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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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Bi-lateral TPLO with front leg amputation
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Forum Posts: 21
Member Since:
4 January 2016
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22 January 2016 - 12:35 am
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Greetings! I’m not sure if this is the right place to post this, but since it kinda falls under “on going care”, gonna take a stab at it.

My boy Vito is a 12 year old 62 pound greyhound mix. he had bilateral TPLO surgery in feb of 2011. He came thru that smashingly, and other than some minor loss of muscle tone in the biceps, which seems to be the norm, you would not know it to look at him that he has the bionic knees.

This past October, he lost his right front leg (including the scapula) to osteosarcoma in the distal humerus. He just finished his fourth and final carboplatin on Jan 14. Once again, he is comin thru with no complications except for a bit of low energy. But considering everything he’s been thru the last three months, not being able to hike to the top of the mountain is really not that hard to understand. He wants, no, DEMANDS his daily 3-4 walks  – sometimes we only go to the end of the street, sometimes we go a corner or two further – but everyday we try to go a little bit more. I let him determine how far he wants to go. If he wants to stop and sniff, we stop and sniff. If he wants to walk on, we walk on. I should mention that he has always been an athletic dog, even after the TPLO. We live near many hiking opportunities so we’ve always taken them all, and spend a fair amount of time (as in every chance i get) out in the back country of the Sierra’s. Also – he will bring you his ball and if you throw it, he will bring it back until your arm falls off. That dog LOVES his ball.

(but not his ‘balls’ coz he’s been tutored)

I know it’s going to take some time for him to regain his strength from the beat down chemo gave him, and losing a front limb is a little harder than losing a back one, but I’d like to hear from anybody who may be in, or has been in, the same situation. 

Has the TPLO had any major impact on recovery in terms of the new gait, and does/has it affected stamina because of it? Is there anything i’m not aware of that i *should* be aware of in terms of making life easier for him, and is there anything i should be on the look out for that could be not so bueno?

A few other notes: He’s on the best food, he eats better than *I* do. Seriously, the butcher grinds up chuck fresh for him and i make him food with nothing but fresh ingredients . . . while i stand in front of the refer with a fork. He gets all the immune building, cancer fighting supplements, along with regular body work in the form of massage and acupressure, and gets Rimadyl as needed for pain, with valerian root to help him sleep if he’s restless.

He also shares his life with a 13 year old pit bull mix, who is basically Queen of the whole dang world and has everyone around her wrapped around her little paw. They have been together 11+ years (She came first, V followed about a year later) and they have always been close – and he has a few best doggie friends he sees on a regular basis (when my friends go away for work, i get their dogs, and when we all go to the woods, we ALL go to the woods)

So i’d say his life is pretty full of good fabulous things, which is important now more than ever. I just want to make sure it stays that way for as long as possible.

Thank you for any insight, advice, or experience you can relate.

The Rainbow Bridge



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22 January 2016 - 10:12 am
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Vito and family, welcome! I’m sorry about the diagnosis but dang you’re living the good life, you sure are one lucky dawg, you’ve got it made with your human! Thanks for hopping over from Twitter. Hope it’s OK that I moved your post here to “Hopping Around,” which is all about mobility on three legs. Your future posts won’t need approval so post away.

As I mentioned in Twitter we’ve had many dogs who have undergone major procedures in their remaining limbs both before and after amputation. I’m not sure if their stories would specifically answer your questions but there stories can be found here:

http://tripawds…..y-welcome/

http://tripawds…..commended/

http://tripawds…..e-surgery/

This study that Colorado State did may also be of interest to you:

http://tripawds…..d-dog-hop/

Others with experience in this area will chime in but to answer your questions:

Has the TPLO had any major impact on recovery in terms of the new gait, and does/has it affected stamina because of it? Is there anything i’m not aware of that i *should* be aware of in terms of making life easier for him, and is there anything i should be on the look out for that could be not so bueno?

Vito sounds like he’s super active and strong which is great! If you are at all able we highly recommend having him evaluated by a canine rehab therapist. They’ll do a gait analysis, figure out where his strengths and weaknesses are and help come up with an at-home routine to help keep him as strong as possible.

Here are some great posts about rehab’s benefits:

http://download…..gs-part-1/

And the best part? The Tripawds Foundation will cover the cost of your first visit, the most expensive one! See:

http://tripawds…..-tripawds/

Thanks again for joining, I hope this helps.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 21
Member Since:
4 January 2016
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22 January 2016 - 10:59 am
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Hi Jerry, thanks for the rehab recommendation.

we managed to get an appointment this afternoon ! and hopefully will get some questions answered.

no problem moving the topic – i don’t do forums very much, so it might take me awhile to figure it all out 🙂

Virginia




Forum Posts: 19692
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22 January 2016 - 11:06 am
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Oh my gosh!!! I’m just grinning ear to ear reading this!!! Vito and “Queen” clearly won tne puppy lottery when they locked you as their human!! And I can only imagine how happy their doggy friends are when they get to have sleep-overs at your house!

