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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Front Tripod limping in both hind legs
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Forum Posts: 5
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11 December 2016 - 1:35 pm
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Hi Everyone,

I am new to the forums. I adopted a tripod in April. He is 2-3 years old, and maybe a heeler/blue tick mix (don’t know for sure). He was brought into a shelter in January, attacked by two bigger dogs which resulted in the left front leg amputation end of February. He is a highly active dog, loves to spring the dog park and is a fence jumper. He can easily jump 4-5 feet in the air.

Beginning of November, he tried to jump my parents 9ft tall fence to get to a squirrel. I think he landed wrong, which resulted in a slight limp in his back right leg. We went to the vet. Vet manipulated his leg and Hank showed no pain, he just laid back as if he was getting a massage. Vet gave him anti-inflammatory pain meds and said it is probably a soft tissue injury and didn’t think an x-ray was necessary at the point. He still had the limp after the pain meds, but it appeared to be getting better, so I decided to wait until after Thanksgiving to take him back. Thanksgiving he darted out the door and went up the fence again before I could stop him. That of course, produced a limp in the left leg. We went back to vet and he still showed no pain, irritation, whatsoever when the vet checked out both legs. X-rayed the right leg, everything looks perfect. Vet also checked his back and his hips, nothing. (He physically checked them, no other x-rays at this point). We are now trying a round of steroids and extreme rest to see if that will help. Vet suspects soft tissue injury.

He’s acting like he doesn’t feel good of course and his limp is about the same in both back legs. Has anyone else experienced this type of injury? Any recommendations? If this doesn’t work, then the vet said it would be time for a back specialist.

Thanks ahead of time for any recommendations.

Best,

Bronzino

Here and Now


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11 December 2016 - 2:03 pm
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Welcome! Is Bronzino your pup’s name?

For cases like this, we highly recommend seeing a certified canine rehab vet/tech (CCRT or CCRP ) for a professional orthopedic evaluation. That’s why we created the Maggie Moo Fund for Tripawd Rehab.

Best wishes, please keep us posted. Your future forum posts will not require moderation.

Virginia




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11 December 2016 - 4:03 pm
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Thanks for adopting Hank! Sounds like he hit the Puppy Lottery with you!

HANK! You need to chill a bit fella’!! You sound like a “wild and crazy guy”…in the best way! 🙂

Hope you can get Hank into a. Orthopedic Specialist as Admin and your Vet suggested as the next step.

I have an adopted tripawd Coonhound who has climbed over railings, jumped off high off the ground deck, and on and on if he catches the scent of any critter he deems worth a chase, so I get how hard it is to slow these fellas down!

U til you can get him further evaluated, absolute rest for the next 10-14 days at least, to the point of almost confining him is necessary. Soft tissue injuries require a lot of time to heal and can ease be reinjured during that time with the slightest misstep.

You have other potential injuries too regarding the spine, discs, etc. that a Specialist will be able to figure out.

Check the site for puzzles and mind games you can give Hank to keep him from being bored. I know it’s a struggle to make an active dog like Hank takes things down a notch or two, but there are a lotmofmless strenuous thinks he can do to keep him fulfilled. Sounds like he would be a perfect candidate for a “nose scent class”, or a low impact agility course.

Did the Vet give you anything for pain like Tramadol? I’m sure he’s not very comfortable if he’s limping.

Yes, please keep us posted, okay? Hopefully the EXTREME rest and steriods will help shortly

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!

Livermore, CA




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11 December 2016 - 4:35 pm
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Hello and welcome.  You are wonderful for adopting Hank!

I’m sorry you are having leg issues with your boy- injury to other legs is probably our biggest worry as Tripawd parents (when you aren’t dealing with cancer!). When I was a kid my brother had a medium sized dog that could jump our 5 foot fence with ease, she only did it when we weren’t home so it wasn’t a matter of watching her. Luckily she never hurt herself but we did get some nasty notes from one of our neighbors!

Hopefully rest and meds will get Hank feeling better.  My current Tripawd is a little pug mix who lost her rear leg after being hit by a car.  I adopted her at 10 months old so she was full of energy!  She will be 2 at the end of this month and I still have to walk, work and play with her everyday or she gets into mischief.  I’m thankful every day that the pug in her slows her down some- Hank must be quite a handful!!  We have some balance equipment and food puzzles that we use pretty much every day.  We also spend time on a game I call ‘Find it’- I hide a treat and she has to find it.  It is amazing how much these types of games tire her out!  Our work on balance equipment and food puzzles strengthen her core and legs in addition to burning up some energy. 

We were just talking about food puzzles in another thread. Look here to see some of the puzzles some of us use and some great links from Jerry in the 6th post.

