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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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8.5 Doberman 1 year post rear amputation concerns
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Hannibal, MO
Forum Posts: 21
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15 October 2018
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7 August 2019 - 10:37 pm
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September will be one year since my 8.5 y/o Doberman Draco was diagnosed with bone cancer and rear leg amputated. He has done really well recovering and getting around without a problem. He has not been able to master steps and slippery floors, but with random rugs all over the house, we make it work. I’m worried because just within a weeks time he can barely get up anymore, drags his backside so bad. He’ll hobble a few steps then sit to rest. He is really struggling. I took him to the vet and she says just joint pain.. but this seems do excessive and with such a quick onset, I just don’t know.  He was prescribed glucosamine supplements and a prescription pain/anti-inflammatory drug, which I don’t think really helps much. She also said he has lung cancer, without any testing to substantiate such a diagnosis, she says it’s 85% likely , so “yeah he’s got it”.  This upset me and I don’t know what to think as he shows ZERO symptoms of lung cancer. He’s so happy and full of energy, he just can’t get up. 

So I’m just wondering what experience everyone has had and if it’s because he’s old and getting bad joints. Is there a shot, pill, supplement, etc. that could help? Do you think the cancer spread? Should I get him an X-ray?????? Lost…

Green Bay, WI


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7 August 2019 - 11:32 pm
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Hi, sorry to hear the problems Draco is having. My Dobe was a front amp, which he had at 8 1/2 years old. We were fortunate that Nitro lived 3+ years on 3 legs, and old age got him in the end. I would definitely have X-rays done if he were my dog….not sure how your vet is sure he has lung cancer without them. I’d also have his spine looked at, to make sure the cancer hasn’t spread there. Also, I’d have him checked out for Wobbler’s Syndrome. I’ve never personally had this with any of my 3 dobes, but I know some who have. I guess bottom line, you need more info and answers, before you chalk it up to just “joint pain”. Good luck, I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts as you try to find answers.

Paula and Warrior Angel Nitro

Nitro 11 1/2  yr old Doberman; right front amp June 2014. Had 6 doses carboplatin, followed by metronomic therapy. Rocked it on 3 legs for over 3 years! My Warrior beat cancer, but couldn't beat old age. He crossed the Bridge peacefully on July 25, 2017, with dignity and on his terms.  Follow his blog entitled "Doberman's journey"

http://nitro.tripawds.com

"Be good, mama loves you".....run free my beautiful Warrior

Hannibal, MO
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8 August 2019 - 9:03 am
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Thank you for your response, yes I think an X-ray is a good idea. I’ll look into wobblers syndrome. I’m not sure what that is. 

Green Bay, WI


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8 August 2019 - 9:18 am
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I hope I didnt just scare you to death….and please don’t assume the worst, you just need more information so you know what is going on, and from there, how to proceed. I’ve had 3 dobes, all with various “dobe” diseases, and I tend to be paranoid. Draco’s issue could very well be nothing serious.

Paula and Warrior Angel Nitro

Nitro 11 1/2  yr old Doberman; right front amp June 2014. Had 6 doses carboplatin, followed by metronomic therapy. Rocked it on 3 legs for over 3 years! My Warrior beat cancer, but couldn't beat old age. He crossed the Bridge peacefully on July 25, 2017, with dignity and on his terms.  Follow his blog entitled "Doberman's journey"

http://nitro.tripawds.com

"Be good, mama loves you".....run free my beautiful Warrior

Virginia




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8 August 2019 - 9:36 am
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And, to add to Paul’s  good insight, go to ANOTHER Vet for assessment!  You need a second opinion from someone who will do  a more thorough consult  without jumping to unfounded conclusions!

Addi, if at all possible,  get an appointment  with a Certified  Rehabilitation  Specialist.  They ate quite masterful st identifying sprains, strains, muscle, back, shoulder issues, etc.    You’ll also  be able to determine  if he has any backleg knee issues, torn ACL, etc.

Most likely he has tweaked something  in his spine, or possibly  has rear leg issues mentioned  above.  All treatable!!!

Eating, drinking, pooping, peeing  normally???   When you massage up and down his spine, his neck, shoulder area, does he show any signs of tenseness?

What pain meds does he have?  Hopefully  Gabapentin  is one of them?  You can also ask about a steroid injection jn the meantime.

So yes, please get a second opinion and a Rehab appointment!!!.  The comments  from your Bet were baseless and inappropriate!

Paula can fill you jn on Wobblers.  I only know it can affect their gait and there are ways to help treat the symptoms.   I think acupuncture  was part of the treatment,  Atlas, a tripawd Great Dane had it prior to amputation and handles life on three just fine.

Stay connected  and update as you can.

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!

Here and Now


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8 August 2019 - 10:01 am
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angelamoro said
…within a weeks time he can barely get up anymore, drags his backside so bad..Should I get him an X-ray?

Your best bet is to consult with a certified canine rehab therapist for proper evaluation, recommended treatment, and specific exercises designed to help Draco. Visit a CCRT or CCRP and the Tripawds Foundation can even pay for your first visit from the Maggie Moo Fund for Tripawd Rehab.

Hannibal, MO
Forum Posts: 21
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8 August 2019 - 10:29 am
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Thank you for all the responses! Yes he eats like crazy! He potty’s just fine. He does seem to flinch and pull away when I massage/rub the muscle/hip/leg.

