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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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My Duke Won't Use His Back Leg - I'm So Scared
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Forum Posts: 25
Member Since:
22 October 2013
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9 August 2020 - 7:45 pm
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My sweet 12.5 year old tripawd Duke (rear leg) just stopped using his remaining back leg. On Friday we thought maybe he sprained or strained his leg and would not bear weight on it. That has happened before so we thought rest and Rimadyl and Gabapentin would do the trick again. Saturday he was up and around again, but later in the day he was back to scooting around and not using the leg. This morning he sprung up as usual and ran downstairs for breakfast. But again, this afternoon he was back to scooting and not bearing weight. I put his Hold 'Em Harness on late today and took him outside, but he still won't try to bear weight.

We can't figure out what's going on and hopefully he can see his ortho team tomorrow or Tuesday. But, I'm terrified that it could be something serious and I don't know how to help him. I don't necessarily fear cancer because his full ortho exam on 7/6 showed this:

Orthopedic exam: moderate muscle atrophy over the point the shoulder bilaterally, left tarsus has mild decrease in flexion, left stifle has moderate effusion with crepitus and buttressing medially. No cranial drawer or tibial thrust appreciated in L stifle. RH amputated mid femur. LH held medially under hind end with slight external rotation at the stifle.Radiographs (left stifle): Moderate effusion in stifle joint; moderate osteoarthritis; mineralized foci in area of left collateral ligament1. Interpretations: moderate arthritic changes and effusion with mineralization likely due to historical injury.

So, I don't know what could be going on and scared he'll never use his leg again, and how can he be mobile if that's the case? I'm so scared. He's such a vibrant, happy wonderful doggie and he's got so much more life left in him. Can someone please help?

The Rainbow Bridge

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25 April 2007
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10 August 2020 - 11:18 am
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Hey there, I'm in the Tripawds Chat this morning if you want to talk.

I'm sorry he's having mobility issues. Don't panic. This is probably something like a muscle pull in his neck, shoulders or hip muscles, all common areas of injury for Tripawds. Have you tried massaging him gently to find out where it might be hurting? Here are some doggie massage tips to get you started if you don't know how.

Is he eating and toileting? How's his appetite? Is he lethargic at all?

Be sure to jot down ALL symptoms so you have them ready for the vet. 

For now, keep things nice and slow and rested. If he starts to seem OK, that's good but don't let him do anything else but go outside to potty until you see his ortho team OK? 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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