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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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Rear leg tripod struggling to get up/lie down etc
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Member Since:
16 May 2009
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6 May 2013 - 10:16 am
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Jerry - probably not, since we both need to be supporting Sid while he uses it, but if we ever have a third person around, I'll get them to take a picture!

 

Katy - Unfortunately, knowing where the knots are is only part of the solution.  Even the rehab guy at the race kennel says he can't massage them out because they are so solid.  And they move .. one day they'll be in one place, and another day he'll have them somewhere else.  The one at his shoulder, which may be an injury, rather than just a knot, it's definitely helpful to know about that, because I can make sure he doesn't do something which will pull on it - like jumping out of the car.  I hope that with a week or two of extra care with things like that, it will heal. 

He is finding the heat pad irksome and it's causing him to tense more, so I think I'm going to have to leave that for the moment.  I can gently massage him myself, but I can tell by the faraway look in his eyes that it hurts and I don't want to do more damage. 

Sometimes using the 'press and hold, then release' method works quite well for muscle knots, but I do it for my husband's shoulders and neck, and I know from that (and my own personal experience at the chiro) how much it can hurt, even though it is then helpful quite quickly.   Trouble with dogs is that they can't tell you if it has helped and you can't tell them 'hang in there, this will hurt like heck for a moment or two, then it'll feel a lot better'.

Seeing the vet again tomorrow.  I'm going to ask him about x-rays and a referral to a greyhound expert.

On The Road


Member Since:
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6 May 2013 - 6:06 pm
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Good luck tomorrow! Keep us posted.

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

Member Since:
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8 May 2013 - 4:36 am
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 I just left him at the vet for x-rays.  Looks like it might be bad news for Sid: the vet thinks he has significant arthritis in his hock.  Flexion is greatly reduced, and while I think he's pretty much always been like that, it's not helping his back. 

It's possible he sustained micro-fractures in that hock at the time of the original injury which was over five years ago, and he has certainly compensated for his tripod status (with or without micro-fractures) and laid down extra bone in his lower leg, and he has always run/hopped in a very straight-legged way, which has probably caused more distortion to his back than if he had a looser gait, poor guy. 

Chances are he also has arthritis in that hip, so it seems that it could well be time to look at carts.

 

Still, I'm getting ahead of myself, since they haven't got any results yet, for him.  I'll let you all know what they say when I know.

New Haven, CT
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27 December 2012
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8 May 2013 - 6:52 am
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ok ok ok.  We'll stay tuned.  We all know there are issues, but he's getting the very best treatment, for sure!  Let's hope there are more things that can be done to help him out.

~ Katy

ACL tear in right hind leg 12/5/12 and scheduled ACL repair surgery 12/21/12. Pre-op xrays revealed osteosarcoma. Amputation 12/28/12.  Chemo (carboplatin) started Jan 10, 2013 and ended on April 5, for a total of 5 doses. He handled carbo like a champ!  No side effects.  We started metronomic therapy at his third chemo and have been also doing some holistic treatments.  He's a lively, playful 10 year old huskie-boarder collie and a very proud member of the Winter Warriors!  Our love. Our funny little guy!

On The Road


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8 May 2013 - 8:44 am
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I'm glad he's getting some expert care. Try not to let the worst-case scenario take over your thoughts right now. No matter what happens, at least he will continue to get the help he needs to have a great quality of life. And he has YOU, a pawesome pawrent.

Keep us posted OK? I'm curious what the final diagnosis is.

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

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8 May 2013 - 10:20 am
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Thanks for your support and kind words!

He's home.  The vet scared the pants off me by telling my husband over the phone that there was 'significant bone pathology' and I had visions of him riddled with arthritis all along his spine, with spurs and healed fractures and goodness knows what else!  However, what he meant was that the hock won't flex because of the amount of bone he's laid down there to compensate for having been a tripod for so long.  He does have a significant amount of arthritis in his hock, but what's causing him the most pain is the muscle cramping in his spine.

 

He showed me a big, heavy-duty massager - which is his personal property and he'd gone home to fetch it - and he used it on Sid while we watched.  It is the kind with two rubber vibrators which have various heads you can attach.  Just the right size to go up and down both sides of his spine.  Sid was a bit nervous about it at first, but soon relaxed and began to enjoy it.  And he walked out of there feeling better, despite having been manhandled while being x-rayed with no anaesthetic.

 

The vet does think it might be time to think about a cart, though he expressed some doubts about him learning to use it.  So we're going to look into that, and also get him one of these massagers!

 

Oh, and he gets to stay on Onsior and Tramadol.  Hopefully, the combination of massage and the cart (if we can find a good one) will mean we can reduce those over time.

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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8 May 2013 - 11:58 am
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Awwwww Sid, glad you are lovi g the massage and, so far, it seems like it's hello g some... And with repetition it may continue to do wonders.

Jay, don't know how computer/photo savy you are, but could you post a photo of that massager? It may be so etching a lot of us could use for our large pups:-) :-)

Overall Sid has a good report and I know that's a sigh of relief:-) :-)

You are such a good paw parent!!

ALWAYS send ing you support, Sally and Happy Hannah

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!

New Haven, CT
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27 December 2012
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8 May 2013 - 12:09 pm
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Great report!  I love the idea of Sid getting some wheels.  It seems like the pups who need them do really well with them.  Good luck!  Enjoy the rub-down vibrations, Sid!

~ Katy

ACL tear in right hind leg 12/5/12 and scheduled ACL repair surgery 12/21/12. Pre-op xrays revealed osteosarcoma. Amputation 12/28/12.  Chemo (carboplatin) started Jan 10, 2013 and ended on April 5, for a total of 5 doses. He handled carbo like a champ!  No side effects.  We started metronomic therapy at his third chemo and have been also doing some holistic treatments.  He's a lively, playful 10 year old huskie-boarder collie and a very proud member of the Winter Warriors!  Our love. Our funny little guy!

Member Since:
16 May 2009
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8 May 2013 - 1:39 pm
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Sally - we don't have a massager yet, I have to order one online.  But when I do, I'll happily post pictures of us using it with Sid!

 

Katy - We're still looking into it, but there are some promising leads on that!  Thanks.  :)

 

 

On The Road


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24 September 2009
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8 May 2013 - 5:30 pm
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Hooorrrraaaaay for muscle aches! ;) I'm sure Sid isn't celebrating that but I'm just glad it wasn't anything worse, and so hoppy to hear that the massage-o-matic worked on him. What a patient, mellow dog for tolerating a machine like that, I know our Wyatt wouldn't cope with that very well.

When it comes to carts, if you can work with a PT person to show you how to use it properly, that is the ideal scenario. I have heard that some dogs won't use them, but if you can get a professional to help you introduce it slowly you'll have a much better chance at success. I'd love to hear ongoing reports about how it's working out. This article might help you in the meantime:

When and How a  Wheelchair Can Help a Tripawd Dog

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

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