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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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therysewyks
1
28 January 2009 - 11:35 am
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Our dog is one week post-amputation.  And he's become weaker, not stronger each day since.  He's back in the hospital now, and the surgeon said it could be a bulging disc, but wouldn't know without a ridiculously expensive CT scan.  I can't bear the thought of another surgery on him.  Has anyone experienced this?  Or experienced your dog getting weaker the week after surgery?

Here and Now


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2
28 January 2009 - 12:26 pm
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Sorry to hear about this … but we hadn't heard of it before. Hopefully someone else can provide advice. If you don't hear from TazzieDog – her mom is a vet – you might want to try asking in the Ask A Vet forum.

Thank you for sharing, and best wishes.


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28 January 2009 - 8:29 pm
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How big is your dog?  It is hard to tell from the photo but some breeds are more prone to disc disease than others.  Your dog  could have had a disc that was partially out of place before surgery and not causing any problems, then it slipped out of place and is now putting pressure on the spinal cord.  This is more common in small to medium breeds and the dog is usually painful somewhere along the spine.  In larger dogs we more commonly see FCE (fibrocartilaginous emboli) which can occur anytime with or without trauma or surgery.  These dogs tend to be nonpainful but have decreased use of 1 or both legs due to a piece of cartilage from the spine that becomes lodged in a blood vessel in the spinal system.

Your vet is right in that only on MRI, CT scan, or myelogram can “see” the spinal cord.  MRI is best and usually costs at least $1500.  Treatment ranges from steroids to “tincture of time”. A consult with a neurologist may be worthwhile and usually runs $125 to $200 depending on where you live.

Pam and Tazzie

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19 March 2010
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23 March 2010 - 7:30 am
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therysewyks/pam and tazzie, I see this post is from long ago, but wondering what results you got.  our tripawd, pablo, was diagnosed with 2 herniated discs, although only via exam and x-ray.  we took him in 3 weeks post op after he started walking with a crooked gait and not turning his head.  he is on heavy steroids temporarily and we are using a sling to take him out to prevent future injury.  i would like to avoid any surgical treatment if at all possible.


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23 March 2010 - 9:10 am
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I would give acupuncture a try.  My Pitbull Kona was diagnosed with 4 bulging discs in all areas of her spine back in 11/2006 (we did an MRI).  She couldn’t use her back legs and steroids did nothing so we started acupuncture.  After 4 weeks she was walking again!  She is still with us but needs acupuncture every 5 weeks due to the severity of her condition.  She is not a tripawd but I don’t think that would matter as far as your dog’s prognosis, unless your dog has osteosarcoma.  Sometimes that cancer can come back in the spine and the symptoms would mimic a bulging disc but the dog would be very painful.

Pam

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