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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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Older Tripawd Might Need Cruciate Repair Surgery, Help!"
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Member Since:
12 July 2016
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28 April 2022 - 7:17 pm
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Hello All,

Yes, Max is home!!!

He is doing well I think.  He doesn’t seem to be in that much pain because he keeps trying to get up.  But when he does he barely puts any weight on the leg, barely toe touches.  Sometimes when he tries to get up he falls back on the leg,  then he holds it up in the air.  I hope to God he isn’t hurting himself.  

He wants to go out a lot.  I’m not sure he should be.  Today he tricked us into thinking he needed to pee but all he wanted was to lay down in the grass outside!

He definitely seems uncomfortable.  He had to have a few staples put in his incision a few days prior to being discharged. They had to wrap the leg because  he keeps getting around the cone and donut.  

Does anyone know what the timetable is for his recovery?  How long will it be before he can put weight on the leg?  Or use it to get up?  How long before he get up completely on his own?  My biggest fear is he will hurt himself unintentionally trying to get up.  Please keep him in your prayers.

Thank  you for all your support!

Theresa & Maxsp_hearticon2

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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28 April 2022 - 7:50 pm
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Hey Theresa,

I’m so happy you guys are together again smiley16

Sally can tell you more about that toe touching and getting up to walk around, I know she has lots of experience in that department and I don’t, so I can’t be of much help. If you haven’t already gotten some, interactive brain games with Max are a great way to tire him out mentally. 

As for the timetable, well we say around here that all dogs are different and that’s would I would say now. Wish I could tell you but these are great questions for your vet and therapy team. If they didn’t get a chance to answer your concerns, I’d get in touch.

Sorry I can’t be much help with this situation. But hey maybe I can … here’s a great recovery story about Lulu’s remaining limb surgery. If a spunky Tripawd cat can recuperate with an external fixator, I know Max can tackle this successfully too!

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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28 April 2022 - 8:35 pm
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Having that leg wrapped like that kind of muddies the water as far as a “normal timeframe” for using the leg, etc.  From the picture it appears his leg is wrapped in such a way that bending, or having any flexibility  at this point, is pretty much impossible.

Even with all that “challenge” the fact that he is avle to toe tap at all is pretty impressive..

So I think ie’shjard to project firther ise of that leg u til the wrap is off and the stitches are out.  At that point uoi should be avle to better guage each milestone of using that leg.

So kind of like the link that Jerry gave you about kitty Lulu, this is a bit unchartered territory  trying to guage the progress of a wrapped leg VS one unwrapped.

Not sure any of this  making sense.  Just trying to say that once the vandage is off, then you can compare his progress to “average” timeframes for more toe touching,  more pressure put on the leg, 

Bit yes, run everything  by your Vet, keeping in mind that, on top of everything  else, Max is recovering  as a tripawd and toe tapping is slower than for four leggers.  Also maybe try and send the Bet a picture pf the way he holds that leg out.

This will all alon be in the rear view mirror for you and Max too!

And YES, if he wants to lay outside that is very therapeutic mfor him!!!

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


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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29 April 2022 - 10:34 am
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That is a GREAT point Sally, I didn’t even think about how the wrapped leg would/could affect recovery time. Hopefully it won’t and may even speed things up?

How is he doing today?

Member Since:
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2 May 2022 - 3:15 pm
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Its day 5 for Max at home and he is doing well.  He seems to be getting more demanding of our time and doesn’t want to be left alone in the Livingroom!  We can barely leave to eat dinner!

He is barely toe touching when trying to walk, but he does put this foot down when he does his business.  His leg shakes, but I think its a good sign, at least he is trying.  The vet’s office recommends laser therapy to bring blood to the area for faster healing.  We have something called a Canine light therapy pad, which I believe will do the same thing.  I have to speak to the PT people at our vet office.  Then we can do that at home instead of bringing him back and forth all the time.

Thursday he has an appointment with the surgeon to have his staples removed and bandage changed or taken away totally depending on how well his incision is healed.  I’m hoping its all closed and he won’t need the bandage.  Hopefully then he can walk or try to a little easier and also be free from the cone.

