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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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7 months post front leg amputation mobility suddenly worse
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Member Since:
11 May 2023
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11 May 2023 - 10:04 pm
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I'm not sure if I'm posting this in the right place.  I have read through some of the Topics and have found a few similar stories.  I found this wonderful group while searching desperately for answers for my sisters black lab.  I take care of him often so he has a special place in my heart too.  Last fall he had to have his front right leg removed due to an inury that never healed.  He did great right away.  Suddenly in the last 2 weeks his ability to get around has decreased significantly and he is having trouble getting up and walking on his remaining 3 legs.  He is headed to the vet in the next 2 days but in the meantime I wanted to see what others experiences were.  They have put throw rugs down everywhere to make it easier for him to get around  & have a ramp for him when going outside, but we are seriously wondering if something more is going on and if lab work would be able to tell the vet anything.  He recently had his teeth cleaned and at that time the basic labwork came back okay.  But I know there are way more tests they can do besides the basics.  At first they thought maybe he injured the remaining front leg but he is now having trouble with all legs.  They are trying acupuncture as well.  He still wags his tail, is eating and drinking and going to the bathroom (although it's hard for him right now with limited mobility), but his energy is definitely not the same.  He's only about 4 years old and just the sweetest dog.  I am reading a lot of good tips in this group that I will be sharing with them.  So many amazing and inspiring stories here.

Thanks in advance!


The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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11 May 2023 - 10:39 pm
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Hi Missy and family, welcome! Your future posts won't need to wait for approval so post away.

I'm sorry to hear about the pup. What's his name?

If you've been reading here, you know it's not uncommon for new Tripawds (especially young ones) to overdo things and suddenly come up lame. More often than not, it's a matter of rest and more regulated activity to keep it from happening again. Hopefully he's on some kind of pain control while he waits for the vet appointment?

Are they doing acupuncture now or thinking about trying? Did you know we have a free vet rehab reimbursement program? Any new Tripawd can see a rehab therapist for a first-time evaluation, and Tripawds Foundation can pay for the first rehab visit . I highly recommend seeing a therapist if they haven't already. Your sister's vet can certainly prescribe pain management to help him feel better, but these kinds of things can sometimes require a multi-modal approach that includes gentle stretching and massage. These therapists are great at pinpointing the cause of pain like this, so I highly recommend getting in to see one if they haven't already.

Member Since:
11 May 2023
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15 May 2023 - 11:56 am
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Hi Jerry,

Thank you for the reply and chat the other day.  So the acupuncturist came Friday evening and felt he was worse than the previous week.  She was hoping the treatment helped though.  Saturday we took him to the vet and blood work and x-rays all came back normal.  Which is both good and bad.  They x-rayed his spine to see if there were any abnormalities or fractures.  He was definitely tender when the vet was feeling around on his spine.  She is leaning towards a diagnosis of autoimmune meningitis.  Crazy!  But she also sent in labwork for an autoimmune panel.  His white blood cell count is normal but he had a low fever.  So they prescribed prednisone and an antibiotic to see if it will help.  And last night he was actually able to get up on his own to eat.  Also went outside and was almoist able to do everything without assistance.  Here's hoping this is treatable and we can get him back to moving around well.  But if this doesn't work, they will not let him suffer.  The other possibility of course is cancer 🙁     Thank you for all your suggestions.  If anyone has any experience with autoimmune meningitis or anything like that, please let me know.  We are open to any suggestions.  Oh and his name is Hawk 🙂  I will try to get a picture uploaded of him.  


Thank you!


The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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15 May 2023 - 10:45 pm
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Awww I'm glad Hawk is getting seen by his medical team, and that otherwise everything is checking out OK.

I can't recall anyone dealing with autoimmune meningitis but a forums search reveals a few results that might be helpful:

I'm glad the pred is working and giving him some mojo back.

Here's how adding images work. They need to be hosted somewhere and then copied/pasted into your forum topic. If you'd like help just holler!


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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16 May 2023 - 4:11 pm
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Just catching up on this very special Lab who is clearly  loved and adored by all his hoomans who have the privilege  of knowing him. And now we get the privilege  of knowing  him thru cyberland.👍

Have no clue avout the meningitis "diagnosis " and how or why that was determined.  

Do know that often spines can be out of whack and sore in Tripawds due to a tweak, overuse, maybe a disc issue, etc.  The fact that rest and Prednisone  show signs of improvement  already is very encouraging.   Any inflammation  involved  is being targeted. 

How long ago was the dental work?  Jist wondering if an infection from that could be the reason for a low fever/infection.

Jist throwing  stuff out there in the FWIW column.  

Cheering for your sweet pup and hoping the improvement  continues!


Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!


PS.  I'm going to send you my email in a PM.  If you would like, you can send me some photos and I would be more than hapoy to post them here for you.  Can't  wait to see his mug!!!

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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