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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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ACL/CCL Surgery for Ajax ... tips from Tripawds who have had ACL surgery welcome
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Member Since:
14 June 2010
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18 March 2014 - 3:55 pm
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Hello everyone,


We're back!  Which do you want first, the good news or the bad news?  I'll give you the good news - 3 years and 8 mos. post op, after having a thymoma (benign, removed 2010), a chondrosarcoma (treated by amputation, 2010) and a mast cell tumor (treated with surgery and chemo 2012), Ajax's lung screens, stomach ultrasounds and blood work remain clean - no disease, yay!


Less good news - 3 years and 8 mos. post op, at 11.5 years old, Ajax has - not surprisingly - torn his ACL.  Thank you, NYC winter of snow and ice ...(Actually it could very easily  have happened for no reason, but I am choosing to blame the deep heavy snow and slippery sidewalks).


So we are back to our personal orthopedic surgeon (Dr. Pamela Schwartz at Animal Medical Center in NYC) for surgery # 4 on Monday.  Apart from a lengthy recovery period, she seems to expect a full recovery and actually Ajax hasn't been wanting to walk on his remaining rear leg much, so he should actually be better than he is now within a couple of weeks after surgery. 


All in all, the new is good - we were worried about a variety of other possibilities, but it turns out he was just exhausted from not wanting to stand on his back leg.  So could be much worse.  Anyway, but would appreciate any tips from those of you who have had a operation on the remaining leg (i.e, amputation was right rear leg, ACL surgery on remaining left rear leg).  Searched the site but didn't find too much.  Surgeon has done a zillion of these procedures, but this will be her first ACL repair on a tripawd.


Member Since:
14 June 2012
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18 March 2014 - 5:03 pm
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I'm sorry to hear that Ajax has to have another surgery. I don't have any advice, but do want to say, "Wow! Congratulations on being such a survivor!" What an inspiration he is!

How is he getting around now? Are you helping him with a sling? Does he allow you to assist him when he needs it, or is he a really independent guy?

Good luck with the surgery and recovery! Hope to hear updates.


On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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18 March 2014 - 5:42 pm
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Hey Kathleen! I'm sorry about the diagnosis but so glad they figured out what's going on! Ajax is invincible, he will do fine!

Fear not, others have gone through it and a full recovery is definitely doable. It won't be a cake walk but you can do it.

Here are some search results that may help prepare you:




We will be thinking of you so please let us know how it goes. If you need anything at all you know how to reach us. Give that boy a big big smooch from us!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Member Since:
12 March 2013
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18 March 2014 - 5:59 pm
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Daisy had CCL surgery, although I believe they didn't do a TPLO, but another procedure. Our Murphy had a total hip replacement on his remaining rear leg. You can read his story under the Beyond Cancer heading.

I am constantly amazed at what a Tripawd can manage to do, Oh yes, there was a study done by the vet school at Colorado State University just recently. You could
also search for that.

Kathi and Murphy

Murphy is a five year old Lab/Chessie cross. He was hit by a car on 10/29/12 and became a Tripawd on 11/24/12. On 2/5/13, he had a total hip replacement on his remaining back leg. He has absolutely no idea that he has only three legs!

UPDATE: Murphy lived his life to the fullest, right up until an aggressive bone lesion took him across the Rainbow Bridge on April 9, 2015 and he gained his membership in the April Angels. Run free, my love. You deserve it!

Member Since:
14 June 2010
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18 March 2014 - 7:29 pm
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Thank you thank you, I knew I could count on you guys! He's getting around ok but he doesn't want to stand or walk, particularly challenging in the city. We have a RUFFWEAR harness and a sling, neither of which he wants to use, but they should get us through post op. The surgeon -- who know him quite well at this point! - doesn't seem overly concerned and thinks it will be 2 rotten weeks and a slow recovery, but a full one. I'm going to check out these links and look for the study... No doubt I'll be back tomorrow...

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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18 March 2014 - 8:20 pm
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Oh yeah Katherine the Get-a-Grip will come in super handy for this procedure's recovery.

I think this is the study Kathi was referring to:

it's not specifically about ACL/CCL repairs but just about Tripawds who've gone through orthopedic procedures. Sill very interesting and applicable to you guys though.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Columbia, MO
Member Since:
10 December 2011
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19 March 2014 - 7:06 pm
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So sorry to hear Ajax tore his knee.  Nothing is worse than something happening to one of the remaining good legs!  Last May Daisy had a complete rupture of her CCL in her right knee (she's a left front amp).  I had to use a sling to get her out the door to do her business and she wouldn't walk on her own.  Two weeks after the rupture she had lateral suture stabilization surgery.  She was the first tripawd my vet performed knee surgery on, too.

For us the recovery was rough.  Made her amp seem like a breeze.  It was a LONG 12 weeks before she was back to her more normal self and I was able to quit using the sling.  She would move about the house just fine but wouldn't go outside without the sling. That was ok since she was limited to leash walking only.

Hang in there -- you WILL get thru this!  Keep us posted ok?

Marla and Daisy


My Two Tripawds...Biscuit and Spirit Daisy

New York, NY
Member Since:
3 December 2012
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19 March 2014 - 7:28 pm
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oh Ajax!  You are such an inspiration!

We know NOTHING about doggy injuries, but just wanted to say good luck with surgery and heal up soon!  We know you are in great hands at AMC!!!  If you ever want to take a walk on the west side Jill says she'd LOVE to see if she can out run a doggy with three legs!!!

Let us know how the surgery goes!!

Jill is a 9-year-old tuxedo kitty. She was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in June 2012 on her toe in her right hind leg. Her leg was amputated on 12/12/12 and she completed four rounds of chemo (2 of Carbo, 2 of Doxy) in April 2013. "Like" Jill's facebook page: https://www.fac.....tty?ref=hl Proud member of the WINTER WARRIORS!!!! Her blog can be read at xoxo

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