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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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Leash with a Collar?
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Forum Posts: 232
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9 March 2010
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13 March 2010 - 9:47 am
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Being a typical puppy, Dante is not fond of having a leash and collar on, and will often pull backwards. It makes me nervous to give him a tug to come forward like we can do with Mina. I just don’t know if that is OK to do, since he is already missing one front leg, I don’t want to put too much weight or resistance onto the remaining front leg – especially since I have read on here that dogs carry their weight mostly in the front, and need more stamina and strength with one front leg than one rear leg.

Any advice, or tips would be greatly appreciated. Or even just some reassurance that I am not going to break the puppy!

Here and Now


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13 March 2010 - 10:13 am
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Dante is strong, you're not going to break him. Smile

But it is the natural instinct of any dog to resist and pull against any opposing force. So never pull, instead redirect their attention and focus on making whatever you want them to do being much more exciting that where they want to go.

We have found the Gentle Leader Dog Collar to be the most effective puppy training tool. It woorked wonders for Jerry, and is the only thing that can help us control wild Mr. Wyatt. Good Luck!

Gentle Leader Collar Medium Black

Gentle Leader Collar (Medium Black)

Gentle Leader Dog Headcollar Millions of dog owners today enjoy the benefits of stress-free walks thanks to the Gentle Leader Headcollar. Designed so that owners can communicate with their pet in a way they instinctively understand, the Gentle Leader painlessly and effectively removes the dog's natural tendency to pull by placing gentle pressure on calming points and eliminating uncomfortable pressure on the throat. In addition to reducing a dog's desire to pull away, the Gentle Leader is also a very effective tool in combating lunging, jumping, excessive barking and helping to calm an aggressive and/or anxious animal. Features: Offers immediate, gentle control Applies pressure at the back of the neck vs. the front of the throat Allows dog to open its mouth to eat, drink, pant, fetch, and bark while wearing headcollar Can be used with dogs eight weeks of age or older Can be worn up to 18 hours a day Comes with easy-to-follow fitting instructions, abbreviated training guide, and comprehensive training DVD Item Specifications Size: Petite-5lbs Small-5-25 lbs Medium-25-60 lbs Large-60-130 lbs X-Large-130+ lbs Color: Black Blue Red Tan Material: Nylon



Forum Posts: 232
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13 March 2010 - 10:27 am
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I still have Coda’s gentle leader from when she was little, maybe it will fit Dante. Coda hated it, no matter what we did or how we did it – it’s been something I have been skeptical of ever since – but it’s worth a try since it’s something we already have and won’t have to send more money on (if it fits!).

Coda is not a ‘typical’ dog or beagle, so I guess I can’t use her as a good source of information for products!

Pahrump, NV
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13 March 2010 - 10:46 pm
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How about a harness instead? With a harness, the point of most resistance is between the shoulders instead of at the neck.

Sadie is my 9yr old Rott/Shepherd mix. Diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her right scapula 1/28/10. Our brave girl had her amputation 2/13/10 and her last chemotherapy on 6/6/10. Unfortunately, a tumor appeared in her back right leg and on 10/7/2010 Sadie's earthly journey came to an end.  On 10/24/2010 we adopted Ranger, a handsome Rott/Lab mix tripawd (got hit by a car) I think Sadie sent him to us.
http://ranger.t.....pawds.com/

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14 March 2010 - 9:09 am
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Do ‘normal’ harnesses work with a front leg amputee? I do eventually want to get him a good ruff wear harness (they look awesome!) but would like to hold off until he’s mostly full grown if I can help it. Of course we’ll do what needs to be done to get him out and about, though.

A harness is the only thing that works for our beagle, Coda. We tried all sorts of collars and contraptions – but she almost acts as if she’s not on a lead at all, with a harness on.

We took them for a ‘walk’ last night, to the end of the block and back. Dante sat twice and I had to pick him up twice. He didn’t ‘resist’ the leash so much as just seemed tired.

I can’t wait to get into the vet next week and ask a million questions, I’ll feel more reassured that we’re on the right path with him once I know what the vet has to say about him and his recovery. He does so well that I sometimes forget it’s only been a few weeks!

Here and Now


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14 March 2010 - 1:21 pm
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munko said:

Do 'normal' harnesses work with a front leg amputee?


The Ruff Wear Web Master and their new DoubleBack are both perfectly normal harnesses. It was originally designed for search and rescue dogs, not tripawds. We just found it works very well for providing assistance when need.

Any other normal harness would work as well, but we would avoid any with narrow or unpadded straps.

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14 March 2010 - 2:13 pm
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I meant normal only in the sense of the kind you can buy at the pet store, VS the kind you have to order online or go to a specialty shop for (which we don’t have) and also in the sense that they’re ‘normal’ because they don’t have any special features like handles or anything. They’re all pretty standard.

I couldn’t think of a better word that didn’t sound just the same as normal, maybe ‘standard’ would have been a better word, sorry for not clarifying. I hadn’t had my daily dose of caffeine, yet!

Las Vegas, Nevada
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14 March 2010 - 2:20 pm
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It almost sounds like a little training is in order, first.  Have you tried taking treats with you?    They work wonders!   I carry a treat bag on my waist on any outdoor trips even if it's just in the front yard.  I don't know if admin sells them since I couldn't find them in their store.  They clip on your waist or belt.   If regular treats don't work, use a can of cheese whiz.     

