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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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New to the Tripawd life - New baby; Zoey
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Forum Posts: 11
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18 March 2019 - 10:18 pm
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Howdy folks!

I figured I’d introduce myself and reach out a little bit for help. 

My husband and I are dog parents of 3 (and one human turddler), almost always have been probably always will be. Last october we lost my white german shepherd, Niko, to a hemangiosarcoma and we knew it wouldn’t be long before another baby found us. 

And she did! Through a friend of ours we found Zoey, a black german shepherd, who needed people who really understood the emotional side of GSDs (the anxiety stuff mostly) as she was abused/neglected until the court ordered her to be saved from that situation. Unfortunately she had a fractured/infected/necrotic rear leg that was amputated shortly after being taken into the shelter. 

She’s only about 3 years old so she has a TON of energy but can’t really hang too long because of the pain in her hip/leg from holding all her weight on one leg. We have an appointment this week with our vet to talk medical history (I can’t make sense of the documents they were able to give us T_T) and prosthetic possibilities to relieve some of the pressure. 

Any new tripawd parent tips are appreciated!

I’ll post photos when I figure out exactly how to use this new computer and forum system hahaha. 

Livermore, CA




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18 March 2019 - 10:59 pm
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Hello and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

I’m sorry you lost Niko to hemangio, that is a nasty, sneaky cancer.

Congratulations on your new pack member!

Our Spokesdog Wyatt Ray Dawg is a rear amp GSD, he’s been on three since he was 8 months old.

And there is the OakTown Pack, currently 3 rear amp GSD’s including Codie Rae!!

How long since her amputation?  It does take some time to build strength, core strength is really important for Tripawds.  What is her activity level like at this point?  Having her evaluated by a rehab vet might be a good idea- we have a program here that may reimburse you for your first visit.

My current Tripawd is a little Pug mix who lost her rear leg at 7 months old.  Elly was full of energy when I got her at 10 months old but not very strong.  We spend time every day on core strength and balance through exercises, obedience and trick training, and food puzzles and games.  Wearing out a young Tripawd without over taxing the remaining three legs takes some thought and effort.  But I make everything into a game and Elly loves what we do. 

I can’t help you with the GSD specific parts, I know Wyatt’s pack and the OakTown Pack will have some input for you.  I will add though that Elly’s best buddy in our Nose Work Class is a beautiful black GSD girl : )

Oh, and adding photos is pretty easy, but they must be hosted on line somewhere.  Here are instructions. Let us know if you need help posting them, we LOVE pics around here.

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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18 March 2019 - 11:06 pm
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krun15 said
Hello and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

I’m sorry you lost Niko to hemangio, that is a nasty, sneaky cancer.

Congratulations on your new pack member!

Our Spokesdog Wyatt Ray Dawg is a rear amp GSD, he’s been on three since he was 8 months old.

And there is the OakTown Pack, currently 3 rear amp GSD’s including Codie Rae!!

How long since her amputation?  It does take some time to build strength, core strength is really important for Tripawds.  What is her activity level like at this point?  Having her evaluated by a rehab vet might be a good idea- we have a program here that may reimburse you for your first visit.

My current Tripawd is a little Pug mix who lost her rear leg at 7 months old.  Elly was full of energy when I got her at 10 months old but not very strong.  We spend time every day on core strength and balance through exercises, obedience and trick training, and food puzzles and games.  Wearing out a young Tripawd without over taxing the remaining three legs takes some thought and effort.  But I make everything into a game and Elly loves what we do. 

I can’t help you with the GSD specific parts, I know Wyatt’s pack and the OakTown Pack will have some input for you.  I will add though that Elly’s best buddy in our Nose Work Class is a beautiful black GSD girl : )

Oh, and adding photos is pretty easy, but they must be hosted on line somewhere.  Here are instructions. Let us know if you need help posting them, we LOVE pics around here.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

  

Thank you for the info and sweet words!

