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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 Tripod had Total Hip Replacement on her only back leg! Happy to help....
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16 May 2014
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16 May 2014 - 9:35 am
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I adopted  my dear sweet Tuck about 7 months ago.  She came to me as a tripod rescue and she had one back leg amputated when she was just 2 months old!  well, late in January, it became evident that Tuck needed a new hip on the one that was left back there.  needless to say, i was terrified, but a phenomenal surgeon at NCSU placed a brand new hip 8 weeks ago!  Tuck is actually at a rehab appt day as i write this, and she is doing really well.  Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been easy, but it also hasn’t been awful! 

the one thing i found over the past 2 months is that i really wished i had someone who had been through this that i could communicate with.  Tuck’s doctors are amazing, but they aren’t owners who have gone through this.  so.  i figured i would just make myself available if anyone out there is contemplating a total hip replacement on a 3 legged dog….i am not an expert, but i can offer advice or comfort!  i may not be able to respond really quickly, but i’ll do my best!

 

happy to help if i can :-)

Here and Now


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16 May 2014 - 9:45 am
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tuckaboo said
…i figured i would just make myself available if anyone out there is contemplating a total hip replacement on a 3 legged dog….

Thank you! We would love to hear more and share details and photos of your experience with others.

Please consider starting a blog or let us know if you’re interested in writing a guest post for the Tripawds News blog.

Idaho
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16 May 2014 - 9:45 am
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Oh I am so sorry that you weren’t able to find Murphy’s story when you were looking for input. He had a ThR on his only back leg almost a year and a half ago. You can see his thread in the Beyond Cancer forum, and watch videos on his YouTube channel, Murphy the Three Legged Dog. Amazing critters, these Tripawds!

Kathi and Murphy

Murphy is a five year old Lab/Chessie cross. He was hit by a car on 10/29/12 and became a Tripawd on 11/24/12. On 2/5/13, he had a total hip replacement on his remaining back leg. He has absolutely no idea that he has only three legs!

UPDATE: Murphy lived his life to the fullest, right up until an aggressive bone lesion took him across the Rainbow Bridge on April 9, 2015 and he gained his membership in the April Angels. Run free, my love. You deserve it!

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16 May 2014 - 9:53 am
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to murphsmom…..i will definitely check out all of this about murphy!  how is he doing?  how long until he was “free” (ie:  no leash OR sling!  )  What kind of rehab did you do?  Tuck amazes me every day…her spirit hasn’t wavered (much) through this and she is better and better every day.  The challenge now is that the bees are out and she just LOVES to leap at bees!  yikes!  :-)

 

to admin:  i would love to share Tuck’s tale….i’m not really a blogger, but would be happy to provide a story.  i kept pretty good track of the whole shebang, so it wouldn’t be hard to capture….

 

the first surgeon i consulted with advised me to send Tuck to heaven (??!! CAN YOU IMAGINE!)  It was heart-wrenching, i left in tears (after chewing him out) and THANKFULLY found our amazing Dr Roe. 

Virginia




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16 May 2014 - 10:09 am
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APPLAUSE to you for being such a wonderful advocate for Tuck!!!

Glad you dumped that other vet and got a second opinion!! Tuck has been throught so much in his short life and clearyis a resilient dog with a zest for life!!

Glad Murphy chimed in…..an another amazing story of devotion and determination and a very special pup!!

The information you and Kathi/Murphy can provide others is invaluable! Thank you both!

Look forward to hearing more about Tuck AND seeing pictures of this remarkable boy and his remarkable human!
The bond with a tripawd is like no other…..and then to go through what you and Tuck are facing now…..WOW!! So glad you are his soulmate!!

Sending you love and support.

Sally and Happy Hannah

Tuck likes bees…..and Murphy likes green beans picked fresh from the garden. Time to teach Tuck to go after green beans instead of bees!

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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16 May 2014 - 10:15 am
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benny55:  thank you for your sweet message!  I got tears in my eyes as i read it 🙂  i have already learned how special it is to have a tripod, and every day, i learn more and more. 

once i have a dedicated chunk of time, i’ll figure out how to get some pictures of my sweet girl here.  she is gorgeous and quite photogenic!  :-)

i wish Tuck would leave the bees alone!  about a week after i had her, she had an anaphylaxic shock to something (ER Visit #1) and i’m not sure it wasn’t a bee!  my heart stops every time one bumbles by…i don’t want Tuck leaping off of her hip, and i don’t want her to get stung! 

thanks again for taking the time to send a message…i hope you have a wonderful weekend!

