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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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HELP!!! Meg keeps falling over
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London, UK


Forum Posts: 1629
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3 September 2016 - 11:41 am
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Thanks everyone! You people are the best. You get it. That's what I love. You just get it. Out there that isn't always the case, or not in my experience. On here, WOW. It means the world to us. Really xxx

Meg, Mutt, aged around 13, adopted 31/12/2009. Sudden explosive right elbow fracture 06/12 (caused by IOHC), diagnosed with End Stage Arthritis 03/15, Total Elbow Replacement 08/15, problems with healing leading to skin graft & skin flap surgery, Chronic Infection leading to implant breakdown. Became a Tripawd 9th March 2016. 
Lives with Mum, Clare, watched over by Angel Pie and Angel Billie
My life as a MEG-A-STAR 


The Rainbow Bridge



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3 September 2016 - 4:18 pm
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That is GREAT news! I hope today brought more relief and she's feeling chipper. We're celebrating with you over here clap

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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1 December 2016 - 6:58 pm
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i'm super glad that Meg is going to be okay. it's so terrifying when they don't have a 'spare'.

i'm brand new to this site and put a post up earlier, but it's waiting approval. i'm hoping maybe this will get a response quicker. my front leg tripod is having a similar issue, she doesn't fall over, but she buckles the remaining front leg about every 3rd step. she's also stepping real slow as opposed to her usual quick hop. sometimes she tries to walk and then thinks better of it and sits or lies down, at which point i pick her up and take her where i think she wants to go. . . she's had 4 episodes over the past 2 months and although she pulled out of the other 3 just fine she is having another one currently and i am seeking advice as to where i should take her, what sort of diagnostics i should insist on and what i can expect. i took her to her regular vet twice already, once to the main vet and once to a specialist. . they didn't have much to say other than that she looks healthy, well muscled and active- they wanted to just let her work through it. he moved her leg around and palpated her, but couldn't find any 'painful' areas. because she did indeed get better eventually i had hopes that she did work out of it, but now barely 5 weeks later, she's struggling again. so i'm starting to think it's something degenerative or at the very least needs some focused treatment.

so i wanted to know how the vet diagnosed Meg's pulled muscle- was it xrays or just an exam?  also did you take her to a specialist or a regular vet?

i just want to help her get better and back on her 3 legs. she's so sad when she has to stay still and i hate seeing her in pain!

London, UK


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2 December 2016 - 6:43 am
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I saw your other post earlier, and immediately thought of Meg's shoulder issue, but was rushing out and didn't get a chance to respond then and there. I'm pleased you found this thread.

I am sorry your girl is having these problems and definitely agree that it is stressful when they don't have a spare. I'm obviously not a vet or anything but I did wonder when I read your post whether it could be that she'd sprained a muscle and then kept reaggravating it, because it does take some time to work back up to full strength again.

The vet who diagnosed Meg was her rehab vet, who we see regularly for core strength work, laser/acupuncture, hydro as necessary, and just general check ups. She is a fully qualified vet who specialises in rehabilitation, and what's great (and really quite remarkable to me) is the way she can tell so much just by touch. In this case she could feel the muscle behind Meg's shoulder blade was tense and knotted. There was also tenderness down her spine, especially at the bottom on the opposite side from her shoulder. This was presumably caused by her trying to compensate for her injured shoulder.

If you could take your girl (sorry, I don't know her name) to a rehab vet then I would very much encourage you to do so. For Meg, I have found it invaluable. To treat Meg's shoulder she did some laser and acupuncture, prescribed anti-inflammatories and strict rest – just five minute lead walks on flat surfaces with no sharp turns. We also stopped using the wobble cushion etc (which we normally use daily at home) until her shoulder was fully recovered. The restrictions continued for about a month, even though she appeared to be fully recovered, because she said it was best to just bite the bullet and make sure her shoulder recovered properly, rather than risk her re-injuring it by doing too much too soon (she is naturally an extremely active dog).. The good news is that this really paid off and Meg has been absolutely fine ever since with no recurrences.

It may well be that your vet will want to do X-rays and/or scans as well. Ideally, you want a situation where the different professionals work together, i.e. your regular vet, an orthopaedic specialist and a rehab vet. In my situation, because I had an ongoing relationship with the rehab vet, and was in a panic, I just took her straight there, but had she not been able to identify the issue, or felt that Meg needed a scan etc., then she would certainly have referred me back to an orthopaedic specialist and then liaised with them as to the best course of treatment.

Good luck with it all. As I said above, I do feel that the fact she's recovering in between points to an incompletely healed injury, but clearly that's just a hunch. Keep posting and please do let us know how you get on. If I think of anything else that I think could be useful, then I'll definitely let you know.