You have great links from Herry to review. It sou ds like you really, really are tuned into Vito and have a very good understanding of the importance of letting Vito be Vito, safely!

Vito is a 12 yr young “mature” fella’ who mjst finished four rou ds of chemo, had a front leg amputation, previous TPLO….yeah, this can be pretty darn exhausting and the definition of “stamina” takes on a whole new meaning! For Vito, going to tne “top of the mountain” isn’t important. Going outside and having his human he loves by his side sharing the joys of nature is all that matters! You are such a wonderful lartner for your Vito. You really get what’s important. To be able to stop and sniff…to must “be” in tne moment….such a beautiful way to “hike”.

Would LOVE to see pictures of your pack! His avatar photo is very handsome! I can’t say this enough…you are giving Vito a glorious life! Your love for him, and his for you, comes shining through! Continue to @ive in tne moment a d savor the bliss of each day. Vito sure is!

Love to all

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!

Virginia




Forum Posts: 19692
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22 January 2016 - 11:28 am
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Just saw your other post where you mentioned you were knowledgeable in Aromatherapy! I, for one, am soooo open to “options” like that.way-cool

Sometimes members here are dealing with side effects of chemo, or gasto upsets from all the meds needed during recovery, or dogs/cats feeling anxious and stressed out, etc.

Would LOVE to hear about any insight into how Aromatherapy may help in these situations.

Lerhaps our Jerry will jave you do a guest blog on this topic…….Justwinker a little hint!

THANKS!

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

PS…Saw you have a rehab appt. Looking forward to their feedback.

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



Forum Posts: 28041
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22 January 2016 - 11:48 am
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That is fantastic, can’t wait to hear the results. Don’t forget to apply for the grant.
Yes, a guest post about aromatherapy would be RAD!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Posts: 21
Member Since:
4 January 2016
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22 January 2016 - 6:52 pm
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Hi Benny55,

I have had great results using not only essential oils, but infused herbal oils like arnica and comfrey with the healing of Vito (and other dogs plus myself as well) thru his amputation, as well as his TPLO. From helping the initial incision, (lavender, tea tree) to the muscles (arnica, comfrey) to support thru chemo (ginger, peppermint, fennel, frankincense)

is there anything specific you are looking towards?

Forum Posts: 21
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4 January 2016
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22 January 2016 - 7:32 pm
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i am logged into this site.

have three times now written out long posts  – and three times when i hit the “submit reply” button i get kicked to some weird “login” page with a large W at the top 

and my post is gone.

what please, am i doing wrong?

it’s very frustrating to spend such time on a post only to watch it disappear . . .

Virginia




Forum Posts: 19692
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22 February 2013
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22 January 2016 - 7:46 pm
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Let me address the FRUSTRATION of getting logged out first! There was a big “upgrade” computer wise recently. Since then we have been getting booted off repeatedly at random times without us realizing it.

So, for now, the solution has been to BE SURE and copy and paste your reply before you hit submit. Then hit submit. If you find you were logged off at that point, at least when you log back in you can go back to the thread and resubmit your reply.

Okay, this is probably clear as mud. Plus THE lleast techie person in the world is trying to explain it!

Be right back…going to get the link to the thread that will explain it far better!

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!

Virginia




Forum Posts: 19692
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22 January 2016 - 7:55 pm
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Okay…here’s the link that will chronicle the issue.

I’m really glad you kept trying. I’m afraid some people, especially the newer ones, just give up and don’t come back.

I knkw “they” are working hard ro fix the problem.

TRY to remember to “copy” each reply before you try and submit.

http://tripawds…..t-it-here/

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!

Virginia




Forum Posts: 19692
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22 February 2013
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22 January 2016 - 8:06 pm
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Now, back to tne oils. You actually just llsted some of the things most members here would be inquisitive about. Of course, everything anyone wanged ro try should be discussed with their vet…just wanted to throw that disclaimer out there!

Thanks for offering to share your knowledge. Very kind of you.

Remember…copy your replies before submitting them…or “trying” to submit them!!!

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!

Forum Posts: 21
Member Since:
4 January 2016
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22 January 2016 - 8:16 pm
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thanks for the tip! i will now compose my post in a text editor, THEN copy to post – i think that will save me the grief of losing it.

so i will write up a little intro to the oils i use(d)

with the disclaimer you mentioned, of course, since i am not a doctor and aromatherapists can be “certified”, but there is no sanctioned governing body to guarantee such certification. (of the practicioners OR the OILS 🙂 )

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 28041
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23 January 2016 - 2:31 pm
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Sally explained that perfectly! We are working on that issue, thanks for your patience.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

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