The Rainbow Bridge



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16 May 2014 - 10:27 am
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Hey that’s too cool I was hoping Kathi and Murphy would jump in here ’cause I was just going to share this link with Murphy’s story. Thanks Kathi.

Welcome Tuck & family! Yep, we know that the hip replacement is quite an ordeal, even more challenging than amputation, but as you’ve discovered, not impossible to overcome. Kudos to you for seeking out such great care. NC State is pawesome!

We would love see photos! Here’s how to add pics to your Forum posts.

Also, if you want to share a condensed story of Tuck’s recovery, check out our Tripawd Tuesday profiles (instructions on how to submit a story are underneath each one or you can just private message me here) we’d love to feature your story!

Welcome aboard, it’s wonderful to have you as part of the Tripawds Nation!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Idaho
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16 May 2014 - 4:30 pm
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Sorry I’ve been tied up today and didn’t get back to you before now.

Murphy was under “house arrest” for a whole four months after the THR. He had to be on his leash, and mostly with the Ruffwear harness , the entire time. He had been pretty much confined for the three months prior to the surgery, too, as he was first recuperating from the amp and then from additional hip dislocations. And the resulting surgeries. We still use the harness at times when he will be on slick floors, in unfamiliar situations or for loading in and out of the car or the camper. He is capable of using his ramp without it, but it is his security blanket, so we have decided that he is welcome to it.

He did eight weeks of twice weekly PT starting at two months after the THR…sounds like your Tuck has started that around the same time. This spring we discovered that he had been cheating and using his front end far too much, so he headed back to the rehab vet for another four sessions. We picked up some new tips and different exercises then. His earlier therapy covered underwater treadmill, swimming in the tank, priopreception exercises like the Cavaletti course, core strengthening, sit to stand and others that I can’t remember right now. The latest therapy included an inclined treadmill and we got the harness to do pulling a sled. They also re-did all the previous exercises, too.

We do find that we tend to panic or over react more with him than we do with our old Golden. Having been through so much with him has done that to us. We are trying to let him “Be More Dog “, but sometimes it can be difficult.

Please let me know if you have any questions, and I will try to answer them for you. I have mostly posted in the original forum, but I know there is a way to search for other threads I’ve started over the last months.

Kathi and Murphy

Murphy is a five year old Lab/Chessie cross. He was hit by a car on 10/29/12 and became a Tripawd on 11/24/12. On 2/5/13, he had a total hip replacement on his remaining back leg. He has absolutely no idea that he has only three legs!

UPDATE: Murphy lived his life to the fullest, right up until an aggressive bone lesion took him across the Rainbow Bridge on April 9, 2015 and he gained his membership in the April Angels. Run free, my love. You deserve it!

Livermore, CA




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16 May 2014 - 5:08 pm
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Its pretty easy to search for a member’s posts.

In this case all you have to do is click on Kathi’s avatar (murphsmom) to get her profile.  Then click on the button that says ‘Posts murphsmom has started’. (I did it for you this time big-grin).

Be sure an open a new tab or window if you want to easily get back to the forum post you were reading. 

 

So- I guess you guys can start a pretty exclusive club…rear amp tripawds with THR!  Glad to hear Tuck is on the mend.

 

Karen and Spirit Maggie

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

kassie&TyMurray
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12 June 2017 - 11:42 am
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Hello! I know this post was from a few years back however I just came back from Conrnell University (as I live in Upstate NY) & was advised my pup may need a total hip replacement. So I was hoping for some additional feedback if you dont mind! 

I adopted Ty when he was 5/6 months old, he’s now 5 & a half.  He is a lab mix. He was missing his back right leg when I got him as he was abused. Last year he had a TPLO knee surgery. So that was tough as he obtained an infection (not sure what) but he was off of it for an entire 8 weeks & then he started only using his front legs to walk. So we have been through the surgery & rehab before. 

Cornell has not done a THR on a tri-pawd before. As they are one of the best animal hospitals I have no doubt they wont do well however they don’t have a success story, etc. They said it’s a 90% success rate for dogs.  Ty is super healthy & active, very muscular, weight is good/lean!

I just am trying to weigh out the benefits. Like it scares me to death to have this surgery (like the knee sx) and him loose his entire leg. It’s just something that’s always in the back of my mind.  The rehab was so hard on him & me of course. I think the infection part of it was worse because he was sedated a lot to have the fluid drained & tested. If we don’t run into an infection this time around I think it will be okay. 

