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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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Needing to lose some weight...
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Forum Posts: 21
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8 July 2014 - 9:49 am
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So a little background info...Molly had to have some excess skin taken off of her amputation site about a week ago. Her leg was amputated on 6/18

When I spoke with the vet, he stated that she will need to shed some pounds because it is putting added stress on her remaining leg, and he is worried it might already be starting to deteriorate.

Needless to say, I am extremely stressed out about this.

I have cut back on her normal daily food intake until we just finished this bag of dog food. I am going today to get some weight management food I researched on dogfoodadvisor.com

Besides putting her on some weight management food, what can I do?

I am keeping her pretty inactive right now since she has her sutures still in. The only time she will get up really is to switch places in the living room or to go potty.

Once her stitches are out, I am hesitant to really walk her around because of the added weight on her leg. But she needs the extra exercise to lose the pounds.

The 2 surgeries have depleted our extra funds...I am really wanting to get her a RuffWear harness to help or even a wheelchair , but how soon that will be is unknown.

Any guidance is greatly appreciated!!

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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8 July 2014 - 10:23 am
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Hi Missmollykins

I just posted on another item in this same forum "Eating Healthy", about home-cooked diets, sharing my experience on home-cooked for my Golden Retriever.  I managed to take away 15 lbs.

Johnnie is 45 days post-op, and even having recovered well, since he is a front-leg amputee and a large dog, the orthopedist doesn't recommend lots of exercise.  We do a 15-minute walk in the mid-morning, which extends to almost half an hour because he has to stop a couple of times to rest.  The only way to control his weight is by controlling food.

Good luck!

Daniela & JohnnieW

Our awesome Golden Boy was diagnosed for OSA in April 2014 in the proximal humerus, front-leg amp on 05/20/2014. Finished chemo (Carbo6) on 07/10/2014. Ongoing treatment: acupuncture + K-9 Immunity Plus ( 3chews) and home-cooked no-grain diet.   Stopped Apocaps because of liver issues.   Liver issues: controlling altered enzymes with SAM-e and Milk Thistle.  October 17:  started having seizures.  Taking fenobarbital for seizures.  April 18: started prednisone.

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8 July 2014 - 10:26 am
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Hi there

Tucker, my ten year old Lab, also was given instructions to lose weight after his surgery.  Tuck went on Science Diet "Metabolic" and did indeed lose the required ten pounds and has managed to keep it off even though he is no longer on that food :)

For treats - Tuck gets veggies - he loves red pepper and if he gets some extras from my daughters (who by the way are all adults) I cut back his food a bit that day.

Tuck can no longer go for long walks but I keep up his regular exercise regime of short hops daily.  Tuck also recently started PT with one of the vets in the practice that I take him to. 

There is lots of information about the importance of core strength for our older, bigger tripawds in the ebooks that Rene and Jim talk about so be sure to have a look at those too.

Glad to hear that Molly is recuperating well from her second surgery.

Hugs

Linda and Tucker

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8 July 2014 - 12:32 pm
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Swimming is fantastic if you have access to it! It takes the extra weight and stress off of the remaining limbs, yet the water resistance provides a great workout. You'd have to wait until the sutures come out, but it would definitely help her. As far as finding a Ruffwear harness , have you checked out Tripawds Angel Exchange? It's a great place to find harnesses and gear from fellow Tripawd parents! I'd give it a look and keep an eye out for her size. There are alot of ways to help shed the extra pounds, the over the counter weight management and weight loss diets are great, just make sure you feed her for the weight you want her to be, not what she already is. Hope some of this helps and that she has a quick recovery. 

Cassie and Domino

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
Domino had his left front leg amputate on May 13th 2014 after being hit by a car. He's now living a happy healthy life on three legs :)

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8 July 2014 - 1:06 pm
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Cassie,

Thank you so much for the recommendations! And I am glad to know to feed her the portions I want her to be, not what she is, because I know I would have been confused as to how much to feed her. There are guidelines on the bag, one for maintaining weight and one for reducing weight....I'm assuming I go with the reduction column, but as to how much, well she is currently 67.5 lbs. Should I go with the low side of the feeding guidelines?