I will keep everyone posted!

Theresa & Max

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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2 May 2022 - 3:42 pm
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Max is coming back in a big way! Sounds like his sparkle is brighter and putting his foot down at potty time sounds like a terrific sign, that’s more progress!

I looked up the light therapy pad, it’s a new one to me, looks interesting. Try to find out more specific ways as to how their product compares to laser therapy, just so you have some kind of data to discuss with the PT crew  (they like data as you know). See if the company has any studies they will share with you. That will help you have a good conversation. What I know about laser therapy at a vet clinic is the class of laser is much stronger than anything you can buy on the market as a non-vet. But if this product has some data behind it at least you have a good starting point to convo with the team.

Cheers to more healing and recovery!!! GO MAX!!!!

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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2 May 2022 - 6:13 pm
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Max IS making prrogress!!!  Using his leg for potty….shaking and all…really good sign!!!  And as you noted, Max is putting effort and focus into using that leg when pottying.  He’s been through a lot to get this point and he clearly  has intentions of keeping on keeping on!

Yes, dogs recovering  from surgery learn very quickly that we hoomans are there to give them 24/7 attention!  He may not be quite as demanding  of your attention (maybe) as things return more and more to normal….no cone…no staples….etc.

Thanks for keeping us updated.   We are all cheering for your sweet boy…..and his hoomans!

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!

Member Since:
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5 May 2022 - 3:53 pm
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Thank you both for your support.  Max did not get his staples removed today, apparently he still has a dime size of discharge from the incision and the surgeon decided he needs another week in the cast/bandage. The vet also changed his antibiotic to  Trimethorprim Sulfa 80 mg twice a day. HIs new bandage is heavier and bigger this time.  He is resting comfortably right now. It was a big day out for him!

We asked lots of questions : Is he allowed to try to change sides(position) by himself? Is he allowed to try to stand by himself?  I told them he is getting very vocal with us and possibly bored towards late afternoon into the evening.  He barks this strange bark at us, sometimes for hours. I’ll send Sally the video!  The answers were yes he can maneuver himself on his bed as long as he doesn’t get stuck, then we can assist him.  Standing is ok if we are there to catch him and assist if needed.   Surgeon said its good he is trying to do those things on his own.  She said once his bandage is off we will see more progress, (exactly like Sally said)!

As far as him being vocal she suggested short walks inside the yard, or sitting out on his bed in the yard to tucker him out.  On nice days we can do that for sure.  Getting him in and out isn’t easy right now, it definitely takes two of us and is still a struggle at times because he wants to practically run down the ramp!  

I sent the PT and Surgeon a link to the specific Canine therapy light and they suggested using it on his front elbow with the arthritis for now.  Once his bandage comes off we can use it one his back leg.  She said its definitely worth giving a try since we have it at home already.  She said use it twice daily for 2 weeks and see if we see any improvement in the front leg.  He might have to have more PT to get him moving and strengthen the back leg in the next few weeks, but she said that’s normal especially for a tripawd.

I will keep you updated.

Thanks again,

Theresa and Max

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
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5 May 2022 - 6:15 pm
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Theresa, that sounds like a productive visit and confirms that he’s making great strides. Of course it wasn’t really the result anyone wanted since he’s still got the staples, but as they say, better safe, ya da da da. One more week! You guys can do this!

Your vet team really seems to listen to your concerns and I like that the sugeon suggested trying the light therapy pad. A lot of vets would poo-poo the therapy so it shows they are very open-minded.

Go Team Max!

Member Since:
12 July 2016
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6 May 2022 - 12:12 pm
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Thanks Jerry we really appreciate the advice and support.  They also told us to stop running to  him every time he moves or tries to turn himself.  He needs to try on his own and we are being over protective.  They don’t want him to think he shouldn’t try on his own.  Because we are sleeping in the living room with him, we jump every time he tries to move and we try to figure out what he wants to do.  So we aren’t getting any sleep, and are felling quite stressed.    

I really value your opinion and Sally’s, and as in the past wouldn’t have been able to do it without you guys!

