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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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Sudden disinterest in her dog beds - wanting to be in smaller, contained spaces
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Member Since:
1 August 2022
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6 September 2022 - 8:27 am
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Thank you for your kind words. I will always fight for my girl and what I think is best for her quality of life!  I think after today we will take a break on rehab until I decide whether or not to do surgery. At this stage, it’s just a stressful event for everyone. Their reasoning for the hydrotherapy was to take some pressure off her joints by having her float and help her mobility a bit. They didn’t turn the treadmill on at all and they used a sling last time to hold up her rear, but said they would use a life jacket next time (why they didn’t do that the first time is beyond me).

I was finally able to access all the TPLO posts yesterday and did more reading, including your story. I’m still pretty nervous about recovery, mostly because this one has felt like absolute hell already. I kinda wish I could just send her away for 8 weeks to heal LOL. We have just started to see more of her personality come back, although she still won’t lie down up here or go on her dog beds, and I am loathe to go back to square one. But it is clear to me we can’t stay in this current ‘purgatory.’ I did find a local, well-rated surgeon and reached out to ask for a consultation with Marley to see if she’s even a good candidate. He has done over 400 TPLOs. We could go back to our previous surgeon, but he’s part of a large vet hospital, and honestly – I’m tired of the “big hospitals” and non-personalized care. We only stayed there because that’s where she got her MRI, and it was one of the only places in the entire province that offered it + had a neurologist on staff. It’s always a giant crapshoot whenever we have to take her there and I’m over it. 

But anyway, yes, I want to celebrate our progress, especially for anyone reading who is freaking out about their first couple of days/weeks with a tripawd! We are almost on week SIX and it’s been brutal, but the wins:

-is no longer trying to wedge herself into tiny spaces (good thing cos she’s kind of floofy)

-pacing/panting reduced considerably; mostly sleeps through the nights

-yelping reduced considerably

-great appetite

-talks back occasionally like her old self (today she was barking at me from behind the rose bush because I wouldn’t let her jump off the garden ledge onto our pavers to get back into the house – something she’s done for years – and she was not happy about this icon_lol)

Virginia




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6 September 2022 - 10:22 am
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“TALKING BACK TO YOU”,…YEEEEESSSS!!!  No better sign Marley is back, not all the way uet, but making progrss!!  Nothing makes  us happier than to here she is getting some sass back!!!

Thanks again for taking the time to share so much detail.   I really like how you jave lost3d the pawsitive.  It is a great way to point out there is jndeed progress during this very rough time.

And thanks for explaining  the hydrotherapy  process.  That certainly  makes sense.  GWIW I couldn’t agree more to put all that on the vack burner for now and just let Marley continue to get her sass back without all the stress of Rehab, vet visits, etc.

Realky like your reasoning  for switching Surgeons.  And good for you for investigating  number of TPLOs, etc.  You can even  ask at the consult  if any of those were on Tripawds.  That would be an extra layer of reassurance.   As I mentioned earlier, it may be that you can still wait a while (IF you decide to go with surgery) to give her even more recovery time to get her sparkle back.  Plus, even more scar tissue  could develop and maybe, just maybe, the leg could get more stable.  

This next “suggestion” in the FWIW column would be, if at all possible,  to ask the Surgeon to not manipulate  that leg, no flexing, etc.  And the ONLY reason I sah that is IFIF  scar tissue is form and IF IF it is starting to make a difference, you don’t  want to break it down with too much motion.  So good luck with that request.

Because my four legger is blind and weighs 125 lbs, I was able to have the cljnic keeps her an additional four or five days to get her to the point she was using that leg a little and I wouldn’t  have to try and support her too much.  Also, my tripawd stayed at the Vet anot four or five days also for same reason.after his second TPLO .  One Vet worked with me on a payment plan and in the other case “Friends of Frankie” raised the funds.  That was the ONLY way I could have done it.

Sooooo…..you might indeed be able to make arrangements  to keep Marley at an overnight  clinic  for the first week (more or less)..  tpThat will make a HIGE difference  in an easier recovery.   They are over the hardest part of surgery  pain and probably  doing some toe tap at that point.  

Again, appreciate  you chronicling  everything and look forward to more updates….and more stories of Marley back talking ya’!.😎

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!

Virginia




Member Since:
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6 September 2022 - 4:00 pm
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And I just want to add that no ,matter what path you take we suppprt you 100%…100%!!!!

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!

The Rainbow Bridge


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6 September 2022 - 4:32 pm
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Heyyyy. I have been thinking about you and Marley ever since our site took a poopicon. I’m sorry for the problems. We are still working on fixing them (well, Admin is), and apologize for any connection issues. 

