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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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Santa Fe, NM

Member Since:
19 July 2016
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27 July 2016 - 11:05 am
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To put it mildly. Two weeks post-op now (right rear leg) and Monday my girl could not stand up. She was doing great up until then and now her remaining back leg is essentially non-functional. Into the vet first thing Monday and now we do a spine x-ray. She has spondlysis (sp?) throughout her spine but the worst spot is where her spine meets her pelvic girdle. We go back tomorrow for a cortisone shot. Vet says she should be good as new by next Monday but I am not handling this well at all (duh!). We had to wait several days for the cortisone because she has been getting a NSAID and that has to clear out of her system.

In the meantime, she basically doesn’t move. I carry as much of her outside for a potty break as I can (80-odd pounds) but we have to rest three times just for that. She’s only eating if the bribe is good enough (beef liver) and is drinking plenty of water. I have to say she has a remarkable bladder. And of course our harness won’t arrive until tomorrow afternoon sometime.

Anybody else have any experience with this kind of issue? Advice is most welcome, reassurance even more so.

Right rear leg amp 7/12/16 due to OSA. Metastatic lesion on her right front leg, January 2017. Joined the Winter Warriors January 19, 2017. Run free my sweet girl.

Member Since:
21 May 2016
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27 July 2016 - 11:44 am
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Oh noooooo …. so sorry to hear all that is going on with Teri …

But you are doing all you can to help her and the cortisone injection that will make things better is happening tomorrow, so hang in there!

Teri is really lucky to have you, it must be really difficult for you right now …

Me and my girl haven’t had a similar experience and that is really lucky as with her weight (150 pounds) I wouldn’t have been able to move her for sure … 

The harness will be a fantastic help and after the cortisone injection things should be much brighter for both of you.

All you can do is the best you can and try and stay as pawsitive as possible, knowing that we are all here for you and Teri!

Sorry I couldn’t be of help but rest assured my thoughts are with you and Teri, things will get better but you must be as strong as you can!

Sending you a big bear hug and cuddles to Teriheart

Oh, another thing. Following amputation my girl also stopped eating (and drinking) I got her back into eating mode with chicken thighs (boneless and without skin) boiled with a bit of olive oil, alternating with grilled chicken breasts, you might want to try that with Teriwinker

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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27 July 2016 - 1:12 pm
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Teri, hang in there, you can both get through this, you will! I’m so sorry this is a rough spot, I know how hard it must be and I’d feel like a total mess myself. But here are some thoughts that might help you a little:

1) She’s eating when the bribe is good enough? YAY! That’s better than not eating at all. Keep in mind that being in pain will decrease appetite, and as the cortisone kicks in her appetite should pick up too. In the meantime, now’s a good opportunity to spoil her rotten with whatever she wants. Roast beef anyone?

2) Did the vet give you anything for her pain in the meantime? Is she on Tramadol? There are other medications that don’t interfere with the steroid, talk to your vet about that if you haven’t already.

3) At least your vet took quick action (as did you) and figured out what’s going on. What is their plan after the injection? If they have a “wait and see” approach then I would want a referral to a certified rehabilitation therapist (CCRT/CCRP credentials). There is a lot you can do beyond pain medication, and a rehab specialist can help. Much of it you can do at home but you need instruction, especially for a condition like this. Tripawds Foundation will even pay for the first consult so be sure to look into one OK?

4) Carrying around 80 pounds is tough! Have you tried the ol’ shopping bag trick in the meantime until your harness arrives?

I hope this helps. Remember, at least you know what’s going on and now you can form a plan to deal with it and help your girl feel better. We send all our love & strength for fast pain relief and progress. Holler if we can help at all OK?

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Santa Fe, NM

Member Since:
19 July 2016
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27 July 2016 - 1:36 pm
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Thanks guys.

Vet did give us pain meds, tramadol and the one that starts with “G” that everyone seems to be on. Vet said that one will probably be long term. I know the meds are cutting into any desire she has to do much of anything. I certainly can’t keep my eyes open the couple of times I’ve taken tramadol.

