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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Okay, so things have been positively going so well since amputation & Sandy’s first Chemo session & I pray that they continue this way! It appears to have given her a new lease of life as she has her bouncy pup playtime back which my heart melts each time as I am soon very happy to see this again after such an emotional (human emotional) journey initially. (As you can read on my blogs via the link below).
My new query for advise from such a wonderful support network is how to get a Tripaw to walk/hop on walks. Sandy gets so excited when I get on my ‘walking attire’ on (she’s so clever to know this) & will race out the front door before I have had chance to close the door behind me! But then stops. I have to really encourage her to reach the top of the drive way & then its a lets sit down & watch the world pass by moment. Then when I suggest walking on or even returning home, she gets up but isn’t sure where she wants to go so lays back down again.
I have a pet stroller which I take with us for Sandy to hop into when it becomes too much as we have made it to the green next to our neighbours which is the farthest reached twice & we had a long sit down period so this came in useful to get into to push her home again…celebrating how far we had made. I have even tried pushing Sandy to the field for her to hop on out to sniff & play, but she loves it inside the stroller that she refuses to then come out. Then the walk is a sight seeing adventure for us both rather than a play/walk/hop defeating the object of building stamina so now start the walk & end it with Sandy being being pushed in the stroller when she has tired. It is a great work out for me I must say but that’s not what I am looking to achieve here!
With Chemo I cannot risk taking her swimming like we did with Hydrotherapy before diagnoses for cancer, as she is still in treatment phase, but i want to get her back into walking gradually to build stamina which effectively should build her appetite alongside but walking appears to be less successful & not sure how far to continue encouraging her…or what else to try. Her harness has a handle on to support/assist but Sandy is stubborn…if she doesn’t want to walk/hop, she simply won’t…gets this form myself…tap on the back of my hand for that one haha…takes after her mummy!
Anyone else who has encountered this lack of stamina issue / interest once out that front door to further excitement whom can shed some ideas / own experience on this pleeeeeease. It takes me longer to dress her for the walk than the length of time we are actually out.
Thanking you all in advance. I know you will have some great advise, links, ideas.
Dawn & Sandy – the stubborn duo haha
26 April 2014
Hi Dawn…Sandy sounds like she is doing great! It’s a wonderful feeling when the smile comes back! I am new to all this as well, but I have read in the tripawd manual that when the pup sits, you’ve done too much and gone too far. I think that’d very true. Blaze is just 15 days post amp and he is exhausted venturing 50 into the yard. It’s a huge deal for these guys to hop on three legs. Lots of muscles that have never been used together must learn how to work together.
I am planning to take the online class with Debbie Gross through the Denise Fenzi Academy. I think Jerry posted a link to the class in a recent post. Registration opens January 22. Perhaps you can consider it.
Hi Dawnie, sorry I just saw this now.
It sounds like you’re doing exactly what needs to be done to help Sandy as she regains strength. The way we’ve been told that this happens for Tripawd dogs is to first build strength with weight bearing exercises and balance games, then once the dog has stronger core muscles, you can focus on building stamina and endurance with things like swimming. Our ebook Loving Life on Three Legs, discusses this and gives tips, as do these Gear Blog Posts and the four-part series with Domino and rehab vet Dr. Kennedy.
Later as she gets stronger, your walks can be a bit longer but really should never be more than 15 minutes at a time. In general walks should be shorter and more frequent for Tripawds. A stroller is a very handy thing to have if you want to go on longer ones.
Don’t forget we also have our upcoming DIY Tripawd Fitness Course! Hope to see you there.
22 February 2013
Good advice from Laurie and Jerry…of course!! I get to do the easy part….ditto!!
Sometimes tripawds have trade offs….maybe not as much walking but taking in more tummy rubs, or just sitting in a sunny spot sniffing the breezes. And I LOVE that she enjoys the stroller!!! Just relax, be patient and take Sandy’s lead. Maybe that’s one of the life lessons she’s using this journey to teach you…”Hey Mom, slow down, enjoy being in the moment and stop and sniff the roses!”
Love hearing that she’s doing so well this early out! Oh, and one thing vets say now, it takes “generally wo weeks to get over the surgery, and another month before muscles, joints, etc. adapt to the new mobility on three legs.
Keep these great updates coming!
Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle 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!
Yes I too came across that about they will sit when tired Mary. This happens from just getting out the door to the drive way though when she usually makes it to our neighbouring field – we go at her pace, walk, sniff, walk, sniff, nose about, walk etc. She’s even chased the neighbours teasing cat across the garden too so this boggles me some days why she won’t go further when she is soon eager to get out for “walkies”.
Yesterday she made it to the neighbouring field which was great & she saw another pooch so went hopping over to say hello…then wanted to carry on with them. I am now led to believe that she’s having me on as it was me that said come on lets not over do this today, lets head home. That was tiring as she’s been curled up on her sofa blanket snoozing since but was so nice seeing her out having fun at her leisure. (Typically the one walk I left her stroller at home thinking we’d not get far)
The book I am reading, “Without Regret ” (It arrived Jerry!!) talks about allowing your pooch to set the limits for their physical exertions…this we do. Her harness is a great help too (& matches her great warm coat too!)
