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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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Cooper (93 lbs) 4 year tripod; 10 days post tplo surgery
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Forum Posts: 4
Member Since:
10 September 2020
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27 September 2020 - 8:22 am
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Hi–

Trying to learn about this website — so stick with me please.  I have created a new topic in Hoppin’ Around which I think was the appropriate thing to do.

I am hoping to connect with anyone who has a large rear leg tripod and just went through tplo surgery to the other rear leg.  We are now in day 10 post surgery and I am getting a bit discouraged as I read about other dogs who are able to start standing with assist and go outside to do their bathroom business within a much shorter period of time.  Our Cooper has just now started to put a few seconds of weight on the one rear leg once we pull him up from the floor with a sling but can only go a few feet.  He just wants to collapse in his comfort zones near the front door and our living room where he has spent all his days since surgery.  We had to create a designated space in the living room for bathroom business.  That was a major challenge in itself for him to finally accept that he did not have to go out back.  Whew!

On the plus side he loves his meals and today is the last day on his meds.  So glad and anxious to see if he gets more energy as a result.  His wound seems to be healing ok and swelling around knee finally diminishing with lots of ice packs.  However, there is still a lot of swelling around his ankle.  His recheck is scheduled in 8 days.

Cooper is the dearest and sweetest approximately 12 year old black lab ever.  Pre surgery he loved his walks and sitting outside doing his job as house protector, i.e. barking at passer bys. We adopted Cooper 4 years ago just after he had recovered from his amputation.  He has been on phenobarbital for seizures all that time.  His early history not a good one and my husband and I are so so thankful that we have brought some love and happiness to his life these past years. 

Look forward to hearing your tripod’s story.  Thank you–Jackie

Forum Posts: 36
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27 September 2020 - 11:28 am
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Hi Jackie, so happy you posted! That is great news about Cooper beginning to put weight on the leg again, even if just for a few seconds. It’s hard not to compare and worry. Petra is now 3 days out from TPLO on remaining back leg and I was hoping we would be in better shape at this point. She is still not sleeping through the night—it is like having a baby! The surgeon told me he thought Petra would be using the leg right away and that is definitely not the case. When they only have one back leg it’s hard not to panic about what the future may hold. But we’ve got to keep the faith and celebrate the small wins and hope for the best. Hang in there and keep posting about Cooper’s progress.

sp_hearticon2

Forum Posts: 4
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10 September 2020
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27 September 2020 - 12:09 pm
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Thank you so much for replying and updating us about Petra.  She has such a cute face!!  I can see how these forums/chats help us all so much.  Yes, our surgeon had indicated prior to surgery that Cooper would probably go home same day or next.  As it turned out, he was operated on Thursday, 9/17 and not allowed to come home until last Sunday, 9/20.  Actually glad the clinic kept him as long as they did!  We’ve been lucky that he does sleep fairly well at night, however.  He’s never been able to go up the steps to the bedrooms so I’ve had a mattress on the floor in the living room next to him so I can sleep better knowing his every move.  You are so right.  My first thought was how much this was like having a newborn.  Fortunately, I’ve been available 24/7 to attend to his ice packs, meds, foods, limb massages, neosporin applications, cleanups etc. etc.

We had a couple of incidents the first few days home when we really thought he might have done some harm to himself, but we have gotten past those negative thoughts and are keeping the faith, as you suggested.  You’ve really helped us feel a bit more positive.  Thank you and I hope you will keep us posted on Petra’s progress.  I know they’re tougher than we give them credit for.

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 28326
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27 September 2020 - 2:36 pm
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Jackie I am so hoppy you started a new topic! This will allow us to follow along and include Cooper’s story in others who go through this same situation. 

I know I haven’t been through this myself, but what I can tell you is this: you are not alone. And no matter what Cooper’s progress looks like to you, try not to compare it to others. Every dog is different and on their own timeline. Cooper is his own dog with his own story, he will get there!

How pawesome that you and Petra’s people are able to communicate about being in the same situation at the same time. sp_hearticon2

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Virginia




Forum Posts: 19877
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27 September 2020 - 4:07 pm
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Jist went to ditto the “-not comparing ”  advice.  Additionally,  it seems that Surgeons always are overly optimistic  about how quickly  at dog will be mobile after an amputation,  and equally  as optimistic  after TPLO surgery, whether it’s  the remaining  leg or not!!  As Petra said, that’s  not the case!!

Your boy is a “mature” fella and he’s not a “light weight” little doggy.  It os not surprising  at all that he’s not us that let uet!

You DO have a victory!  You DO have some “improvement” to celebrate.  A second or two trying to ise that leg is a really good sign!!  I k pwmot is soooo ja4d to be patient,  but this is a hurdle that, with time and patience,  Cooper will work through.

I just had my four legger have TPLO surgery and it  was a couple of weeks before she would stop trying to hold that leg up while walking  or standing  still or getting up.  It was going on k to eight weeks before she stopped limping  and stopped favoring that leg. AND that is with a four legger!!

My three legger tripawd who had the surgery  on one  of his back legs took many weeks before he would stop kind of hopping amd actually use that leg equally with the other….many, many weeks….can’t  remember  exactly how many.

I would use the pain meds as  long as necessary, over the next several weeks, even if at a reduced amount.  The reason a dog is not using  the TPLO leg is because  it still hurts to do so.  Obviously  this soon after surgery  it’s gonna hurt anyway just from the pain of the surgery  itself. Of course, check with your Vet, but this is what the Rehab Vet for my tripawd suggested.

You and your husband clearly adore Cooper and he could not jave better care!!  You are doing  a spectacular  job!!  Really!!!

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!

Forum Posts: 4
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10 September 2020
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28 September 2020 - 8:14 am
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Wow Jerry and Benny55!  Thank you so much!  I had no idea how much your encouragement and kind words of support would mean when I joined Tripawds.   It is helping my husband and me more than I can say.  Thank you.

So I am starting this new week with more optimism and looking forward to the progress the days will bring us.  We feel blessed that Cooper seems well and happy in all other respects and enjoying the extra belly rubs and leg massages that this event has brought him.

Thank you again and what a wonderful pack of dogs you each have–all with their own story.  I’m overwhelmed…

Jackie

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 28326
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28 September 2020 - 12:15 pm
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Jackie, you are so welcome. It’s so nice that you are starting your week off in such a pawsitive frame of mind. Keep it up! smiley_clap This is what we call learning to Be More Dog and I’m going to bet that Cooper is thrilled you’ve arrived at that attitude.

Let us know how things are going OK? 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 36
Member Since:
19 December 2019
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4 October 2020 - 9:21 pm
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Hi Jackie, any update on Cooper? I’ve been thinking about you guys. Sending sp_hearticon2smiley9smiley10

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