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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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Luxating Patella Surgery on Remaining Hind Leg
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Forum Posts: 4
Member Since:
19 November 2020
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19 November 2020 - 10:54 am
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Hi Everyone,

Our Tripawd’s name is Lou (Officially Lieutenant Dan). We adopted him about a year and a half ago. He already had his amputation for his left hind leg. We don’t know what happened, when the Humane Society received him it was too badly broken to recover. He’s been a hyper and happy dog since adopting him!

In the past few months, we noticed his right hind leg, the knee was going in and out of place. After trying shots and ruling out other causes, we have decided to have surgery to deepen the knee socket to keep it in place before it becomes worse over time. It is still a grade 2, out of 4, currently. The concern is, this is his only hind leg that is having surgery. If anyone can give advice on this topic we would greatly appreciate it! The specialist wants to keep weight off of it for the first week especially. We’ve been reading up on how to help him go to the bathroom, towels under his stomach, leaning support, we have a harness to help hold him up. I could do all the research in the world and I am still nervous about this transition. Luckily I will be able to stay home with him during this transition. They are going to keep him all day of the surgery, and we will be picking him up the next day.

Thank you tripaw community!!

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Livermore, CA




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19 November 2020 - 1:34 pm
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Hello and welcome to the fourms.

Surgery on a remaining leg is always a worry for us Tripawd parents, but many have gone though it and survived!

Here are several posts on remaining limb surgery:

Articles on Remaining Limb Surgery

My quad-Pug Obie had patella/cruciate surgery on both of his knees, about 2 years apart. In his case the patella had pulled is knee so far out of alignment the CCL tore so he had to have that repaired as well. Obviously recovery is easier with 3 remaining legs!

Obie wore his RuffWear WebMaster harness most of the time after each surgery (I took it off at night).  He is pretty low to the ground but I found I could support him with a leash attached to the harness.  This was especially important when he had his left knee repaired as he will only pee if he can lift his right leg!  I ended up levitating his back end with the harness/leash combination until he could put weight on the repaired leg.

I think in each surgery it took about a week for him to start toe touching- but again he still has his ‘spare’ leg.

When is the surgery scheduled?

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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19 November 2020 - 2:49 pm
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Thanks krun15! Reading the articles now. Hearing others have gone through this helps! The surgery will be this Monday – TMinus 4 days

I am definitely going to rely on the harness/leash for support in moving him. That is my main worry, just getting him in and out to go to the bathroom, and him feeling comfortable enough to use the bathroom. I’ve never had a dog have to go through a leg surgery before, and just want him to be as comfortable as possible.

Livermore, CA




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19 November 2020 - 4:21 pm
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Another thought to help get him around: 

Instead of a towel you might try making a DIY sling out of a cloth shopping bag. That way you have the harness to help the front end and a sling to help the back end.

I had another quad-Pug who would sometimes lose the use of her back legs so I invested in a GingerLead.  Tani’s WebMaster supported her front end and the GingerLead supported her back end. 

Since Lou’s mobility challenge should be short term the sling would be a cheaper solution.

Good luck on Monday!

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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19 November 2020 - 5:47 pm
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That’s a great idea, thank you for your help today! 

The Rainbow Bridge



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20 November 2020 - 10:47 am
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Hi Lou and family, welcome! What a cutie patootie, Lou you look like one happy dude.

Yeah as you can see, recovering from a remaining leg surgery isn’t impossible for a Tripawd. Is he lined up for rehabilitation therapy yet? If not, now’s the time to get that set up. Rehab is especially critical for something like this. Oh and the Tripawds Foundation can pay for your first rehab visit so yay!

It’s pretty awesome you can be there to help him around that first week. I would also suggest if there’s any way at all, to have him boarded for a few days after that, just to be certain he’s not going to hurt himself if he has to be left alone. 

Holler with any questions you think of and let us know how he’s doing. We look forward to following along and including him in a future article about remaining leg surgeries!

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




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20 November 2020 - 9:37 pm
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Well Lou, (Lt Dan), your smile lights up the world!  I’m sure I’m not the only one smiling back at the screen😁

Thank you for adopting  this sweet boy and giving  him such a loving home.

I’m owned by a front legger  tripawd named Frankie.  He had surgery on  one rear leg and then a year later (or maybe  it was two) he had TPLO surgery  on the other.  Then a year after that he had surgery  to remove “wires”, etc from the first surgery that eventually  failed.

And recoveries  were NOT easy, but doable!  Your situation is more challenging  because the surgery is on the one leg.  The biggest thing is confinement  as much as possible  and supportive  help when mov about and going to potty.  pain management is equally  important.  Patience on your part and staying confident and upbeat around Lt. Dan…good thing!

STAY CONNECTED  and let us know how things are going, okay?  Recovery  won’t  last furever and Lou will feel so much better when that leg heals👍

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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20 November 2020 - 11:30 pm
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Thanks for sharing Sally!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
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24 November 2020 - 3:13 pm
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Lou is home and resting!

Surgery went well! They were able to deepen the socket and tighten up to some ligaments to help. His leg is wrapped up, and we will go back in one week for a bandage change. They’ve also given us a protective bootie to keep it clean for going outside. They’ve given us a sling to help support him when going to the bathroom. He’s on two medications currently. 

I know this will be tough, but seeing him wagging his tail and happy when picking him up was the biggest relief. 

I can’t say thank you enough to everyone who commented! I will work on continuous updates.

Virginia




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24 November 2020 - 7:26 pm
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WELCOME HOME LOU!!!!  Surgery is done and the healing can now begin! 

 And reading that Lou gave you a happy  tail wag has me grinning near to ear!

Hopefully you can all get some rest tonight.   I imagine once the hospital meds wear off that leg might be sore.  That was quite a surgery ordeal.  Loi is a tuff and ruff pup!

Stay connected  and update when you can 

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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24 November 2020 - 10:24 pm
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Love that Louie! I’m so happy he’s home. Sounds like your vet has prepared you very well for the recovery but if you need anything at all you know how to find us. Keep us posted, we are cheering you on! You can do this!

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Livermore, CA




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24 November 2020 - 10:51 pm
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Welcome home Lou!

Glad the surgery went well and your boy is home. 

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

TriPawLou901
13
5 January 2021 - 11:56 am
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Hi Everyone,

Wanted to give an update on Lou! After 4 weeks of crate rest, and then slowly amping up his movement and exercise the last two weeks, Lou has been cleared by his doctor to be his normal goofy self again! I can’t thank this community enough for all of the resources and support we received! While it wasn’t always easy, he has been such a trooper and it’s great to see him feeling good again! The four weeks of crate rest felt like forever for our dog who wants to do nothing more than cuddle on the couch with us, but well worth it now. Be patient. Highly recommend getting a dog heating pad, he absolutely LOVES his and it made such a difference in convincing him to just lay down and relax.

We’re working on rebuilding strength in his back leg, it’s visible how much muscle loss happened over these 6 weeks, but we’ll get there! In the last two weeks we’ve gone from can he make it around the block without the sling to now sprinting the last block home with us last night. 

For any future readers or users going through this surgery, you’re going to make it! Be patient, follow the vet guidelines, & don’t be afraid to reach out to this community for questions and advice!

The Rainbow Bridge



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5 January 2021 - 1:09 pm
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WHEEEEE! Get out the pawty favors, it’s time to celebrate!

giphy.gif

Thank you so much for sharing the great news. You guys have had a long recovery road but you made it through the worst part! Got any photos to share? We would love to see them.

P.S. Remember, the Tripawds Foundation can pay for your first rehab visit so please take advantage of the program!

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

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