TRIPAWDS: Home to 16034 Members and 1764 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
Totem and anxiety
sp_NewTopic Add Topic
Forum Posts: 47
Member Since:
16 July 2020
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online
1
1 August 2020 - 8:23 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Totem is doing great. Here is my concern, and it may not really fall in with the consequences of the tripawd experience.

We live in the country where there are numerous neighbors who allow their dogs to roam freely.  They are all well cared for dogs, but “country dogs.”  Before Totem was attacked he had encountered a few of them and was thrilled to interact with them even though he was on a leash.  Then, the attack.

Now that he is bounding back, running and playing, at least once a day I put the harness and leash on and take him “out front” on our country lane.  But we don’t venture very far from home.  The lab next door, Ace, is well trained and has met Totem a couple of times exhibiting mild curiosity while Totem fawns all over him–nothing threatening.  There is a young dog that when she meets Totem they embark on a tumbling free for all–all in fun.  Since the attack, however, Totem has not encountered another dog, even previously friendly neighbor dogs.  This morning while walking I saw that Ace’s owner was out and feared Ace would be out as well and turned around to avoid Totem meeting Ace.

So, I am aware that I am anxious about Totem encountering another dog.  I now carry a stick with  me.  He has been around humans and is his joyful self.  He no longer has any leg to spare nor does he need any more trauma…nor do I!  

If any of you have any thoughts on how best to re-introduce him to dogs I’d love to hear your suggestions.  If this is inappropriate for this website I apologize.

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 27831
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online
2
1 August 2020 - 3:28 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

This is TOTALLY appropriate for the Tripawds Discussion Forums, it’s totally relevant.

I can relate to your fears, and concerns. I would be too. I know what you mean about off-leash dogs and there’s not a lot that those of us with leashed dogs can do, other than trying our best to mitigate the risk of a full-on attack.

Totem is such a young guy, and it’s understandable to be concerned over his ability to stand his ground. Plus, it’s early on in recovery. His body is still healing. So honestly I wouldn’t do any kind of interaction with other dogs right now. Remember, walking isn’t the only thing that you can do for fun with him. Focus on activities around the house. I’m guessing Totem doesn’t care where he goes or how far he walks, as long as he’s with you, his favorite person in the world.

Give it time before you re-introduce him to Ace, say another month. Then maybe you can arrange a socially distanced play date with Ace. Perhaps a leashed walk down the road if Ace’s human is into the idea. I would start with that kind of interaction, then slowly allow off-leash play. 

I hope others chime in here, this is a great discussion topic!

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Posts: 47
Member Since:
16 July 2020
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online
3
1 August 2020 - 4:52 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

thank you Jerry.  I think you are right.  I’m certainly not expecting Totem to go walking with me.  I just thought he should be on a leash a few minutes each day.  But, I am going to avoid other dogs for now.  My sister, a therapist and dog lover, gave me the same advice and confirmed my reticence to expose Totem to dogs for a while.  

And I further realize I not only want to protect Totem but myself as well.  I NEVER want to experience another brutal attack like that again.  I have never felt so helpless.  So, Totem and I are going to stick close to home.

He is back into tugging games and short distance fetch games.  He runs all over our fenced back yard. His physical recovery is going so well.  I’m not going to push him into any confrontations–even friendly ones.

Thank you so much for your reassurance.

Livermore, CA




Forum Posts: 3957
Member Since:
18 October 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
4
1 August 2020 - 7:57 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I think your instincts are right on! 

I would keep working with him on his leash skills in the back yard.  Make it fun and positive- it will pay off in the long run.  And like Jerry said- there are lots of games you can play with him to help him learn, build confidence and burn off some energy.

The other thing I want to mention is how much your emotions transfer to ‘the other end of the leash’.  If you go out walking with Totem and are nervous and/or tense (with good reason!) he is going to pick up on that and be nervous and tense as well.  This might push him toward being overly cautious or even leash aggressive around other dogs.  And having dogs interact where one is on leash and the other(s) is off leash can lead to problems.  So you want to have Totem fully healed and confident before you try to introduce him to other dogs again.  It is important to socialize puppies though so you don’t want to wait too long. 

