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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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A brace for a front Leg Amputee with difficulty walking?
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Member Since:
18 June 2022
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18 June 2022 - 7:39 am
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I adopted a front leg amputee. She had been hit by a car. Her remaining leg was strained and had a tumor just above the ankle. That was removed but has weakened that leg. She struggles to get around. She is young about 2 years we estimate and in excellent health otherwise and a bit under weight.

I need advice on what type of support brace I should be looking for.

1. One that can be left on most of the day.

2. And a second one that can be used so she can walk with us a few meters to our doggie play area.

I can't upload a photo for some reason.

Livermore, CA




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18 June 2022 - 9:07 am
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Hi and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for moderation.

Congrats on the adoption!

The recommendation here before getting a brace is to have your girl evaluated by a certified rehab vet.  With the correct exercises and strengthening she may not need a brace.

We have a program here that may pay for your first rehab visit.

If she does need a brace working with a vet will insure you get the correct type and that it fits correctly.  A poorly fitting brace or the wrong one can cause more problems.

Here is a blog post with info on braces.

And this post has more info on braces.

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

Virginia




Member Since:
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18 June 2022 - 10:52 am
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Thank you for adopting this sweet tripawd.  Jow long has she been in your furever home?  Actually  keeping weight down on a tripawd is a good thong as far as their joints, mobility, etc.  Obviously  if she needs to put on a little weight because  she was undernourished  when you adopted her, that's  another thing.

Absolutely  ditto everything Karen said.  Hopefully  you can get her evaluated by a Certified Rehab Spec quickly and proceed from there.

Here's a link to help adding photos.   adding images  

If you jave any issues, PM karen or myself, se'll exchange emails  and we can post pics for you.

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!

Member Since:
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18 June 2022 - 11:20 am
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benny55 said
Thank you for adopting this sweet tripawd.  Jow long has she been in your furever home?  Actually  keeping weight down on a tripawd is a good thong as far as their joints, mobility, etc.  Obviously  if she needs to put on a little weight because  she was undernourished  when you adopted her, that's  another thing.

Absolutely  ditto everything Karen said.  Hopefully  you can get her evaluated by a Certified Rehab Spec quickly and proceed from there.

Here's a link to help adding photos.   adding images  

If you jave any issues, PM karen or myself, se'll exchange emails  and we can post pics for you.

Hugs

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

  

I live in rural Paraguay, there are zero rehab vets and zero specialist vets which is why I joined this forum. Trixie has only been with me a few days, she came from a private rescue shelter (we don't have government ones here) and the veterinary expertise with her case is very limited. We all do our best here but it is nothing like in America or the UK. 

I really need some suggestions for support braces given her only front leg is damaged. She is with several other rescue dogs who accidentally knock her when excited. I'm concerned of further damage but can't separate her due to her distress.

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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18 June 2022 - 11:47 am
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Thanks for adding more information.   Understand better the limitations  you have.

Hmmmm........gonna see if others have more suggestions since sources for help are scarce. Do you have a regular Vet....or does the shelter have a regular Vet who could maybe advise on braces?

For now, and it sounds like it would be a challenge,  try to limit her activity  with all the other pups.  Thete are also some "mind games and puzzles" you can get for dogs to keep them entertained.

Oh, and how long ago was the amputation  if you kmow?  

Okay, we'll keep thinking of  ways to help.

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!

Member Since:
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18 June 2022 - 12:20 pm
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The regular vet is a recent graduate who runs the rescue center from her home and she is overwhelmed! Our focus and donations are targeted to sterilization first and foremost. I have had bad experiences with the other "vets" around here.

Trixie really wants to be with us and a wheel chair is not possible at this moment due to shipping costs (I hope to have a DIY soon). She doesn't like a sling, it also excites the other dogs wanting to play tug of war.... but I'll keep trying with our DIY options.

It is really a case of knowing if I should bind/wrap the lower leg or maybe put on a splint(?) to reduce stress on it for a few hours each day.

She is such a sweet heart.

Livermore, CA




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18 June 2022 - 3:27 pm
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I understand your limitations.  I admire you guys for trying to make your world a better place!

I am not a vet and can not offer that type of advice, and I've never used a brace with any of my dogs so I can't even offer personal experience.

We do have a forum called Ask a Vet where you could pose your question.  Dr. Pam is our only vet on this site.  She may have some ideas for you.  Be sure and include the limitations you are facing.

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

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18 June 2022
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19 June 2022 - 6:21 am
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krun15 said
I understand your limitations.  I admire you guys for trying to make your world a better place!

I am not a vet and can not offer that type of advice, and I've never used a brace with any of my dogs so I can't even offer personal experience.

We do have a forum called Ask a Vet where you could pose your question.  Dr. Pam is our only vet on this site.  She may have some ideas for you.  Be sure and include the limitations you are facing.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

  

Thanks I'll try the Ask a Vet section! It's thanks to the young vet, her time and our fund raising sterlized 500+ cats and dogs last year including abandoned animals and those belonging to people who are very poor but try to take in as many as they can.sp_hearticon2

Virginia




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22 February 2013
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19 June 2022 - 4:16 pm
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Warms my heart to kmow the depth of kindness you and the others have gone to to help these animals.

And you'll see the respomse in . Ask A Vet.

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


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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20 June 2022 - 9:03 am
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Hey there, I saw your Ask a Vet posts but didn't see this whole backstory about Trixie. You and the vet are doing remarkable work with limited resources, thank you for all you do!