Keep us posted on how Hank is doing.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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12 December 2016 - 1:22 pm
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My goodness you have quite a spunky guy on your hands!  I recently adopted my tripawd, a golden retriever mix approx. the same age as Hank, and he also had to have a front leg amputation due to injury.  The rescue believed he had been caught in a trap, but ever since we got him home, I’ve wondered if he instead got hit by a car. He has a wound that goes down to the bone on his remaining front leg, and half his tail is missing.  I also noticed that his rear leg (kitty-corner from the amputated limb) turns in a little bit when he walks, and it is more pronounced when he is tired.  I started a forum to see if this was familiar to any others in the tripawd community, and with the community’s advice, I decided to contact a rehabilitation specialist. The specialist came to my home Saturday and took a look at Henry.  That rear leg that kept turning in was very tight – hip and thigh.  The specialist thought that there may have been some minor injury to the leg, possibly a small tear or fracture, and that the turning in is actually a minor limp.  I will need to take Henry in to the vet to see what’s actually going on in there.  I recently posted an update about the visit on the forum.  Here’s the link. You may find some of the information useful, but I would definitely recommend that you see a rehab specialist.  I purchased Loving Life On Three Legs from the Tripawd store prior to meeting with the specialist, but didn’t necessarily feel comfortable doing some of the massages/exercises without someone physically there to teach me and make sure I was doing things right.  Fortunately, that’s exactly what the specialist did. She massaged his legs, including the amputated limb, and showed me exactly what to feel and look for, which has certainly helped.  Luckily, there is a holistic vet about an hour from my house, so after Henry’s next vet visit, I will be taking him to the holistic clinic to try out light therapy, acupuncture, and chiropractic care. 

 Best of luck with Hank, please keep us posted! It sounds like we are somewhat in the same boat, so I’d love to hear how things go for him.

 Renee, Henry, Bailey, and kitty Aldo!

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14 December 2016 - 3:49 pm
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Gracie (our 15 month old front leg tripawd) has been limping on and off on her rear leg since we adopted her (post amp, March 2016). The limp is on the rear leg oposite her missing front leg. My vet couldn’t really see it, a well regarded Veterinary ortho couldn’t really see it…but it gets worse at times, and even causes her to let out an occassional screech. My regular vet finally diagnosed a “very minor CCL” tear. We were given 14 days of Rymadil, and put on a very restricted walk schedule: on leash only, 10 mins max, slow speed, 3x day for 2 weeks, no ball playing or tug even in the house. Very similar instructions as the post TPLO surgery protocol. This helped enormously and we are now doing 20 minute walks on leash 3 x a day; no ball play; no playing with other dogs. We also put her on Ichon injections. This has been used for horses for many, mnay years and has more recently been approved for dogs. It helps with cartilidge break down and is often prescribed for dogs with arthritis. We will use it propholactically knowing that Gracie will be very prone to arthritis. Right now we give injections 2x per week, but soon we will go to once per week, then only once per month. We are hoping to heal her minor tear before it gets worse, though keeping her confined on a seriously restricted exercise schedule is really hard on everyone.

I ordered a knee brace to try to help stabilize the knee a bit too. It arrived today and seems comfortable enough but I can’t report much on it yet (it is a soft “Walkabout Harnesses” brand which we chose because it is very inexpensive). I figure it can’t hurt and should help at least a little.

The other issue we are having is that Gracie slips, especially on the rear leg that she limps on (because she does not put full weight on it). I just got some Mushers Wax because I read in a few places that it would help, but it seems to make her paws even more slippery! Does anybody have any tips on the slipping? Yes, we have rugs and yoga mats around the house but there are places that we don’t/ can’t have them. The slipping is stressful because I know it can cause knee injuries. I don’t think I could keep boots on her, she is very mouthy and even tries to chew her harness off…

Virginia




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14 December 2016 - 4:36 pm
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Well Miss Gracie, you are certainly making life…er…”interesting” for your humans!

And BRAVO to your humans for taking such good care of you and watching over you so you can stay fit!

Don’t know if Gracie would try and chew these off, but PAWZ would be worth a try. They are inexpensive. They kind of fit like a rubber ballon and are really good at preventing slipping. You can’t leave them on for any length of time though. The “band” at the top fits snuggly and it’s a fairly “airtight” bootie, so just made for short periods at a time.

Tha ks for passing on the info about Ichon Injections.

Also, you may want to check out the dog games, dog puzzles, etc here on the site to help keep her mind occupied. Someone more techie than I will come along and give you the links, A lot of people here use them when their dogs need to take it slow for awhile.

Keep us posted a dd let us know how things are going. And we would love ro see pictures!! Her avatar picture is adorable!

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!

Virginia




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14 December 2016 - 4:37 pm
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Ha! Looky, looky! I just saw the link Karen posted earlier to Hank! Thanks Karren!! 🙂

http://tripawds…..g-puzzles/

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!

Livermore, CA




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14 December 2016 - 5:32 pm
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Hi Gracie and pack! It was so great to meet you guys at the meetup last month.

I used Musher’s Secret on Tripug Maggie’s paws.  It does go on a bit greasy, it’s important to really rub it in well.  What I found is that with somewhat regular use it made her pads more supple which then helped with her slipping.  I also kept the fur between her toes and pads trimmed really short- that was a big help.  It also helped quad pug Tani later when she had trouble keeping her feet under her.