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

Forum Posts: 47
Member Since:
16 July 2020
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online
5
9 August 2020 - 4:04 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Update on Totem’s re-entry.  Totem was attacked 4 weeks ago and since then has not seen another dog.  Today I took him over to a friend’s house who has a miniature Schnauzer that Totem has spent time with in the past.  She had Lily on a leash when we arrived.  Totem bounded out of the car super excited to see Laura, Lily’s owner.  When he approached Lily growled at him and Totem squealed in fright, hunkered down and ran back to me, shrieking.  It was so sad.  Lily did not touch Totem but was being territorial.  We separated them by a few feet and I kept telling Totem its ok and petting him.  Prior to the attack he was not at all put off by Lily’s initial snarls.

Long story short, they both settled down and Totem became more willing to hang around Lily.  We stayed for more than an hour with them both, eventually, off leash.  Lily, an older dog, basically ignored Totem while Totem explored Laura’s yard.  It ended well.

However, it broke my heart to see Totem’s initial fearful reaction to Lily.  He clearly remembers the trauma.  I’m not sure what the next step should be.  I know he needs to be reintroduced to friendly dogs, but am so nervous for him.  I think today was a good beginning, but I don’t look forward to doing it again soon with a different dog.  Y’all, this is hard.

Virginia




Forum Posts: 19541
Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
6
9 August 2020 - 6:50 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Glad to hear things settled down and Lily and Totem jist gotten with doing their thing.

A couple of observations  in the FWIW column.

Having Totem and Lily meet facing each other….both on a leash…..and in Lily’s “territory ” is probably  the reason things got a little scary.  Totem is all excited  to see Laura…..Lily is pickng up on that excitement and may not see Laura as the actual pack leader.  Lily made need to feel like she needs to protect Laura from a dog in an excited  state.  So Lily used a growl to send a message to the puppy to back off a vit and lower your level of excitement.   Obviously if Lily was curling  her lip noticeably and showing lots of teeth, the reintroduction needed to be redirected with walking both dogs in different directions.  My guessmis that Lily’s body language  probably  gave clues even before the growl started.  The point is to redirect  BEF  it escalates. 

ANYWAY, next time have Lily walk in a “neutral” territory.  Bring Totem calmly into the scene and have them walk to the side of each of you calmly….no excitement or high energy at this point from hoomans. No face to face, just side by side with hoomans inbetween. No pulling  on the leashes, just causally walking and conversing, enjoying the scenery.   No tension, no stress going down the leashes to the dogs, no big deal.  Just hooman friends and doggy friends enjoying a stroll.

Okay, my penny’s worth!

The fact that the two had such a friendly “ending” is really, really a great thing!!   Just work on fine tuning where and how you join Laura and Lily next time.  Visualize  in uoir mind the next great gathering  and see how calm and peaceful it will be.

Thrilled it ended well!  Totem is moving on beautifully!

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!

new hampshire
Forum Posts: 282
Member Since:
26 June 2019
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
7
9 August 2020 - 7:40 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

First and completely off subject, Oh my goodness, what an adorable little face! 

Im definitely not a profesional but wanted to share our experience in hopes that it helps. we had a similar bad experience when roane was a about 9 months old. Fortunatly roane was much bigger and wasnt damaged, however it definitely changed her attitude toward other dogs. In her case she became extremely dog reactive and i became very selective about where i walked her because of my own fears over it happening again. 

I met with a trainer about 6 months later and we got talking about Roanes additude with other dogs. She reassured me that i wasnt being silly about my own anxiety & recomended pretty much exactly what sally said about reintroducing Roane to other dogs. Slow and steady wins the race. Nothing to see here just a couple of pups taking their humans out for a stress free walk. I think it took me longer to get over than it did her. 😉

Its hard when you cant control other peoples bad behavior. But your on the right track, keep at it and it will pay off. In the mean time lots of love and healing for that adorable fella.