Thanks Jerry, those links look good, especially the online courses…we will see what we are available to do as they look good! I have enquired about physiotherapy locally to understand what they would offer within a session & the benefits they have seen so as we can consider this an option also.
I think your right Sally, it may be another lesson of relaxing & taking time out to watch the world around us. No rush in life with this aspect. Got to admit…watching the world pass by after a long day is always interesting.
28 November 2008
Trouble never did regain her full stamina, but she never lost that zest for adventure. I let her do what she thought she could to a point. I did monitor how far I thought she could go as to not get into a situation where I needed to carry her big butt home – at least you have the stroller to help you out.
I know the weather is nasty most places now, but maybe in the spring, you take take her on more frequent shorter walks. Or maybe just sit outside with her and let her enjoy the outdoors. Trouble loved this – even in the winter, but we live in Southeast Texas so the winters are pretty mild.
I am not saying she will never regain her stamina, most of them do over time. I’m just asking you to prepare just in case she doesn’t.
Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul. Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.
That zest for adventure is amazing!
We have been trying a new way with the walking changes…heading straight out to the grass area daily whilst those energy levels are highest…upon my return from being out. Sandy gets soooooo excited when I arrive home & we hop straight out which she loves…bag down, & hop to the grassy field…she manages this daily & will still play in the house later that eve.
Again Sandy taught me this new way as this came about after having a few runs to & from the car to the door with shopping bags until I’d emptied the car after having been out shopping – she then looked up the drive as if to say…lets go…so off we snuk without questioning it – we were living in that moment…she was sooooo excited & bouncy & so was I after that.
Hey everyone. It’s been a while so thought I would write an update.
Sandy has completed her chemo sessions and we have a follow up appointment in a couple of weeks.
She has been so good with it all bless her. Understandably she begun to get fed up with needles and shavings having to happen but she tolerated it all well and I am extremely proud & thankful.
Has anyone found that their pet tries to use their missi limb as Sandy a few times has begun to try to reach balls under tables with her missing limb as I can see her trying to get it out and her shoulder area twitches as she tries to fetch it. Also when I ask for paw she tries to give me her missing limb as again it twitches each time I ask. Is she thinking it is still there & will this fade. I end up getting up to help her fetch her ball for her and have stopped asking for paw. I don’t know if this is the right thing to do but I don’t want her to become frustrated or confused. Anyone else experienced this?
Look forwrds to your responses as always.
27 August 2014
Jack did both of those behaviors in the beginning, too. As far as paw goes, I taught her how to offer the other paw instead by sitting back on her heels, and she’s gradually forgotten the old command.
And for getting toys under a table, I do the same thing you have and always get the toy for Jack. She also got frustrated, but learned over time to look to me when something rolls out of reach (and when she drops toys off of the bed, but that’s a different story…) and waits for me to get it.
I have thought about teaching her more creative ways of getting at things, like nudging chairs out of the way with her nose, but haven’t gotten around to it.
YAY Sandy! That’s so cool, congratulations on graduating from chemo!
Great question. It does take a while for the brain to realize there’s no limb there but even so, there will always be times when the ‘phantom’ limb still makes an appearance. Even six years after losing his limb, Wyatt’s stump still twitches when he tries to itch, or when he’s chasing rabbits in his sleep. I don’t think there is anything wrong at all with your helping her in certain situations like trying to get a ball from under the table, that’s just a little extra help from you that makes her life easier. And it gets you away from what you’re doing to have fun pay attention to her, so it’s a win win for both of you!
Thank you – ive been reliant on sandy teaching me how we are to do things these days but you’re right, I should re-teach her how to get by with paw tricks. Sandy can be very stubborn (gets that from me I wont deny), so not sure how that will go down but will certainly try!
Youre right…it makes pawfect sense – sandy probably throws the ball under the table to get me up to fetch it for her to play, only she then thinks haha…I have you all to myself now…belly rubs and rolls over haha! It’s a good job she’s too irresistible.
With walks, has anyone found that their tripaws lay down lots? We go on very short walks yet rest often. we go at her pace but I think it’s more being nosey than tired as when she sees another animal she runs. If I have treats she follows. Any suggestions how we get around this?
30 December 2014
Hi everyone, I have a front tripawd too. My Brynn has the opposite problem, she wants to run and run and run and keep going for ever. The problem we are having is that because she is unstoppable, she sometimes gets tired and her paw seems to failed her and she falls foward. She catches herself before touching ground and keeps on going. What I worry about is the constant hopping damaging her bones and joints.
I was wondering if there is such a thing as a dog shoulder support like we humans have when out ligaments and joints are week. What about something for her knee joint? How can I ensure my Brynn can keep going and going without damaging her remaining paw? She just loves walking so much, and if theres any way that she can continue walking forever, I want to make sure I find it and make her as safe as possible.
25 April 2007
I was wondering if there is such a thing as a dog shoulder support…what about something for her knee joint?
Please watch our video interviews with Orthopets founder Martin Kauffman for details about the benefits of braces on remaining limbs and orthotics for Tripawds, and consider contacting Orthopets directly—they do pawesome work, tell them Tripawds sent you!