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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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Domino is walking down on his wrist...?
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29 June 2014 - 8:57 am
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Hey all! Domino’s recovery has been going amazing, this coming Tuesday will be 7 weeks since his surgery. I haven’t noticed any problems until today :/ While out for our morning play session, I noticed him walking down on his wrist more than normal. His wrist isn’t touching the ground, but it’s definitely angled that way more so now. Could this just be from over use? He has played pretty hard this weekend. I’ve also spoken to a couple of pet orthodic/prosthetic specialists and they have recommended a carpus brace to support that joint and now that I see him walking today I wonder if they’re right. Any thoughts? I’ll try to snap a picture or video of him walking today if I can. Thanks all! 

Cassie and Domino

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
Domino had his left front leg amputate on May 13th 2014 after being hit by a car. He's now living a happy healthy life on three legs :)

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29 June 2014 - 9:11 am
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I’m not familiar with this, but anything that helps over straining is always a good thing. Some good R &R is good after too much. Some dogs are just active guys no matter what. Hope all resolves well.

Esther and her Snoop

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29 June 2014 - 9:17 am
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Here are the two videos I could get. Sorry for the quality, hard to take a good one by yourself lol.

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
Domino had his left front leg amputate on May 13th 2014 after being hit by a car. He's now living a happy healthy life on three legs :)

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29 June 2014 - 9:30 am
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Cassie,

I watched the videos. It is hard to see, but what you’re describing, along with the panting, makes me wonder if he might be in pain or if it’s just overuse and he’s too tired or it’s strained. Willows’s situation was different because she was much older and had arthritis, but when she would run around for a bit she would sink down on her remaining front leg because of the arthritis pain.

The support brace sounds interesting. Does it take stress off the leg or just keep it positioned properly?

I hope you get things figured out!

Hugs,
Carol

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29 June 2014 - 9:34 am
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He pants 24/7 and always has lol. He only stops when he sleeps. The joys of a herding dog I suppose. The brace is suppose to support the joint and keep it properly positioned and prevent injury. I’ve ordered him some joint supplements as well. If the brace wasn’t so expensive I’d jump on it right away, but it will take some thinking.

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
Domino had his left front leg amputate on May 13th 2014 after being hit by a car. He's now living a happy healthy life on three legs :)

Virginia
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29 June 2014 - 10:36 am
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Our PT vet recommended a carpus brace for Lexie, and I bet it would help your boy Domino. Ours came from Therapaws. Has Domino been evaluated by a PT or ortho vet yet? That would be a good place to start. I wouldn’t recommend frisbee or other jumping around activities until he’s been evaluated.

Good luck, and keep us posted. So glad you saved his life, btw — he is a lucky boy!

Deb and Angel Lexie* Diagnosed at age 13. Tried radiation first; wish we had amputated upon diagnosis (even with lung mets). Joined Club Tripawd April 2014 & Lexie loved life on 3 legs! Advice: Start physical therapy as soon as your vet clears it, especially hydrotherapy if available :-) See Lexie pics here.  

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29 June 2014 - 10:42 am
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Btw, our carpus brace — which was custom made with Lexie’s measurements — was less than $200 from Therapaws if that helps. It was less than I thought it would be.

In the spirit of full disclosure Lexie hates hers, but she has awful memories from tumors, wraps, and painful bandage changes fresh in her mind. If a PT or ortho vet recommends it I would definitely make the investment for Domino since he’s so young and it will let him Be More Dog and protect against further injury.

Deb and Angel Lexie* Diagnosed at age 13. Tried radiation first; wish we had amputated upon diagnosis (even with lung mets). Joined Club Tripawd April 2014 & Lexie loved life on 3 legs! Advice: Start physical therapy as soon as your vet clears it, especially hydrotherapy if available :-) See Lexie pics here.  

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29 June 2014 - 11:26 am
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debva said
Btw, our carpus brace — which was custom made with Lexie’s measurements — was less than $200 from Therapaws if that helps. It was less than I thought it would be.

In the spirit of full disclosure Lexie hates hers, but she has awful memories from tumors, wraps, and painful bandage changes fresh in her mind. If a PT or ortho vet recommends it I would definitely make the investment for Domino since he’s so young and it will let him Be More Dog and protect against further injury.

Wow, that’s much cheaper than I’ve been quoted. Orthopets quoted me $900 and Ortho Animal Care quoted me $450. I think we may be going to visit a PT next month. I’ll definitely have to look into Therapaws. Thank you so much! 

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
Domino had his left front leg amputate on May 13th 2014 after being hit by a car. He's now living a happy healthy life on three legs :)

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29 June 2014 - 3:06 pm
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I wouldn’t panic, but it does look like he’s just tired out. Jerry used to do that when he played too much. Regulating his activity will help and a custom carpus device is a great tool to have, I would look into it.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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29 June 2014 - 5:37 pm
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Hi Cassie, it definetly looks like Domino needs a little break from the rough housing. Mav develops a similar stance when he’s been over worked or spent too long on the trail. A little R&R should do him wonders but I would seriously consider the PT to assess the need for a brace and overall muscle health. Now that Lisa got a new laser that’s both portable and quiet (Mav had a little fear of the louder one, lol) our laser therapy has really helped to relieve some of the strains that Mav has developed from rough play. We just had the brace talk ourselves this last session and will have to start setting money aside since he doesn’t need it quite yet but will in the future. The issue with our young guys is we really have to be vigilant about keeping their joints and muscles as healthy as possible to give them a long, pain-free life which means that we may have to say no to play more than we want. Good luck!

