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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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Situational rear limb weakness
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Forum Posts: 4
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1 March 2010
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18 March 2010 - 12:36 pm
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Tres and I are progressing very well towards the CGC title.  The test is next week!!! 

 

The trainer keeps mentioning that during class, Tres has rear limb weakness.  When he gets up to walk, he walks as if his back leg was weak. 

 

I know that his leg is as strong as a rock.  Outside of class, he is able to run, walk, hike, and even rock hop with no problems and no signs of weakness.  What is going on?  He doesn’t seem afraid or timid in class – in fact, he seems very relaxed, preferring to lay down most of the time.

 

Background: Tres’ rear left leg was amputated about 2.5 years ago.  When we first got him, it was weak – we could push on his butt and he would sit down immediately – I can’t do that now.

 

Thanks for your input.

Lyn

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18 March 2010 - 5:00 pm
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Do you think his leg seems weak in class or are you telling us what the trainer is saying?  If it is just what the trainer is saying I am wondering if the trainer is seeing it because he is expecting it.  If you are seeing it that is different.  Does he have to sit for a long time in class before getting up again?  Just wondering.

Debra & Angel Emily

Debra & Emily, a five year old doberman mix, who was diagnosed with an osteosaecoma. She had a right rear leg amputation on May 19, 2009. On November 10, 2009 she earned her wings and regained her fourth leg.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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18 March 2010 - 6:21 pm
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Has your vet looked at?  I ask because it could be a cruciate ligament (knee).  A vet can manipulate the knee to see.

 

Let’s us know!

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.

Portage Lake, Maine
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18 March 2010 - 6:58 pm
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Speaking from experience with doing Rally obedience work with Maggie over the winter.  She can only handle so much of it before she looses the “spring in her hop”….as witnessed by my sister and a friend of mine that I have practiced with before.  Obviously it’s pretty hard for me to see when she’s in heel position next to me….an observer can see more from afar.  But after it was mentioned to me, I then could tell when she started getting tired and started to labor more in her movements…  Does your dogs attitude change?   Is he pumped at the beginning of class but after a while, is he more settled?  Could be the settled you’re imagining is him getting tired?

Have someone else watch him to confirm your instructors thoughts or better yet have someone else work him and you watch him at varying times during your class and see what you see.  Obedience work might seem like not much as far as physical work but it sure as heck is to a Tripawd!  At least Maggie thinks so and her body tells me so…

FWIW big-blink

Tracy, Maggie’s Mom

Maggie was amputated for soft tissue sarcoma 10-20-09

Maggie lost her battle with kidney disease on 8-24-13

http://maggie.t.....t-24-2013/

Madison, WI
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18 March 2010 - 10:17 pm
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Is the floor pretty smooth/slick at your classes?  Seems like Gerry gets tired of keeping his back legged balanced on slippery, smooth floors.  He has a harder time with it than my front-leg tripawd did.  Also, he does often droop his back leg (which is not limited to smooth floors) when he’s first getting up, though soon enough he’s off and running like a maniac.  Though running may be more exercise, I think it’s less work in many ways for tripawds than staying still, especially upright, balancing on a smooth surface. 

I myself though have quite a hard time trusting my own observations when it comes to my tripawd’s gait (with Yoda before Gerry as well) and whether a leg is being favored or anything like that.  And so I like others’ suggestions to ask your vet or other experienced party to observe/advise.  Maybe though, if you want to avoid taking him in unnecessarily, it can wait for a regularly scheduled visit (like for a heartworm test maybe?).  Especially since it’s only the instructor’s opinion and not anything else you’re observing that is concerning you.

Good question!  You hit on one of the differences I’m seeing in my rear-leg amputee from my front-leg amputee.  I suppose it could be that just both our boys are having some rear-leg weakness, but I’m strongly doubting that it’s a sign of injury/pain.

Gerry has been a tripawd since 12/16/2009.

He was a shelter dog with a mysterious past and an irrepairable knee injury.

Videos and pics of Gerry's pawesomeness can be found at: http://gerry.tripawds.com

Wherever the Wind Takes Me, Dude

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18 March 2010 - 11:43 pm
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Great advice Gerry!

My rear leg dips a lot at different times throughout the day. It just depends on how I’m feeling. I have even developed a small callus in the middle of my lower leg from where it hits the ground occasionally. Maybe it’s my big long heavy tail draggin’ me down, but honestly, it’s just work to walk slow, especially when I’m on leash. So sure, of course my rear end is weak, and sometimes a little more than others.

