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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Sid's new problem
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Forum Posts: 176
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16 May 2009
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4 December 2010 - 5:43 am
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Well, it's not so much of a new problem, just one which has come to light.  He's been a little stiff lately and done the leaping up as if he's been bitten thing.  Now, I wondered if it was phantom limb pain, but why would it start now, nearly three years post amp?  So I took him in for a check up and yesterday they x-rayed his whole spine, plus that single hind leg.


It seems poor Sid now has arthritis in his hip, with some squaring of the femoral head and signs of osteogenesis/calcification at the rim of the acetabulum.  Bony bits where no bony bits should be.  The good news is that his spine is clean, from top to bottom, and his stifle and hock seem fine – stronger than usual, with greater bone density from the extra work.


So, I wanted to ask the experts here two things:  firstly, the vet recommended chiropractic or hydrotherapy (or both), which seemed like a good idea to me, because clearly the three sore spots the vet found along his spine are muscular/ligament pain, not bony problems, but then someone I talked to on the greyhound forum said that when they took their rear leg tripod along for chiropractic adjustment, she couldn't walk properly for three days because her twisted spine had been straightend to a position which she couldn't use properly.  So .. does anyone here have experience or recommendations regarding chiro?


Secondly, he's been unsettled and whiney ever since he came home last night.  I expected it after an anaethetic last night, but he's still unhappy this morning.  Maybe he got bruising from the manipulation under GA, I don't know, but it's as if he doesn't quite know what to do with himself. He was given a shot of carprofen, and I have more tabs for him as a short-term solution for his pain issues.


Sorry it's so long.  I'd appreciate some input.  🙁

4 December 2010 - 7:40 am
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I'm certainly no expert smiley

In my opinion both the acupuncture and chiropractic treatments were very beneficial for Fortis. He's a big boy and adjusting to life on 3 legs wasn't without it's challenges. First, the remaining leg was injured and not sufficiently strong enough to properly  support him. Secondly, adjusting to a new gait played havoc with his spine. Fortis has always seemed happier and stronger after his treatments. It did take a few treatments before I noticed any appreciable difference. But he never experienced anything like the greyhound you mentioned above. I suppose It's possible that to much manipulation was attempted to early. Just a thought. I'm including a link below to a video of Fortis getting one of his chiropractic treatments. I hope Sid gets to feeling better real soon. smile


Fortis Visits The Chiropractor

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4 December 2010 - 8:54 am
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I don't have any experience with chiropractic or accupuncture treatments, but just wanted to wish Sid well.  I hope he's feeling better this morning!  Please let us know if you find something that works for your beautiful boy.  And great news that his spine is clear!!! big-grin Sorry I can't offer any help, though.

Sending pawsitive thoughts and hugs,

Holly, Zuzu and Susan

Holly joined the world of tripawds on 12/29/2009. She has a big little sister, Zuzu, who idolizes Holly and tries to make all of her toys into tripawds in Holly's honor. And she's enjoying life one hop at a time!

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
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4 December 2010 - 8:56 am
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How is Sid today?  Hoping he feels better after a good nights rest.

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.

knoxville, tn
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4 December 2010 - 9:07 am
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gayle and her older sister jane both get acupuncture every three weeks.  it really had made a significant difference in their quality of life.  jane is almost 15, and has arthritis and some lower back problems – our acupuncture vet recommended she take Duralactin. which we were able to get at amazon (which you can access through


Duralactin K9 Chews

we think this has also helped with her stiffness and such…it's just a thought if you want to check it out.  hugs to sid!!


charon & gayle

Life is good, so very, very good!!! Gayle enjoyed each and every moment of each and every wonderful day (naps included).  She left this world December 12, 2011 – off on a new adventure.

Love Never Ends


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4 December 2010 - 9:10 am
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Can't say I have any experience with what your dealing with since Gus only lived 3 1/2 months post op, but he did have phantom pain which was gone by 4 months. Just a speculation, could the sudden jumping be caused by some sort of nerve impulse, you know where for some reason he has a sudden shot of pain that only last a second or so if he moves just right, just a shot in the dark. Sorry I couldn't offer more,Paws up, Spirit Gus and Dan

My buddy Gus had a left front amputation on April 7, 2010 and lived a great life until July 26,2010

Here and Now

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4 December 2010 - 10:42 am
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Hydrotherapy is the best low impact therapeutic exercise for dogs. Swimming is also better than walking for exercise whenever you have the opportunity.

We gave Jerry SynFlex which made a noticeable improvement when he developed hip and joiont pain.

We also used Bella's Hot/Cold Pain Relief Pack which is designed specifically for dogs with arthritis and hip pain.

Finally, other members have reported using Cosequin and Dasuquin with great success for treating hip and joint pain in dogs.

Hope this helps, and thanks for checking in!