We used Adequan injections for Tani to help with her arthritis.  I don’t find a lot of info about Ichon except that it is not FDA approved.  What info did the vet give you on it or do you have some links?  My quad pug boy has had two knee surgeries and I’m always interested in potential options.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

Virginia




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14 December 2016 - 6:31 pm
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Hey Karen and Gracie’s human, here’s some info I found from WHOLE DOG JOURNAL (o e of my favorite resources) on Ichon, as well as some good supplement options for osteoarthritis. You both probably are aware of this, but just thought I’d pass it along.

http://www.whol…..343-1.html

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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14 December 2016 - 7:12 pm
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Sally thank you for sharing that link! We love Whole Dog Journal too.

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14 December 2016 - 7:34 pm
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Gracie’s mom – I am SO happy you posted here! My Henry (we only adopted him 3 weeks ago) is a front legger and has the same exact issue – he has a minor limp in the rear leg opposite of his amputation. It’s so minor you can’t really see it unless it’s towards the end of the day or if he’s tired. He doesn’t seem to have any pain associated with it though. I recently had a rehab specialist come out to see him and she said it is most likely a very minor ccl tear. She recommended I just keep doing some of the exercises we have been and make sure to massage it often. I am very concerned about arthritis and am kind of crazy about supplements. We have had Henry’s sister, Bailey, since she was 8 weeks old. She’s a golden retriever so I know they are prone to hip displaysia, cancer, and many other health issues. Since she was a pup I’ve given her multi vitamins, home cooked meals, extra doses of glucosamine, fish oil, etc. and now that we have Henry I have been trying to find the right supplements for him so this is all super helpful information. My next step is to get him back into the vet to discuss all the options, supplements, and also ask about the Ichon injections.

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15 December 2016 - 9:49 am
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Karen, thanks for the tips on Musher’s. It sounds as though it helps in a different way than I thought it did; I can understand how soft, supple paw pads would have better grip than dry, crusty ones. I will keep applying it, but maybe at night so she doesn’t slip so much. I don’t have much info on Ichon; but my vet swears by it. She had our old girl on it for the last 2 years and says she has seen miraculous results. I will ask her why she prefers it over Adequan injections. I just saw the Whole Dog Journal link and have not yet read it. 

Henry’s person- So great you adopted him! This is a great community resource full of wonderful, supprtive, caring folks! We have Gracie on fish oil, glucosamine, and I add some home cooked meats, eggs, veg to her (grain free Kasiks) kibble. Important to keep these tripawds lean so I am always brainstorming low-cal treats for Gracie (chunks of carrot cooked in homemade low fat no salt bone broth are a good one, rice crackers stuffed in her kong or puzzle toy are good too). And, we feed her part of her meals in kongs and puzzles to make them last longer (and keep her brain engaged, she is very “on” all the time Lol!). We also learned that backng off of off leash play for several days (with balls and other dogs) seems to make the limp disappear. So, we are just watching and being cautious, and right now doing no off leash running. Juming is also a big issue, but you probably know that! 

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15 December 2016 - 10:04 am
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Hi Everyone,

Thank you for all your great responses. Hank is not doing great. He is becoming increasingly lethargic which I just discussed with the vet. He’s also got HORRIFIC gas and has diarrhea. Vet said it is quite possible it could be a result of the prednilsone, so he is having me stop that. He’s been on it for about a week. Doc said pred doesn’t usually affect dogs in such a manner, but every dog is different so it is possible. He is still not wanting to put weight on his back right leg. I got him to come out of the kennel a little while ago. He laid on his bed and I massaged his back, all his joints, and he almost went to sleep. When I stopped he hopped up and practically mauled me (in a good way, lol), so I took that as a sign that it gave him some relief. He played with his stuffed toy a little bit, drank some water, then went back into the kennel.

The vet is going to go ahead and make the referral to the specialist. They said it would be more expensive, which I understand. (Citibank will be happy, lol.) I’ll probably hear back from them this afternoon. Ugh. I hate this. I wish he could tell me what’s wrong.

Bronzino

Virginia




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15 December 2016 - 10:30 am
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Glad you are getting him into a Specialist! And good for your Vet for willing to refer Hank to someone with more expertise to help identify his issue. I hope you push for an appointment asap so you can get the proper diagnosis and treatment underway.

When was the last time he had a blood panel done? That may be necessary to see why he’s not eating and has diarrhea. That needs to be figured out too. Of course, having pain from a soft tissue injury or disc issues, etc, could make him not want to eat too.

Now, the “good” news, and there is good news! Hank seemed very responsive to massage!! That could indicate really tight muscles, sprain, etc. I would continue that as much as you can. Maybe even a warm heating pad or hot water bottle (not too hot) on his back and hip area.

Let us know when yiu get the appointment.

Oh,and also, ask your regular Vet about giving him something for his tummy. If he has diarrhea, he could also be dehydrated and that can DEFINITELY make a dog feel lethargic!! Try and put some chicken broth (sodium free) in his water.

Hang in tnere!!! Hank WILL get better,,

Lots of hugs!

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

PS…The reference to Ichon in the Whole Dog Journal is towards the end. But the stuff inbetween is worth reading roo.

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!

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