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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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New Tripawd, need advice
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Forum Posts: 8
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1 February 2021
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1 February 2021 - 7:24 pm
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My name is Heather and I recently had to do a hind limb amputation of my 6 year old Great Dane. It was a really hard decision to make but I'm glad he's still with us. The first week after surgery he did amazing. He would get right up off his bed he was walking around outside and doing amazing. It was far beyond what I expected with a large dog on three legs. It's now been 2 weeks since his surgery and all the sudden he is struggling. He doesn't want to eat he can barely stand no interest in things. All he wants is for me to lay on the floor and rub his head. He is very sensitive and seems to have pain everywhere. The vet evaluated him and said there are no signs of infection or other injury. He is on vetprofen, gabapentin and tramadol for pain so his pain should be managed. Anyone have any experience with this? Is it just as phase and as he heals more he will do better? I'm just at a loss on what to do for him.

The Rainbow Bridge



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1 February 2021 - 9:18 pm
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Hi Heather, welcome. Your future posts won't need to wait for approval so post away. 

What is your Dane's name? Was bone cancer the reason for the amputation? Just curious.

Many times, dogs will have a setback like this after seeming to do so well after recovery. Oftentimes it's a matter of doing too much too soon. What is your dog's daily activity level like? Walks? Play sessions? Do you have slippery floors? Could he have slipped? Two weeks is not a long time and he should still be taking things very easy.

Your pup is on some pain medication, which is good. But true pain management takes a multi-modal approach many times, so things like massage, acupuncture, laser therapy, etc. may need to be incorporated into a plan to help him feel better. What is your vet's recommendation to manage and treat the cause of the pain?

Did you know that the Tripawds Foundation can pay for your first rehab visit ? This is a great way to meet with an expert who can evaluate your pup and teach you the best ways to help him get strong, build endurance and prevent future injuries. If your vet doesn't seem to have a plan, I would strongly encourage you to check out a therapy center near you. We are happy to try to locate one if you would like help. 

Stay tuned for feedback from others!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 8
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2 February 2021 - 4:20 am
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Hi Jerry,

He had hemangiosarcoma on his tibia. He was going for short walks around the yard. I never pushed him to exercise. We can a carpeted path for him to walk all the way through the house. It almost seems like he has just given up. He will not get up at all anymore and refuses to walk. I will be taking him back to his vet again today as I feel something is wrong. 

Virginia




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2 February 2021 - 9:18 am
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Just catching up and letting you k ow we are all sending pawsitive e ergy to your sweet Dane.

It is sooooo easy, soooo very, very easy for a sog to tweak a muscle, strain their back, their shoulder, a disc, etc early on in recovery.  And especially  for a bigger dog..

We''ll wait to hear what the Vet says, but hopefully  some pain meds, and anti inflammatory and completed bed rest for a few days will do the trick.  In the meantime, try lots of ge tle massage  all up and down his spine, his shoilder,  etc.  Do you notice a y tense areas?

Update when you can

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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2 February 2021 - 10:58 am
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Ah ok thanks for clarifying. Try not to panic. We really do see this happen all the time and it's usually just a blip in the recovery. GREAT idea to check in with your vet. Please keep us posted!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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2 February 2021 - 5:33 pm
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Thanks for the encouragement everyone. The vet does not see anything clinically wrong. He has been prescribed a muscle relaxer and little extra love from mommy. I am hoping he will perk up in a few days. He has always been a bit dramatic when it comes to pain.

Does anyone have any suggestions on a harness for him. He needs rear end support but they all require 2 legs and he doesn't have much of a stump to hold the strap. 

I love this boy more than anything and I will do whatever it makes to get him comfortable again.

Virginia




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2 February 2021 - 6:04 pm
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Good,  glad the check up went well!!  You should see him feeling better slowly but surely.  Anything for  pain or inflmmation?  

Continue with the massages as mentioned  previously.  You can do them over a nice warm towel out of the dryer.  Neck, shoulder, ip and down spine.  I think he'll love it!

