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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Need tips for painful body during rain
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Member Since:
20 February 2011
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2 August 2021 - 8:13 am
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Hi everyone! It has been a loooong time. Believe it or not, I've had Cocoa for 10 years now and she is 13-years-old. I've been so lucky, once she stopped getting those stupid tumors (they just stopped!?), she has had a pretty easy life getting around (back leg amputee).

She has slowed down and struggles to get in and out of the car. Earlier this year, we started acupuncture and laser therapy. It has done wonders, along with monthly Adequan, Cosequin and daily Gabapentin.

My issue right now is the rain. It's not something we get a lot of in South Texas, but we have had more than normal this summer. I can tell the she is uncomfortable. That the two steps to go outside look impossible. I try to give mini massages, but can tell her shoulders are hurting. 

Cocoa is a quirky girl. She does not like when I sit next to her on the ground (she still gets up and moves out of range). I've tried to lay a heating pad just on her shoulders and a weighted blanket (not at the same time). She always moves away. 

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Cocoa

Stray Rescue – Ampuversary 2/15/2011

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2 August 2021 - 10:31 am
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Wow! It's so good to hear from you and Cocoa! I cannot even believe that ten years have passed and she's a teenager now. Where does the time go?! How wonderful that she made it though the awful tumor drama. What do you think made them stop? SO COOL! 

Her behavior reminds me sooooo much of Wyatt Ray 's. He hated any kind of massage, stretching, or close touch, and barely tolerated me smooching him on the snout every now and then. So I understand your struggle about finding something to help her feel better. Some things that helped him were:

  • upping his Gabapentin to 3x daily @400mg (he was much bigger than Cocoa)
  • upping his Adequan to bi-weekly injections
  • adding a muscle relaxer (Methocarbomol) 2x daily, and Amantadine at night
  • giving him TENS therapy a few times a week if he tolerated that much

Something you may want to try is a Farabloc blanket. We get lots of good reviews on them and it's something you can put in her favorite snooze spots without her realizing it's helping her. You can even try a Farabloc harness hack like this and see if it helps (although I figure it's probably pretty warm for her to wear it right now, maybe in winter.

Hope this helps! Let us know what does.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

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4 August 2021 - 12:51 pm
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I have no idea why the tumors stopped, I'm just so glad they did. It has been six years since the last one.

Cocoa is on Gabapentin 200 mg twice daily. We see her acupuncturist/vet on Friday, so I'll ask about the Methocarbomol and Amantadine, plus increasing the Adequan frequency.

She loves walks, but we've had to cut them down by more than half and only once a day. Sometimes she shortens them herself. Yesterday I could hear that she was occasionally dragging that back leg as we got closer to home. Hopefully our visit Friday will help with that.

We're both coming out of the throes of losing her older little sister Gigi on July 12. She was 17 and it was doggie dementia. It has been a long year for us physically and emotionally. While I wish I could hold her one more time, I know I made the right decision. It's true that when you know, you know.

Thanks so much for the tips. I'll let you know what I learn and how it goes.

Cocoa

Stray Rescue – Ampuversary 2/15/2011

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4 August 2021 - 4:43 pm
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Hmm, yeah talk to the vet and see what they think. I know that when Wyatt was doing the back leg dragging he had pulled his iliopsoas muscle, which is when we put him on the Methocarbomol. I wonder she may have pulled something? The vet should be able to tell you. 

Another suggestion; how about a dog stroller ? They are such amazing tools that boost quality of life. You can get Cocoa out on a short walk she is capable of doing, then let her hop into her chariot and push her for a bit. Walk a little, stroll a little. We are huge fans of strollers, Wyatt's pet stroller was a life saver during his senior years.

I'm sooo sorry about Gigi. That is a long, long time, and you are all feeling the loss so deeply. It's really difficult to make that call when it's a situation like dementia, even when you know it's what she would want you to do for her. Ugh. No matter how many years we have together it's never enough is it? My deepest condolences to you and Cocoa.

OK keep us posted on how things are going.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

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12 August 2021 - 8:25 am
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During our visit on Friday, in addition to the laser and acupuncture, the vet gave her ketamine shots and we added trazadone for anxiety (she's been giving me yawn-yips lately). We're going back Friday for more.

I've noticed on our walks, she can get up to about 12 hops before a stop, but mostly it's six. Yesterday I offered a walk twice at different times of the day and both were declined. Walks are like the end-all, be-all you know? This morning her leg gave out while she ate breakfast. She hopped right back up, but still...

I don't think Cocoa would allow a stroller. I can't even get her to use a slight rise (yet long enough to walk on) ramp so she can skip the two stairs on each of my porches. I'm afraid that she will hurt herself here at home (even with walk to wall yoga mats). Or while we are on a walk. 

I've been struggling with this a long time now. I know y'all know. How long do we keep trying? Am I doing this for me or for her? I said above that when you know, you know. I'm afraid I know.

Cocoa

Stray Rescue – Ampuversary 2/15/2011

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12 August 2021 - 9:27 am
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Hey it's good to hear back. 

I like the way the therapist is thinking! Those ketamine injections did wonders for Meg, who is close to the same age and experiencing severe OA. We have our paws crossed that they help Cocoa too! Please let us know.

About dog strollers versus ramps...ramps are a very different story. The majority of dogs don't like them because of a phenomena called "the visual cliff." Dogs (and many animals) have a hard time with depth perception and ramps make it very hard for them to tell where the ground is located in relation to their feet. It's a scary thing, and what led the famous Temple Grandin to come up with a new type of ramp for cows in feed lots, to lessen their stress. So, it doesn't surprise me that she won't use a ramp. 