4 December 2010 - 10:42 am
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Isabelle had acupuncture once a week before her amputation & has been getting it twice a week since. One treatment is usually with electrical stimulation, which seems to make it last a bit longer. (She has severe L-S spine arthritis). She was so out of alignment for the first few weeks, while her body was adjusting & needed some sort of a chiropractic adjustment every 1-2 weeks for about a month. Now, she only needs an occasional adjustment…it's very obvious when her alignment is off, & the result is amazing. It seems to be more effective immediately preceded by accupuncture. She also benefits tremendously from weekly massages w/accupressure. The underwater treadmill (3x/wk) keeps her muscle mass intact. She was back in the water the day her sutures came out (post-op day 10). Isabelle'smobility issues are due to her arthritis & the combination of these therapies make it possible for her to run & play. She has occasional bad days, but I have learned to recognize signs of arthritis pain early & intervene with therapy. Very often a minor chiropractic adjustment can make a tremendous . She does take metacam daily (since 01/10)

Here and Now

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4 December 2010 - 10:46 am
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littlemanjake said:

Isabelle had acupuncture once a week…

Oh, yeah! We also did a few accupuncture sessions with Jerry and noticed an immediate relief of his hip pain. Brett also posted a video of the acupuncture session with Fortis.

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4 December 2010 - 11:25 am
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Thanks to both of you, Fortis and Anyemery!  The video was very interesting – I'm pretty sure that the number I have is for a qualified vet who is also a chiropractor, so I am leaning towards letting her have a try with Sid.  I do want him to be more comfortable, particularly since he is a PAT therapy dog.   Looks as if Fortis enjoyed his session!  I'm so sorry that he has lung mets.  🙁


Yes, it's great news that there are no bony changes in Sid's spine. He's still a bit whiney today, but he seems to have settled a bit for now, and he's drinking, peeing and pooping normally, eating a little but not as much as usual, and he seems to walk OK, so I still dont' know quite what's going on.   Thanks for the pawsitive thoughts and hugs! 

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4 December 2010 - 11:40 am
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Thanks, Hugapitbull. He's still slightly off today, but perhaps a little happier.  Hopefully at least part of this is the mauling they get under the anaesthetic for x-ray positioning. 


Etgayle, I remember looking into Duralactin for my mother when she was first diagnosed with polyarthritis rheumatica but she wouldn't try it!  She said she didn't see how something made from milk was going to help her when she drank quite enough milk every day, thank you.  laughing  I'll check out the chews for Sid – and I'll use the Tripawds link!



Just a speculation, could the sudden jumping be caused by some sort of
nerve impulse, you know where for some reason he has a sudden shot of
pain that only last a second or so if he moves just right, just a shot
in the dark


Yep, that's exactly what it looks like!  And I'm thinking maybe it's now associated with lying in the bed it happened in, so he doesn't want to go back in there.  A while back, I gave him a static shock when clipping his lead on after I opened the car door, and for months he'd start to tremble when I opened the door and went to clip on the lead.  Now he waits until I 'earth' myself by touching the car door and the door jamb before I do it. 


Admin –  Sid has been on Cosequin DS since we first brought him home, apart from three weeks when we were away and he went on 'holiday' back to his trainer and I forgot to send it with him.  I did notice a bit more stiffness when he came home and after another month on Cosequin he seemed to be back to normal.  I'd recommend it, too, he's the third dog we've had on Cosequin.  I have a wheat bag which I heat in the microwave for him and he looooves me to sit with him massaging his sore places very gently with that.  I'll definitely see if I can get Sid an appointment for the hydrotherapy. They have something there which makes a current he has to walk against, apparently.


Littlemanjake – good to hear how a combination of water therapy and acupuncture helps Isabella!  We do have an acupuncturist about an hour away who we've used before, and I do believe it can help. At the moment, I need to choose which therapy to start with so I can make a better assessment of which will work best for him.


Thanks everyone for your replies and your concern!  smile

Monkeybutt-Bunny Vampire
4 December 2010 - 2:43 pm
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Just wanted to send you my best, too for Sid.


It's so troubling when they have skeletal issues along with being a tripawd. 


Don't be surprised if he is just sore and goofy from the anethesia.  I think when they are getting xrays, they twist and pull them around like rag dolls.  Every time I look at Comet's xrays, I often wonder how they contorted her like that! 

Comet has always been sore afterwards and I've seen the anethesia stay in her system for a few days.


Good luck!



OOOOOPS!  Wrong account!

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4 December 2010 - 5:37 pm
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Thanks –  yes, I think he is sore, but he's better this evening than he has been, and he's looking happier.  But my goodness, does he have obnoxious gas!!  Maybe stress, coupled with the drugs and the lack of food .. plus the sardines he's been having to tempt his appetite!!  laughing

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4 December 2010 - 11:12 pm
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Xena was very arthritic, we used to use absorbine veterinary liniment. It's like a ben-gay or icy hot for furry kids


Absorbine Vet Liniment for HORSES (16 oz)

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5 December 2010 - 6:23 am
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Ugh.  Now he has horrible, horrible gas and diarrhoea, and isn't eating properly.  I'm thinking it might be the carprofen.  🙁

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