         Hugs ❤ Bev, nurse Moe cat, Autumn's Angel Roane & Angel dog Gypsy 🐾

My sweet soulmate Roane was diagnosed with osteo in June of 2019. Had a rear leg amp on July 2nd & crossed the rainbow bridge to be with her sister Gypsy on the first day of Autumn Sept 23 2019.

Forum Posts: 47
Member Since:
16 July 2020
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online
8
9 August 2020 - 8:15 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Thank you Sally and Bev.  I know I’m as anxious, if not more so, than Totem is.  I never want to witness something like that again.  The suggestion to meet Laura and Lily at a neutral place makes sense.  

We have another dog friend that Totem played with once before the attack, but when I say play I mean PLAY..the two immediately started a free for all tumbling, chasing each other, rolling around on top of each other.  They had a big time!  Totem is 4 weeks out of surgery, and I’m wondering if all that roughhousing would be too soon?  From all appearances he seems fully recovered physically.

Virginia




Forum Posts: 19541
Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
9
9 August 2020 - 8:36 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Right before  Totem and his other rambunctious friend  have a play date, you could let Totem sort of tire himself  out a little, and  same for the other pup, before you get them together.  They can certainly  still play like the puppoes they are.   Just need to be ready to do some “force stop time outs” if they get too wired. 

And a other thought on the Lily  and Totem reunion.  When you get together in the neutral space, maybe have a friend to walk with Totem on the leash…..and same for Lily.  Thsat way there can be no “bad histories”, or no negative thoughts going down the leash to the pups.

Totemmis sooooo lucky to have such a loving  and caring home♥️♥️♥️

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



Forum Posts: 27831
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online
10
10 August 2020 - 11:14 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Bev what great advice! Thank you so much for taking time to share what happened to Roane. I can’t imagine a dog her size being attacked by another one. Wow. Glad she ended up OK and recovered from that ordeal.

As for Totem, I’m glad it ended well with Lily. I agree, she was on her turf. Meeting up with a dog on neutral territory is a good idea next time you try a get-together. When it comes to his rough-and-tumble puppy pal, honestly I think four weeks out is too soon. At least it would be for my dog, and my own peace of mind. Outwardly a dog four weeks out may be healed but inwardly his muscles are still getting used to his new movements and the wrong kind of landing or spill could cause unnecessary muscle strain and pain. That’s my two cents. If you decided to do it, you’ll need to make sure that Totem takes lots of leashed breaks and the activity doesn’t last too long, maybe even just 15 minutes or so at most. IF you want to be absolutely certain I would check with a canine rehab therapist.

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Posts: 47
Member Since:
16 July 2020
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online
11
10 August 2020 - 11:20 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Thank you Virginia and Jerry.  I agree.  I’m going to wait at least another month before rough and tumble.  Tomorrow morning I am meeting friend  and his dog to go for a walk in neutral land.  Should be interesting as Totem is not too good at “going for a walk” as yet.  Not because of his tripawdness, but because he’d rather graze and sit and stare.  But perhaps walking with an experienced walker will help him grasp the notion of “taking a walk.”  We shall see

This group has been a godsend for me. Thank you all so much.  The combination of the horrible attack and sudden loss of a leg on a puppy less than 4 months old really rattled me.  I told my husband last night that when we adopted baby Totem we bit off more than we had anticipated chewing!  No turning back now…

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 27831
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online
12
10 August 2020 - 11:29 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I’m so glad we could be here for you, Totem and the hubby. Yes, it’s a journey that changes your life, but it’s filled with many positives and chances for learning and growing as humans. Let Totem be your guru guide and you’ll be amazed that this little puppy is filled with so much wisdom!

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Livermore, CA




Forum Posts: 3957
Member Since:
18 October 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
13
10 August 2020 - 2:30 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

Here’s my take FWIW:

I’m not a trainer but have spent a lot of time with various trainers while working with my fearful and anxious dog Elly for the last almost 5 years.

