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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- preventing slipping, increasing confidence
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Forum Posts: 17
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23 December 2017
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25 December 2017 - 6:52 pm
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Lindt is a new amputee… he had surgery on Dec 22nd, was diagnosed Dec 15th. We are planning to do chemo then follow with the osteosarcoma vaccine ( the university in town is doing a clinical trial as well).

The past few days has had its ups and downs… the first day after surgery Lindt has gotten up on his own and moved around but yesterday and today he slipped a few times and now I’m worried that his confidence is shot because he won’t get up on his own, and has even peed himself with attempts to move him. We’ve decided to take  the advice on this site let him be in charge of his recovery, getting up when he needs. He is eating and drinking okay, has peed outside a few times but hasn’t pooped yet!

Now to the question… should we try booties out on him to reduce slipping? We habe tile and hardwood everywhere in our house and we are kocking ourselves because him possibly slipping was such a huge after thought that we didnt consider it until he slipped and had a pretty intense response to it. And what are some good ways to get his confidence back?

 Any advice for a concerned dog mom for the next few days would be really helpful! My significant other and I are so grateful for this site… what a resource its been, especially since our vet was closed over the weekend. 

Livermore, CA




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25 December 2017 - 8:37 pm
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Hello and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

I’m sorry you are facing the cancer battle with Lindt!

As you have discovered traction is hugely important for Tripawds. The best thing to do is to get throw rugs, runners, or yoga mats to cover the slippery floors.  Sounds like you have a lot of area to cover- you can make ‘trails’ for him to follow and block off some rooms.  Booties might help but unless he is used to wearing them now is not a good time to experiment while he is learning his new balance as a Tripawd.  Also- the slippery floors will be a problem for as long as Lindt is a Tripawd, wearing booties all the time is not really practicable.

Once you get some rugs or mats for him then you can probably rebuild his confidence with some assistance getting up and lots and lots of treats. Be sure you let him only go in areas where he has the traction he needs so he can continue to build confidence.

You might look through the Reading List which has lots of info on what to expect with amputation and recovery.

Sounds like overall he is doing well- eating and drinking.  Poop often takes a few days because of the meds.  

One other thought- do you think his pain is being managed OK with the meds you have?  Sometimes a reluctance to get up can be due to pain- of course just to complicate things sometimes a reluctance to get up can be due to the pain meds… 

Here is some information on recognizing and managing pain symptoms

Hang in there! The recovery period can be full of ups and downs so don’t get discouraged.  We have been where you are now and can help!

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

Canada
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26 December 2017 - 12:29 am
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Hi Lindt and pawrents.

No time is a good time to join Tripawds, but I’m sorry that you all are having to go through this 💩 at Christmas time!

Karen has lots of really good points! Traction is and always will be a concern for any Tripawd. Our house has the feel of your local gym, with all the yoga mats that we have on the floors! Our big boy Stewie stays on the mats every time! A slip is scary for both the Tripawd and their pawrents, so mats and rugs become a regular fashion pieces in our homes! Some of us even extend them out onto our decks if other means are not handy.

Yeah, it took Stewie (as with many others who have gone through this major surgery) a few days to find his ‘poo’ legs! It took a compromise of me being close enough to help, but far enough away to offer him his independence. (I mean who wants to be crowded out when taking a 💩?!) His extendable leash came in very handy! The medications have a huge part in this. 

As Karen mentioned, give Lindt lots of traction to feel confident, lots of treats to boost that confidence and enough help to let him know that it’s all okay!

Always be sure to check your energy when you are with Lindt. If you’re worried about him getting up, he will be worried too! Be calm and confident in all that you do for him and he will follow your lead. This is a very unsure, insecure time for our pups, so it’s critical that we give them what they normally offer us… a pawsitive outlook on everything that is going on! These first couple of weeks are the toughest, but it sounds like Lindt is doing great, he just has a little bump in the road. Don’t get discouraged, he will be Hopping back to his old self before your ready for it! Believe me! 