I'd say about 50% of dogs don't love the motion of strollers. But if you train a dog slowly and carefully with strollers, they can work wonders to open their world and increase quality of life. We used one during the last year of our Wyatt Ray 's life and it was such a blessing, I wish we had bought one many years sooner. Of course it's quite an investment to know if it would work for Cocoa or not so I can't blame you if you don't go that route.

I know the sadness of seeing your dog decline physically, we went through it last year. Just know that you are doing everything right to help Cocoa enjoy a good quality of life right now. Knowing when it's time is a struggle, for even the most in-tune parents. Why not come up with a list of Cocoa's quality of life indicators that, if she can't do those things anymore, then you have a better sense if it's her time? What did your rehab therapist say? Did you pose that question to her? It helps to have a neutral third party who is a vet professional to give you their thoughts too.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Virginia




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12 August 2021 - 9:32 am
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First of all, you are doing EVERYTHING  possible for your apunky Cocoa, far more than most are able or willing to do. And it's great that yoi are trying a lot of different  approaches to help her.

  A member from the UK is starting the Ketamine injections.  I think it takes a bit of time ro kick in.

Not sure of the Trazedone is  slowing her down.  As you know, it's  a powerful sedative.  Are you just giving  it to her at night at a .low dose, or mor often?

What do the Vets say the cause  of the remaining  back leg failing?  No cruc issues, no spine or disc issues, right?  just arthritis??  Plus a bit of ....er....." maturity".  I call it "senioritis".  Aging can be brutal and unforgiving!

Aside from the walks, does Cocoa still show she's engaged and ALERT?  Clearly she still enjoys eating if she did let her vum leg interfere  with her breakfast.

Can Cocoa still be Cocoa, even with some modifications?  

Express your feelings, concerns  and observations  with your Vet Friday..  Based on what you've said it doesn't  sound like Cocoa is in any "crisis " mode, this you have time to evaluate  the Ketamine, etc.

You know your Cocoa best.You know the specifics  that define HER quality.  It varies dog to dog..  

 My Vet said one time that, of course we want to keep our dogs with us as long as possible.   It's not "selfish"....it's called love.💖  

Let us know what the Vet says Friday.  

In the meantime, continue to spoil, spoil, spoil....just like younjave every moment of every day!  So it'll be hard to come up with new ways....maybe a acoop,of ice cream followed by steak!

((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too 

PS.  I'll find the link to "Meg".  She's the dog that4 is on Ketamine. 

.  

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!

Virginia




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12 August 2021 - 9:33 am
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And of course, as it takes me what seems like hours to typo my post, Jerry has already filled her post of loads of jnfo!!!  

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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12 August 2021 - 10:35 am
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Great suggestions Sally! I totally forgot to mention that about the Traz. It's a helpful medication but it is not a painkiller and does make dogs wonky.

I included the Ketamine link for her.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

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8 September 2021 - 7:55 am
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Wow! Where did that month go?

Cocoa is definitely feeling better. Whoo!

She is taking the Gabapentin 200 mg twice a day. Last week the doctor added a Chinese herb twice a day. It doesn’t have a name, but says on the label it is for hind quarter weakness. 

We have stretched the acupuncture and laser to about every ten days. She also gets ketamine and adequan those days.

Today is her third water therapy session. Yesterday she verbalized when we pulled in the parking lot. I thought it was unhappiness / distress, but she still got out of the car and willingly walked in. She is definitely not sure what she thinks of it yet. 

Last week she did something I hadn’t even noticed she’d stopped. Barking. She barked at some people walking and it startled me, and I realized I couldn’t remember the last time she did. She’s not a bark-y dog, it’s always at an appropriate time. I decided maybe her shoulders hurt too much before. 

Her knee still gives out. Does anyone use a brace? Is there a favorite brand? I’ll do a search on the site, but thought I’d ask here too. 

Cocoa

Stray Rescue – Ampuversary 2/15/2011

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8 September 2021 - 8:13 am
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Holy Moley. $899 for a custom brace. 

Cocoa

Stray Rescue – Ampuversary 2/15/2011

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Virginia




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8 September 2021 - 8:34 am
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So glad to jear Cocoa is feeling better!  Great news!!👏👏Sounds like you've found the eight balance with meds and therapies. 👍

Bummer that her knee still gives out.  Can't  really offer in good insight into braces.  You would definitely  want to speak to a Rehabilitation  Specialist  or Orthopedic  specialist  about that. 

Thanks so much for letting us know Cocoa  is doing better.  Maybe others will chime in  avout the braces. 

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!

On The Road


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8 September 2021 - 10:01 am
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YEAH! smiley_clapI'm so happy that she's doing better. Another Tripawd doing well on the ketamine, it really says something about that treatment (combined with all the others, of course...there is no one magic bullet). SUPER DUPER GREAT NEWS!

Bark away Cocoa! It's music to our ears.

Yes custom orthotics are not cheap. But off-the-shelf ones that don't fit right end up costing more in the long run, in more ways than one. Have you talked to the therapist about a brace? They usually have favorite companies they work with.

Here's a Tripawd Talk Radio episode all about braces and orthotics!

https://tripawd.....-tripawds/

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

On The Road


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2 December 2021 - 3:26 pm
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Hey there! Just thinking of Cocoa. How is she doing? I hope things are good. Drop us a line when you can, we are keeping our paws crossed 🙂

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

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