The Rainbow Bridge


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25 April 2007
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20 June 2022 - 5:27 pm
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From your other post:

Am I right in thinking the Double back Full body harness is best for her?

https://ruffwea.....ck-harness

Hmm. We did review the Doubleback a while back. It can work OK on a front leg amputee, better than on a dog missing a rear end. But honestly I'd probably not use it for her since it's more helpful for dogs who need rear-end support because their back legs are unsteady. I think the Ruffwear Flagline is a better choice for her.

Also:

I take the dogs to a garden next door for a daily play and change of scenery each morning but I have to leave her behind for a few minutes before I can return and carry her. That really stresses her, she's calm at home on the back verandah with the other dogs - she hates being left out!

So I'm curious, how much activity is she getting while she's there? Is there a lot of running in a big open yard? She will need more rest breaks than the other dogs so it's important to nudge her into frequent rest breaks if you're not doing that. Also, consider something like a dog stroller or wagon where you can wheel her over there, it'll save your back.

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21 June 2022 - 8:45 am
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jerry said
From your other post:

Am I right in thinking the Double back Full body harness is best for her?

https://ruffwea.....ck-harness

Hmm. We did review the Doubleback a while back. It can work OK on a front leg amputee, better than on a dog missing a rear end. But honestly I'd probably not use it for her since it's more helpful for dogs who need rear-end support because their back legs are unsteady. I think the Ruffwear Flagline is a better choice for her.

Also:

I take the dogs to a garden next door for a daily play and change of scenery each morning but I have to leave her behind for a few minutes before I can return and carry her. That really stresses her, she's calm at home on the back verandah with the other dogs - she hates being left out!

So I'm curious, how much activity is she getting while she's there? Is there a lot of running in a big open yard? She will need more rest breaks than the other dogs so it's important to nudge her into frequent rest breaks if you're not doing that. Also, consider something like a dog stroller or wagon where you can wheel her over there, it'll save your back.

  

Thanks for the Flagline suggestion. I'm going to have budget limitations so a homemade cart is an option later. At the moment she and I are bonding so carrying her is a joy. It's also helping the other dogs get used to her getting 'special' attention without all trying to climb up into my arms at the same time! LOL!

Her back legs are good and I don't want them to become weak from lack of use. She is not really mobile but wants to be (the videos I posted are linked below). I want her to be with her new pack and enjoy some normalcy - she was incredibly stressed and fearful at the shelter and is now transforming beautifully into a bossy girl! My goal is to get her to enjoy a few short periods each day off her mattress and with her pack. That may require a brace and/or a wheelchair . My fear is not being able to afford a front leg wheelchair they all seem to be USD400+ then I have to ship it to Paraguay and pay duties. smiley6 That destroys my sterilization donation budget for a very long time and it's a terrible dilemma for me! While our young vet has the energy and time to sterilize so many cats and dogs (often having to trap stray cats) I want to keep donating to the costs, it's made a huge difference in the number of puppies and kittens dumped at my gate and surrounds in the last 2 years. 

I am so glad I found the Tripawds forum, everyone has been incredibly kind and welcoming. I'm learning a lot and it will end up helping other animals, especially as I intend to adopt more tripods in the future.

http://reclaimi.....e-walking/

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21 June 2022 - 10:06 am
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I just wanted to add that I am not trying to be a penny pincher with Trixie and the costs of ordering wheelchairs and harnesses from the USA.

I have 4 rescue cats and a neurotic rescue dog inside my house, having spent the last few years taming and integrating them in our very small home and helping with other trapped/rescued cats and dogs, I've acquired more confidence to do more. 

My new gang of rescue dogs including Trixie are outdoor dogs. We're making alterations and renovations for them to have not only the laundry room accessed by doggie door but also a shared 'lounge' for family time and when the weather is bad. I've also planned another alteration that will allow me to take 4-6 disabled/elderly hospice cats, again they'll remain separate to my indoor cats and dog to prevent friction and over crowding tension. My goal is to provide a kind of hospice home and keep assisting with donations for my vets sterilization program for street animals and very poor pet owners. This is at a level that I can handle and still enjoy.

I did not realize Trixie's mobility was so bad, I thought she was simply a terrified traumatized doggo - however I am so pleased I chose her. Within 24 hours she was already blossoming!

Photo: Trixie is in the middle, we're warming up after a very cold night last week!

toby-trixie-amber.jpg?w=1024Image Enlarger

The Rainbow Bridge


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22 June 2022 - 7:32 pm
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Oh my gosh what a fun bunch you have there! They are so so so lucky to have you for their guardian. 

We would never think you are being a penny pincher just for the sake of it, we ALL need to watch our $$ right now, these are crazy expensive times.

Have you seen this organization? They donate wheels and prosthetics . I'm not a fan of these donations without people getting them prescribed from a vet first, but sometimes we all have to do what we gotta do for the health and mobility of our beloved fur kids. It can't hurt to contact them to see if they will ship one to you for free or at a low cost.

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23 June 2022 - 5:34 am
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jerry said
Oh my gosh what a fun bunch you have there! They are so so so lucky to have you for their guardian. 

We would never think you are being a penny pincher just for the sake of it, we ALL need to watch our $$ right now, these are crazy expensive times.

Have you seen this organization? They donate wheels and prosthetics . I'm not a fan of these donations without people getting them prescribed from a vet first, but sometimes we all have to do what we gotta do for the health and mobility of our beloved fur kids. It can't hurt to contact them to see if they will ship one to you for free or at a low cost.

  

Thank you, that's a great idea! And worth a shot. We're heading to the nearest large town this morning to get new x-rays to show Dr Pam. At least we'll know better what's going on with her leg and the longer term prognosis.

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