Warmest wishes to you and your girl,

Meg, Clare and Elsie Pie xxx

Meg, Mutt, aged around 13, adopted 31/12/2009. Sudden explosive right elbow fracture 06/12 (caused by IOHC), diagnosed with End Stage Arthritis 03/15, Total Elbow Replacement 08/15, problems with healing leading to skin graft & skin flap surgery, Chronic Infection leading to implant breakdown. Became a Tripawd 9th March 2016. 
Lives with Mum, Clare, watched over by Angel Pie and Angel Billie
My life as a MEG-A-STAR 


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3 December 2016 - 11:16 am
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Thank you Megsmum-

i appreciate the thorough response and description of your rehab vets diagnosis/treatment. i'm definitely taking her to a specialist and she is on modified rest right now, which means i do let her hop around on her own in the house and yard, but i don't let her run around, play or go on walks. i'm sure i should do more to restrict her activity after reading all the responses but. . ..

i'm going to wait until we get a proper exam and x-rays or scans before i crate her.

we both hate it. and i really think it's pretty traumatizing to her. . .but my spare room is empty and i can definitely confine her to that space with a baby gate while i'm home so she can see what we're doing at least. i'll do whats necessary even if i have to feel horrible about it.

i absolutely agree with you when you say that it sounds like something that isn't healing (or being allowed to heal) properly and thus she continues to re-injure it.

thank you again for the advice. it helps so much just to talk to other people who have had similar experiences. i don't think a lot of vets have a ton of experience with tripawds, so it's useful for me to talk to other owners and take those anecdotes to the vet for consideration.

i'm so grateful to have found this site!

London, UK


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3 December 2016 - 1:39 pm
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See what they say re restricting her. To be honest, I've never crated Meg, even through all her operations. I did get a crate and set it up, but she only ever went in it with me, which really was a bit ridiculous. Me and her sitting together in the crate, looking out through the bars. I mean why? laughing What I did was I never left her alone. I'm lucky in that I work largely from home, and when I had to go out, I got people to sit with her for me. I'm really talking post op, though. With the shoulder problem, this wasn't necessary. What I did do was   keep her (and me, lol) confined to one room and remove all the furniture from it. If Saysay (great name) does have a rotator injury, then you don't want her stepping up and down, e.g. on and off the sofa, bed etc. Meg has steps leading up to these anyway, but when she hurt her shoulder, we just did everything on the floor. 

Re going outside etc. if she's just pottering (and the ground is flat), I guess that may be okay, but definitely not if she's likely to tear around, do zoomies etc., in that case I think a lead would be a safer option.

Anyway, it's great that you're going to get her examined, then you'll know what you're dealing with. And ditto re talking to people with similar problems. It's been an absolute Godsend for me. So pleased you found this site. Keep posting, and let us know how you get on.

All best,

Meg, Clare and Elsie Pie xxx

Meg, Mutt, aged around 13, adopted 31/12/2009. Sudden explosive right elbow fracture 06/12 (caused by IOHC), diagnosed with End Stage Arthritis 03/15, Total Elbow Replacement 08/15, problems with healing leading to skin graft & skin flap surgery, Chronic Infection leading to implant breakdown. Became a Tripawd 9th March 2016. 
Lives with Mum, Clare, watched over by Angel Pie and Angel Billie
My life as a MEG-A-STAR 


Livermore, CA




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3 December 2016 - 4:50 pm
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Another alternative to a crate is a x-pen.  My quad pug boy Obie has had two knee surgeries and I was able to use x-pens both times to keep him contained.  Because of his history of neglect I will not put him in a crate.  You can make a really small space or make a little bigger space.  You can use them to block off rooms or stairs.  When he was off strict rest but still not allowed to jump I used x-pens to block off furniture.

I hope you get some answers soon!

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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3 December 2016 - 5:27 pm
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great advice!  and i'm so happy there are alternatives to crating. she does use stairs (custom made) to get on and off the bed, but she does jump on and off the sofa- even if i pull one of the cushions for her to use as a step. i can definitely clear the room for a few weeks. not a big deal at all. and she only gets on the bed when i'm in it, so i can easily carry her up and down.

i will implement these ideas at least until i can get her in to see someone. she's feeling lots better, so i'm sure it will get harder to keep her 'quiet' over the next few days. argh!!

The Rainbow Bridge



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3 December 2016 - 11:31 pm
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Aww I'm glad she's feeling better! When she gets restless, try brain games and interactive activities that use her mind instead of her body. It's very effective in tiring out dogs. See:

http://amazon.t.....nteractive

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Posts: 10
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4 December 2016 - 12:11 pm
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good reminder on the brain games. we have some and she loves them. well, she loves food so maybe that's it, but it does entertain her for sure. also the tricks, we were doing those for awhile, but stopped. i will definitely start working on those again to keep her mind busy. poor girl she's so bored and so sad when i take the other dog out for his walk. 🙁 ugh. it is SO hard to keep them quiet!

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