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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Support for remaining rear leg/hip is not workong
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govtgirl60
1
5 March 2013 - 10:32 am
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My dogs left rear leg was amputated two months ago. He was doing pretty good with it, then slipped on the good remaining right rear leg. Went to the vets for xrays a week or so later and that hip is gone. Head of femur is not in the socket. Dog can walk sometimes but sometimes drags leg and getting worse. Anyone know of any group or any company that makes supports for the good hip? Remember nothing to hook it to on the other side. And no do not want to do a wheelchair right now. Am thinking of a wrap around the thigh, then straps that would go around to the front, around the front legs and or chest, then back to the wrap on the thigh. Something to provide supportto the hip. A website that maybe someone has used? Thanks.

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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5 March 2013 - 10:44 am
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Hi govtgirl, sorry we missed you in the chat a little while ago. Feel free to come back, we usually have folks here throughout the day and most times in the evening too.

I'm sorry to hear about your pup. What kind of dog is he? Age? Size?

When your vet reviewed his x-rays, what were your vet's recommendations for next steps? Has a treatment plan been developed? Or a referral to an orthopedic specialist? That would be my recommendation for next steps. Unfortunately this sounds like it's extremely painful for your dog and seeing a specialist to find out what to do next would be your best bet to give him a good quality of life. Is he on pain medication right now?  I don't know of any brace to help in this kind of situation, I'm sorry.

Please tell us more about your pup and let us know what the plan of action is.

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

Member Since:
16 May 2009
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5 March 2013 - 12:14 pm
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I'm so sorry to hear of your dog's difficulties.  Having a hip 'break down' in a rear leg tripod is a huge deal, and a terrifying prospect for most of us.

 

Unfortunately, a brace such as you describe would almost certainly cause more problems than it solved.  It would force his muscles to work in a completely different way, and some would be severely restricted by the restraints.  It would in fact restrict the front legs to the point of unbalancing him, if it were firm enough to have any kind of supporting role at the back, and he might even end up falling a lot.   In any case, in my opinion (not a vet, just someone who used to work for vets in a nursing capacity many years ago) it would likely cause him a lot of additional pain and discomfort. 

 

The only thing I know of which has a chance of helping him is the exciting new procedure where abdominal fat cells are harvested from your own dog and cultured, and the stem cells separated and then injected back into his joint where they trigger the growth of new cartilage.  Even so ... with the hip not in the socket, I doubt it will solve his problems and you might find that, realistically, a cart is really your only option to give him a good quality of life.

 

As Jerry says, your best bet is to get a specialist consult for him at a referral centre where they will know of all the latest techniques, procedures and equipment which might benefit him. 

 

I wish you the very best of luck in finding a way to help him!

govtgirl60
4
5 March 2013 - 10:06 pm
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Yes he is on pain pills, yes the vet saw him and x-rayed him and did not have anything good to say, pics and a video are going to be sent to a group that makes supports to see what they say, he is a 65 pound choco lab mix, 13 years old. He is ok with it for now, dealing with it going out off and on. Still eats ok, rolls on his back in the snow or dirt, barks at the mailman, begs for food at table so those are all good signs.

A support for the back leg attached to a harness would not impact his front legs at all. It is an unusual request it appears, funny I would have thought a typical one, most groups are curious about it, one is excited as it would be new for them. I'll continue to play with it.

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
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28 November 2008
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6 March 2013 - 5:53 am
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Jerry - Fortis used a harness that allowed the humans to help support his back end.  I don't remember which one it was, thought maybe you might. I can look later, but short on time right now. It may have been a RuffWear, but not the one most of us use(d).

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

Idaho
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12 March 2013
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24 March 2013 - 10:42 am
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Unfortunately, I know exactly what you are going through.  Murphy's right hip was dislocated in his original accident (the one that caused the amputation of his left rear leg).  After the fourth dislocation, three of which were corrected by surgery, we opted to have his hip replaced.  He is now at seven weeks post THR, and is getting around better than he ever did since the amputation. We are still at the point where he needs to be kept quiet.  That's a HUGE task, because he thinks he's just fine. After this week, he will start with a rehab program.  The hip replacement should be healed into the bone at about four months...just in time for vacation!

Good luck with your furbaby.  There really is hope!  You can see a couple of videos of Murphy's progress that I posted on the Facebook page.

Murphy is a five year old Lab/Chessie cross. He was hit by a car on 10/29/12 and became a Tripawd on 11/24/12. On 2/5/13, he had a total hip replacement on his remaining back leg. He has absolutely no idea that he has only three legs!

UPDATE: Murphy lived his life to the fullest, right up until an aggressive bone lesion took him across the Rainbow Bridge on April 9, 2015 and he gained his membership in the April Angels. Run free, my love. You deserve it!

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16 May 2009
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25 March 2013 - 3:24 pm
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govtgirl60 said
Yes he is on pain pills, yes the vet saw him and x-rayed him and did not have anything good to say, pics and a video are going to be sent to a group that makes supports to see what they say, he is a 65 pound choco lab mix, 13 years old. He is ok with it for now, dealing with it going out off and on. Still eats ok, rolls on his back in the snow or dirt, barks at the mailman, begs for food at table so those are all good signs.

A support for the back leg attached to a harness would not impact his front legs at all. It is an unusual request it appears, funny I would have thought a typical one, most groups are curious about it, one is excited as it would be new for them. I'll continue to play with it.

Sorry, I was confused because you did mention the straps going around his front legs in the first post. My mental image was clearly not the same as yours!

 

Nevertheless, I still think that a support might chafe and cause some trouble, because the hip has to be able to move in order for him to walk, and the harness would have to be firm in order to do any good.  If he were mine, I'd be thinking about the cart option as IMHO it would be easier on him and give his hip the rest it needs.  I also like the hip replacement option, though it would be hard work for you and for him.  Good luck finding a solution!

 

New Haven, CT
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27 December 2012
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28 March 2013 - 4:44 pm
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How's it going?  Have you found a solution that works for everyone yet?

~ Katy

ACL tear in right hind leg 12/5/12 and scheduled ACL repair surgery 12/21/12. Pre-op xrays revealed osteosarcoma. Amputation 12/28/12.  Chemo (carboplatin) started Jan 10, 2013 and ended on April 5, for a total of 5 doses. He handled carbo like a champ!  No side effects.  We started metronomic therapy at his third chemo and have been also doing some holistic treatments.  He's a lively, playful 10 year old huskie-boarder collie and a very proud member of the Winter Warriors!  Our love. Our funny little guy!

On The Road


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24 September 2009
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31 March 2013 - 12:26 pm
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Yeah I was wondering myself, hope things are OK.

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

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