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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10 December 2011
My girl is a front amp so I can't really speak to what might be happening with your akita. Does she act like she is in pain? Hopefully some rear amps will chime in. You might think about having a certified rehab vet check her out.
Marla and Daisy
My Two Tripawds...Biscuit and Spirit Daisy
25 July 2009
Hmmm.....well, I'm a rear legger and yes, my body does compensate a bit when I walk. I curve to the side that my missing limb is on. And I guess my spine does show a little, but not much. Is your pup showing any kind of pain symptoms (i.e., whining, reluctance to get up or play, lack of appetite)?
Wyatt Ray Dawg . . . The Tripawds Leg-A-Cy Continues!
Read all about my adventures at my Tripawds Blog
If you are worried, if the teeny tiniest little voice is calling out to you, see your vet. And if you dont' like the answer you get, ask for a referral to a specialist. Either an orthopedic or a rehabilitation therapy vet. The cost of the appointment is worth its weight in gold when your mind is set at ease. I hope it's nothing, keep us posted OK? And don't be shy, feel free to post some pics with updates, we'd love to see them.
Bit late chiming in on this one, but yes, the rear leggers do look a bit 'spine-y' when they walk, as our vets put it. After being an amputee for nearly five years, Sid looks spine-y all the time, even when he's laying down. It's due to the compensation for the missing limb, as Wyatt says.
I guess how much the spine shows will depend on the breed, and the amount of fur, maybe also the age of the dog. Sid, being a greyhound, shows his spine off like a scale model of the Himalayas. I have trouble sometimes keeping an eye on his weight because that spine will fool ya.
One thing that does help Sid with ongoing cramping and stiffness (due to that very compensation that makes his spine stick out) is going swimming with a hydrotherapist. He though we were trying to kill him at first, but now he'll try to run up the ramp and throw himself in, because he simply can't wait to get in there and relax his back!
I have a video of Sid walking. I'm uploading it to Photobucket, and will come back and post it when it's done. You can really see how he has to swing his back from side to side as he walks along.
27 December 2012
We're new to the tripawd life. Jackson's 3 week ampuversary is tomorrow. What I notice from this video is that your pup's back leg moves forward and backward (parallel to surface) rather than only just hopping straight up and down. Right now, I think Jackson is hopping up and down on his rear leg, which in comparison to yours, seems more problematic and tiring. I'd love Jackson to what your pup and pick up the gait! All in all, I think your pup looks great! I couldn't really see the side to side movement of his butt, though. Is that the movement that is gaining visibility to you? If so, might that be related to stiffness and some pain? You mentioned he's a 5 year tripawd (congrats! He looks GREAT!), so that says to me he's kind of a senior guy. Normal aging? Good thing he's got that pool to look forward to! It sounds like it helps him a lot! My parents have an older lady dog with a lot of mobility issues (she's 4-footed) and they've started laser treatments and keep up on her Adequan injections and moved her to a joint supplement with MSM in there. All those things are helping her. Maybe something else to throw into the pool with your graceful greyhound?
Thanks for posting the visual aids! He's a cutie!
ACL tear in right hind leg 12/5/12 and scheduled ACL repair surgery 12/21/12. Pre-op xrays revealed osteosarcoma. Amputation 12/28/12. Chemo (carboplatin) started Jan 10, 2013 and ended on April 5, for a total of 5 doses. He handled carbo like a champ! No side effects. We started metronomic therapy at his third chemo and have been also doing some holistic treatments. He's a lively, playful 10 year old huskie-boarder collie and a very proud member of the Winter Warriors! Our love. Our funny little guy!
We're new to the tripawd life. Jackson's 3 week ampuversary is tomorrow. What I notice from this video is that your pup's back leg moves forward and backward (parallel to surface) rather than only just hopping straight up and down. Right now, I think Jackson is hopping up and down on his rear leg, which in comparison to yours, seems more problematic and tiring. I'd love Jackson to what your pup and pick up the gait!
I think most new rear legged Tripawds start out that way but eventually they learn how to work the muscles differently. Front leg Tripawds tend to stick to the hop but when they run you can't even see the hop! Jackson will get there with your help, you'll see. You're definitely on the right track.
What I notice from this video is that your pup's back leg moves forward and backward (parallel to surface) rather than only just hopping straight up and down. ... I couldn't really see the side to side movement of his butt, though. Is that the movement that is gaining visibility to you? If so, might that be related to stiffness and some pain?
Ugh. I just wrote a long reply using this quote and lost it!!
Yes, they learn to adjust their gait as time goes on. Jackson will no doubt learn that he can still swing the leg forward and back parallel to his direction as his balance and confidence improve!
If you look at Sid's 'waist' area, just behind his ribs, you can see the muscles there bunching and releasing with each step as his spine twists to get that single leg underneath him. Also, as he moves away towards the end of the video, you can see his pelvis tilting to the right with each step. This twisting is what causes his cramping and stiffness. He does much better if I run with him, so that he can get a bit of momentum going.
He's been on joint supplements ever since I took him on at five years old. Used to be Cosequin DS, but we're trying something new called Magnacare which the vet gave us to try. Seems to be good so far! He gets heat pads, massage and swimming, and at the moment he's on Onsior, but I understand that's not licensed for dogs in the US. Here in England on the other hand, vets don't seem to use Adequan much. At least mine haven't!
I guess I'm going to have to admit that Sid is a senior at nearly nine years, though I don't normally consider a greyhound a senior until ten. His problems are ageing though.
Thanks for the suggestions - they are all good ones. There's also some very exciting stem cell research being done to regenerate worn cartilege in joints. Perhaps one day ...