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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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It's been 8 months since my boy's front leg amputation and his stamina is still way off.
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Member Since:
23 November 2021
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11 August 2022 - 2:10 pm
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Before my boy Franklin’s surgery to remove his front leg we would hike 5 -6 miles several times a week.  Now he can barely make it up and down the street without taking breaks.  He’s a long hair and this is summer so I expected him to get tired more quickly due to the extra effort he now needs to walk and the heat. I knew he wouldn’t be able to hike with me anymore but I didn’t expect how limited his mobility would be. We now don’t do anything except for very short walks and back.  Franklin weighs 36 pounds now and he’s app 8 years old.  He’s not overweight and he’s  healthy.  Can anyone share with me how your dogs stamina changed after a front leg amputaion?   Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled we can still be together but it’s so different now and from time to time it’s really sad…

Thanks,

Joe in New Hampshire

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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11 August 2022 - 7:56 pm
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It’s only natural that you are feeling a type of “loss” since you don have a long distance hiking buddy.

And without question, the heat definitely takes a toll on any dog, especially  a three legger. Add the summer heat to the fact that a front legger tripawd has to have a faster pace for flood mobility.

Going on a “walk about” with our dogs after amputation  definitely  teaches us to stop and smell the roses.  Dogs live through sniffing and love taking a leisurely. walk where they can stoo and sniff, stop and sniff,stop and sniff.

And that leads me to “Nose Work” classes .  We have a rear legger tripawd named Elly is has taken those classes and has become quite the champion!  It’s very bonding  and fulfi for both dog and hooman.

Is the walk down the street and back oncement asphalt, grass, etc?  Is it mostly formpotty purposes?

One way you can make it interesting for both of you is to create sort of a treasure hunt along the way.  Preplant so e of his toys, or treat around bushes.  

Don’t know if you  ever checked into one of those “off road” strollers Rene  suggested awhile back.  Yes, your hiking would have to be modified to fit a tripawd who would need to get in them stroller and be pushed for awhile and then back out for more, hiking….repeat.

Oh gosh…almost forgot to ask!  Has Franking been seen by a Certifie Rehabilitation  Specialist???  If you haven’t  done that, please do!  The Tripawds Founda will pay for the first visit!  Their input is invaluable!  It may be that Franklin just needs to do more core buildng exercises to build tummy muscles, proper alignment, proper gait, etc.

Others can chime in with specific  insight into your questions about front leg stamina

Just remember,  Franklin isn’t  sad about anything., isnt feeling like he’s missing  out on anything.  Franklin is just thrilled to be by your side.  Ahhh….the bliss of being dog, right?

Hugs

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

PS….Have noooo idea in some of mympreviius replies to you spell check changed Franklin’s name to Roscoe😱  My typoing is bad, but ….

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:
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12 August 2022 - 10:28 am
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Hi,

  The reason Roscoe keeps popping up is he was my other little boy who just passed this last Sunday.  Been a tuff 10 months.  My cat had to be put down in November.  A week after that My Franklin was diagnosed with Cancer.  In December he had is leg amputated and now my little Roscoe is gone.  It’s just heartbreaking.

  I did see a physical therapist for my dog and got some excercises to do.  I need to be more vigilant with them.  I have made a committment to take him to different places with plenty of grass 4 or 5 times a week.  This will help I’m sure.  Also I’m going to look into the stroller now.  I appreciate your reply…  I’ll let you know how the new schedule is working out in a couple of weeks.

Thank You so much,

Joe and Franklin in New Hampshire…

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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12 August 2022 - 12:28 pm
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Hi Joe,

I’m so glad Sally was able to answer you. And I”m sooooo sorry about all of the heartache you’ve endured lately. My condolences for your loss of Roscoe and your cat. You’ve had it so hard, it’s no wonder you are feeling down about Franklin’s mobility.

Sally gave you the input I would have, she’s my other brain! Along with that, I just want to say that it’s normal to feel a sense of loss over what you had before. When our Jerry lost a leg, I grieved over our inability to go on long backpacking trips. But we found other things to do together that were equally as fun. Losing a leg requires us to think differently about what “fun” means with our dogs. Honestly they just want to be with us, no matter what we are doing. It’s up to us to look ahead, not back, and rethink our activities together. Dogs are capable of doing so many amazing things as Sally mentioned, and it’s up to us to figure out what our Tripawd’s special talents are, then go for it!

