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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is your home 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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Traumatic leg injury
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Member Since:
28 January 2024
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28 January 2024 - 12:54 pm
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Hello! I am so happy to have found this site. We have several dogs. This week our oldest dog, Daisy, was attempting to jump the fence when the snow bank under her collapsed . Her front leg caught between the top rail and the fence post, while her body continued over the fence. She suffered a compound fracture of the upper leg. The bone shattered. After 2 different ERs the consensus became amputation was the only “fix “

Daisy is a 100 pound Pyrenees/saint benard mix. Her exact age is unknown. We picked her up running in the country a year ago. She was chipped. Contacted the owner on the chip and he told me he had sold her a year ago, but didn't remember the guys name, location or contact information 😒. She had had a litter a few months prior to us taking her in but no puppies were found. 

November of 2023 she had several mammary masses removed and was spayed. The masses were not cancerous thankfully. She recovered very quickly from that operation.  Daisy is in overall excellent health. She doesn’t show signs of arthritis in any major joints. 

at this point surgery is scheduled for Wednesday Jan 31. We are still conflicted and are trying to research all the possible outcomes.
thank you for any advice and insights 

Livermore, CA




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28 January 2024 - 2:18 pm
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Hello and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

I hope you don't mind that I moved your post, this forum is more appropriate since you are dealing with an accident.

I'm sorry you have found yourself here with Daisy, what a scary event!

We have had lots of pups here who are big or even giant breeds who do well on three, even with a front amp.  The first Tripawd I met after my little Pug lost a leg to cancer was a 150 pound Anatolian Shepard named Cemil who lost his front leg to cancer.  Cemil did well for years, beating the cancer prognosis.

These links will provide some answers for you:  Tripawds Recovery Shopping List , Jerry's Required Reading List ,  What to Expect articles.

If you are concerned about Daisy's size you might look through some of the posts in the Size and Age Matters forum.

Do you have any specific questions or concerns we can help you with?

 

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

The Rainbow Bridge



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28 January 2024 - 6:49 pm
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Woaaaaah I'm so sorry for the accident! Poor Daisy!

It's tough to know what to do at a time like this. Check out the forum Karen pointed you to, and our large breed Tripawds News posts to see more stories that may give you some insight on how giant dogs can get along on three. Most can do really, really well!  Sure, they slow down a bit, but nothing too out of the ordinary for the typical giant breed dog couch-potato type of personality.

I get the sense that Daisy isn't quite a couch potato though. What was she after on the other side of the fence?

Virginia







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22 February 2013
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28 January 2024 - 6:54 pm
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Hi Daisy and Julie! My goodness, what a frightening and completely  unexpected  ordeal.  

One thing for certain, the day Daiay decided  you would be her furever home was a cery lucky day!.  Clearly  she has gotten, and is getting, love and exquisite care.💖

Can tell you this, a lot  of people come here because they tried to "save" a fractured leg with surgeries, pins/plates, long periods of confinement, wtc...only to end up amputating anyway because the salvage surgeries failed.

Amputation is one surgery, one recovery and done!  Not saying recovery is a picnic for a couple of weeks, but with proper pain management Daisy will soon be back to thriving on three.

 

As Karen mentioned, we have had many dogs are larger than Daisy (some Pyrenees  and some Saints too).  My Happy Hannah was a "fluffy" (okay....overweight)  Bull Mastiff who weighed in at 130 lbs.  Once recovery  was complete she handled three like a svelte  Ballerina 😎

YOU ARE. OT ALONE so stay connected  and we'll help you with any questions, etc.  We get the emotional  toll. making this decision takes, but we also know how relieved you'll feel once you see how well Daisy does.👍

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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28 January 2024 - 7:47 pm
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Thank you for the welcome

daisy was jumping the fence to get to me. I am her everything and she gets very distressed if she can’t be right by me.  We have 3 other Pyrenees but they are working dogs.  We have never expected Daisy to stay with the animals. She is a house dog. 

I think my biggest concern is causing her additional pain and suffering while not giving her a good quality of life. These past few days have been awful. I have to change her bandages every 12 hours and no matter the pain relief meds it hurts her.  She is such a good girl about it, but she hides now when she sees me coming with the supply bag. 

At this point we are 75% sure that we are going to do the amputation We have committed to deciding by the morning  and if we aren’t going to have the surgery we will put be putting her to sleep because I will not prolong unnecessary pain 

Virginia







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28 January 2024 - 8:00 pm
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  At this point we are 75% sure that we are going to do the amputation We have committed to deciding by the morning  and if we aren’t going to have the surgery we will put be putting her to sleep because I will not prolong unnecessary pain 

First of all, please know we support any decision you make, okay??

Maybe to help you process, do you mind sharing  your main concerns  about NOT doing the amputation?  Obviously  every surgery has a risk, but everyone here decided  the risk was small enough we would take that chance.

Of course finances  can play a very important  role and not everyone able to proceed. 

It sounds like the Surgeon  thinks she's a good candidate and that's  always a pawsitive sign.

So yeah, if you don't  mine sharing your reasons why you might not to do amputation  and euthanize instead, maybe we can help put aside some of your fears.  Clearly she's in awful pain right now and the amputation definately would take away the pain.

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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28 January 2024 - 9:03 pm
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Finances are of course a factor, but not a huge one. It’s more a concern that we will spend all this money and she won’t have a good quality of life post op

Afew years ago we fought an expensive battle with blasto in 2 of our dogs. It was emotionally and financially draining especially when in the end both dogs still died.  I am afraid of getting in that type of situation again 

Mostly I am concerned about pain and suffering with poor recovery. We don’t really know how old she is. We talked to her previous owner and got a different answer each time. She was used as a breeding dog and he got rid of her because her litters were “too small”. She is in great health now but we don’t a have a clear picture of her health history.  

when we picked her up a year ago she only weighed 45 lbs and was lactating though we never found the puppies. So she has suffered in her life. We don’t want to add to that unless we strongly believe it’s for the greater good

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28 January 2024 - 9:08 pm
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Also I am concerned about her extreme separation anxiety. I am not sure about the recovery period and how long she will be able to be outside with me on the farm.  She usually rides in the UTV but she needs to stay within about 25 feet of me.  This dog broke windows to get outside to me on 2 separate occasions

luckily I am home 95% of the time and it’s winter so we are all inside a lot more  but spring is not that far away 

The Rainbow Bridge



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29 January 2024 - 11:18 am
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LeeAnn,

Yeah you have a lot of worries, understandable ones.

I can tell you that for an otherwise healthy dog, even a giant breed, they can go on to live out a happy quality of life. Yes her activity will need to be more limited to ensure no excessive wear and tear. All Tripawds will continue to try to do what they did before, but it's not in their best interest to allow them to do it in the same durations and intensity. In other words, monitoring her at the property will be necessary. She can still hang out with you and go in the UTV, but being allowed to wander a large acreage on her own day in and day out may put more joint stress and wear on her than is advisable. Also, if she stands on the back of an open UTV, there's a risk that she could fall out and injure one of her remaining legs (it happens with 4-leggers all the time). So yes, she can do what she enjoys and be with you, but with some restrictions. 

Our Wyatt Ray had extreme separation anxiety. He went everywhere with us, and as he got older he used wheels then a stroller. We managed his behavior with medication too, and it all worked out in the end. 

Every dog is different, you have to decide what's right for her and nobody here will judge you for your decision.

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