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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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Back leg seems weak...
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Forum Posts: 19
Member Since:
26 July 2011
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20 March 2012 - 7:53 am
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Hi,

My dog Joe (11 yr old Keeshond) had one of his back legs amputated Aug 4th 2011.

He's been doing really good -he was back to normal... running, jumping on/off the couch, etc. by the start of September. He was doing everything he always did except for the stairs in the house....he had to/still has to be carried up and down. Joey still runs around the back yard and up/down the deck stairs like nothing ever happened.

 Lately, I've noticed that his remaining back leg seems weaker. He can't stand as long as he used to -like when he was getting a bath a few weeks ago he had to sit down and stay sitting down 1/2 way through it. And, sometimes it looks to me like his knee just gives out and he ends up sitting down for a second then he's up and on his way again.

Is this normal for an amputee? I would think that his back leg would become stronger -not weaker.

My dogs have their annual check-ups coming up in April -I'm wondering if I should move that appt up to this month.

Thanks.

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 31115
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20 March 2012 - 10:01 am
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Hi Joey & Family, welcome.

We're so glad you made it through the amputation recovery so well! For a mature kid, that is wonderful.

I hate to say it, but it does sound to me like this could be some kind of injury related to whooping it up. I'm not doctor, but based on my own experience with a bum knee, and others around here too, it could be anything. When I had a knee issue that everyone thought was a torn ACL. The prescription was lots of rest, heat and ice therapy. I also had some acupuncture that helped tremendously. You can read about that here.

You may want to seriously monitor his activity and keep him confined for a few weeks to see if it gets better. If he seems to be in excruciating pain and showing other signs like overall weakness and losing his appetite, go see your vet immediately. 

In the meantime, you may want to check out some of these videos from California Animal Rehab that talk about how to ensure your Tripawd stays strong and healthy, as well as this post, Why Longer Walks won't Strengthen a Tripawd's Muscles.

Please keep us posted!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 221
Member Since:
22 August 2011
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20 March 2012 - 10:50 am
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I am having this same issue with Cadence where sometimes the back leg will give out now. Also she will sometimes have to sit down when climbing the stairs, although she gets right back up and keeps going. I have noticed it over time since we got her baby brother and it has become more pronounced this last month. I am proud of her that she still seems to want to behave like other quad paws, but sometimes tripawds "whoop it up" too much and end up hurting backs or straining muscles and knees. My fear is that she will seriously hurt herself "sidestepping" Einstein or hopping over him and twisting, (This dog can turn on a dime) which is what she seems to do the most. She is starting to let him know when it is getting to much, but I think I am going to have to control it more. They love playing with each other and she loves running, so it is hard to keep them apart. What people should know is that puppies can be too much, even for the healed tripawd. 

I was reading some of the rehabilitation stuff on this site and I am interested in it. I would even like to take some classes and learn to do it on Cadence myself. The problem is, is that the ones I have researched require you to be a vet or have some other type of certification. There seems to be nothing for the lay person. I do massage her but I think she needs more core building stuff. Her appetite is great and I think with her high protein diet she will develop strength and muscles quickly. I just need to know how to get started. 

 

Cadence's Mom

Cadence Faye: Born 10/30/04, stepped into our hearts 12/23/2004. Rear leg tumor found 7/24/11 by mom and dad, Xray on 7/25/11, Osteosarcoma suspected 7/26/11, amputation 7/29/11, Carboplatin started 8/23. Met free so far! 

Portage Lake, Maine
Forum Posts: 1019
Member Since:
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20 March 2012 - 12:38 pm
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There's several things I can suggest to strengthen the remaining rear leg, provided you aren't dealing with an injury of sorts(such as an ALC tear):

 

physical therapy work - which you can do at home!  Here's some helpful links:

http://tripawds.....-workouts/

http://gear.tri.....s-workout/

http://gear.tri.....g-muscles/

http://gear.tri.....-stay-fit/

I can tell you from experience with my Tripawd, while it may seem at the moment to be OK for the dog to exercise as if it were a four legger, the after-effects come on, after a rest.  With my dog, she will get weak and tired and muscle sore.  So I've learned by trial and error, to give her shorter, more frequent, walks vs one, longer walk and I don't let her rough house with other dogs..

FWIW...

Tracy, Maggie's Mom

Maggie was amputated for soft tissue sarcoma 10-20-09

Maggie lost her battle with kidney disease on 8-24-13

http://maggie.t.....t-24-2013/

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 31115
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20 March 2012 - 12:43 pm
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Great insight (and links) Tracy, thank you!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Portage Lake, Maine
Forum Posts: 1019
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20 March 2012 - 12:50 pm
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Thanks!  I included Wyatt's great blog you recently posted too of him working on the balance disc but I then deleted it, as I saw you had already posted it in your reply.  I LOVE that blog as well!

Tracy, Maggie's Mom

Maggie was amputated for soft tissue sarcoma 10-20-09

Maggie lost her battle with kidney disease on 8-24-13

http://maggie.t.....t-24-2013/

Forum Posts: 19
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26 July 2011
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20 March 2012 - 1:08 pm
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Thank you for all of the suggestions.

I did end up making a vet appointment for him just to check things out and make sure there isn't anything else going on.

8
20 March 2012 - 4:58 pm
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Welcome Joey!! That is a good idea to move up his vet appt. Hope it's nothing serious and he can get back to feeling great soon!

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