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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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Still Stiff and Sore
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Member Since:
30 May 2012
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15 October 2012 - 6:36 am
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Hi, our tripawd Hunter got to do his favorite thing this past Friday... pheasant hunt.

He was out for a total of about 1 hour, with a good break after 30 minutes, but came up really lame in his hind end.

He was dragging his rear.  The past 2 1/2 days we've given him one Rimadyl every 12 hours and have noticed slight changes of improvement.  However, most of the time when he pees he falls over... which for him means sitting down.  It just breaks my heart because just this past Wednesday he was on a 45 minute park walk happily enjoying life.

He's had a history of shoulder lameness after a hunt and with only 1 rear leg we can't tell where his issues really are this time.  We've massaged his body and come up with no painful areas.

Hunter is able to get around, go in and out of the house, pee & poop.  He's not able to get up onto the couch right now (his favorite place) and we need to assist him getting into the bath tub (where he prefers to drink).   So he's got no power to jump right now.   He's got a great attitude and seems happy for treats, petting and his food.

Will the soreness go away soon?  Does it take a tripawd longer to recover?

He's 9 yrs. old by the way.

Read about our Hunter at http://superdog.....pawds.com/

7/27/2003 ~ 7/24/2013

Our Super Dog Hunter crossed over the Rainbow Bridge on a beautiful summer day in July, just 3 days shy of his 10th Birthday. He gave us everything since he was 8 weeks old.  Hunter was a 14 month warrior of OS.  We LOVE and MISS him every day.

 

Portage Lake, Maine
Member Since:
8 December 2009
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15 October 2012 - 6:46 am
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Sorry to read Hunter is sore sad  When he did the pheasant hunt was he running?  Was it out of his normal activity?  I know my rear leg amputee can't handle what she used to be able to, even now almost 3 years later.  Half hour walk is her max.  The flatter the ground the better with good easy footing.

Did you massage his hamstring area?  Maybe that is sore?  Or hip area?  Do you have a PT person or massage person handy at all?  Or acupuncturist?

When Maggie gets tired/sore it takes her a few days to fully recover.

 

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/

Milwaukee, WI
Member Since:
6 September 2011
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15 October 2012 - 7:14 am
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Poor Hunter.  I bet that back leg was doing the work for both and the muscles are very sore.  Has he had any other incidents like this before that you can make a comparison to?  Maybe icepacks can help?  I think muscles can take a good week to feel better though.  Hugs to Hunter.

Harley is an 8 year old Golden Retriever. Amp surgery for an infiltrative lipoma canceled due to two masses in chest. A rescue, he found his forever home on 3/18/07 and left for his eternal home on 1/09/13. His story and medical history are at http://myharley.....pawds.com/

Orange County, CA
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15 October 2012 - 8:08 am
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Sorry to hear Hunter is sore.  We never experienced anything like this with our Max (front left amp), but I know I've read other forums entries where the owners took their pooch to an acupuncturist to see if something was out of alignment.  Sometimes it's something as simple as that.  Also, I'm a firm believer in calling the vet; we pay them a lot of money to take care of our animals, so they can answer a question over the phone for free every once in a while!  I hope Hunter gets to feeling better real soon, and that he just overdid things in his excitement.  Keep updating as you get time.   

Member Since:
30 May 2012
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15 October 2012 - 8:09 am
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Yes I believe he was running in the field.  Pretty even terrain but thick and tall grass.  Much different than walking on flat park trails for sure.  We should have stopped him for the day after the first 30 minutes.  We feel so bad and my husband is blaming himself. We so wanted to give him what he loved to do, but now we think we let him work for too long.

We have massaged the hip and entire leg and have used an ice pack. I've check all of his pads too. 

We don't know any massage therapists, just a dog water therapy person. I'll contact her today.

How long can we continue with using the Rimadyl every 12 hrs.?  I'm going to go home and check on him at lunch and give him his noon pill.

