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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Not Mobile after front leg amputation
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Member Since:
21 February 2022
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21 February 2022 - 7:48 am
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My 12 1/2 year old lab, Libby, had her front leg amputated due to osteosarcoma. Two days after surgery, she got aspiration pneumonia. She also stopped being mobile and her legs just dangle when we try getting her to walk. They said because she isn't mobile the pneumonia isn't going away. She simply has no desire to try and walk. Does anyone have any suggestions or been through anything similar?


On The Road

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24 September 2009
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21 February 2022 - 11:40 am
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Hi Libby and family, welcome. I'm sorry about the issues she is having, it's got to be so emotional for you all! Did she ever walk after surgery? I'm guessing not since she aspirated soon afterward. But just thought I'd throw that out there. 

When you try helping her walk, is she on floors with good traction ? How are you helping her, with a harness or without? And how is she going potty right now?

What is your vet's recommendation for helping her?

Has your vet referred her to rehab therapy? Or a pain management specialist?

It's imperative to figure out why she is having trouble walking, asap. Not having a desire to walk is a sign that something is going on, and there needs to be a plan to figure it out. A pain specialist or rehab therapist can help.

Yes, other Tripawds have gone through similar circumstances, so you are not alone. Since every situation is different, let's focus on Libby right now to figure this out. 

I'm sorry I have so many questions instead of answers. The more information you provide the better we can help though, so post away and we'll be here to lean on. sp_hearticon2

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Member Since:
21 February 2022
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21 February 2022 - 1:32 pm
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The day we brought her home from surgery she walked with help from us holding her up. She also squated and used the restroom. Once she started taking Baytril and Amoxi-Clav for the pneumonia she stopped walking. We use harnesses on her front and back to help her walk in the grass, but her legs just dangle and she knuckles and drags her back legs. Because she isn't mobile she is pottying on potty pads at the moment. The vet is just talking about chemotherapy, but I want to know why she won't even try to walk.

                                                                                    Thank you 

On The Road

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24 September 2009
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21 February 2022 - 4:30 pm
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OK got it. Sounds like she started off good but then had a setback for some reason. What about: 

What is your vet's recommendation for helping her trying to walk? 

Has your vet referred her to rehab therapy? Or a pain management specialist?

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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21 February 2022 - 6:38 pm
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Sorry your sweet Libby is having these issues.  You've  come to the right place for support and information. 

Adding  more questions to Jerry's questions and suggestions

  1. Sorry of I missed it, but  how long ago was the surgery?
  2.   What pain meds has she been on?  Dose and frequency? 
  3. What was her "activity " right before this happened.  Even though she was mobile "with assistance ", is it possible she tweaked a muscle in her spine, or once, or both.   It doesn't  take much at all for a new tripawd to do a "tweak".
  4.  One thing that comes to mind is a disc issue.  Does she have any sensation in her back legs or front legs?  If you pinch her toes....any reaction?  If you turn her paws under, does she try to move them back into position?
  5. If you massage up and down her spine, her neck, her shoulders..any reaction of tension anywhere?.
  6. What's  the status of the pneumonia?  Any improvement?  
  7. How has her appetite  been?  Drinking water?  Staying hydrated?

We know you jave your hands full, but we'll be looking for your update when you have a minute to catch your breath.  And yes, she needs to get this figured out before thinking about  moving on with chemo!!!!  You may need to get a second opinion from another Vet who can put a new set of eyes on the situation. 

Just to add, it's not unusual  for a `mature" larger pup need extra time to get their sea legs.  The way you describe that her legs basically go limp and then to have pneumonia  on top of that....yeah....recovery may take a bit longer and need more specific  plans to help her heal .


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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