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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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Amputation AND FHO surgery-Advice please!
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Forum Posts: 3
Member Since:
21 July 2020
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21 July 2020 - 1:59 pm
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Hi everyone,

We have a 2 year old boxer who was hit by a car and broke her leg. We recently found out that her broken leg has a very bad bacterial infection that will need to be amputated. My concern is she also needs a FHO (form of a hip replacement) on her other leg.

They will amputate her broken leg (back right) and then perform the FHO procedure (back left). Does anyone have advice on this?? I have been reading so much and I understand the leg needs to be mobile through the FHO but usually they use their other leg to put most pressure on..which Marley won’t have 🙁

We are worried about recovery & future leg problems.

Thank you for your help & welcoming us to your community! 

The Rainbow Bridge



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21 July 2020 - 5:34 pm
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Hi Marley and family, welcome! Your future posts won’t need approval so post away.

Sorry about the accident. What a fortunate doggie to have survived though, it sounds like it was pretty bad. Rest assured that other dogs have gone through similar situations. The closest to yours was Murphy, who was also in an accident and needed multiple limb surgeries.

Here are some blog posts you may want to check out for some background:

Vet Tips to Avoid a Remaining Leg Surgery for Tripawd Dogs (this also covers what happens if a Tripawd needs one)

and all articles about remaining leg surgery in Tripawd dogs.

Also be sure to check out Jerry’s Required Reading List for more tips about life on three legs.

A few questions: Who is the team doing the surgery? Are they orthopedic specialists? Did you get multiple opinions for peace of mind? And if you proceed, what kind of rehabilitation therapy plan is being recommended? Rehab therapy will make or break a recovery like this so it’s very important that a plan happens, and you are able to work with the time and money requirements to help Marley get back into shape. If you have everything in place and know exactly what you can expect, things should work out really well.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 3
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21 July 2020
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23 July 2020 - 6:11 pm
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Thank you very much! I will check out all the links.

We have done the best we can with getting information but we are only her foster right now. We REALLY want her which is why we are trying to be as involved as possible. The rescue has spoke to a few surgeons and they all agreed amputation is best for her because the bone infection has eaten away at her bone. Because of that the plate they would have used to fix the break won’t hold on the bone. 

We just got information that they might be doing the amputation and FHO at the same time. 

Do you know how long PT is needed? Have you heard of complications down the road that would also be medical expensive? Can tripod’s get vet insurance? 

Thanks again! 

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 27455
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23 July 2020 - 7:51 pm
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Yeah, if the bone is beyond repair, then it sounds like the right course of action.

As for the length of PT, I would check with the surgeon. It really depends on the dog’s physical status at the time of surgery.

Complications down the road from surgery? Well, yes and no. Generally, chronic osteoarthritis is typical. Check out Spree’s story, she had a FHO and an amputation as a young pup (I forgot to mention her earlier):

https://tripawd…..-tripawds/

I would be happy to connect you with Spree’s mom if you’d like to chat with her.

Yes a Tripawd can get pet insurance but not for pre-existing conditions like this. See our last podcast about pet insurance:

https://tripawd…..r-tripawds

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




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23 July 2020 - 9:13 pm
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Jist catching up and WOW!  As unlucky as this sweet pup is to have  this happen, ahe is very lucky to potentially  have a furever home with you!!  It is clear you are willing to do whatever it takes to give this sweet pup the best life possible. 

Is it possible that, under the circumstances, the clinic doing the surgery would keep her for the first six or seven days???   Is this an Orthopedic  Surgeon in a 24/7 staffed hospital??   pain management   will be crucial,   proper help with a sling, the ability to rest “comfortably”, potty help, etc.  Most dogs avoid  laying on the amp side for a week or two or more (sometimes  less).  I would think laying on the FHO surgery side would be painful too.  Definitely  some challenges  but defin doable.

Guess it goes without saying that the Vets feel both surgeries  have to be done at once??

How many are in your household  to help you?

We will be by uour side the whole way to support you through recovery.  In general, amputation  surgery takes about two weeks for the sparkle  to start coming back.  It’s no picnic for a couple of weeks, but after that they love life to the fullest on three.  Of course you have the added challenge of the FHO.   Again, pain management and having the proper help to hold her up at first can make this rec period a little less stressful.

Keep us posted.  We’ll be cheering for this sweet girl! .You have a huge heart and I know hwr life with you will be full of love and joy!❤

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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29 July 2020 - 7:35 pm
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Hey Everyone,

Thank you thank you thank you! I truly don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t find this group. 

Update on Marley: She is getting amputated and spay on Friday morning. We are told she will come home that night??? I believe this is because we are only the foster parents and the rescue doesn’t want to pay for overnight? After a few weeks..2 or 3 or depending on how she is feeling then she will go in for her FHO surgery. I am relived that it is not all at once! 

We have the rescue looking into a harness for her but I have read a ton of your helpful tricks for then she comes home Friday after her surgery. 

PT–we live near a bay so I am hoping water therapy will help and the rescue has agreed to get her PT after the FHO surgery! YAY!

The Rainbow Bridge



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29 July 2020 - 10:05 pm
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We are glad you found us too! Sounds like you have a plan, which is good.

But I do need to warn you; bringing her home the same night as amputation and a spay surgery is probably going to be ruff going. Others here who have done it can chime in. In our experience, most dogs and cats are quite dysphoric, anxious and loopy when they come home the same day and while it’s not an impossible situation to cope with, just be prepared for no sleep.

You also want to make sure she has VERY good pain management : no less than an NSAID, a narcotic of some type or a 3-day injectible pain med known as Nocita, and Gabapentin for nerve pain. And at least 10 days worth of the drugs too. Don’t settle for anything less, make sure you are prepared OK?

And “only” the foster parents? OMD you are ROCK STARS, no such thing as ONLY foster parents! Thank you for all you are doing to give her a great start at life on three legs.

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: 19271
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30 July 2020 - 10:11 am
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I hope that rescue realizes  how fortunate  they are to have you “fostering” !Marley!  You clearly are meant to be his furever home with question!!  

Ditto everything  Jerry said, especially  about the challenges  of bringing  him home the day of surgery.  As Jerry said, don’t  settle for anything less when it comes to pain management !  STAY CONNECTED!  YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!  Bringing  them home the  same  day is not easy.

So much info on here about tripawd care.  Of you can, download the Tripawds Amputation ebook fourth  edition.  If you have hardwood floors, you’ll want non scatter rugs for traction .  First two weeks rest, rest, rest.  Short leashed potty breaks.  No running,  jumping,  etc.  No stairs if possible. 

We’ll be watching  for your updates amd cheering  for Marley!

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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