I may go to the shopping bag trick, the towel is not quite enough. And I do have help lined up to get her into the car tomorrow.

Rehab is at the top of my brain. The reviews I read on yelp for the local rehab center were not encouraging, something about the bill jumping $200 between check-in and check-out and expect to spend between $5K and $10K – those numbers are simply not an option. I also have the thought that acupuncture can help her back, maybe even a lot. Need to do some research on that yet but I know it is available locally.

The chicken is a great idea and we will give that a try this evening. Roast beef!? in both of our dreams – she’d have to share with me!

I got our blog started this morning, mostly whining about this same topic but a start. at least one more picture of her over there, with the cat that owns us both. I think. It looked like maybe Wallee got cropped out. The joys of technology!

thanks for your help and support. It helps. Thank goodness for Tripawds.

Right rear leg amp 7/12/16 due to OSA. Metastatic lesion on her right front leg, January 2017. Joined the Winter Warriors January 19, 2017. Run free my sweet girl.


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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27 July 2016 - 2:59 pm
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Ditto the replies!

I’m gping to hop.over to your blog. And you are NOT whining! Goodness gracious, no way! This recovery period is very stressful a d full of ups and downs. We call it a roller coaster ride for a reason!. Thi gs like this do show up after amputation. The additional strain of using differet muscles, changing gait, etc can aggravate issues that were more subtle before.

Gabapentin can also have a sedative effect on some dogs, so the lethargy may be meds related a little bit, as well as the arthritis.

It sounds like the steroid injection will be very helpful, as will the acupuncture. Keep us posted. Hang in there! Just a temporary hurdle and anither upcoming victory for her!

And YES, feed her cheesburgers, steak, eggs a d bacon…anything she’ll eat! ‘Bet she woukd LOVE a scoop of ice cream for dessert!


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!

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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27 July 2016 - 4:45 pm
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Aww I’m so glad you started a blog! You are NOT whining, oh my gosh not at all.

I fixed your ADORABLE photo. The problem was they are too large. To shrink them down a bit, just click on the photo once, grab a corner and resize it by dragging it inward. There’s a whole bunch of short blog tutorials here.

What is the name of the rehab center? Feel free to run it by us, I’ll tell you my thoughts. Dont’ trust everything you read in yelp, especially for something like this, because many people don’t know what a qualified versus unqualified rehab center looks like. Yes, the first consult is typically around $200 and the price goes up after that but there are many ways around it and rehab vets are always happy to work with clients’ budgets. Also we are happy to help find you another nearby center if you want to share your location or PM me.

You’re both doing great, stay strong and know we are by your side.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Minneapolis, MN
Member Since:
23 April 2016
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28 July 2016 - 6:00 am
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Hi, Teri:

Sorry for this secondary issue with your girl – she sure is pretty!  Love her sweet face.

The shopping bag should help you in the interim and then the cortisone.  I agree with Jerry on Yelp – it has such a reputation for people really using it to just complain, rather than for positive reviews.  Honestly, I cannot imagine how that sort of cost is possible – that would be a WHOLE lot of sessions. I know our rehab center offered a pretty considerable discount for paying up front for a package of sessions – the price per session decreased dramatically with 12 sessions over a single or package of 4 or 8.

Sending good vibes!


Lisa, Minneapolis

On October 27, 2016, nearly 6 months after amputation, and 18 months since his cancer likely started, we lost Pofi to a recurrence of Soft Tissue Sarcoma in his spine quite suddenly.  His canine sister also succumbed to cancer on March 1, 2019 - we lavished her with our love in the interim, but life was never quite the same without her only real canine friend. Cliff kitty had to leave us, too, suddenly, in August 2019. Lucia kitty grieved all these losses, but helped us welcome two new Lurchers into our home and our lives, Shae and Barley.

Blog: Pofi, Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor Amputation

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