Jerry will come a,long with best suggestion for a harness from our Gear Shop.  

Thanks for updating us!

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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2 February 2021 - 7:10 pm
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He is also on vetprofen gabapentin and tramadol for pain. We are just over 2 weeks out from surgery. He just won't walk on his other rear leg. I'm really hoping it's just a pinched nerve. Thanks for the help.

The Rainbow Bridge



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2 February 2021 - 10:38 pm
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That's a good sign that the vet can't find anything specific right now. What muscle relaxer did he get?

Hopefully the R&R will help. If it doesn't, I would consider having a canine rehab therapist evaluate him. They can often find pain sources that general practice vets cannot. 

As for a harness, yeah that's a problem for rear-leggers who need hind end support. Leg loops just don't stay on. We tried a few different hind-end harnesses on our Wyatt Ray like the Ruffwear Doubleback and the Care Lift, but the only one that could consistently stay on him so we could assist is the Get-a-Grip Harnessor Custom Pet Support Suit, which was invaluable for him as he grew older. 

Let us know how things are going OK? 

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

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3 February 2021 - 6:25 pm
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Thank you for all the advice. He still has not improved much today. Called the vet back and we are switching his vetprofen for prednisone . They are thinking it's pain in his lower spine. Which makes sense, you can see the fear and apprehension when we need to move him. We are just going to do what we can for the next few days and hopefully find a regiment to get the pain under control. He is enjoy the massages and extra kisses. 

Virginia




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3 February 2021 - 7:14 pm
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Good job of observing his apprehension when he has to move.  Sometimes  anticipating pain  is enough to make a dog not want to move very readily..

Glad the Vet is prescribing Prednisone .   It's  usually effect in reducing  any swelling  or inflammation that  might be going on in his back.

Are you doing a cwash-out period for several days before switching  to the Prednisone ??  If so, for how long??  

All paws crossed that with rest and the Pred you will see improvement.   Ditto Jerry as soon as you can about getting a consult with a Rehab Specialist. Keep up with the massages as an extra bonus bonding  and relaxing  time for both of you😎

Keep us posted!

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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3 February 2021 - 7:20 pm
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My vet said normally we would do a wash out but with how much pain he is in he feels like it would be in his best interest to just switch right over. I have him on famotadine for his tummy and added some pumpkin in his food. Hopefully he will tolerate the switch ok. I will look into a rehab specialist. I feel at this very moment he just needs rest and love but once I can get him sitting up more comfortably I think that will be a great way to get him walking again. Two days after surgery his mobility was amazing. I know if we work diligently I can get him back to that point again. This is all so new to us. It helps so much to hear from others with three leggers to give me a little hope.

The Rainbow Bridge



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3 February 2021 - 7:49 pm
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Aww poor guy, that really sucks. Sounds like you are managing any potential GI effects really well. 

Not to sound like a broken record, because I know you're nervous and exhausted and worried. I would be! But a rehab therapist does so much more than ask a Tripawd to exercise. They address pain, oftentimes much faster than a general practice vet. They can help distinguish the types of pain a dog is experiencing and how to fix it.

Pred is fine for decreasing inflammation in the short term, but it doesn't address the root of the problem, and a talented rehab expert can do that. It would be so good to get a second opinion right now if you are able. I'm more than happy to help find one near you, and remember that the Tripawds Foundation can pay for your first rehab visit too.

Keep us posted OK? We're cheering for your guy.

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

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4 February 2021 - 4:21 am
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I woke up this morning and he actually sat up to greet me which he hasn't in 2 days. He looks so much more comfortable. Still not wanting to stand but I think with another day of bed rest and he will be ok. I will look into a rehaber today to see if there is one near me. 

Thanks for all the help

Virginia




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4 February 2021 - 5:26 am
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WONDERFUL NEWS!!!!   Celebrate this!!!!👏👏👏  Every little improvement  is a HUGE VICTORY!!!👏👏👏

Thanks for lettiing us know that he sat up for the best greeting evvvvver!!😎

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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