Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat
Tripawds is your home 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.
Our beautiful 8 year old yellow lab, Yukon, was hit by a truck yesterday and his left front leg was amputated. We are heartbroken but anxious to bring him home...maybe tomorrow. We would like advice on making his transition as easy as possible. We have a two story house and he follows us everywhere we go. Should we use a crate at first to minimize movement? What products will help him adjust? We are buying a harness but not sure when or how to use it. We are encouraged by the stories we have read and we were sad but encouraged today when we visited him in the hospital and he tried to play with the ball we brought. We have another large dog at home and we are not sure how much interaction he should have in the first weeks. Any advice would be appreciated.
16 February 2008
I am sorry to hear about your Yukon.
During the first week after Genie's surgery (right front leg amputated), I used a cut up canvas bag to help her get up from lying position, and also get her outside to do her business. The harness I ordered arrived later, and by then Genie was doing a lot better.
It has been four months now, I still put the harness on Genie whenever I take her outside since she needs to hop up and down a ramp to get to the backyard or go for a walk. The harness gives me peace of mind when we go for a walk, whenever I feel her getting tired, I can carry some weights for her. At this time of the year when the lovely snow starts becoming slippery ice, I make sure I have my hand on the harness when we approach icy sidewalks.
Genie knows her limit, she might be able to work her way up the stairs, but she can't go down without any assistance. So she won't even try. I would not suggest limiting Yukon's movement. He needs to start adjusting and at the same building up the strength asap. Perhaps installing a baby gate at the stairs so to have him stay on the main level?
Wish Yukon has a speedy recovery. Please keep us posted on how he is doing.
Thanks for the supportive words, we will get a baby gate . I am sure we will have lots more questions after he is home. I hope that I can be as strong as others who have been through this seem to be. I don't want Yukon to feel my sadness. Thanks again
I din't use a crate when I got home from the hospital, but I had never used a crate either. I did live in a two-story house and my people just carried me -- or tried to -- for the first few days. Then I showed them I didn't need the help.
They used a towel under my belly at first to help me down the stairs, going up was no problem. But I'm a front-leg amputee so i don't know how it would be for rear leg tripawds. I didn't start wearing my harness until my stitches were healed. But now I pretty much wear it all the time.
My people did put carpet runners throughout the house because we had hardwood floors. This did help keep me from slipping around! They also raised my food and water bowls which made it easier to eat and drink.
My yellow lab, Barney, just came home from the hospital on Friday afternoon. He had his right front leg amputated on Thursday due to cancer. He did fairly well the first night home, but last night was a bit rougher. He cried/whined softly all night long in between his doses of pain meds. But, don't despair if that happens because today he has been happy and lots more energetic. He is finally eating and drinking water - he didn't do much of that Friday night or all day Saturday and I was really anxious about that.
We also have a Border Collie mix, named Floyd, and they are the best of friends but Floyd was really frightened and anxious when we first brought Barney home from the hospital. He was especially nervous at Barney's crying last night and kept going over to him to look at him and smell him. Today, he seems less anxious as we all hung out in the back yard together, soaking up some sunshine and fresh air.
I did crate Barney today when we left for church, mainly because I didn't want him to fall and hurt himself - so I would highly recommend that if your Yukon is used to a crate already.
I wish you and Yukon a speedy recovery - I am amazed at how far Barney has come since his surgery on Thursday - I hope things go as smoothly as possible for you!
Oh, one other thing - the doctors sent Barney home in a T-shirt which I thought was really strange at first. I'm really glad they did now as it keeps him from scratching or licking, and it also keeps down the shock factor for people.
Thanks, it is so helpful to hear from others with experience. Yukon was better today when we visited him and he comes home tomorrow. We have taken all the advice and feel we are prepared for his homecoming. We also had thought about a shirt for a while. Although Yukon is not used to a crate, he is a pretty compliant guy and like Barney will have short periods of time home alone so we feel safer having the crate option at first. We are still unsure of how much movement to allow him in the first days, we know he needs to build strength but his personality could result in over exertion if we are not careful. We hope Barney continues to improve and again we are grateful for any advice.
14 February 2008
It sounds like Yukon is doing great, even if you can't see it right now. Every day is a better day. It's been 16 days since Sadie's surgery, and she has amazed everyone as to her recovery, stamina and endurance. However, be mindful that it takes more energy and pure muscle to move around than it used to. That being said, Yukon sounds like an otherwise healthy dog that is with the perfect people to make him well and love all three of his legs.
Carrla and her 19 babies.
Can't wait to hear of his progress. It'll be great . . . don't ever doubt yourselves.
26 January 2008
Yukon, wishing you a speedy recovery - the ruffwear harness will soon become everybody's best friend. I'm sorry you had to have such a horrible shock, that might be one of the reasons you're crying at night. Try a heat pad - very comforting!
18 February 2008
I hope Yukon has arrived home saftley and that you are all resting well. my 12 1/2 yo mutt carver is now 4 weeks post amp, and is up and running!
I think the best advice i received about the first couple of weeks is to stay on a strict schedule with the pain meds-it is much easier to stay on top of the pain thean it is to bring them back down.
rugs helped A LOT (still do). so did the canvas bag home made sling.
I slept in the living room for the first week w/carver, so I could tend to his needs as they arrose.
every day gets better! within two weeks carvers staples were out and we were going for big (although slower) walks
louise & carver
Yukon is home and we look forward to the kind of adjustment Carver has made. He is happy to be home but avoiding much movement, maybe because of pain meds. We have not left his side and we plan to carry him upstairs to our room tonight where he usually sleeps and carry him back down in the morning. He does seem to be having some difficulty on the hardwood floors so we too plan to use rugs. It is good to hear that every day gets better.
Yukon and family
...we plan to carry him upstairs to our room tonight where he usually sleeps...
Just make sure Yukon remains on the floor until he gets the hang of things! If you mean he usually sleeps on the bed, please wait until he is healed gets his footing.
We've heard of one new tripawd that was traumatized by jumping off the bed too early. My people still recommend minimal jumping onto a single front leg for all tripawds.