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8 July 2014 - 1:24 pm
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missmollykins said
Cassie,

Thank you so much for the recommendations! And I am glad to know to feed her the portions I want her to be, not what she is, because I know I would have been confused as to how much to feed her. There are guidelines on the bag, one for maintaining weight and one for reducing weight....I'm assuming I go with the reduction column, but as to how much, well she is currently 67.5 lbs. Should I go with the low side of the feeding guidelines?

Yea, I would. And of course every dog is different so if she doesn't seem to lose much I'd take it down by 1/8-1/4 cup at a time until you find the right amount for her. 

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
Domino had his left front leg amputate on May 13th 2014 after being hit by a car. He's now living a happy healthy life on three legs :)

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8 July 2014 - 1:41 pm
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Wonderful! Thank you so much for your replies Cassie! I am really going to look into finding a place for her to swim. I hadn't even considered that an option!

Would glucosamine supplements help with her remaining leg as well?

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8 July 2014 - 2:23 pm
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missmollykins said
Wonderful! Thank you so much for your replies Cassie! I am really going to look into finding a place for her to swim. I hadn't even considered that an option!

Would glucosamine supplements help with her remaining leg as well?

It definitely couldn't hurt, but I'd check with her vet first. I recently started Domino on a glucosamine this week just to help with his joints. Your vet can recommend a good supplement that will work for her.

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
Domino had his left front leg amputate on May 13th 2014 after being hit by a car. He's now living a happy healthy life on three legs :)

The Rainbow Bridge



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8 July 2014 - 3:12 pm
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The good news is, dogs can lose weight really fast! Haha I wish I could!

But meanwhile have you checked out the Tripawds Nutrition blog for diet tips? For example:

Best Tips for Keeping your Tripawd Slim

Here's another good one from the Tripawds Downloads Blog : with Dr. Patty Khuly, creator of the Fat Dog Diet App:

Learn Three Legged Dog Diet Health Tips from Dr. Patty Khuly

Yes, you do want to keep her calm for now and gradually build up strength. Working on building core muscles is where you want to begin. Have you checked out the Tripawds e-books library? our book, Loving Life on Three Legs, has many great tips on weight loss and building strength and endurance, such as: Why Longer Walks Won't Strengthen a Tripawds Leg Muscles. Also, here's a good article about when carts are and aren't necessary.

Hope this helps. Don't panic, you'll get there.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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New Haven, CT
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9 July 2014 - 7:44 am
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Like most have said here, I'd simply reduce her kibble amount by 1/8 to 1/4c a day and see how that goes.  When started this cancer journey we added omega3 oil, which is pretty caloric.  GOOD fats, but still....  So instead of 1c of kibble AM and PM, now Jackson gets 3/4c AM and PM.  It works!  He also gets veggies, which we can't seem to find one he doesn't like.

I know you are looking into a new food, but perhaps keep feeding her the same one that she already likes, but less of it?  And don't be fooled: just because something is no/low grain or carb doesn't mean it's low calorie!  That's why it may be easier to adjust with the food you already KNOW.

Good luck!

~ Katy & Jackson

ACL tear in right hind leg 12/5/12 and scheduled ACL repair surgery 12/21/12. Pre-op xrays revealed osteosarcoma. Amputation 12/28/12.  Chemo (carboplatin) started Jan 10, 2013 and ended on April 5, for a total of 5 doses. He handled carbo like a champ!  No side effects.  We started metronomic therapy at his third chemo and have been also doing some holistic treatments.  He's a lively, playful 10 year old huskie-boarder collie and a very proud member of the Winter Warriors!  Our love. Our funny little guy!

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9 July 2014 - 3:15 pm
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Thank you guys for the wonderful insight and information!

I have done so much reading and research since Molly's accident. That is why I decided to change her diet. dogfoodadvisor.com really opened up my eyes to how crappy the brand of dog food really was for my furbabies! I think we will all be happy with the better food quality in our household.

I am definitely putting your ebooks on my wishlist, jerry! Everyone on here has been a wealth of knowledge so far!

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