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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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Remaining back leg won't support weight
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Forum Posts: 36
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16 January 2018 - 7:45 am
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I know this will be long, but I'm terribly concerned.

Last week we thought Bailey was having issues with her antibiotic.   She wasn't drinking much and would eat but only when tempted(but ate all her regular amounts).  Her back leg was working but she wasn't getting to a full stance as quickly and had some sinking. But that has happened on and off since amputation.  Seemed fine over weekend.   

Last night she woke up at 11:00 to go out and that is not usual.  My husband had to assist more than usual, and got her back on her bed.  This morning, she can't get up by herself.  We get her up with the harness but she can support no weight.  She is a big girl still, and I can't support her enough to be outside. So, my husband has to.  This is an issue as I am home all day but he works 20 minutes away.  

Pour local vet is closed due to weather (we shut down everything in Texas for a bit of snow and ice). I called Texas A&M where her leg was amputated and she received chemo.  They are an amazing place.  I needed advice on how much Tramadol to give her since she has lost 17lbs since amputation (plus the 11lbs she lost while in hospital for amputation--total 27 down).  They told me the amount.  Then said they are concerned of another fracture, and for me to give the pain meds and keep comfortable until I can get her into our vet. 

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16 January 2018 - 7:48 am
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Guess it was too long it posted by itself.

Anyway, I am looking out my window at beautiful snow, a rarity to say the least for East Texas, and worried about Bailey.  She would love to be in the snow. I'm hoping we can keep away the pain until we can get in to see our vet.

Virginia




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16 January 2018 - 10:44 am
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Okay, deep breaths!!!     You are doing exactly what needs to be done right now jntioe you can get her checked out....rest and Tramadol!!

It's HIGHLY likely that there is some overuse involved.  Thst could mean sore muscles/strain, and it could also mean a ligament issue, or knee issue.  Could even be a pinched nerve type thing.   Although they mentioned "fracture", to me it seems she would be in an incredible amount of pain and a lot more vocal about it.  Not a Vet of course.  Just saying thst it's very likely it may NOT be thst, and may be one of the other things I mentioned.

If it is a ligament issue, etc, there are conservative management things that CAN be done and getting a really good Rehabe Vet is the solution!!      Not saying it's easy, especially with a big dog!

Let us know how Bailey is doing after the pain meds kick in.  May take  several doses tpand constant rest to see improvement

Right now Bailey probably prefers staying I side where it's warm right now anyway.  But you can still make some snowballs and bring them in for her to "catch".

Lots of 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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16 January 2018 - 10:52 am
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Oh gosh you must be worried, perfectly understandable. BUT, I can't begin to tell you how many times we've seen the exact same situation in other dogs turn out to be nothing more than a muscle strain or soreness. I have my paws crossed that it's the same for sweet Bailey.

Think back to her last few days of activity. Could she have fallen on ice? Was she playing hard with other dogs? Did she do more exercise than usual? With the major weight loss she's had, it's entirely possible that she could have muscle weakness going on, and a bit more activity than usual may have caused the lameness.

In the meantime are you OK lifting her? You have a harness right? If not try a shopping bag sling, they work in a pinch!

You did right by asking how much more tramadol to give, I hope it helps. Try to breathe, give her some gentle massage and keep us posted on what your vet says. We'll be waiting and hoping for good news. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 36
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16 January 2018 - 3:49 pm
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Yes,  I have a sling type harness.it has been what was needed so far.  Today,  I can get her up in the house and move a little, but she won't walk but a few steps for me assisting.  My husband came home and she went out side at lunch time.

She has slept most of the day, but has eaten well.  

She hasn't done anything extra as far as exercise lately.  But with her osteoarthritis so bad, it could be that kicking in.  We always use a sling outside and that is limited to potty time lately.   Inside, we've let her go without, and she has been doing fine.

Three weeks after amputation, we had an evaluation with the rehab doctors at the vet school.  The ONLY thing they told me was she needed to lose weight. We were very disappointed.  This was based on her remaining leg having an unrepaired ACL tear (the amputated one was repaired and that rehab was hard and long) and osteoarthritis in her hip.  They really didn't give her much of a chance of any type of mobile life, and she has proved them wrong. She hasn't been running around, but has enjoyed everyday. Especially, taking rides inside the UTV instead of chasing it!