My trainer commented on that one day, and said I didn’t look very stable. She advised my pawrents to try to walk a little faster, and give me just a wee bit more leash length to compensate. Hah! They gave me an inch, and now I am a Ruler! Fooled them, didn’t I?!

 

 

Wyatt Ray Dawg . . . The Tripawds Leg-A-Cy Continues!

Read all about my adventures at my Tripawds Blog

Portage Lake, Maine
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19 March 2010 - 5:15 am
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You hit on something Gerry’s Mom, I noticed too..  Slippery floors are WAY too hard on rear leg amps.  The one time I practiced Rally-O with Maggie on a tiled floor, she didn’t want to sit down on it(she’s amputated at the hip)…and laying down was too tough cause she kinda flops herself down pretty hard on her elbows when she’d come down.  So that practice in that building was only standing and moving exercises.  She’s totally fine, however, on rugs or rubber matting in training buildings.

Wyatt…I’ve watched you move in various videos…that’s why I say the dog’s conformation plays a big part in this amputation stuff and how easy/hard the dog gets around.  You, being a GSD, are very long in body and leg and your remaining rear leg, in typical GSD structure, is very angulated…so makes it tougher for you to keep your balance than say a Chow-Chow with very ‘table like’ structure with no angulation.

Maggie has quite a bit of rear end angulation too due to having GSD in her.

It was also commented to me by others while doing rally-o work, to move faster cause then it was easier on Maggie smile

Tracy, Maggie’s Mom

Maggie was amputated for soft tissue sarcoma 10-20-09

Maggie lost her battle with kidney disease on 8-24-13

http://maggie.t.....t-24-2013/

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19 March 2010 - 6:43 pm
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Wow, thanks everyone for all the suggestions.

 

I see that his leg is weak in class, but I also see him out of class and he’s fine. The instructor has asked me about it twice – but she also doesn’t see him outside of class.

The class does involve a lot of sitting and/or laying down for Tres.  Maybe his leg is “cold” (not warmed up) from sitting/laying down for such a long period.

The floors are slick in this class – waxed concrete.  At the MIL’s house, it is gravel, dirt, and grass – all high traction materials. 

The vet examined him a while ago (about a year ago), and said he was fine. I doubt its an injury because I take him to my MIL’s house after class and he runs around and plays with the other dogs just like normal.

 I personally think it is because in all the exercises we do, he is 1) walking for very short distances – ususally 10 ft or less, and 2) he has to walk rather slowly. 

The instructor has suggested that Tres can take the loose-leash walking portion of the test on a different surface – but the only place is the lawn outside and there’s just too many interesting smells for him that he has to sniff and pee on- too many distractions and we will flunk that portion of the test.

 

Thanks everyone!!! I’m so glad to have this community!

-L

Here and Now


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19 March 2010 - 7:01 pm
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tresmom said:

The floors are slick in this class – waxed concrete. 


 

Perhaps he is just wary of the slippery serface and walking extra carefully … maybe he needs some Ruff Wear dog boots! winker

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20 March 2010 - 2:55 pm
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Funny, I just posted about this today on Nikki’s blog. She absolutely has a hard time on the indoor surfaces, even the carpet. For the most part to me it seems as if she is expecting to slip, and therefore is being more careful. Once she hits the outside though, she will run/play/horse around with the best of them…. Of course she does get tired more often and sit down, but even getting up while outside is much easier for her.. I really do believe it’s more a “fear” of slipping than it is anything else…

Here and Now


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Portage Lake, Maine
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20 March 2010 - 7:39 pm
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My Maggie is fearful of slipping on slick floors too(hence why my house now looks like a patchwork quilt of various throw rugs on the hardwood and linoleum!).  But give her good footing and the fear goes away.  And she’s not a fearful dog but being a tripawd now has brought that out of her…rightfully so! 

Tracy, Maggie’s Mom

Maggie was amputated for soft tissue sarcoma 10-20-09

Maggie lost her battle with kidney disease on 8-24-13

http://maggie.t.....t-24-2013/

Las Vegas, Nevada
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21 March 2010 - 12:29 pm
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Heck, I bet I look like I’ve got limb weakness when I walk on slick floors, too!  With age, that falling thing gets a bit scary!  confused

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.

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