Unfortunately we don’t know how long ago she was amputated. She was surrendered at 2.5 years but was already (poorly) amputated so they had to fix some infection but she’s about 3.5 now so it’s been a good while. She definitely wants to be more active than she can be. She’ll stop and whine, one part pain in her hip and one part upset she can’t keep playing. Luckily one of her favorite hobbies is snuggling with the human kiddo. 🙂 

We’re mostly concerned with preserving her hips and allowing her to keep up with her self, hahaha. We’re also hoping our general vet will have some referral information for us. 

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18 March 2019 - 11:31 pm
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oops post

The Rainbow Bridge



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19 March 2019 - 9:40 am
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Zoey, Hannah and family, welcome. We are so glad you joined us! So sorry about your previous pup Niko, that hemangio is an awful cancer.

Your story is a familiar one with our pack, as our GSD Wyatt Ray came from similar circumstances. Like the others in the Oaktown Pack, he is a rear-legged Tripawd and is now a mature doggy at 10 years young. He has anxiety issues from being abandoned as a pup, and he always keeps us on our toes.

I agree with Karen in that one of the best things you can do for Zoey is to keep her brain engaged. It’s helpful for any dog but especially a GSD. You have experience with one so you already know what a bored GSD is like! Being that Zoey’s background is a bit of a mystery, you are probably going to be dealing with emotional challenges that Niko didn’t have, but you can handle it. Zoey found her perfect family!

As Karen mentioned, the Tripawds Foundation rehab reimbursement grant may pay for your first rehab visit . We highly recommend getting to know a practitioner so that you can get some guidance on the types of exercise that will benefit (and not benefit) Zoey as she grows. We like to say that Tripawds can do anything a four-legger can do, but it’s our job to moderate those activities so they don’t overdo it. 

Oh and about prosthetics . They only work if enough stump is left on the leg. I don’t know what Zoey’s candidacy is as a prosthetic user, but a rehab vet will be able to tell you. If you’d like us to find a therapist in your area let us know, we are happy to help. And we can’t wait to see photos of your sweet girl! 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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19 March 2019 - 10:31 am
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jerry said
Zoey, Hannah and family, welcome. We are so glad you joined us! So sorry about your previous pup Niko, that hemangio is an awful cancer.

Your story is a familiar one with our pack, as our GSD Wyatt Ray came from similar circumstances. Like the others in the Oaktown Pack, he is a rear-legged Tripawd and is now a mature doggy at 10 years young. He has anxiety issues from being abandoned as a pup, and he always keeps us on our toes.

I agree with Karen in that one of the best things you can do for Zoey is to keep her brain engaged. It’s helpful for any dog but especially a GSD. You have experience with one so you already know what a bored GSD is like! Being that Zoey’s background is a bit of a mystery, you are probably going to be dealing with emotional challenges that Niko didn’t have, but you can handle it. Zoey found her perfect family!

As Karen mentioned, the Tripawds Foundation rehab reimbursement grant may pay for your first rehab visit . We highly recommend getting to know a practitioner so that you can get some guidance on the types of exercise that will benefit (and not benefit) Zoey as she grows. We like to say that Tripawds can do anything a four-legger can do, but it’s our job to moderate those activities so they don’t overdo it. 

Oh and about prosthetics . They only work if enough stump is left on the leg. I don’t know what Zoey’s candidacy is as a prosthetic user, but a rehab vet will be able to tell you. If you’d like us to find a therapist in your area let us know, we are happy to help. And we can’t wait to see photos of your sweet girl! 

  

She’s definitely got some similarities but a lot about her is so unknown that she’ll do things and we’re not sure if it’s the neurotic shepherd in her or something from her past. 

We’re definitely looking forward to decoding more of her past and while she does have quite a substantial stump we definitely want an expert opinion before we do anything beyond what we’re already doing with moderation, exercise, and diet. 

