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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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Discouraged at lack of products available for tripawds
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Michigan
Forum Posts: 209
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31 August 2009
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12 September 2009 - 7:19 am
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It would be interesting to know how many tripawds there are hopping around in the world. My guess is quite a few. So it surprises me how few products there are out there to help. Be it with mobility, safety, or health issues.

I for one, am looking for a product that will comfort Rocky's front elbow when he lays down. He's never been really graceful when laying down, and sometimes just kind of collapses onto the ground. Well that hasn't changed a whole lot now that he's got just one front leg. Actually, I guess sometimes he is a bit more careful, and slowly lowers himself down, and I think that's because his elbow is bothering him.

He has had an open, raw ulcer on his elbow that began shortly after his surgery. And while I do my best to keep it covered, he always finds a way to uncover it to lick it. So an elbow pad would help keep that area covered as well as add comfort and cushion his elbow.

I have seen the Dogleggs vest for amputees, but it seems strange to me that's the only product out there I've seen for this issue.Sad

Doesn't it seem that a lot of the things we use to help our tripawds end up being homemade? Through trial and error, we come up with different ways to help our sweet babies get through life a llittle bit easier. I think it would be great if we shared those ideas with each other. Things that worked well, and things that sounded good, but didn't really do the trick. If I come up with a fabulous idea for an elbow cushion (that actually stays in place) I'll be sure to let you know!

I hope that everyone has a good day, Laugh

Michelle

Forum Posts: 930
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12 September 2009 - 7:54 am
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Rocky & Michelle,

You are absolutely right.  This is why I attempted to modify a patter to make Cherry a sweater to help her keep warm.  It came in very handy during her chemotherapy which also was our winter season.  However, I was never really happy so I made a second attempt.  I started a topic to present two photos and links to the instructions.  While not really for the faint of knitting heart, I totally agree that there really is not much on the market to help.  However, I will also admit that not only a labor of love to make the TriPawd sweater, it also helped me keep my mind ocupied during our most trying times.

Pawsitive Thoughts to All.

Bob & Cherry

Michigan
Forum Posts: 209
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12 September 2009 - 8:25 am
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Bob, thanks for the link to your post. I think Cherry looks absolutely beautiful in her sweater. Way to go!!Smile

Michelle

Harrisonburg, Va
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12 September 2009 - 10:57 am
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I wholeheartedly agree.  Even the main harness mentioned on here, the Ruff Wear, is not specifically designed for amputees.  I'd love to have a harness with a wide cushioned support at the surgery spot and not any extra leg holes.  The ramp I use for Mac to move between the grass in the frontyard and the cement patio is basically a long wide crate with various pieces of wood blocks under to make the height right, although it's not great cause he still slips on the wood a bit so I'm going to need to put grippy strips or a coating on the top.  Some have suggested wheelchair ramps but most are too expensive.

and in response to Cherry, I've always wanted to learn how to knit…it's very useful…it's cool that you can do it so well and put out some well-designed projects

East Bay, CA
Forum Posts: 186
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12 September 2009 - 11:08 pm
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My nursing background would send you straight to something like this for your elbow issue:

http://www.jans…..ister.html

But I kinda wonder if that three legged max girl wouldn't have an even better idea. She seems very creative and works in prosthetics . I personally think that girl could make a whole business for tripawds! If one of you know how to email people through this website-that's who I would contact for an elbow idea.

I've also had difficulty finding products for tripawd specific dogs. Maybe we should get a business going? Wink

Mary

May 2001-Jan 21, 2010.....I'm a dog and I'm AWESOME!..... Always.

Michigan
Forum Posts: 209
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13 September 2009 - 5:45 am
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cairasue said:

My nursing background would send you straight to something like this for your elbow issue:

http://www.jans…..ical.net/h…..ister.html

But I kinda wonder if that three legged max girl wouldn't have an even better idea. She seems very creative and works in prosthetics . I personally think that girl could make a whole business for tripawds! If one of you know how to email people through this website-that's who I would contact for an elbow idea.

I've also had difficulty finding products for tripawd specific dogs. Maybe we should get a business going? Wink

Mary


Mary, thanks for the elbow protector idea, but I'm pretty sure it will slide down his arm just as soon as he starts moving around. That is the problem I'm having – keeping something on that won't fall down off the elbow when he hops.

Yesterday I tried something new. After bandaging his sore, I wrapped an Ace Bandage around the elbow a few times to pad it, then brought it up over his back, under his belly and then fastened it back at the elbow. So far, so good. Sure, it's not real attractive,but it might work until I can come up with something else. It's lasted longer that anything else I've tried, and Rocky doesn't seem to mind it.