A dog stroller will help Franklin get out on long walks with you again, or ride along if you get a stroller with a bike trailer conversion kit. We got one for our Wyatt and it was a game changer. he could ride a little, walk a little, play a little, and repeat. I wish we would have gotten one much sooner than we did, he could have gone many more places with us.

And yes, be more vigilant about the rehab therapy. The exercises do make a difference but it’s not overnight or a one-and-done thing. If you are concerned they’re not making a difference, get back in touch with your therapist to see if they can provide more guidance.

Keep us posted OK? We are here for you and want to know how you and Franklin are doing. sp_hearticon2

Virginia




Member Since:
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12 August 2022 - 9:38 pm
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Geez, you really have had a rough several months.  Your emotions  pretty well oughta’ be shot by now.

And to  have your sweet Roscoe run free to the Bridge  this past Sunday….so very, very sorry.  I know uour heart is broken right now.

Whenever  you are up to it, we would love to know more and Roscoe and uour kitty too.  One thing for sure, you have two very good Guardian  Angel’s watching  over you and Franklin.

I love how Roscoe interjected his name in my replies.  Nope, not a typo….jist Rosce making his presence known!  Clearly  he was sending a sign letting  you know he is still by your side….just not in his earth clothes form but energy form.

You’re  doing everything  right for your Franklin.  And agree with Jerry, reconnect  with the Rehb and see if they can offer more suggestions.  I also think you’ll like the idea of the stroller….especially  with the bike connection. 

Hugs

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

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 August 2022 - 2:40 pm
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Hi,

I’m sorry about all the heartbreak for you recently, it’s sometimes hard to properly grieve for one when there are more.

My Pug Maggie lost a back leg to mast cell cancer- this was before Tripawds existed and I had no idea how to get her back in shape after her surgery.  It took her 6 months to get back to walking half the distance she did before surgery.  Again- I had no guidance from anyone on how to get her strong.

My current Tri is a Pug mix also missing a rear leg.  I adopted her 2.5 months after her amp so she was fully healed but not at all strong and she had little endurance.  We started slowly with exercises and food puzzles and games for core and leg strength.  I already had a stroller so she would alternate walking and riding, increasing the walking distance slowly.  I do try to avoid too much time walking on hard surfaces- but I live in a city so they are not completely avoidable.

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

Member Since:
23 November 2021
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18 August 2022 - 6:43 am
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  Hi Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!,

  Since my last update I have some good news.  Per your suggestion, I purchased an eBike (Well you didn’t actually suggest I get an eBike but you did suggest I get the stroller Lol.  The eBike was a happy bonus) and a 2 in 1 dog trailer/stroller to get us back out on the trails…  I also have been taking Franklin to a local park we have nearby and he is enjoying it a lot cause he can be off lead and move and run at his own pace.  I can already see his stamina improving a little.  The trailer/stroller should be delivered today.  Been getting excited looking at all of the “Rail trails” we can visit. Planning on doing one this weekend.  My new eBike that can go up to 60 miles on a charge so with the trailer I’m guessing we can go at least 30 – 40 miles so that is a good long way…  Thanks for all of your feedback it really helped a lot to get me motivated and moving…  I’ll post some pictures when we do the Nashua New Hampshire Rail Trail this weekend.  I hope this post finds you all well…

Best Regards,

Joe and Franklin in New Hampshire.

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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18 August 2022 - 11:27 am
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So glad Franklin is showing signs of his stamina  returning and showing g you how Happy he can be “running free” at the Sog Park.  Those visits do a lot to loft his spirits….and yours😎

Sooooo excited  to hear about the upcoming  adv you two take on his Royal Carriage Bike with you! We’ll be waiting for the videos👍

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!

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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18 August 2022 - 11:59 am
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Ooooh I can’t wait to see your setup with the bike and trailer. Franklin and you are going to have soooo much fun! smiley_clap

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24 August 2022 - 5:25 pm
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Well since last I posted I got the eBike and a dog stroller /trailer.   All I can say is the eBike changed my life.  I’m an older guy and riding an ebike is like when you were a kid and could ride all day with just a little effort.  I absolutely love my eBike.  In less that a week i’ve already put over 80 miles on it… And all I can do is think about our next adventure.  My boy Franklin took to the trailer like a fish to water.  And what’s not to love, fresh air, riding in the woods and hanging out with the old man like we used too.  I’m so glad I posted what was going on with us before I made some changes.  Your replies got me motivated and Thank You so much for that.  We’re heading to the ocean on Friday and I can’t wait to show Franklin the waves and smell the salt water in the air.  It’s going to be wonderful.  I have some pictures but I’m not sure how to insert them here.  When I click the insert image button it asks for a source, description and dimensions.  Most software just lets you paste the image in.  Or drag and drop the image.  What do I need to do to post pictures here?  Anyway, Things are looking up!  Can’t wait to get back on the bike….

