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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Hello, thought I’d try here for some advice. My girl is 7 months post op from right front leg amp. Her recovery has been great up until recently. Two weeks ago I started to notice her falling and stumbling as she would walk and not wanting to walk very far before lying down. I can’t tell exactly what is happening….whether her remaining front leg is buckling from the weight or some other reason, or at times it seems like she’s forgetting she doesn’t have her other leg there. She never cries or whimpers in pain, doesn’t act painful, and acts and eats fine still. I took her to the vet and he didn’t notice any painful areas and thought maybe she pulled or sprained a muscle. Put her on Rimadyl for a few weeks, but two weeks later shes still not any better. I’ve even noticed her falling now when shes squatting to potty…again as if her remaining front leg buckles from the weight. Has anyone had any experience with this? I have a video of her using potty earlier today if i can figure out how to upload it. My vet doesn’t know what it can be and is recommending a visit to an orthopedic vet for further evaluation. Any help or advice?? Thanks 🙂
Aww I’m sorry about Cisco’s mobility issues, that’s so tough to go through. So, tell us more about her daily activity, and her level of fitness before the amputation.
Often when we see issues with a Tripawd who is stumbling and falling down, it’s because their daily activity is too much for them, at least when it comes to their current physical state. She could have definitely pulled something once and hasn’t recovered from the injury because her activity level was too high. Also, resolving an injury can require more than medication, it may mean massage and gentle stretches done by a professional rehab therapist, possibly something like acupuncture too.
I agree that a second opinion is a good thing (I love the way your vet thinks!), but maybe you want to start with a canine rehabilitation therapist first? The Tripawds Foundation can pay for your first rehab visit ! These experts are terrific at pinpointing injuries and knowing if she might need that ortho vet visit. Plus, the Tripawds Foundation can pay for your first rehab visit !
If you’d like help finding a therapist in your area, let me know, I”m happy to help.
Hi Jerry….thank you for your response! I’d definitely be interested in finding a therapist in my area, please let me know how to go about that. I honestly don’t know what her activity level was prior to her amp. She came to us as a foster and within days I noticed the mass on her elbow that led to her surgery within two weeks of her being with us. Since surgery, her activity level is normal I’d say. We do have stairs in our house that she goes up and down a few times a day, but other than that, she just hangs out in the house with us and sleeps alot. She will go for an occasional walk, but honestly cant go too far before tiring out, so we don’t take her often. She is a large dog, lab/pit mix is my best guess…about 80 pounds. She’s definitely solid. We are not too sure of her age either….around 5-7 years has been the estimate. I recently started her on Dasuquin just thinking it might be good for her.
22 February 2013
Cisco is mighty lucky to have you as her furever loving home!❤
Yes, if you can get her to a Rehabilitation Specialist as well as an Ortho Specialist, they should be able to identify the issue. In the meantime, of you massage up and down her spine, her neck, her shoulders, do you notice any tenseness?
It may be that she needs to go on a little diet. The Vet can tell is she is a little overweight.
If you pinch her paw on the front leg, does she react, pulling away from you?
For now, as you are already doing, just continue to take things slowly and try to avoid the stairs as much as you can.
Do you have hardwood floors? If so, make sure you have non slip scatter rug for traction ..
So where do you live? Jerry will be able to give uoj sugg for a Rehab Specialist. And the Tripaw Foun will,pahmfor the first visit!
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!
Ok so it sounds like you’re all getting to know each other. I love that you are a foster failure!
I’m so glad you are into the idea of a rehab therapist. They can really help you determine what normal should look like for her, and explain ways you can get her the proper exercise she needs without causing injury. If you go to our Tripawds Rehab Reimbursement info page, there are links lower on the page that link to directories of rehab therapists. I’m happy to help find a good clinic in your area if you’d like assistance, just send me a private message with your city and state.
She’s a very lucky dog to have found her way to you!
Jerry…..Thank you so much! I will look at the link and see if I can find a specialist in my area. If I have trouble finding one, I’ll message you. Thank you again for your help 🙂
Sally…thank you! I don’t notice any areas where she seems to be more tense. We do have carpet except in our kitchen area, so mostly all carpet in the home. She has always been very sensitive with her paws since she’s been with us, so she will always pull away whenever i touch or grab her paw. Thank you for all the suggestions 🙂 I am keeping a gate across the stairs to limit her from going up and down more than she needs.
My dog 65+ lbs did great adapting for the first year and a half. He started slipping more and needing more rest. Turned out he had a new cancer in his lung. He did slip on leaves and wet patches but did amazingly well for a time.
Thank you for sharing your dog’s experience Donald. I’m sorry that the cancer returned but it’s so nice that you were able to get quality time with him. Feel free to start a new topic in Share Your Story or Coping with Loss so we can get to know you and celebrate your doggie’s life on three.