Glad you found the TPLO information. It would be good to get an opinion from that surgeon. The only thing is, ask him how many he’s done on a Tripawd. I have seen skilled surgeons do them on 3-leggers and send the dog home with no Tripawd-specific instructions for the pet parents. Here’s a video about this topic, from a pretty famous vet surgeon about remaining leg surgeries. 

I’m so glad she is showing you some very positive breakthroughs! Everything you mentioned are all important steps to getting her sparkle back 100%!!!

About the hydro: your instincts are spot-on, it bothers me too that they put her in there without a life jacket, especially since you already knew she is not a fan of water. 

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8 September 2022 - 6:21 pm
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Yes, I’ve seen that video! I’m not sure if he has done other tripawds, but we have a consultation booked for the 23rd. The front staff suggested just booking the surgery without a consultation, and I said no. I want to make sure her OTHER back leg isn’t also the recipient of a torn cruciate, or else we will be in REAL trouble. I want them to validate she is a good candidate based on her body structure and current issues. So, I imagine he will indeed want to manipulate both legs and not sure I can say no to that. I think they want to do x-rays too as we haven’t actually had any done. Right now she is probably bearing weight on it maybe 25% of the time? She leans over considerably to the right, then loses balance quite quickly.

Everything is going okay over here. Yelping is still down, around 3-4 times a day which is still a big improvement overall. Her poop is still runny so I’ve cut out the wet food and just doing chicken and rice for a few days. Still very frustrated I can’t get her comfortable here on the main floor. I bought a crate (same exact one), put a blanket inside, put a blanket over top etc – to replicate her crate in the basement. She whines and whines to come up here all day and then REFUSES to settle once up. This has been going on ~3-4 weeks now? She refused to lie down in the crate up here tonight, even when I brought up her downstairs blanket to really try to replicate things. SHe will just hop and hop and hop and not stay still anywhere… and I’m worried about that given her ACL injury. I’m at a total loss and don’t know how to fix this, or why she’s so stressed out up here, especially after whining to come up.

It makes me second guess another surgery on her because what if she’s just always like this forevermore? I don’t want to have my dog living in the basement away from the rest of the family….while simultaneously whining to come upstairs… it will honestly drive me insane (it already has). I cannot figure this issue out!!

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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8 September 2022 - 7:57 pm
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You are such an excellent advocate! I think you’re on track with that next visit. More investigation needs to be done for sure. Maybe it will even lead to no surgery and something else instead. I don’t know, I don’t have that DVM but the ortho vet does and can help figure this out.

So glad she is improving. Have you considered that maybe a little bit of this is related to some kind of doggie dementia? She has pain it sounds like, but I’m wondering if that anxiety has something to do with a bit of cognitive decline? Not to send you down the Dr. Google Rabbit Hole, and we might have talked about it before, but with what you are describing about the inability to settle down even when she’s with you, I’m just wondering if there’s something going on with her mind? If so, there are ways to treat that (but you already knew I was going to say that right?!).

I know it’s making you nutso right now, I would feel the same way. This is a tough situation and if anything it’s a reminder to stay present and centered. It’s SO hard! 

Now here’s something else to consider: an animal communicator. Have you considered talking to one about her anxiety? This wouldn’t replace vet care of course, but maybe another route to explore. And if you’re sick of exploring other routes I get that too. Just wanted to throw that out there. 

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10 September 2022 - 8:20 am
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I have considered it could be doggy dementia 🙁 She definitely hasn’t been “all there” for a month now. The timing of the start of her behavior/mental changes coincided so perfectly with the surgery and recovery it was hard to pinpoint it to that exactly, you know? No one and nothing can calm her down (and I used to be her personsmiley6), and the incessant whining and pacing to go somewhere (upstairs), only to not want to be there once she does get there…is tough to see. She has sheer terror on her face when we bring her up, when this is where she’s spent the majority of her time for the past 9 years! She does the vacant stares and does look disoriented often. Will stand by the backdoor to go outside, and then not go out. I was really hopeful when I saw small snippets of her personality come back when the other dog was here for a week, but it’s been a steady downhill since then. Maybe she’s a bit depressed he left? Although she didn’t really seem to care he was here, other than causing havoc in the yard together, lol

I’ve noticed that in addition to her ACL tear on the leg, the right leg seems to be bothering her too. When I touch/rub it, she looks back at me and stiffens it. She doesn’t do that when I touch the left. So perhaps she has a strain or something back there too. I also hear the dreaded clicking, although I can’t tell what leg that is coming from.

Wish I didn’t have to wait two more weeks for the vet! :s

The Rainbow Bridge


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10 September 2022 - 11:34 am
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I didn’t even want to bring up the dementia since it’s one more thing to think about, but what you’re describing sounds so similar to what I know other folks have gone through with their senior dog. It just sucks that the surgery seems to have ramped it up if it was already in process. This is something to ask your vet about. There are medications that can help. Yeah, I know, one more pill….ugh! But it can’t hurt to try if you’re feeling up to managing it. And if you’re not, I get that too. Everyone has to make their own decisions about when is enough medical intervention enough. 