I wanted to note this isn’t a money concern for myself, like that doesn’t have a part in my decision. B/C Ty is my baby & I can’t live without him so I just want to make sure the surgery is the right thing. The knee was however this seems way more invasive & freaks me out more. 

So a few questions (if you don’t mind): 

1. How old were your guy’s dogs? (Murphy & Tucker?) How old are they now? Were they healthy at the time of the surgery? 

2. How did they recover? The typical 8-12 weeks or longer? How are they doing now? 

3. Did you consider just doing pain management & using the wheelchair for long walks,etc? 

4. Where did you have the surgeries? Also, if you could advise what type of procedures the vet’s did I would truly appreciate it! 

Thank you for reading & I look forward to hearing back from you all!! 

The Rainbow Bridge



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12 June 2017 - 12:42 pm
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Hello Kassie and Ty, thanks for chiming in. I’m sorry to hear about the surgery news, and can’t blame you for being worried. If it’s any help, we’ve had numerous members’ dogs go through surgery on a remaining limb. Here’s a post we wrote about it a while back:

Remaining Limb Surgery Recovery for Tripawds

Cornell is a great institution, Ty is in excellent hands. In the post I’ve referenced above, I have links to the clinic where Murphy was treated. Also I will ping his mom Kathi to make sure she sees your questions. In the meantime please consider registering as a member so your posts won’t have to wait for approval, as well as starting a new topic in “Hopping Around” so that we can better follow along with Ty’s story OK?

Hang in there. If you can go through TPLO recovery you can do this!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Idaho
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17 June 2017 - 8:43 pm
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Murphy was not quite three when he was hit by a car and ended up with the THR as his eighth surgery. His hip was dislocated, knee blown out on the other side, and he was really lucky to have made it out alive. He had the hip restored and sutured in place and a TPLO on the knee. Unfortunately, it turned out that his femoral nerve on the knee side was too damaged to recover, and after he had spent three weeks in the hospital, the decision was made to amputate the leg. He had the hip dislocate multiple times following the first surgery, as he had very shallow hip joints. The THR was the third or fourth (I can’t remember which) that our surgeon had done on a Tripawd. He has done many, many more on four legged dogs, and in fact has taught the procedure. I’m sure that if your doctors at Cornell contact Dr. Randy Acker at Sun Valley Animal Hospital in Ketchum, Idaho, he would be happy to consult with them. He had a KYON replacement.

Unfortunately, we lost Murphy two years ago after he developed an aggressive bone lesion in the hip. Up to that point, he lived a joyful life, doing anything and everything he wanted to do. He has a YouTube channel that you can check out. It’s called “Murphy the Three Legged Dog”. We did a fairly good job of following his recovery. Some of the videos were lost due to a glitch with YouTube, but the majority of them are still there.

All told, Murph was on leash restriction for seven months, counting the time from his accident until he was cleared to just be a dog. Check out my original posts in the Beyond Cancer section “Total Hip Replacement after rear leg amputation” for a better feel for the timeline.

Kathi and the Turbotail April Angel…and the Labradork

Murphy is a five year old Lab/Chessie cross. He was hit by a car on 10/29/12 and became a Tripawd on 11/24/12. On 2/5/13, he had a total hip replacement on his remaining back leg. He has absolutely no idea that he has only three legs!

UPDATE: Murphy lived his life to the fullest, right up until an aggressive bone lesion took him across the Rainbow Bridge on April 9, 2015 and he gained his membership in the April Angels. Run free, my love. You deserve it!

Sarah C
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10 November 2019 - 1:59 pm
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Hi I know this is an old post but my boy has just had a total hip replacement the on remaining hind leg. We are 4 1/2 weeks post op and all has been going well but today he seems a bit stiff on getting up and not so keen to weight bare I will phone vets tomorrow (today is Sunday) but just wondered if yours had some not so good days?

Here and Now


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10 November 2019 - 3:07 pm
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Sarah C said
Hi I know this is an old post but… 

Welcome and best wishes for your pup!

All dogs will have ups and downs after such major surgery. The best recommendation is to visit a certified canine rehab therapist for a professional evaluation, treatment recommendations and specific exercises you can do to keep your dog fit and strong. Visit a CCRT or CCRP and the Tripawds Foundation can even pay for your first visit from the Maggie Moo Fund for Tripawd Rehab.

Please consider starting a new topic to share your story so your concerns get the attention they deserve. Your future forum posts will not require moderation.

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