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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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Macy, I'm confused by her sypmtoms
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Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
26 March 2009
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26 March 2009 - 12:07 pm
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Macy is a new tripawd.  Her surgery was March 17, 2009 for a front left amputation of a deformed leg.  She is approx. 7 months old pit bull and weighs 36 lbs.  I rescued her after she was found left in a crate, in below freezing temps, on a back deck after the scumbags moved out of the house.  It is believed she lived her first 6 months of life in her crate. 

When her deformed leg was removed 9 days ago you would have never known she had surgery.  Her activity level never changed from before surgery.  She was so full of life and energetic until 3 days ago.  She started laying around and sleeping more and seemed gimpy in her rear area.  She can't get on the couch now and after a short walk she just collapses.  She also has lost her appetite. 

I took her to the vet yesterday and she had no infection and no temp…he said that he tought she has hurt the hip/back area by too much activity.  He took her off her anti-inflammatory thinking that was causing the loss of appetite.  He said to limit her activity for a few days and see if she don't perk up. 

This morning she came out of her crate happy, went out and used the bathroom, came in the house and laid down and went to sleep.  I cooked her some ground beef and she ate that and drank a little water then back to sleep.  Sometimes she cries like she is in pain.  She perks up for only a minute when someone new comes in but then is back down.  I'm considering taking her back today for IV fluids but was wondering, from people who have been through this, if this is normal behavior?  Has it finally caught up with her and she just needs to sleep or should I be concerned about something else? 

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22 August 2008
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26 March 2009 - 1:06 pm
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She might just be getting used to walking on 3 legs.  Even if she was not using that leg before surgery, they still have to adjust the way they move their bodies as a tripawd and that could affect the muscles in her back or rear legs.  Pitbulls are very tough dogs so they do not show their pain as much as other breeds, so she just might need extra rest!  Puppies are very resilient, so she should be fine.

You are such a nice person to rescue this dog!  This breed is so misunderstood, but I find them to be very sweet and I have one myself.

Best of luck,

Pam and Tazzie (and Kona)

The Rainbow Bridge

Forum Posts: 27831
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25 April 2007
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26 March 2009 - 7:28 pm
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What a saint you are for saving her life. You are a real Tripawd hero! Thank you so much for joining us here, we hope we can be of some help.

Pam's right, it sounds like she's getting adjusted and needs extra rest (Pam is our favorite vet, after all, so she's seen these kinds of things before).

A lot of dogs are still all dopey from the pain meds right after surgery, and they will overdo it. Of course, there's always a price to be paid for that, and we see a lot of post-surgery “crash and burn” Tripawds here, but usually it's nothing serious, they just need time to get the meds out and rest up. Remember, she's using her legs in a different way now and those muscles need time to strengthen.

Betcha by tomorrow she's going to be a lot perkier. But keep her as calm as you can. It's tempting to proceed as normal right away, but dogs do need time to heal just like humans, so take easy and in a few weeks things should be pretty normal again.

We'd love to see a photo of her!

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