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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is your home 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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Senior front leg amputee with weak rear legs
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Member Since:
2 March 2010
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28 June 2012 - 8:41 pm
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My mother's dog Polly is 11 years old, I think.  She is two years post amputation from osteosarcoma.  Her gait has become less coordinated in the rear and her rear legs have also weakened.  We use the suggested harness from Tripawds and love it.  We are finding ourselves needing two people to walk her outside and back.  One person to hold the harness and the other person to hold up the rear.  Is anyone familiar with some sort of scooter or wheeled apparatus we could use?  I'm thinking about something similar to what is used for dogs with rear leg paralysis. 

knoxville, tn
Member Since:
12 February 2010
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28 June 2012 - 8:58 pm
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you might want to do a google search on 'eddie's wheels'.  they make front and back wheelchairs for pups.  hope this helps.

 

charon & spirit gayle

Life is good, so very, very good!!! Gayle enjoyed each and every moment of each and every wonderful day (naps included).  She left this world December 12, 2011 – off on a new adventure.

Love Never Ends

http://etgayle

Las Vegas, Nevada
Member Since:
14 August 2009
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28 June 2012 - 10:02 pm
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Welcome Polly and pack!

I'm sorry to hear about the challenges.  But what a wonderful achievement to have 2 great years with OS.

We wish you all the best in your search for mobility!

Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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29 June 2012 - 9:29 am
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Hi Carol, welcome!

Has Polly been seen by a certified vet rehab therapist? Oftentimes this kind of situation can be corrected after a proper gait analysis and prescribed physical therapy. You can read how to find a qualified therapist in this blog post:

Canine Acupuncture and Rehab Therapy Tips for Tripawds

As for wheelchairs, they can also be a great benefit for dogs, but before you start looking to buy one I recommend reading this blog post, which has an interview with Eddies Wheels founder and also our favorite rehab vets, California Animal Rehab.

"When and How a Dog Wheelchair Can Help a Tripawd"

Let us know what you find out. We send all our best that she starts to get strong again and feel good. Keep us posted.

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

San Diego, CA
Member Since:
29 October 2010
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29 June 2012 - 12:13 pm
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Hi Carol, Hope Polly is feeling better.

I don't know if you know anybody handy or not, but I saw someone had posted something on Twitter the other day about how to actually make your own littlle wheel chair sort of thing out of PVC pipe. I can try to find the link back if you think it would be helpful.

Jackie, Angel Abby's mom

Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

Loving the Red Dog
Member Since:
12 May 2009
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9 July 2012 - 6:35 pm
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Our Red Dog will be 13 in August and just passed the 3 yr post-ostesarcoma amputation mark in May.  She also struggles with weakness and arthritis, and we've found acupuncture and swimming to be the best therapies for her condition. 

Do what you can from a rehab perspective first, because atrophy can occur quickly once you go to the chair. 

We wish you the very best of luck in your journey.  The 2 year club is something to celebrate...that's a lot of Bonus Time!

Oh Happy Day!

Member Since:
2 March 2010
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9 July 2012 - 9:10 pm
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Mr. Man, I would be interested in both interventions you mentioned.  I haven't located an Acupunturist in Nashville TN that has a canine clientele. 

Do you have any suggestions on locating a swimming facilities for dogs in Nashville?

Loving the Red Dog
Member Since:
12 May 2009
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16 July 2012 - 12:05 pm
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carolb4,

Sorry I've not replied sooner!  Your best bet is to start by talking to your vet for referrals to acupuncturists and possible rehab pools, or talk to friends and neighbors who might have a canine-friendly pool.  We found our veterinary acupuncturist through another vet friend, and we began swimming by using the hydrotherapy pool at the UT Vet School here in Knoxville. Recently, however, a kind neighbor invited us over to swim at his house, and that has been great.  If you need more info, feel free to send me an inbox.  We're happy to help you in any way we can.  Good luck!

Brian, Debra & Shiva the Red Dog, etc  smiley

Oh Happy Day!

Loving the Red Dog
Member Since:
12 May 2009
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16 July 2012 - 12:11 pm
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You also may want to look into getting one of these harnesses we just discovered.  Solvit Products focuses on canine mobility aids, and we're thinking of getting one of these harnesses as Shiva continues to age.  It looks to be well-designed and provides lift assistance for one person to be able to maneuver even a large dog:

http://www.solv.....i94_i.aspx

Let us know if you get one, and we'll do the same!

Oh Happy Day!

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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16 July 2012 - 12:50 pm
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Hey Mr. Man, if you get this harness we would love it if you wanted to write a review for our Gear blog . In looking at it, I don't like the way the straps appear to cut into the body the way they do, but until you try it I guess you just don't know. Drop me a PM and let me know how it works for Shiva.

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

Member Since:
21 December 2011
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11
25 July 2012 - 3:27 am
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Hello all,

My Bongo is 8 and a front limb amputee.  His back legs are awful due to early undiagnosed cruciate ligament problems (we got him at 3 years old).  We tried acupuncture and that did not work.  We just start laser therapy yesterday and the jury is out. 

As to mobility aids - we are still looking for a solution.  I am about to send back the Solvit harness - it is really awful sorry to say.  It will not work for a front leg amputee at all and it is cumbersome and not well made.  I have been looking at the AST suit but I just heard from them and they said that droopy hind legs can be an issue with that suit especially with a large dog.  Oh yes, Bongo is a Great Pyr/Anatolian Shepherd mix.  He is tall and long (his chest is 31 and his body measurement between his front and hind legs is 20.  

I need something that provides adequate hind leg support as well as front.  So far I have come up empty.  We currently have the RuffWear harness on Bongo but it does not provide adequate hind leg support and is a bit heavy.  

I will keep looking and if anyone comes up with something wonderful please let me know.  

Sharon (and Bongo and Bailey - both happy Tripawds)

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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25 July 2012 - 9:58 am
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Hi Sharon,

Sorry to hear about Bongo's legs. Has he been evaluated by a rehab vet? An evaluation from one can make a huge difference in the effectiveness of the therapy he receives.

The Ruff Wear Webmaster harness is one of the lightest mobility harnesses on the market so I'm a little confused why you consider it heavy. Do you mean the Doubleback harness by Ruff Wear? This Ruff Wear one is a bit heavier but it does have rear leg loops that might help you support him. 

"Double Back Harness Great for Front Leg Tripawds"

Here's a photo of our Wyatt wearing it:

Image Enlarger

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

Member Since:
21 December 2011
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25 July 2012 - 10:17 am
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No we do not have the Doubleback.  The Ruff Wear harness just seems heavy to me - especially in this heat but Bongo is now living inside until we can heal his pressure sore so the heat is not a factor right now.  I need something that is super easy to put on given that he rarely stands up on command - and he is big.  Once he goes back out in the pasture (he is a livestock guardian dog) he will not need a harness except for trips to the vet - but even then we need something quicik and easy. I'll take a closer look at the double back - but it needs to have quick release buckles all around so I do not have to lift his leg into it or put it over his head.  

 

Thanks,

Sharon

Member Since:
21 December 2011
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25 July 2012 - 10:19 am
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I forgot to say that yes Bongo has been evaluated and actually went through some rehab including hydrotherapy - it is not effective for his problem.  We also tried acupuncture.  We are hoping the laser treatments will make a difference but will not know for a couple of weeks yet.

 

Sharon

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