Read about our Hunter at http://superdog.....pawds.com/

7/27/2003 ~ 7/24/2013

Our Super Dog Hunter crossed over the Rainbow Bridge on a beautiful summer day in July, just 3 days shy of his 10th Birthday. He gave us everything since he was 8 weeks old.  Hunter was a 14 month warrior of OS.  We LOVE and MISS him every day.

 

San Diego, CA
Member Since:
29 October 2010
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15 October 2012 - 9:00 am
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Sorry to hear he is sore. I know when I overdue it and have muscle aches, the third day after is usually still just as sore as the next day after. Maybe he just needs a little more time to rest and recover?

It does take a while to build the strength and stamina back up.

I would def'ly call the vet and ask about the Rimadyl. Not sure how long you can keep giving it. Hope he starts to feel better soon!
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!

Member Since:
30 May 2012
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15 October 2012 - 10:00 am
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Thank you everyone.

A friend of mine recommended a holistic type of NSAID:  "Traumeel"

Anyone use this at all?

Read about our Hunter at http://superdog.....pawds.com/

7/27/2003 ~ 7/24/2013

Our Super Dog Hunter crossed over the Rainbow Bridge on a beautiful summer day in July, just 3 days shy of his 10th Birthday. He gave us everything since he was 8 weeks old.  Hunter was a 14 month warrior of OS.  We LOVE and MISS him every day.

 

BartyMom
8
15 October 2012 - 10:32 am
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Hi Labsrus & Hunter!

 

My boy Bart is also a hunting dog, but with a front leg amputation.  I put him out in the field within a month or so of amputation and we kept it short and sweet to start.  When he got tired he would start to wobble from behind and it probably was not until about 2 years post amputation that he really put it all together and the wobbling completely disappeard.

 

Don't beat yourself up for trying to give him some normalcy in his life post-amputation. I know we all hate to see our guys in pain, but unless there is something else going on he will be feeling better in no time - just like when we overdo it. They have to re-adjust what they do and how they navigate any terrain on 3 legs and it takes some time for both of you to figure out what works. Bart received chiropractic adjustments as well as massage for the first year while his body was adjusting to the new way of working. I can only imagine how all their muscles and joints have to alter what they have been doing for so long to accomodate their new bods.

 

Is there any place you can take him swimming...perhaps do some water retrieves so that Hunter still gets the "bird in the mouth" craving satiated? That was one of the best exercises Bart did once chemo was completed (did not want to expose him to any bacterias, etc., during chemo) and we started slowly in that venue, too, to build up endurance. 

 

Hang in there! There are lots of adjustments for both of you to make slowly and surely and with Tripawds here to help you figure it out, you are in good hands.  

 

I sure hope Hunter gets to feeling better each day. Give him a belly rub for me!

 

Darcy & Bart

Member Since:
30 May 2012
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15 October 2012 - 11:38 am
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Thank you everyone for all of your replies.

We do have a local lake where we can take Hunter swimming, and when that's too cold there is a water therapy place near our home.  We used them shortly after Hunter's amputation to help him figure out life on 3 legs and he enjoyed it.

I've got an email into our "Aqua Paws" person to see what she recommends.

Sounds like we shouldn't retire Hunter just yet.  Just help him to get his stamina up for the job again. 

He is 9 yrs. old though.

Read about our Hunter at http://superdog.....pawds.com/

7/27/2003 ~ 7/24/2013

Our Super Dog Hunter crossed over the Rainbow Bridge on a beautiful summer day in July, just 3 days shy of his 10th Birthday. He gave us everything since he was 8 weeks old.  Hunter was a 14 month warrior of OS.  We LOVE and MISS him every day.

 

Portage Lake, Maine
Member Since:
8 December 2009
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10
15 October 2012 - 11:58 am
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Being a rear leg tripawd, I've read Admin say they take longer to build up stamina than front leg amputees.  When you mentioned long grass, I can't take Maggie in stuff like that anymore...way too hard on her.  But Maggie is 12 1/2, not 9, either. 