Regards,

Joe and Franklin in New Hampshire

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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24 August 2022 - 7:32 pm
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Over the moon Happy to read this!👏👏  Actually  almost got a little choked up reading  how Happy you and Franklin both are!  I k ow you were estatic to see how 

And thank YOU for being so honest about how “sad”  you were feeling because you were missing some of the adventures  you and your hiking buddy had.  To know the feedback motivated you to pursue ways you and Franklin  could  still enjoy outside adventures side by side was wonderful to hear.

While this site focuses  a lot on the physical  aspects of recovery.   there are emotional  aspects that the hoomans go through  where support is needed too. So again, thank you for sharing  the “highs and lows” you are feeling so everyone  could chime in with solutions and reassurances that others had the same thoughts.

Jerry will be here to help with posting videos and pictures.  It will be soooo exciting  to see you and Franklin cycling  away!

Have a delight time st the beach!  The sea, the breeze, the salt ..ahhhh….no better way to share a day with uour Frankkin!

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!

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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24 August 2022 - 8:49 pm
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Oh boy Joe this made my day! What a joyful scene to picture you and Franklin riding along and having adventures like the old days! We can’t wait for more too.

OK about photos: they have to be hosted somewhere before you can paste them in here. The little picture icon is a bit misleading, sorry about that. This is how adding images to the Forums works.

  • Upload pics to a photo sharing site like imgur.com or your own Tripawds blog (https://tripawd…../supporter). Pictures and video have to be hosted on your blog, OR reside on a big huge website like imgur.com. They don’t “live” in the forums. 
  • Once the photo is uploaded somewhere, right click and copy the Image URL or just copy the image if you’re on a phone
  • Return to your Tripawds Forum post and paste the image URL (or the image itself) in your post. It should automatically appear. 

If you’d like help figuring out the process let me know, I’m happy to help and can’t wait to see all the fun you’ve been up to!

Member Since:
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25 September 2022 - 5:26 pm
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Hi everyone,

  Hope everyone is well.  I just wanted to post an end of summer update.  Frankin and I have been having a ball.  We found some great places to ride, me on my eBike and Frankln in his trailer.  The only problem i’m having with the trailer is Franklin wants to jump in it before it’s set up for our adventures.  He loves the thing. What I do now is take Franklin into the woods or in a grass field and let him out of the trailer.  We then walk for awhile.  What I’ve noticed is Franklin does a lot better off lead where he can walk/run at his own pace. And sometimes we just ride around for a couple of hours.  So far we’ve put 260 miles on our rig.

Our town purchased a golf course and let it go back to grassland.  There are trails and open fields and it’s only a mile from my home so we can ride there.  Anyway, I drove there today and walked the perimeter, it’s about a mile. Franklin ran and walked the whole thing without taking a single break… It’s like the old days and it was great. What I’ve come to learn is every recovery is different.  I can say  I’m really happy in our new normal and every day with Franklin is a blessing. 

Best Regards,

Joe and Franklin in New Hampshire

The Rainbow Bridge


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26 September 2022 - 10:59 am
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YAY! What a fun update Joe, thank you for letting us know that Franklin is KICKING BUTT! smiley_clap

I love that you have the new golf course open space area. Sounds like so much fun. Bet Franklin just loved being able to roam and explore like the old days. He’s having a ball and his spirits are high, that is the best medicine ever. 

Got any photos you want to share? You can email me the pics and I’ll post them if you’re having trouble, just let me know.

And give that boy some extra belly rubs from us! sp_hearticon2

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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27 September 2022 - 3:14 pm
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Actually have a few Happy tears flowing over here!  Frankin, and you, are such  a Beacon of hope for members who think happiness  can never be restored.  You stayed the course.  Ypi offered out what adjustments needed to ge made that worked specifically  for Franklin and went for it full out! Yes, every recovery  is different  and every dog recovers in their own way at their own pace.  Franklin is probably  the best example we’ve had!  And the two of you  ade the necessary tweaks here and their where you both could reclaim your joy together!

CONGRATULATIONS to Team Franklin!!

Hugs 

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

PS….Love that he is so happy to get in his stroller👍

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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