Keep watching that back leg and hopefully it’s a temporary thing this week. Maybe another visit with her favorite dog(s) is in order after a few days of rest. See how that goes.

Meanwhile, I have a crazy dog lady friend who has dealt with a lot of issues like this. She well-versed in vet tech and manages a medical boarding facility for dogs who have surgeries at Colorado State. If you think it might help to talk to her, I can connect you. She loves talking all things dogs, especially about medical situations.

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1 August 2022
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12 September 2022 - 10:31 am
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We have made the difficult decision to forego surgery and put Marley to rest this Thursday. Her quality of life has always been so important to me, and it’s time to just stop. In addition to the ACL tear on her left leg, she also has a partial (possibly full) tear on her right leg, and now her front remaining leg is starting to swell near the shoulder and she has begun buckling and falling more often. It reminds me of how she was walking pre-tumor removal :/ She has been pooping straight liquid for a couple weeks, despite being on a chicken and rice-only diet. I can only speculate what is going on in her little body–I won’t put her through more tests and vet visits. Her pacing and anxiety have increased a lot, both day and night, and our nights are full of disorientation, panting, and wanting to be outside. Her body is giving very obvious signs I cannot ignore, and her eyes are tired. We continue to just see a shell of our beautiful pup majority of the time, which is perhaps the hardest thing of all–I miss her so much, but she’s already been mostly gone for a month. We’ve had a couple of wonderful lucid, Marley-ish moments lately that I will cherish forever – I got her to lie on her dog bed upstairs (shocking) and she rested her head in my lap like old times. That felt so good. She’s also been giving me a few “aroo”s which I will miss so much! This morning, we were luckily visited by voles so did some chasing and investigating and that invigorated her and was so wonderful to see her act like a dog again. That is what I want to remember.

Man, it feels like a punch in the gut to “beat” cancer only to have a bunch of other crap piled on top that is just too heavy a burden for her to bear given her current state. The punches didn’t stop coming for her. I feel like I went to the ends of the earth to try to fix things for her, but in the end, I just can’t. But I can let her go with some dignity left, and I can stop her pain. 

I would really like to share Marley’s life story here, one day, when I am ready. She’s been my best friend and the only constant in my life for the past 10 years – from a cross-country move, through a divorce, to welcoming my first child, and all the highs and lows in between. I found this video (can’t seem to embed) of her from her rescue organization and it makes me smile; she was around 1 here, and I adopted her at 1.5 years. I am working on an outline for a “Marley’s Life” book so I never, ever forget my sweet girl and all of her personality quirks which made her a joy to be around (I initially typed “job” which isn’t wrong as well ;))

The next few days will be full of steak, peanut butter, walks as far as she can manage, and barking at anything and everything her little heart desires to. We will have a vet come to this house and spend her final moments in the yard with us.

I will NEVER forget you Marley sp_hearticon2 Thank you for picking me to be your mama for (almost) ten wonderful years.

The Rainbow Bridge


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12 September 2022 - 10:59 am
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I am really, really sorry. With tears in my eyes icon_cryI get it, completely. And we support you 100% in this decision. 

You ARE going to the ends of the earth for her, by following your gut and heart, and knowing when to make this very tough call. That is the ultimate respect for who she is, and what she has done to help you through this crazy world. She thanks you for it, and she’s telling you with her roos and affections. There will be more this week. 

Please let us know how we can help you OK? Meanwhile spoil your beautiful girl and give her lots of kisses from us. Our Jerry and Wyatt will be waiting for her, eager to meet a beautiful, energetic, youthful Marley at the Bridge. 

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12 September 2022 - 12:23 pm
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Thank you so much. I hope Marley doesn’t bark too much at Jerry and Wyatt – maybe they have a CBD fountain there to help her chill. My high school dog, Maddie, a feisty little pomeranian, should be up there too…hopefully Marley doesn’t use her as a squeaky toy smiley4 Thank you for the neverending support you provided during this entire traumatic rollercoaster. It made things a bit more bearable having a place to bounce questions, ideas, concerns etc off of and I cannot thank you enough. I didn’t feel like the “crazy dog mom” like I felt in real life. Marley is a part of our family and always will be. I can’t stop crying and I’m so nervous to live in a quiet house but I will give her the best days left possible. They teach us so much, don’t they? To live in the moment, to fight like hell, to fiercely love their people. Okay, and to sniff a LOT when going on walks.