Mandy and Mav

Maverick is a wonderful miniature australian shepard born with a malformation of the front right radius/ulna, amputation performed on 11/4/13 at 6 months old. Follow his story at mavericksjourney.tripawds.com.

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30 June 2014 - 6:23 am
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mavericksmom said
Hi Cassie, it definetly looks like Domino needs a little break from the rough housing. Mav develops a similar stance when he’s been over worked or spent too long on the trail. A little R&R should do him wonders but I would seriously consider the PT to assess the need for a brace and overall muscle health. Now that Lisa got a new laser that’s both portable and quiet (Mav had a little fear of the louder one, lol) our laser therapy has really helped to relieve some of the strains that Mav has developed from rough play. We just had the brace talk ourselves this last session and will have to start setting money aside since he doesn’t need it quite yet but will in the future. The issue with our young guys is we really have to be vigilant about keeping their joints and muscles as healthy as possible to give them a long, pain-free life which means that we may have to say no to play more than we want. Good luck!

Mandy and Mav

I know! It killed me having to tell him no last night when he wanted to go out and play. But I know it’s best for him. So after no play last night and sleeping in his crate he does look a little better. His joint supplements should come in the mail this week. And I never thought about lasering his wrist and elbow… go figure. I laser a dozen wrists and elbows at work and haven’t considered it for Dom! We’re going to see a PT on July 12th. 

And question for you Mandy. I’ve kept Domino from too long of walks since he’s only 7 weeks out, but how long do you usually take Mav out for? We like to take Finn to our botanical gardens for long walks and would like to start including Domino! 

Thanks so much!

Cassie and Domino

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
Domino had his left front leg amputate on May 13th 2014 after being hit by a car. He's now living a happy healthy life on three legs :)

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30 June 2014 - 7:24 am
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You might consider consulting with Orthopets. They can work with you and your vet to fit a custom brace to support the wrist and help protect the remaining front limb. Watch our Orthopets video interviews for more information.

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30 June 2014 - 7:47 am
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admin said
You might consider consulting with Orthopets. They can work with you and your vet to fit a custom brace to support the wrist and help protect the remaining front limb. Watch our Orthopets video interviews for more information.

Yea, I emailed them about 2 weeks ago and talked with someone. They said a carpus brace would be best for him, but they quoted me about $900 not including the cast kit :/ Animal Ortho Care is another one I looked into, and I spoke to their certified orthotist and he quoted me about $450 including the casting kit. I guess I just need to start saving lol. 

Cassie and Domino

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
Domino had his left front leg amputate on May 13th 2014 after being hit by a car. He's now living a happy healthy life on three legs :)

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30 June 2014 - 10:16 am
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The length of our walks vary based on the temperature outside. When we had snow out the wazzoo hear in NJ I took Mav out for 4 mile walks without any issue. Keep in mind I kept water on me and stopped every mile for a 10 minute break that included water and a massage. Of course I have the benefit of Mav being a mini and only weighing 26 pounds so I could scoop him up and carry him if I wanted to keep going while he rested, lol. Now that summer is here, Mav really only goes a mile and he’s done. The key is soft ground- the softer the ground, the less impact on the joints. Living in the pine barrens gives me plenty of access to sugar sand and peat moss in the bogs which is great for giving joints a little extra cushion. I don’t walk Mav on pavement anymore because I noticed he was far more sore afterwards.

So in conclusion after that long winded answer, lol, I guess what I’m trying to say that its not how long the walk is, its the quality. If you slowly increase the length of your walk just keep watching Domino for signs of fatigue, stop regularly to make sure he doesn’t overdo it, and carry lots of water. If Domino overheats during your walk try the swamp cooler from Ruffwear, its really helped Mav with his overheating problem but I still make sure to walk during the cooler afternoon hours. I also make sure to keep our pace at a comfortably slow walk, I find that I’m more able to pay closer attention to his gait that way than if we’re rushing.

As humans we rationalize that a longer walk means a better experience for the dog but in actuality our best friends are just happy to be out and about by our side. The real purpose for the walk with any dog is mental stimulation, especially for herding breeds that are bred to DO and not just sit at home. Just take the proper precautions and you can go for as long as Domino says he can.

Keep hopping!

Mandy and Mav

Maverick is a wonderful miniature australian shepard born with a malformation of the front right radius/ulna, amputation performed on 11/4/13 at 6 months old. Follow his story at mavericksjourney.tripawds.com.

The Rainbow Bridge



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30 June 2014 - 1:06 pm
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mavericksmom said
As humans we rationalize that a longer walk means a better experience for the dog but in actuality our best friends are just happy to be out and about by our side. The real purpose for the walk with any dog is mental stimulation, especially for herding breeds that are bred to DO and not just sit at home. Just take the proper precautions and you can go for as long as Domino says he can.

Keep hopping!

Mandy and Mav

Pawesome insight Mandy, thank you.

We have been told by rehab therapists that Tripawds should take more frequent shorter walks, 2 or 3 at 20 minutes max, throughout the day, instead of one long one. Breaking it up keep them happy and hopefully injury free.

Love your suggestion about the Swamp Cooler too!

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