Bed rest is another crucial part of their recovery, every minute of it counts! Lindt might tell you that he is doing great, but sometimes they forget that they only have 3 paws and the drugs certainly help them forget this fact, so it’s up to us, to put the time out sign in the door!

Lots of good treats coming your way buddy, I can smell ‘em! Hoppy Holidays to you and your family!

Stewie and his hoppy Gang. 

On July 10/17 I became a Super Tripawd! You can find out more about my Pawrents Allensong but first Check out my 🎗 journey Super Stu Remember...“live in the moment!“  

London, UK


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26 December 2017 - 3:18 am
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Hi there and welcome!

I’m sorry that you and Lindt are dealing with this, but really pleased that you have found your way here. As you can see there really is nowhere better for advice, support and just general tripawd solidarity! 

You’ve received really excellent advice already. Ditto all the above. In answer to your question on booties, I would second the others. Not a good idea in my view, and certainly not at the moment, when Lindt is already stressed about getting up and walking. Pick up some cheap non slip rugs or yoga mats (you can buy these very cheaply online), and get them down asap. You can work out a longer term solution later, if need be. I like bare wood floors too, but find that jute/sea grass creates a similar natural feel, but provides really excellent traction for tripawds. Don’t forget the stairs too if you have them. Lindt won’t be using the stairs at the moment, but when he does it is crucial that these have been made non slip. Mine were formerly polished wood, but I cut pieces of carpet and nailed them on.

In terms of helping Lindt up, does he have a harness? A lot of us use the Ruffwear Webmaster harness, which has an extremely useful handle on the back and could be really helpful in terms of giving him confidence and helping him find his balance.

These first days are full of ups and downs, but stay tuned and don’t be afraid to ask about anything at all. We’re here for you.

Big hugs,

Meg, Clare and Elsie Pie xxx

Meg, Mutt, aged around 11, adopted 31/12/2009. Sudden explosive right elbow fracture 06/12 (caused by IOHC), diagnosed with End Stage Arthritis 03/15, Total Elbow Replacement 08/15, problems with healing leading to skin graft & skin flap surgery, Chronic Infection leading to implant breakdown. Became a Tripawd 9th March 2016. 
Lives with Mum, Clare, watched over by Angel Pie and Angel Billie
My life as a MEG-A-STAR 


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26 December 2017 - 7:08 am
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Wow, you guys are wonderful!! Thanks so much for the awesome advice and guidance, saving us lots of worry and $$$ trying to figure out solutions for our first fur baby. This blog has been a godsend! I’m at the point where I want to tell my vet to have any new Tripawd parents visit this site. My partner and I were discussing it last night and how other than minimal instructions that we received from the vet for Lindt following surgery, they didn’t give us any more guidance, even after asking. I think it’s so important that this community exists and is there at our fingertips to helps us and our pups through this change. 

Again, singing your praises! Thanks so much you guys. 

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26 December 2017 - 7:10 am
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Also update on Lindt, he has gotten up on his own and after laying down some mats and making a track to the door, he went outside! 

Thanks again for the advice. Off to the store to buy some more mats!

Canada
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26 December 2017 - 9:56 am
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Excellent news Lindt! And three paws up to your Pawrents!!! How wonderful to hear that you got up on your own Lindt! You were very brave my boy! clap

Do you have a harness like Clare suggested? We already had a good harness for Stewie, that we adapted with some comfy padding. You will always need to consider helping Lindt out of and into places, such as vehicles and such. We need to protect the remaining limbs at all costs if and when possible. I know it’s kinda hard, ‘cause they are dogs after all and ‘cause they live in nothing but the moment and they need to be reminded that they didn’t grow back that fourth limb! smiley

You may find over the next few days that a harness might be more of a hinderance, due to the fact that Lindt is a front amputee, but you can adapt an old (material) shopping bag, by cutting out the sides. If admin is able to catch this little note, they can give you the link to show you how to make one. 