For anyone reading our story: I think our journey was quite unique, and I don’t regret amputation. Obviously we would have done things differently if we had a crystal ball, but we made the best decision we could based on the information we had at the time. I keep repeating that to myself. It gave us a chance to fight like hell. Sometimes things just don’t work out, bodies are tired and minds need rest, but I am so grateful I have control over ending the suffering and not standing idly by. That is a real gift. And yes, a last show of respect.

We will be making a donation in honour of Marley soon. 

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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12 September 2022 - 3:57 pm
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And my tears are flowing too.Just breaks my heart in two thst the script seemed to already have been written in ways we will never understand. 

Could not say enough how I stand in awe of your devotion  to Marley and how you have gone to the ends of the earth to help her.  You definitely  fought like hell, as did she.  The way you jave advocated  for Marley and left no stone unturned is above and beyond what many can, or would do.

I also stand in awe  of your ability to be able to focus on the treasured memories you and Marley have created. To be able to pull out the specialness of Marley you got to celebrate  this past month or so is beyond courageous.  To me, it  signifies an enlightened part of your Soul and the depth of connection  you  have with Marley’s Soul that wa can all aspire to have…especially in this difficult  time.

It is clear to us your love is so strong for Marley muoh will be able to stay fully focused on being in the present….staying in the moment…being more dog.

As hard as it is, as incredibly  hard as it is, remember  that all that matters is the NOW….the now of being fully  present with Marley .  The todays are all that matters.

You are giving Marley the most selfless gift we hoomans can give.  A release  to run  free, knowing dhe has had more joy and love with uou than any dog could ever want.  Ahe knows you love her that much.

I like to think that the Queen of England is at The Rainbow Bridge reuniting with all her Corgi Angels.  She will  also be there to welcome Marley when she heads arooing loudly to the Bridge.  I’m sure she’ll roll out thie Red Carpet and give her a Tiara to wear as  a newly annointed  Princess.

We are sooooo honored to be part of Marley’s extended  family.We are still jere right by your side to celebrate  this delightful  pupper.

With love

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!

Virginia




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12 September 2022 - 4:11 pm
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PS.  Didnt  look at video at first cuz I didn’t  want to tear up again .  It was a delightful  video and actually has me smiling ear to ear😊

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!

The Rainbow Bridge


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25 April 2007
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12 September 2022 - 10:28 pm
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marleymoo said
Thank you so much. I hope Marley doesn’t bark too much at Jerry and Wyatt – maybe they have a CBD fountain there to help her chill. My high school dog, Maddie, a feisty little pomeranian, should be up there too…hopefully Marley doesn’t use her as a squeaky toy 

  

OMD this made me laugh icon_lolEspecially the part about Marley barking too much… Wyatt, thinking a girldog barks too much? LOL! Never! He would find that most attractive. I’ll bet he’s going to meet his barky match when gorgeous Marley arrives! And Maddie can hang with Jerry, he was so gentle to all dogs of any size.

Be good to yourself, be with your girl, and know we are holding lots of space for you in our hearts. Try not to cry now, there will be lots of time for tears later. And when you are ready to share, you have lots of crazy dog people here waiting to honor Marley’s life with you. It’s been a joy getting to know you both. sp_hearticon2sp_hearticon2sp_hearticon2

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16 September 2022 - 7:34 am
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We put our sweet girl to rest yesterday morning. I don’t think I’ve ever hurt this badly before. The morning was perfect – we went for a couple of walks (as far as she could go before we brought out the wagon), steak and sausage, and so many pets and cuddles. She was her rambunctious self, barking in the yard and being happy and smiley, and for a split second, I wondered…is it time? But the night prior, she had me up constantly and she was very uncomfortable – heavy breathing, wild eyes, shifting uncomfortably in her crate, whining at the stairs (what is up there girl?!) and wanting to go outside. I wanted to make sure I didn’t wait “too long” to do this, when things were REALLY bad, but man, trying to find that line is gut-wrenching to say the least.

My heart is shattered into a million pieces. The vet came over, and we went to the backyard. After the sedation, Marley laid down on the grass (not where I envisioned…Marley does Marley ;)), and we offered her a final meal of ice cream, chocolate, nutella, and peanut butter. Now, Marley is a total peanut butter fiend and has been her whole life. That was the only thing on the plate she ate <3 And when she was done, she did what Marley always has done – licked her paw just incase any peanut butter was left over on there. Then her eyes closed, and her breathing slowed down, and I felt the final breath in her lungs exhale. It was over so quickly. My girl isn’t in pain anymore and I don’t have to guess what is wrong.

I wanted to share a couple of videos and a pic…

1. This was very typical Marley. She would sneeze and dance on her front paws when she was talking back to us – in this instance – we were heading to get her MRI done (I think), and so she wasn’t allowed to eat beforehand, and she was not pleased! Lol  

2. Last walk preparation  

3. Our last walk –

View post on imgur.com

 

I’m going to miss you forever girl. Thank you for picking me to be your mama.

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