I would definitely see if you can try water therapy on him to get him built up....after he recovers from his soreness now.  I'd LOVE to have access to water treadmill!  I do core work with my dog on balance domes and discs.

I have used Traumeel before... you can also use Boswellia(herbal capsules) - guessing on Hunter's weight but if he's around 60# or better you can give 400-600 mgs 2 times per day.  It's for pain and inflammation and Maggie gets that on bad days... Open up the capsules for better absorption vs dumping capsules in his food.(wet food best or a piece of cheese with it mixed up in it).

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/

krun15
11
15 October 2012 - 1:02 pm
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There is a difference between strength and stamina or endurance.  Hunter sounds like he has some endurance now but he might be lacking strength. 

Does he go at a steady pace for the 45 min at the park?  I'm guessing that while hunting there is some short bursts and quick movements and those need strength.

There are some good ideas here on exercises to build strength- check the Gear Blog for tips and ideas.

And for reference- my little pug Maggie was a rear amp, and it took her 6 months to work up to walking half the distance she did before her amp.  And there were some things, like climbing lots of stairs, that she could not ever do again. The stair issue was mostly due to her small size, but she just didn't have the strength in her remaining back leg to jump more than her shoulder height repeatedly.

 

Karen and the pugapalooza

WYO
Member Since:
10 February 2011
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15 October 2012 - 10:38 pm
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Bud has been a rear amp for over a year. Once in a while he will over do it a bit at the lake or in the mtn. Whatever the kids are doing...he wants to do too.

He hasn't ever acted lame though. He is just slow to rise or slower in step.

I would recommend visiting with your vet. My vet has given me a supply of previcox (anti inflammatory) and tramadol for any time Bud might need it after a big adventure. W have given him the previcox after a long wkend.

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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16 October 2012 - 8:10 am
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How are you feeling today Hunter? I've been catching up on your post and hope that you're getting around better. 

Your people shouldn't blame themselves for letting you overdo it. It's a fine line between over-protecting us and letting us just be dawgs. You'll all find your new normal soon, just keep trying to find that sweet spot. In the meantime keep in mind that rehab vets have told us that when you find that you overdid things, cut back ALL activity for at least a week and then gradually work your way back up in increments. If you have another set back, start all over. It takes time but you'll get there.

While you're recuperating you might want to check out these posts about rehab and fitness that might help

Tripawds Interviews California Animal Rehab about Tripawd Fitness, Choosing a Rehab Therapist, and more

Tripawds Gear Blog posts about strengthening and fitness

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

Member Since:
30 May 2012
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16 October 2012 - 8:10 am
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We needed to go to our holistic vet last night to pick up some supplements.

It was at the end of their day and our vet was available to talk with us, casually.

We explained our situation and concerns for Hunter and we bought some Boswellia for his pain and soreness.

She was kind enough to follow us out to our car and examine Hunter and she doesn't believe he has anything more wrong with him besides stiff and sore muscles.  (I was worried he may have torn his ACL)

She recommend that we massage him and give him the Boswellia 1 pill twice day.

I massaged his entire body last night and this morning he definitely seemed better.  He peed on his own.

I think we're on the "upswing" now....

Whew!  Thank you everyone! 

Read about our Hunter at http://superdog.....pawds.com/

7/27/2003 ~ 7/24/2013

Our Super Dog Hunter crossed over the Rainbow Bridge on a beautiful summer day in July, just 3 days shy of his 10th Birthday. He gave us everything since he was 8 weeks old.  Hunter was a 14 month warrior of OS.  We LOVE and MISS him every day.

 

Portage Lake, Maine
Member Since:
8 December 2009
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15
16 October 2012 - 8:15 am
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Great to read he's improving!!!  I know the feeling of kicking yourself after your dog has overdone it...hope the Boswellia helps!

My thoughts are with you!

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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