I do also want to add that you are Angels for giving your boy another chance at a pain free life! Can you tell us a bit more about your boy Lindt? What breed is he? How old is he? Have you had him since he was a puppy? Did you say that this is your first fur baby???! My gongases you have been given a massive challenge in life and your rockin’ it!

I think that everyone can agree that most regular vets don’t deal with many amputations very often. As with our local vet (granted, we are a very small town), Stewie was only their 4th amputee surgery and only one other big dog. They were stella in their care for Stewie and were there 24/7 for us, but all In all, they have been learning right along with us. We had to play around with the pain meds and the use of Gabapentin was thankfully introduced to us, but a lot of vets aren’t aware of the benefits of Gabapentin for both pain and helping to control any form of Phantom limb pain. You know Lindt the best, so don’t hesitate to call your vet to talk about what Lindt may or may not need. Every dog is different, so check out the link that Karen gave you for checking for signs of pain, it is still pretty early in Lindt’s recovery and it’s super important to keep him rested and comfy. 

I agree, every Tripawd should be directed to this site! That was another thing I have to give our vets credit for, they gave us the link to this site without hesitation. This is an incredible community of people with nothing but experience with our beloved Tripawds and we are here to help each other through a very challenging journey!

Stewie also had 6 rounds of Carboplatin chemotherapy. He is now almost 6 months!!! Past his amputation and we couldn’t be happier with our big lug! 

Keep up the good work and keep shoveling those lovely tasty treats and food into him, as during this time of recovery, don’t we all love our comfort food?!winker So that means you guys will need lots of chocolate and ice cream on hand “cause Sally will be telling you all to eat LOTS!!! 

Hoppy Holidays to you and keep up the good work!

Sloppy kisses from Stewie, head rubs from his kittens and special cheer from Petra and Paul.

On July 10/17 I became a Super Tripawd! You can find out more about my Pawrents Allensong but first Check out my 🎗 journey Super Stu Remember...“live in the moment!“  

London, UK


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26 December 2017 - 10:09 am
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That’s FANTASTIC news that he has got up on his own. What a dog! What determination and spirit! He is going to totally ace this tripawd business. Great job, Lindt and great job, Mum. It’s wonderful to hear you sounding so positive. Lindt will pick up on that as well. And ditto Petra’s questions. We would love to hear more about your boy.

Big hug,

Meg, Clare and Elsie Pie xxx

Meg, Mutt, aged around 11, adopted 31/12/2009. Sudden explosive right elbow fracture 06/12 (caused by IOHC), diagnosed with End Stage Arthritis 03/15, Total Elbow Replacement 08/15, problems with healing leading to skin graft & skin flap surgery, Chronic Infection leading to implant breakdown. Became a Tripawd 9th March 2016. 
Lives with Mum, Clare, watched over by Angel Pie and Angel Billie
My life as a MEG-A-STAR 


Here and Now


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26 December 2017 - 10:49 am
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Welcome! Check out the many recommended traction solutions before jumping into boots…many new Tripawds can’t tolerate them if they’ve never worn any before.

Welcome! Start here for easy tips to navigating the many more helpful resources this community has to offer.



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26 December 2017 - 12:30 pm
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tripawdlindt said
I’m at the point where I want to tell my vet to have any new Tripawd parents visit this site.   

I agree, this is a great site for everyone who needs advice or can share some of their experience. I believe most vets would be happy to refer potential or new amputee families to a site like this with great information. The site administrators, Jim and Rene, has designed a great brochure to carry in vet clinics. I think some people have even delivered a few to all clinics in their community. I’m not sure if there are any left but you can check by going here: http://tripawds…..brochures/

I’m glad Lindt will be part of the vaccine trial. Let us know when he poops poopicon_png – it’s a great reason to celebrate another step in recovery.

