty easy: 

  1. Upload pics to a photo sharing site like imgur.com or your own Tripawds blog
  2. Right click and copy the Image URL
  3. Return to your Tripawds Forum post and paste the image URL (or the image itself if possible) in your post. It should automatically appear.

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 25742
Member Since:
25 April 2007
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14
2 October 2019 - 10:37 am
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shubeanie said
Yes I STILL haven’t figured out the photos and been here forevers! We need a class *hint hint 🙂

  

Ah yeah that would be great! For now we are happy to walk anyone through it via the Chat or phone, just let us know.

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Virginia




Forum Posts: 17910
Member Since:
22 February 2013
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15
2 October 2019 - 8:38 pm
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CUTENESS ALERT!!!   CUTENESS OVERLOAD!!  That little puppy nose…adorable!!

Thanks for the pupdate.  It was good one!😊

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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