The Rainbow Bridge


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6 May 2022 - 12:27 pm
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I’ll say it again, your vets are awesome. That is GREAT advice! Yes, the less you over-protect, the better off the whole pack will be. I know it’s so hard! I cried every time our Jerry stumbled during the first few months he lost his leg. Once I could see that those falls affected me more than him, I knew I had to stop. 

You are stronger than you think and you’ve proved it! You ARE doing this and you’re doing great!

Member Since:
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6 May 2022 - 8:01 pm
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thank you!!!!

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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6 May 2022 - 8:56 pm
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Geez, bummer about having to keep the bandage on.  Hope the change in antibiotic helps heal that “spot”.  

Good job of addressing  all you questions with them.  They were good ones and, as Jwrry said, they listened and responded. I like the ideas on how to maybe help him be less vocal and ultimately  less bored.

And yes, a front legger needs the speed anyway for uos gait, but to try and slow him down as his back leg heals I’m sure takes Herculean effort on your part.

Ypu jave everhnroghtnto feel stressed with all you jave been through.  Adding lack of sleep into the equation  makes everything  worse, phusi and mentally and emotionally. 

We can assure you though, as Jerry said, you are far stronger  than you realize.  Uou already have endured the hardest part.  Max jas gotten through the surgery and he is showing will and determination  to get on with gettin’ on!  

Just one little teeny, tiny little FWIW.  Absolutely  agree to let him “try” to get up, move on his own, etc.  I do think you still need to temper that with the fact that he’s not “just” a tripawd, but a tripawd who still has that cruciate  leg all wrapped up and still restricted as far as what type of motion he can make happen.  So even though he’s “trying” (which is wonderful). he might not be abe to get the result he wants quite yet.   Does that make sense?

And yes, any picture, video I’ll be more than happy to post anytime. If  someone could video him using the ramp, would love to see that.

Hugs…..and get some sleep!!!!

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!

Livermore, CA




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18 October 2009
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6 May 2022 - 10:00 pm
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I’ve been following your story- you are doing such an awesome job with a difficult situation!

I just wanted to share a story that I hope will bring a smile- it’s about being over-protective with a new Tripawd.

My mom thought I was crazy when I got my first Pug- but Mom formed a really strong bond with Maggie.  Fast forward to after Maggie’s amp- she was healed up but still being a bit stubborn about getting around.  Both my Pugs would spend some days at my Parent’s house (dad was retired and would go get them when I was at work).  My mom felt bad about Maggie losing a leg and started carrying her everywhere, including outside to do her business. Mag was too small and weak to go upstairs on her own but she could go downstairs but Mom carried her both ways.  One day at my house I was outside with both Pugs and then headed inside, Maggie sat down on the grass expecting me to give her a ride.  I waited her out and she finally came in on her own about 20 minutes later!  I told Mom she needed to let Mag do what she could on her own but she failed to follow my advice until Maggie peed on her brand new rug (right by the dog door) while waiting for her ride outside.  Mom got on board after that smiley4.  It took several more stand-offs with Mag waiting outside until she finally got the idea and got back to coming and going on her own.

You have so much to deal with- you are doing great.  Hang in there!

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

Member Since:
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8 May 2022 - 6:43 pm
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Thank you so much for sharing your story.  I laughed because I completely get it!  I am so bad, all Max has to do is park or do the cry bark and I’m running with treats!  He has me trained well!  Everyone in the house constantly tells me to stop that I’m enforcing his bad behavior.  I recently have cut back quite a bit and he is getting the message.

Max is doing well today in putting his foot down and he tried to run across the yard when out to do his business!  But a half hour ago someone in the neighborhood set off some fireworks and he got off his bed and tried to run without us and fell.  He was shaking for a bit but now seems calm.  I just pray he didn’t hurt himself. 

I hope the week goes quickly and he gets his staples out and bandage off on Thursday.  We just want him to heal properly and be able to get around on his own again soon!

I will try to have someone video him going down the ramp and send it to you Sally.

Thanks again,

Theresa and Max

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