Even 4-legged Rocket, when we first got him as a 6mth old puppy wouldn't walk on a leash because he didn't understand it could be fun. It didn't take him long to understand that walking was fun and even better with treats!

I personally like a flexi leash because Comet can walk/hop at her own pace.  But she likes to let me get far ahead until I pull out a treat!  She comes running for a treat.  Sometimes it gets to where that's how we walk!   Walk, treat, stop. Walk, treat, stop.

Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

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14 March 2010 - 3:10 pm
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Oh, there is definitely some training in order for the both of them, LOL. We have been working on it. We did get to go for a walk last night, we didn’t go too far, and Dante pooped out pretty quickly. But, progress. A bit of resistance from each of them, but a gentle tug to get their attention again worked most of the time. They’re very much in that exploratory stage and they are not easily distracted most times – I guess all the noise at the shelter desensitized them to loud noises. Even food doesn’t get attention if they’re distracted, unless you put it right under their noses.

We have been using their kibble as ‘treats’ but sparingly – we don’t typically do treats in this house. Our beagle hasn’t had a ‘treat’ in years. She gets the occasional bully stick and such just because – but she never gets a food reward for doing something. But, they were using kibble as treats at the shelter, so we’ve continued it for now with the intentions to wean them out fairly soon.

We’re not against treat training, just had some issues with it (combined with health issues) that make it easier for us to just not do the whole treating thing. However, we will resort to it if necessary!

Portage Lake, Maine
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15 March 2010 - 6:07 am
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I don't know if anyone has mentioned this harness but I use this type on both my dogs.  Maggie is a rear amp but I think it would work on a front amp. too as I believe Calipurnia uses this same one.

http://www.clea…..entCat=202

I use the Ruffwear harness too on my tripawd but this one is also very useful as it has a handle on top too 🙂

I'm not a real fan of gentle leaders…I used to use one on my Aussie but she could still pull thru it and was really wrenching her neck in the process.  So gave up that idea with her at least!  Everyone's mileage may vary with its use! 😉  I was also using a flexi leash with it so probably would be safer with a regular length leash.

Tracy, Maggie's Mom

Maggie was amputated for soft tissue sarcoma 10-20-09

Maggie lost her battle with kidney disease on 8-24-13

http://maggie.t.....t-24-2013/

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15 March 2010 - 7:47 am
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Oh, Thanks Maggie! That looks great and fairly inexpensive too if we do need to buy them as he grows, then he can get a big boy ruff wear harness !

Las Vegas, Nevada
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17 March 2010 - 12:03 pm
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I’m with Maggie’s mom on gentle leaders – not a fan of them for 3-legged dogs.   It helped a little on a 4-legged ‘out of control’ shep mix but he could get out of it and that scared the hell out of me!  I had to double leash him!  (he was one seriously out of control dog)   

 

I’ve actually tried every imaginable thing – used a backpack on him with full water bottles to weigh him down.  Didn’t work.  Put a ring of old keys on his leash that made lots of noise. Didn’t work.  Stopped, turned around and walked backwarks.  Didn’t work.   

I actually found the treats worked better than anything.   If he started pulling too, too hard, I would just say, “be a good boy” and hand him a treat.  It took him all of 3 minutes to figure that one out.   After that, I would say, “be a…” and he’d stop, look back, sit and take his treat.  It would take forever and a pound of food to get anywhere but it beat the heck out of pulling my arm out of the socket!

Off the subject a bit…

One thing I found interesting, here was a crazy nutty dog on a leash that I barely had control of – but once I actually twisted my ankle on a sidewalk walking and I went down.  I didn’t let go of the leash but I couldn’t get up because the ankle was too bad.  My crazy, nutty boy made sure I was okay and instantly sat down with me until help came!  He didn’t pull or tug, he just sat with me.  Awwwwww.

 

   

 

Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

Portage Lake, Maine
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17 March 2010 - 12:43 pm
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My Aussie (38#’s) is a HARD puller at times….the one I have tried EVERYTHING with…GL’s, those easywalk harnesses that you attach leash to the front – those don’t work either…I, too, was tired of my arm being pulled out of socket at times!  So, I started using my skijore harness belt and rigged it up so I can hook my flexi leash to that…so I’m hands free now and if she pulls hard, she is pulling me from my waist vs. my arm! 

When she gets to be too much of a fruitcake about pulling for some reason(like deer!) I just stop dead in my tracks, and ‘stand like a tree’…then she sorta ‘gets it’…and stops pulling so hard…and I make her come to heel position vs. in front of me and ‘work for treats’ to get her mind back in front brain/thinking mode vs. hindbrain/reactive mode!

The other thing that I probably shouldn’t even bring up(not being a positive training thing)….BUT if I had a very hard pulling large dog, why not try a prong collar?  I’ve never used one but it seems to me anything can be harmful in the wrong hands…even a GL…

Food for thought! FWIW wink

Tracy, Maggie’s Mom

Maggie was amputated for soft tissue sarcoma 10-20-09

Maggie lost her battle with kidney disease on 8-24-13

http://maggie.t.....t-24-2013/

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