TRIPAWDS: Home to 16691 Members and 1823 Blogs.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG

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.
JUMP TO FORUMS

Join The Tripawds Community

Learn how to help three legged dogs and cats in the forums below. Browse and search as a guest or register for free and get full member benefits:

  • Instant post approval.
  • Private messages to members.
  • Subscribe to favorite topics.
  • Live Chat and much more!

REGISTER   |   LOG IN

Be More DogNEW! Be More Dog – Learning to Live in The Now

Get the new book by the Tripawds founders for life lessons learned from their Chief Fun Officer Jerry G. Dawg! Download the e-book, and find fun Be More Dog apparel and gifts in the Be More Dog Bookstore.

Please consider registering
Guest
Search
Forum Scope




Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
Register Lost password?
sp_Feed sp_PrintTopic sp_TopicIcon-c
Swimming a front leg amputee
sp_NewTopic Add Topic
Calgary, AB
Forum Posts: 277
Member Since:
29 January 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
1
31 January 2010 - 10:07 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Does anyone have any experience with swimming a forequarter amputee? My lab LOVES swimming and I am fortunate enough to have a “pet resort” nearby with a heated dog pool. Her surgical incision is fully healed and she is undergoing chemotherapy. I have a dog lifejacket, is that the same as the ruff wear dog float that is mentioned? I am concerned that she might find it all too frustrating and as a result it does more harm than good. She is getting around really well now (surgery was Dec 21) and can do everything she used to do – except chew a bone which she can’t hold properly with only one paw. Do they adapt and relearn how to swim reasonably easily? Appreciate any input and suggestions for making it a positive experience.

Tai – 9 yr old lab. Diagnosed Osteosarcoma Dec 18/09. Front right leg amputated Dec 21/09. Started chemo Jan 7/10. Lung mets discovered Sept 16/10. Valiant to the end on Oct 26/10 when cancer reappeared in a leg and we made the decision to set her free. Forever in my heart where not even cancer can take her from me.

Forum Posts: 398
Member Since:
22 December 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
2
1 February 2010 - 8:09 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Sorry, this is off your topic of swimming, but I can tell you from experience that Tai will figure the bone thing out. The first time I gave Harley a bone after his amputation, he couldn’t figure out how to hold it and looked at me with this great panic in his eyes, like it was the first time he realized his leg was missing … honestly, it broke my heart and I cried. Now, he has no problems with his bones, so don’t worry, she’ll figure it out!! sf-smile

Other dogs on here are swimmers, so someone will be along to help you out with your swimming questions.

-Gwen & Harley

Amputation on 11/10/09, due to Histiocytic Sarcoma in left elbow. Angel Harley earned his wings on 06/24/10.

Montréal , Canada
Forum Posts: 186
Member Since:
31 July 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
3
1 February 2010 - 8:49 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

WOW! Tai seems to recover very well! Way to go girl! You are amazing! I bet you will get used to chewing a bone with only one paw. And I bet you will adapt to a new swimming style!

This is great that Tai already has a lifejacket. That will be tremendously help her to keep swimming a positive experience.  At the beginning, it may feel strange to her, but she will adapt quickly. With Oslo, we preferred that someone (my husband hahah the water was way to cold in september here ) be in the water with him for the first couple stick throws…just in case.  Here is a topic where you can watch Oslo on his first day back in water.  But watch how Caira Sue (the AWESOME tripawd) is fast. If you do not pay attention, you would think she is swimming with 4 legs.

http://tripawds…..t-engines/

Also, I remember how fast Jake (Jakesmom) amazed everyone when he was swimming. I think Jakesmom had some videos too.

An other advice from our experience with chemotherapy:  tell your vet that you intend to go to a dog pool with Tai.  He may not agree with that if Tai's WBC is low. 

Suzanne and Oslo

East Bay, CA
Forum Posts: 186
Member Since:
6 August 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
4
1 February 2010 - 9:53 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Thanks Suzanne! Yes, Caira Sue was amazing at swimming. Before her amp she LOVED the water….which was interesting because she never came near it until she was 4 (we used to live in the desert). She learned by watching the other dogs swim.