Virginia




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20 March 2019 - 3:47 pm
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2h3n you can, we would love to see pictures of your special Angel Niko.  We know she’s quite pleased to have sent you Zoey so that sweet GSD can know what love feels like…just like she did❤

I am only here to add a warm welcome, as you have already gotten great input from Karen and GSD expert Jerry.😎

And we would love to see pics of Zoey, as well as your turddler (😉)

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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21 March 2019 - 9:44 am
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hannahw531 said

We’re definitely looking forward to decoding more of her past and while she does have quite a substantial stump we definitely want an expert opinion before we do anything beyond what we’re already doing with moderation, exercise, and diet. 

Awesome! Do let us know what you learn, we all get so much education from sharing each other’s stories.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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24 March 2019 - 5:02 pm
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Little update; 

Couple of things the vet noticed is that she’s not 3 years old. It’s likely that she’s 5 or 6 instead. 

While her nub is fairly large the x-ray showed that there’s a lot of scar tissue and less bone than we thought by feeling. The vet mentioned that since she WANTS to be active we could look into a wheelchair situation to allow for her to run and play longer than without (I have carpal tunnel and the doc compared it to me knitting with or without a brace.) 

Based on the records we have and the x-rays we think she was amputated while she was less than a year old, seized by animal control and then adopted out. Based on the timeline we think she lived with her second owners for 3 years before they voluntarily surrendered her (Had to call the shelter for this info) and then adopted by our friend with the dogs she’s not fond of. 

Additionally, her record showed that she hadn’t had shots since 2016 so we might be missing a page. She got a full panel of shots and heartworm (test and prescription for preventative) and we found out her ideal weight is 50-52lbs. 

The vet also recommended a supplement like Cosaquin or Dasaquin but I’m having trouble finding some for a good price. (Our vet sells them but it boils down to $3/tablet and that just doesn’t seem right to me). 

I tried to upload some photos but can’t seem to get it right. 🙁 BUT! I do have a bunch of photos posted on my instagram, https://www.ins…..he.foxmom/ @hannah.the.foxmom

Here and Now


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24 March 2019 - 5:15 pm
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hannahw531 said
I tried to upload some photos but can’t seem to get it right…

Here are detailed instructions for adding photos to forum posts . If you don’t already share photos online somewhere, you can start a free Tripawds blog any time and upload them there. Need further help? Post in the Tech Support forum and we’ll be happy to help!

The Rainbow Bridge



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27 March 2019 - 10:06 am
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Hey just catching up on everything you learned about Zoey. Wow what a backstory, that’s great you were able to gather so many facts. So no word on why she lost her leg though eh?  Poor girl’s had it ruff, she’s so lucky to have found her way to you.

Did your vet refer you to a rehab therapist? If not, that would be my next move with her. Our Wyatt didn’t need a wheelchair for longer walks until he was 10 (per the advice rehab therapists shared with us). The wheels have been great for him, but we are glad we waited and worked with a therapist to keep him strong all these years (and we still are).

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
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29 March 2019 - 12:17 pm
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jerry said
Hey just catching up on everything you learned about Zoey. Wow what a backstory, that’s great you were able to gather so many facts. So no word on why she lost her leg though eh?  Poor girl’s had it ruff, she’s so lucky to have found her way to you.

Did your vet refer you to a rehab therapist? If not, that would be my next move with her. Our Wyatt didn’t need a wheelchair for longer walks until he was 10 (per the advice rehab therapists shared with us). The wheels have been great for him, but we are glad we waited and worked with a therapist to keep him strong all these years (and we still are).

  

She gave us a list of therapists in our area, I just haven’t checked them out yet – I’m readjusting to being a stay at home mom and its ruff. 

The only thing we know about that part of her life is that she was seized by animal control from the persons home and that that person is no longer allowed to own animals. oh-myWe’re not sure if it was actual abuse or an accident that turned into neglect. crying

Either way she’s doing amazing now heart

The Rainbow Bridge



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29 March 2019 - 12:33 pm
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Well, whatever happened to her in that bad situation is over now, she just won the doggie lotto!

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