Michelle

East Bay, CA
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13 September 2009 - 9:16 am
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I can see your point about it sliding. i think you would have to alter almost any medical product you got. I was thinking of putting in velcro at the ends. But what about something simpler? Have you tried a small gel pad or even fake sheeps skin and wrapping it with coban?  Coban is a beautiful thing and if you get a wide enough bit of it, wrapping it above and below the pad, it should hold for a day or two of good play.

May 2001-Jan 21, 2010.....I'm a dog and I'm AWESOME!..... Always.

Michigan
Forum Posts: 209
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13 September 2009 - 9:43 am
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I'm not too sure what coban is – I'll have to do some research.

Thanks!

Michelle

ETA

OK, so I Googled coban. My vet uses this – I just didn't know what it was called. Every time we see the vet she cleans Rocky's sores and wraps them with gauze and then coban. And every time I tell her that it doesn't stay put (actually it does stay well on his hock, but not his elbow). The minute he hops out to car, the coban slides down off the elbow just enough to disturb the bandage beneath, exposing the sore at the top.

Mesa, AZ
Forum Posts: 355
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13 September 2009 - 3:37 pm
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HI Rocky,

You may want to check out this website, they make a  vest with an elbow protector for front leg amputees.  I don't know if it can be used as a harness to go on walks with though.  They are a bit expensive, but it may be worth it!

http://www.dogl…../dlamp.cfm

Eleanor & Chuy

Chuy, showing everyone that Tripawds do everything 3 times better than regular dogs!

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Michigan
Forum Posts: 209
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13 September 2009 - 4:51 pm
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Hi Eleanor and Chuy,

Yes, I did see the one from Dogleggs (and yes, it is very expensive), but it is the only one i've seen. I just wish there were more options out there.

Thanks for your helpSmile

Michelle

The Rainbow Bridge



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14 September 2009 - 10:32 am
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rockyandme said:

It would be interesting to know how many tripawds there are hopping around in the world. My guess is quite a few. So it surprises me how few products there are out there to help. Be it with mobility, safety, or health issues.


Hi Michelle!

Yah, we hear you. You'd think there would be more tripawd-specific products out there. We are always looking of course. My guess for the lack of products is because Tripawd dogs are so different in sizes and shapes, that it would be hard to create an off-the-shelf item to fit them.

Because I was a front leg amp, and now my brother Wyatt is a rear-leg amp, we've run the gamut of what's out there. Mom say she thinks creating special Tripawds gear is definitely a business in the making!

You're right, the Ruffwear harness isn't specifically designed for Tripawds, but it is the best one we have seen for most of our pups. It does stay put on rear-leg amputees better than front leg amputees, but either way, it's so helpful, we can't not recommend it. We like the lightweight design, it's good for hot weather.

There is also a heavy-duty custom harness you can get to help your pup, the AST Support Harness, as well as an off-the-shelf one that the company just came out with (which we will be reviewing shortly). We like this product, but feel that it is better suited for extremely heavy, large or less mobile Tripawds than the Ruffwear one. They're a great company, you should give them a call if you are interested.

As for Dogleggs, we have heard some very good things about their elbow protectors. We've never tried these elbow pads by Canine Angels, but they do look helpful.

So yeah, sometimes home-made is the best way to go. When you come up with your Tripawd elbow protector, please let us know here, we'd love to see it!

Thanks for bringing up a very impawtant topic here!

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Michigan
Forum Posts: 209
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19 September 2009 - 3:37 pm
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Ok, so it took me a while, but I have finally come up with an elbow protector for Rocky. I knew in my head what I wanted for him, it was just a matter of finding a way to make it. This is something I have been obsessing about, because I want him to be as comfortable as possible.

As you know, my problem was nothing would stay up on his elbow. Everything would slide down as soon as he started to hop – believe me I've tried everything! So that was my challenge.

 I used a toddler sized quilted flannel shirt sleeve, bias tape, 1 inch thick foam (to pad the elbow area), an elastic stretch band and some Velcro.

Rocky seems to like it, I am able to pull it up over the band-aid on his elbow w/out disturbing it, and best of all  it actually stays in place!! SCORE!!! Laugh

Michelle

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Harrisonburg, Va
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19 September 2009 - 3:42 pm
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That's great, way to MacGyver it! Smile

Unfortunately whatever you posted, looks like pics, aren't loading up for me.  It might just be on my end though.   

East Bay, CA
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19 September 2009 - 7:20 pm
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Awesome! Can't wait to see pix!

May 2001-Jan 21, 2010.....I'm a dog and I'm AWESOME!..... Always.

East Bay, CA
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19 September 2009 - 8:27 pm
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When I went back, your pictures are on there! AWESOME! It's a great solution AND Rocky is stylin! If it works out long term, you may have a business in the making!

May 2001-Jan 21, 2010.....I'm a dog and I'm AWESOME!..... Always.

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