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

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27 December 2017 - 11:32 am
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Hi everyone! Thanks so much for all praises and encouragement… I think Lindt can feel the wave of good vibes coming his way !! big-blink He’s been taking a few more short trips from his bed to the front yard, and is still eating and drinking well. No poop yet! We are 5 days post op so I’m hoping it will happen soon. He has been opting for more rest than activity, which we are gladly letting him take so he can recover well.

A bit more about Lindt… his main breed is a Great Swiss Mountain Hound, but he’s mixed with something  smaller, perhaps a pitbull, because he has the colorings/markings of the main breed, but not the size or the amount of fur. We got him when he was 9 months old as a rescue from our local humane society. He turned 6 years old in November. He has a brother, another rescue, Rocky, who is a German Short haired pointer mix, likely mixed with mastiff, who is 5 years old. 

We are trying to keep in good spirits with his prognosis, especially with the route we are taking (amputation, chemo, vaccine). The vet hasn’t given us a start date for chemo since we have not gotten a definitve answer from the histology following amputation. The pre amputation biopsy leaned heavily towards osteosarcoma, however due to non typical location of the tumor (mid humerus) and other factors, it could be chrondrosarcoma or histiocytic sarcoma. The vet wants to nail this down before we decide what chemo drug woukd be appropriate. 

Lindt gets his stitches out on Jan 5th and then goes to University of Florida Jan 10th for an evaluation to see if he will be accepted into the clinical trial for the vaccine.

Thanks guys for all the advice!  I’ll keep you guys updated on the next milestone…. pooping!

Canada
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27 December 2017 - 5:25 pm
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Hello Lindt and Mum

you sure are a majestic sounding fella and your brother too! 

Have you tried mixing pure pumpkin in with Lindt’s food, to try and get his bowels moving? It took Stewie a few days and then we tried an enema, but that didn’t help right away, but he did end up pooing a bit a few hours later. It was important to him to still have a bit of freedom, so we had his extended leash attached to a collar, as the harness was too uncomfortable at the time. Fingers crossed for the 💩 action! It’s time now Lindt! Rocky, you can show him how! 

Best of luck getting into the trial for the vaccine! And very best thoughts for you all. 

Ruv from Stewie, Petra and the rest of the gang.

On July 10/17 I became a Super Tripawd! You can find out more about my Pawrents Allensong but first Check out my 🎗 journey Super Stu Remember...“live in the moment!“  

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27 December 2017 - 9:12 pm
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Hey Super Stu!

Thanks for the tips on trying to help move those bowels… we’ve been doing pumpkin and other fiber rich foods along with lots of water and some veggie broth with his kibble. We got him on the extended leash today for added freedom too. No harness yet, but right now he is able to crouch down pretty well to pee so hoping some of that will translate over for when its time to poop. Plus we’ve got a makeshift sling if need be. ( Can you tell I’ve been reading so much from this site! Such a resource!)

Spoke to the vet today and we both agreed to give him a day or so more before giving him fluids at the vet or using a laxative. Today was really the first day he has been up and moving a lot more so we’re hoping that the extra movement will cause some poop action in the next day or so. If not we’ll definitely go the route of inducing a bowel movement.

Virginia




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27 December 2017 - 9:20 pm
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My goodness!  How did I miss all these glorious posts about MAGNIFICENT LINDT!!?  

You’ve gotten excellent support from everyone!  So the o ly thing left for me tomp do is join the WAVE OF GOOD VIBES for Lindt!! 🙂

Cannot wait to see pics of this HANDSOME boy!  I love all of the different genes” he has that help make Lindt be Lindt!

Okay Lindt!  We’re ready for the happy poopicon_png dance!!

Hugs and welcome!

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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27 December 2017 - 9:43 pm
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So, in the last hour of 5th day post op, Lindt discovered his poop legs poopicon_pngpoopicon_pngAnother mini milestone crossed following surgery. We are so relieved and so was Lindt, he seemed to be smiling as he hopped back inside. laughing

PS, how do I add pictures? Will I need to make a blog, or can I add them here somehow?

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