I was scared to death to take her swimming! But I knew it was something she loved, knew other dogs had done it on 3 legs and was ready to hep her learn how.

I actually took her to a river (In Zion nat. park) and slowly tossed the ball further and closer, further and closer. She had this look of shear terror the first time she was off all 3 legs in the water! I felt horrible. I then kept throwing the ball where she would only be in chest deep. Then something weird happened, an 8 yr old girl came bounding down the river, having a blast. I don't know if Caira wanted to join in her fun or save her-but she took off after this girl! 

Within 30 minutes this girl had Caira Sue swimming across the river, back and forth, back and forth. I wish I could remember that girl's name. It's just in writing this that I have a big grin on my face remembering her and that day. Oh, Caira Sue. I was so proud!

From that day on, she never balked at the water again. Sometimes she got in before I got her life vest on her (ruff wear)…and she would swim crooked. This ALWAYS scared me. But she didn't seem to mind. With the life vest on she swam straight as an arrow. Maybe not as far as she used to, but always happily and with a great big grin.

Thank you for posting this question. It has brought a great smile to me and flooded me with wonderful memories.

Mary

May 2001-Jan 21, 2010.....I'm a dog and I'm AWESOME!..... Always.

East Bay, CA
Forum Posts: 186
Member Since:
6 August 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
5
1 February 2010 - 9:58 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I also wanted to add that Caira Sue was a very bone oriented dog as well. She did the same thing…just plopped her bone down and looked up at me all pathetic. It crushed me! But it wasn't long til she figured out how to curve her one paw around the bone and cock it upwards at JUST the right angle to get a good chew goin'. So don't worry…if Tai wants to, Tai will be back to chewing bones in no time!

May 2001-Jan 21, 2010.....I'm a dog and I'm AWESOME!..... Always.

Las Vegas, Nevada
Forum Posts: 4344
Member Since:
14 August 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
6
1 February 2010 - 10:30 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Can dogs still swim with a missing front leg?????????

You bet they can!  Not only that, it's recommended therapy!   Here is Comet just last month doing her treadmill with her physical therapist.  The swimming comes next.  She is a senior (11) and never had a functioning front leg – it's deformed.  She loves water, too.  They may not go in a perfect straight line, but they can use that tail as a rudder (?) and go forward.

Image Enlarger

 

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.

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 28747
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
7
1 February 2010 - 11:41 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

Hey Tai, welcome to Tripawds! Oh we can't imagine a Labbie who doesn't swim. And we're betting that you're going to do just pawesomely!

I was a front left amputee, and I really, really dug swimming. Yes, the Ruff Wear Float Coat is a swim vest. Life jackets really help us swim much better. Because we're working out extra hard, we tend to dip down a little when we swim in lakes and stuff. My pawrents saw that the Float coat helped me keep my head above water and not take in so much water when I swam. I'm sure the one you already have will work just great.

We get so many people asking about whether or not Tripawds can swim, we started the Tripawd Dogs Swimming You Tube playlist on my channel.

Here's one of me!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Wesley Chapel, FL
Forum Posts: 1104
Member Since:
13 September 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
8
1 February 2010 - 2:15 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Yes, they can definitely swim again!!! My 10 yr old golden retriever Jake went swimming the day after his stitches were removed. He was so happy… I have a bunch of videos of him swimming on his blog at Jake's Journey. The swim vest/jacket definitely helped him with balancing… and the handle on top was convenient to helping him in and out of the pool. Jake was a right front leg amputee…

Angel Jake's Mom

Jake, 10yr old golden retriever (fractured his front right leg on 9/1, bone biopsy revealed osteosarcoma on 9/10, amputation on 9/17) and his family Marguerite, Jacques and Wolfie, 5yr old german shepherd and the newest addition to the family, Nala, a 7mth old Bengal mix kittie. Jake lost his battle on 11/9/2009, almost 8 weeks after his surgery. We will never forget our sweet golden angel… http://jakesjou.....ipawds.com ….. CANCER SUCKS!