How do I know if a vet is s rehabilitation specialist? Also, I talked to the vet and they said steroids could be damaging to organs.. but I think he needs it. Should I ask for steroid pills or injection.

pain meds right now he is taking previcox but the vet suggested switching to rimadyl

Virginia




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8 August 2019 - 11:20 am
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We’re not Vets and not giving  Vet advice.  Not knowing  all the background on your pup as your Bet does, can’t  say why the Bet thought ine injection eould cause all that havoc.  Prednisone does have side effects in long term use.  But, as my Vet said, sometimes  it can be a miracle drug.

Anyway, PLEASE get a second opinion  from a Vet who can prescribe proper pajn meed, if needed while healing.  Rimadyl  (and Previcox) are basically  anti-inflammatory, not much help with bad pain though.  They are used for joint inflammation, muscle tweaks etc., Again, not a Vet, etc.

Not sure of the exact designation  for you to google in your area, but start with Certified  Canine  Rehabilitation  Specialist.   Or maybe Accredited  Certified  Canine Rehab Specialist..  Visit the links Admin gave you too.  

It’s  REALLY good news that Draco is doing so well overall!! That’s  a good sign!!!  And the fact that he tenses up when doing massage in specific  areas “possibly” shows muscle tweak.  

If you can’t  find a Therapist in your area, post back here and maybe we can help further.  Maybe we can also give suggestio s fot anotjer Vet in your area.  What city are you in, or near?

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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8 August 2019 - 2:48 pm
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How do I know if a vet is a rehabilitation specialist?

The practitioner (who may or may not be a vet)  will have a CCRT or CCRP after their name. See https://downloa…..b-therapy/

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Michigan
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8 August 2019 - 10:05 pm
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Murphy was a front amp., but when he started having trouble with his back, we took him to rehab for chiropractic adjustments.  She did a thorough exam and gave us several exercises & stretches to do with him and that helped a lot.  We always did a lot of massaging, too, which seemed to help.  There were several times over the years where all of a sudden Murphy had severe back or neck pain (one time the neck pain was so severe I thought that it was time) …. usually a few days of carprofen, heat & massage and he’d be back to his old self again.  But I agree, maybe some x-rays just to get a look at his spine to make sure all is well.  And a visit with the rehab specialist.

Donna

Donna, Glenn & Murphy  http://murphyh......pawds.com/

Murphy had his right front leg amputated due to histiocytic sarcoma at 7 years old.  He survived 4 years, 2 months & 1 week, only to be taken by hemangiosarcoma at 11 1/2 years 6/12/17  

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18 August 2019 - 11:42 pm
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Hi Angela — 

To echo others, it sounds like you could use a second opinion with some diagnostics to figure out what is going on with Draco and to determine if he is having a hard time getting up due to orthopedic pain or neurologic issues. Depending on the source, the vet should be able to recommend medications, therapy or other treatment to help. 

When your vet said that Draco had lung cancer, I wonder if s/he was referring to the fact that statistically 80-90% of dogs with osteosarcoma have microscopic metastases of the cancer to their lungs at the time that they are diagnosed with the bone tumor. Regardless, it’s just a statistic (hopefully you are in the 10%!) and the only way to know if there are metastases or lung tumors that are big enough to be of concern is to get imaging (typically x rays) of his chest to find out. 

We had some mobility issues with our old guy right after surgery and finally got on a good rehab and pain management plan with a lot of trial and error and a great supportive vet team. I hope that you and your guy can find the same <3 

Jamie 

Hannibal, MO
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26 August 2019 - 2:45 pm
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So I took Draco to get the steroid injection on Friday and it’s now Monday and no response. He will barely even put weight down, struggles to get up and not mobile. He is also on Rimadyl, a strict weight loss program and Phycox supplements. 

My vet says if the steroid hasn’t worked, a 2nd injection probably won’t work either.  Maybe I’ll try heat and massage. 

I mean do I force him up, force him to walk? 

The Rainbow Bridge



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26 August 2019 - 4:13 pm
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Poor Draco, I’m really sorry he’s struggling. It hurts to see our furkids like that.

So did he ever get seen by a second vet? Or a rehab therapist? 

Right now he should only be pottying until you can get an expert to evaluate him. I wouldn’t force him into any movement, it sounds like he’s in a lot of pain. Speaking of, what pain meds is he on?

If you haven’t already I would definitely find the second opinion to see what’s going on. Steroids can alleviate symptoms but they don’t help remove the problem. 

Keep us posted. We are thinking of you and sending lots of pawsitivity.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Virginia




Forum Posts: 17774
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26 August 2019 - 5:40 pm
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 Bummer that you aren’t  seeing any improvement.  

Of Rimadyl os sll he’s on, it’s not enough  to deal with the pain that he seems to be having.

I k ow we sound like a broken record, but if you haven’t done so, pease habe anotjer Vet evaluate him.  We are big fans of second opinions  around here.  So often a second set of eyes fi d rhe cause of the problem that was overlooked before.  And if at all possible, have him evaluated by a Rehab Specialist.  They are “specialists ” for a  reason.

Still eating and drinking okay?  Decent attitude overall?? 

I think you have a big clue when Draco flinched when you massaged his hip and leg area. That reaction really needs ro ve evaluated  by a second Bet and, again, if possible, a Rehab Specialist. 

We’ll watch for your reponse.

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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