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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 tri-paw puppy will be 2-legged for 4 weeks recovery
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Forum Posts: 10
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7 August 2019
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7 August 2019 - 5:44 pm
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Greetings Tripawd Community,

I’m new to the forum and new to the world of tripawds. I was so happy to find this forum existed!

I recently adopted a special little Silver Labrador girl with a congenital abnormality in one of her front legs (stunted, undeveloped limb) making her a 3-legged dog from birth. She has no idea that she has “special needs”. Runs like a rocket and takes stairs confidently with ease. I recently took her to an orthopedic surgeon to get a diagnosis and he said that she’ll be happier without this useless undeveloped leg throwing her off balance. 

But the real challenge is that her *good* front leg has a dislocated shoulder from birth. This means that every few paces she just kind of collapses the ground. She tries so hard but goes “splat” quite often and hits the ground. 

The surgeon is going to attach the shoulder with sutures (a relatively simple operation) BUT the recovery time will be 4 weeks. In the end we’ll have an awesome 3-legged beast who will be more solid on her feet. 

So, here the BIG question: how help my Sophie get through recovery on 2 (back) legs? 

The surgeon is not sure, he said he’d do some research and get back to me. 

She’s almost 5 months old and very smart. Already house & leash trained. 

Her surgery is on August 29th. 

Appreciate any suggestions on how we help her get around on 2 back legs for her recovery. 

Thanks in advance, Meri 

[Image Can Not Be Found] 

The Rainbow Bridge



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7 August 2019 - 5:58 pm
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Hi Meri and pup, welcome! What’s your name little Tripawd pup?

Appreciate any suggestions on how we help her get around on 2 back legs for her recovery. 

Sure! We have a few posts about Tripawds who have had remaining limb surgeries, and I’m sure that members like Sally (mom to Frankie) will chime in about their two-legged recovery experience. I personally don’t have any firsthand experience in this area, but . . . 

I do want to share what we learned from Animal ER Vet Dr. Brian Beale. When I asked him about remaining limb surgeries on a Tripawd, he stressed the importance of working with a surgeon who has done these kinds of surgeries on Tripawds many times before. You really want a team who understands the right kind of post-operative care and rehabilitation therapy to help your dog make the most of the recovery time and life afterward. A two legged recovery can be really, really hard, without the right direction.

Dr. Beale discusses this topic a bit in this video:

If at all possible I would get a second opinion from another surgeon with more experience doing this surgery, or ones like it, on a Tripawd. I’m guessing that’s probably not what you want to hear at this point, but I had to mention it. 

Now, let’s see some photos of your girl. Here’s a post that explains adding images to the forums. Let us know if you’d like help!

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



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7 August 2019 - 6:00 pm
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One more thing to consider: has the surgeon talked to you about whether or not prosthetics are a possibility, once that shoulder is healed? Technically if you can put that good shoulder back together, that seemingly useless limb can be the basis for a prosthetic limb that can greatly enhance her quality of life. Just a thought….

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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8 August 2019 - 8:45 am
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Hey Jerry,

Thank you so much for your replies.

I found a really well-renowned osteopathic surgeon in Petaluma who has a great reputation. We discussed prosthetics but the poorly developed front leg (that will eventually be amputated once she has the shoulder surgery on her good front leg) doesn’t even have much of a shoulder to support prosthetics . She already does pretty well on 3-legs because she’s never known anything better runs like a rocket but that good leg is not fully supported by the shoulder on that side that is essentially dislocated but never fully attached if that makes sense. It’s like she was born with a slightly dislocated shoulder. 

Will respond more later once I figure out how to upload an image on this platform. 🙂  

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8 August 2019 - 9:11 am
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PS…. What I really want to know are tactics for helping her move around after surgery. Shall I get some kind of front wheels that she can move around on without putting weight on the *good* front leg that has had surgery on its shoulder? What tactics have others tried? 

Virginia




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8 August 2019 - 9:15 am
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Such a beautiful  girl!  Look at that smile!!😀  She hit the Puppy Lottery when she found you!❤   Thank you for doing whatever it takes to keep Sophie the happy dog she was born to be.

A dog named ZIGGY comes to mind.  I think that’s rhe name.   He was a two legged pup for a while  and used  a modified wheel chair …it may have been a cart from Eddie’s Wheels…can’t  remember.  I’ll see if I can find the blogs. I think it will I spire uou.

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!

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8 August 2019 - 9:22 am
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Thanks for your input Benny, I will check out those links later after work. 

Here’s another pic that shows you the underdeveloped leg… It’s about a fifth the size of her good leg. 

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11 August 2019 - 11:31 am
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Hi,

I can’t help notice that the puppies picture of Sophie, looks so much like Brownie at that age.

We are wishing the best for a speedy recovery!

Virginia




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11 August 2019 - 3:05 pm
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Jere’s rhe link to ZiGGY I was trying  to find….sort of.  I was also trying to find all of Ziggy’s blogs because they had so much helpful information for helping a “dog on two”.

https://tripawd…..y-surgery/.

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



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11 August 2019 - 5:14 pm
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Aww she is soooo sweet! 

Sounds like you’ve done your homework. I’m guessing you meant you found an orthopedic surgeon, not an osteopathic surgeon? 

Thanks for finding the link Sally!

You’re in or near Petaluma eh? That’s where Admin grew up! In fact we are on our way back there for a family visit in September. You should stick around, our Nor Cal Tripawds group gets together a couple times a year and welcomes new members to join them!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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12 August 2019 - 8:54 am
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Hey Jerry, how can I join the Nor Cal Tripawds group? 

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12 August 2019 - 8:56 am
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Thanks Benny for the link… It’s given me hope. Sophie’s surgery is quite straightforward and she doesn’t have any bone deformities, it’s actually a soft-tissue problem. Now to get those front wheels! 😉 

Here and Now


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12 August 2019 - 11:48 am
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meri707 said
…how can I join the Nor Cal Tripawds group?  

You just did! smiley2 Check the Tripawd Parties forum for any upcoming gatherings, subscribe to receive updates, or begin a new topic to start your own.

Livermore, CA




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12 August 2019 - 1:59 pm
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Hey there!  Sophie is gorgeous!

The only input I can think of for her surgery recovery is investing in a substantial harness like the Get A Grip Harness. Not sure if it would fit her and you would have to discuss with the surgeon if she could wear it without bothering incisions or her repaired shoulder.  And probably not something you would need after she recovers but it might be what you need to help her around after surgery.  Did the surgeon say how long before she could put any weight on the remaining leg?

As far as our Nor Cal group- you have joined!  We usually get together twice a year in Mill Valley, next meet up will probably be late October or early November, like admin guy said keep an eye on the Party forum.  I’m the one who usually posts in the Tripawd Parties forum- here is the post from last May’s meet up. Unfortunately our dear friend Shelby crossed the Bridge not long ago so the Santa Rosa pack is laying low right now- but I know they will be thrilled to met you and Sophie!  You can send me a PM with your email if you would like so I can include you when planning our Fall meet up.

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

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