She is the best dog ever.  I do know we have done all that can be done, and would do it again.

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17 January 2018 - 5:18 am
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Just wondering if your vet is open again and what he said? 

Personally, I think Manni did as well as he did for as long as he did was in part due to the physio therapy that I dragged him to since week one. I would think that especially with osteoarthritis it would be a good thing to at least have a rehab vet show you some exercises that you can do with her to keep the rest of the body mobile. For them to tell you that she didn't have a chance at a normal mobile life seems rather destructive. They should be able to work with what they see. Maybe go again and be adamant about them showing you something to IMPROVE the situation and not give up?

I hope you get "good" news from your vet and it's really just soreness and nothing worse!!

Tina

Guardian of Manni the Wonderdog. -Or was it the other way around?
Osteo and amputation in Dec 2015. Second, inoperable, primary osteosarcoma found in June 2017.
The end of our adventures came Dec 10, 2017. 2 years to the day.

Manni's blog -dogblog-

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17 January 2018 - 8:32 am
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Vet is closed again today. I am surprised. She was supposed to go in for a urine culture this morning and I didn't get a call to cancel.  Glad I called before I loaded Bailey in 13 degree weather for a 20 minute drive! 

But...Bailey is walking close to normal.  I don't know if giving her the Tramadol has relieved the pain enough to Walk?  Also, she had been on Baytril for 12 days and I didn't give it yesterday.  She has had problems since she started, plus she had to take nausea meds with it.  I just grasping straws I guess but all very baffling. Leaving her on 1.5 pills 2x a day until I get to talk to vet. 

Tina, I am going to rake your advise and talk to my local vet about additional rehab type help.  I know the issue may be we live in a rural area and those types of services may be far away.  The vet school is around 3 hours away.

thanks,

jan

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17 January 2018 - 10:50 am
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Oh I'm glad she's getting around better. I'm curious about what your vet will say but meanwhile . . . 

 The ONLY thing they told me was she needed to lose weight. 

This in itself will make the biggest difference right now. I know you went to the rehab visit with other expectations in mind, I would too, but if they placed the emphasis on weight loss then that's the very best place to start. One extra pound of fat on a dog is like five on a human, so keep that in mind. For a dog with osteoarthritis, any extra weight is a huge burden to move around.

If the rehab vets didn't recommend any sort of program to help her with weight loss, speak to your vet for help. If they cannot help, you can go online to the Association to Prevent Pet Obesity and read more about a DIY approach. 

We are big on the importance of weight loss for Tripawds because it really does matter. And the best part is it's all in our hands, we can do something about it! Dogs lose weight so much faster than people, it's relatively easy. Here's a blog post we just wrote about this issue:

Not Sure If You Have an Overweight Tripawd? Here’s How to Tell.

Talk to your vet, get the weight loss going on and if you'd like help finding a rehab therapy team you're more comfortable with, let us know OK?

I hope she continues to improve this week!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 36
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17 January 2018 - 6:06 pm
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The vet was just having phone issues and they were open today and yesterday.,

She could not find anything wrong with Bailey today. As Bailey was hopping all around and greeting everyone with a lick and smile!  We are leaving her on Tramadol through the weekend and then back off and see if her back leg goes lame again.  🤞

Changed her antibiotic to one she's had before (doxycycline).  Urine culture on Monday.

gong to keep working on weight and talk about going to a rehab facility about 30 miles away after we get through this crisis.  Not sure what they offer, but gonna check out.  

Thanks for advise. Today is such a brighter day.  

Virginia




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18 January 2018 - 11:37 am
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:-):-):-):-)  A birghter day indeed!! 🙂 🙂   Glad to hear Bailey is feeling better!!  🙂   🙂 🙂 🙂

Keep taking it slow for a bit longer  sweet gitl, even though you feel better.  And hit your Mom up for lots of massages!   Neck, shoulder, up and down the spine.

Keep the good updates coming!

Higs

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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