Las Vegas, Nevada
Forum Posts: 4344
Member Since:
14 August 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
9
1 February 2010 - 3:08 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I'm really starting to feel like I should have gotten Comet's leg removed.  Your pooches get along so much better than Comet does.  I guess she has to adjust to the weight of the front limb. Her back hips look like they are crooked and have always looked that way.  But she got pneumonia when she was scheduled to remove the deformed leg and it took months for her to get well.  We then decided to keep it since she batted stuff with it since she can move her shoulder.

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.

macsmom
10
1 February 2010 - 3:28 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

McGwire too is a front amp and has gone swimming since his amp in July (6 months ago!).  We got the ruff-wear float coat or whatever it's called specifically because it had an area of flotation in the front chest area that we thought would help him keep above water better and it did.  He has never been graceful, in water or out, with 3 legs or 4, so I was worried how he'd do.  He didn't have a lot of time in the water before it got too cold, but he did enjoy it.  The first time, there was some definite fear, but he quickly settled down.  His swim 'gait' was like his new walk, much more bouncy and uneven then before.  If your lab loves water, then she'll quickly adjust.

Calgary, AB
Forum Posts: 277
Member Since:
29 January 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
11
3 February 2010 - 6:20 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Thanks everyone!!! I’m getting blood done tomorrow but if her whites are good and the vet says it’s okay we are off to the pool!!!

Tai – 9 yr old lab. Diagnosed Osteosarcoma Dec 18/09. Front right leg amputated Dec 21/09. Started chemo Jan 7/10. Lung mets discovered Sept 16/10. Valiant to the end on Oct 26/10 when cancer reappeared in a leg and we made the decision to set her free. Forever in my heart where not even cancer can take her from me.

Calgary, AB
Forum Posts: 277
Member Since:
29 January 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
12
3 February 2010 - 6:33 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Thanks also to all of those people that told me about their dogs bone chewing successes. I bought a couple of nice big knuckle bones and decided to try again. Tai dove right in and has been knawing for an hour now. Maybe it was just that she needed time to adjust to her new “tripawdedness” before being overwhelmed with new tasks.

Tai – 9 yr old lab. Diagnosed Osteosarcoma Dec 18/09. Front right leg amputated Dec 21/09. Started chemo Jan 7/10. Lung mets discovered Sept 16/10. Valiant to the end on Oct 26/10 when cancer reappeared in a leg and we made the decision to set her free. Forever in my heart where not even cancer can take her from me.

Calgary, AB
Forum Posts: 277
Member Since:
29 January 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
13
4 February 2010 - 9:00 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Tai’s CBC came back good and her whites were high enough that she got the “A OK” to head to the pool. Starts her first swim lesson on Saturday. Very exciting. Thanks everyone.

Tai – 9 yr old lab. Diagnosed Osteosarcoma Dec 18/09. Front right leg amputated Dec 21/09. Started chemo Jan 7/10. Lung mets discovered Sept 16/10. Valiant to the end on Oct 26/10 when cancer reappeared in a leg and we made the decision to set her free. Forever in my heart where not even cancer can take her from me.

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 28747
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
14
4 February 2010 - 9:07 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

OOoooh, break out the video camera! Congrats!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
Forum Posts: 3754
Member Since:
28 November 2008
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
15
5 February 2010 - 1:51 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Trouble sends RooooRoooo's to Tai!

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.

Forum Timezone: America/Denver
Most Users Ever Online: 946
Currently Online: benny55, vizslazeus, gnosis
Guest(s) 101
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1124
Members: 11973
Moderators: 2
Admins: 3
Forum Stats:
Groups: 4
Forums: 23
Topics: 16725
Posts: 234833
Administrators: admin, jerry, jim
Moderators: betaman, krun15
Tripawds is brought to you by Tripawds.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG