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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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Help with Boomer's TPLO Surgery Recovery
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Member Since:
26 November 2021
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23 December 2021 - 5:47 pm
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Hello, 

We just got our pup Boomer (12 year old 90+ lb Chow Chow/Shar Pei/ Lab mix) home from TPLO surgery on his remaining back leg. He had his back right leg amputated exactly one month before having to undergo TPLO surgery.🙁 

He was diagnosed with fibrosarcoma in the bone of his back right knee, and that is why we had the amputation done. It was tough at first, but he was doing very well, trying to hop away from us during potty breaks.

Almost three weeks after surgery he slipped and could not bear any weight on the remaining back leg. He was diagnosed with a torn CCL, and we scheduled the surgery. For a week and a half we have been lifting his hind end and supporting him to go potty/poop. 

He just got home this afternoon and it was very stressful and painful for him (and us) just supporting him to get into the house. He is such a sweet and stoic dog, but he growled at me when I had to adjust the sling. 

My husband and I are feeling very overwhelmed and stressed about the recovery process, and are at a loss for how to best support him and help him go potty without hurting him and killing our backs. Any advice or products that you would recommend to make recovery/lifting/moving easier would be so appreciated. (We have tried about 4 different harnesses to support him, and are struggling to find one that doesn’t hurt our backs, stays in, and doesn’t hurt him/block him from peeing.

K. Joslin

(Boomer’s Mom)

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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23 December 2021 - 11:17 pm
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Hi and welcome! I hope you don't mind I moved your post here, but I wanted to be sure that you get the support you need. A topic that's only about Boomer will help us all keep his recovery story straight and help you better 🙂

I'm so sorry you are dealing with this so soon after surgery. As if one major recovery isn't hard enough, two in such a short period of time would leave even the toughest people feeling overwhelmed.

It's great that Boomer recovered so well after amputation surgery. That's a great sign that he can do just as well with this one. 

Many Tripawds have gone through a remaining leg surgery. For some good inspawration see our blog posts about it:

https://tripawd.....g-surgery/

What kind of pain management is he on? You probably already know that good pain meds are the key to an easier recovery. Did he do well with medication last time around? It's normal for a dog to feel crabby and sore, but he shouldn't be in so much pain right now that he actually gets into the red zone and snaps. I'd talk to your vet about adjusting his meds asap.

When it comes to harnesses, did you try any that are available in the Tripawds Gear shop? I know it's tough to find one that can support the rear end of a rear-legged Tripawd. Right now, a DIY grocery bag sling is probably your best bet. You may want to consider a Custom Pet Support Suit, but it'll take about a week plus shipping to get to you. It's the best solution we've found for a rear-legger who needs lots of support and lifting. Because you can get a shoulder strap to help hoist him and assist, it takes some of the burden off your shoulders and back. The Get-a-Grip is similar, and made by the same company, but it's off-the-shelf and may not fit him as nicely as you'd like. The upside is you can have it a lot faster.

As for his recovery area, would it be possible to set up a space that's closer to the exit to his potty spot so you don't have to walk as far? Just throwing this out there. Also be sure your floors have lots of traction so it's easy as can be for him to walk.

Stay strong and know that others have been through this too. You'll get through it! Lean on us, and stay tuned for feedback from others. Your future posts won't need to wait for approval so post away.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Member Since:
26 November 2021
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25 December 2021 - 2:18 am
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Thank you for the great ideas! Boomer is on Carprofen and Codeine, and we added Gabapentin because he still seemed to be in some pain. Are there any other pain meds that would help? 

We also noticed that his leg doesn’t seem to be as sensitive as the opposite side where he had the other rear leg amputated a month ago. I wonder what’s going on there. We will call on Monday and talk to his surgeon. It seems odd though. I wonder if he could have pulled a muscle on that side? 

We are still struggling to get him to go pee very often. He is very close to the door. He is doing pretty well once we hoist him upright, but it’s tough because he’s almost 100lbs. He has a harness with handle for his front end, and we have a couple of rear harnesses that work pretty well. It’s just tough on our backs to be lifting him, and supporting a lot of his weight right now.

We are hoping as he feels better and heals he will be able to help us get him up, and be able to put a little weight on his back leg. Not too much because we want to make sure it heals, and doesn’t get hurt again.

K. Joslin

Boomer’s Mom

❤️

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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25 December 2021 - 8:36 am
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Yes, this is a rough time, no doubt about it.  It is DOABLE and it does get getter!!!

My tavlet's acting a bit whacky, so will come back with some more suggestions.  Yes, others have gone through this and it does come out o,at after recocery!.  A quick thing....the body suit does wonders for your back and one person can do it.  More kn thst jn a bit

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!

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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25 December 2021 - 4:01 pm
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Hi K! I hope today is going easier for you guys. 

A muscle strain wouldn't be unusual right now, he's gone through so much. If you suspect the pain meds aren't working you may want to ask your vet about Amantadine, it's an option for most dogs during a surgery recovery. Methocarbomol is a good muscle relaxer that most dogs can tolerate.

As for the lifting, you can try making your own shoulder strap out of some strong webbing. I'm picturing an old duffel bag strap, something that has secure carabiner-type clips on either end that cannot open when you hoist him up. The Custom Pet Support Suit review has photos of what I'm describing.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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25 December 2021 - 7:29 pm
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So hard to be patient....especially if he requires help getting up and lifting him.

While not the same, my front leg tripawd had knee surgery on back leg, then year later other back leg.  At the same time, the first surgery was failing and could not be "repaired"  So I do understand trying to help a dog get up and walk without  doing aa y damage.

It's just myself, a very strong willed dog who would "hound howl" if I tried to help him...and her needed my help.  

The Custom Pet Support Suir is what saved my back, my sa ity and helped me "control" the way I was helping.   It does require EXACT measurements (which should be easier with the two of uou versus one person trying to measure  an unwilling participant.  And it does require two people  to put it on.  Once you get the hang of it though it's easier.

Your pup has been through so much.  Just as he was recovering  from amputation  surgery and trying to adapt to three...then this happens. And you two are staying incredibly  strong and committed  to seeing g this boy through this rough time.  Once that leg heals, he should be good to get back to being himself.

Oh, as Jerry me tioned, ,maybe  talk to Vet about tweaking  the pain meds or adding  something.   I do think the TPLO surgery is quite painful.  In some ways moreso than the amputation. 

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!

Member Since:
13 November 2021
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20 January 2022 - 4:43 pm
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I'm not sure if this is helpful (especially because I am not an expert) but amantadine seems to help w/ pain w/ very little side effects. Mac was on it after his surgery 2x a day and now we do 100mg once a day.

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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21 January 2022 - 10:25 am
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Well that is super helpful! Not enough folks are aware of Amandadine for pain relief in dogs. It worked great for our Wyatt Ray for managing severe arthritis as he got older, although we had to give it at night because it made him sleepy in the daytime. Thanks for bringing it up.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

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