Trainers talk about a ‘threshold’ that you need to respect when trying to train or socialize your dog. In my laywoman’s terms the threshold is the tipping point between the cognitive part of the brain driving behavior and the limpic or emotional part of the brain taking over.  When a dog is under their threshold the cognitive part of the brain is in charge and can assess what is going on around them, they can learn and have good experiences. When they get nearer to their threshold they start showing some fear or anxious behaviors but the cognitive part of the brain is still in charge (for the most part) and they can still learn but it’s harder.  When you cross the threshold the fear and/or anxiety totally kicks in and the emotional or fight or flight instinct takes over and they are only looking for a way out. You are not going to get any training done when they are in this state and it becomes really easy to inadvertently reinforce their fears or anxieties by giving them any kind of reward.

With Elly I learned to approach new or scary things very slowly, and try and make sure everything about the experience was positive and helped build her confidence.  When I was trying to get her to socialize with other dogs (she seemed to miss this experience before I got her at 10 months old) it was always in a neutral place.  On leash can be problematic but since Elly’s first instinct was to run I always kept her on leash and made sure the other dogs were on leash or contained.  I let her get as close as was comfortable for her (which was not at all close at first!). At first I tried to keep her well under her threshold so that meant we didn’t get close to dogs for a long time.  She would watch them walk by or play, and show interest in her but we were far enough away that she felt safe.  In all the classes we took there was always lots of room between dogs and it was great for her to be around all the dogs (and people since she was afraid of them too) in a safe environment. I always tried to walk away without her getting scared which would reinforce her fear of dogs (and people!).

I think Totem is telling you that meeting another dog up close right now is too much for him. On your next outing you might try just letting him see and sniff another dog from a safe distance. Or if you are going walking with someone and another dog be sure there is plenty of room between them.  Watch his body language to make sure he isn’t getting too close to his threshold.  Be in control of all the variables if you can so something isn’t going to surprise and scare him.  He has good reason to fear other dogs so you have to start building a solid foundation of good experiences. 

Don’t get discouraged with set backs, I’ve had some big ones! Obviously you want to have good experiences but sometimes things happen you don’t expect- that’s what I mean about trying to control the variables.  One thing I did with Elly was what I called ‘courage walks’.  We would walk on a quiet street without too much traffic (car or people) and over a couple months we worked toward busier streets.  I was standing with her on a fairly busy street chatting with a couple people at a safe distance (long before covid) while making sure Elly was OK, she was a little fidgety but doing fine, and I was pleased that she seemed to be pretty comfortable.  Then a couple kids came up behind us (Elly didn’t see them) and I heard one of them say ‘cute dog’ and they patted her on her back (lightly, no harm intended) and she went right into panic mode.  I couldn’t help but chastise the kid sort of loudly- ‘What’s the matter with you? You never come up behind a dog and touch it!’, which of course didn’t help Elly’s panic at all!  We quickly walked away and got to where it was quieter.  We lost some ground after that experience but I learned to pay better attention to everything going on around us.

I think that some classes would be really great for you guys, but given the current situation that might not be possible. 

He is so young that I really believe he can overcome this with some patience and consistent training.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

Forum Posts: 47
Member Since:
16 July 2020
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online
14
10 August 2020 - 4:39 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Thank you Karen!  That is so helpful.  Perhaps I’m moving Totem too soon.  I will see how the walk tomorrow with Beauregard goes.   We may need to back off.

Thanks everyone!  Your support goes way beyond amputation and its aftermath.  You have helped so much with the aftermath of Totem’s traumatic attack.

Forum Timezone: America/Denver
Most Users Ever Online: 946
Currently Online: jerry, kazann, Robyn, marnie
Guest(s) 65
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1098
Members: 11363
Moderators: 2
Admins: 3
Forum Stats:
Groups: 4
Forums: 23
Topics: 16464
Posts: 231447
Administrators: admin, jerry, jim
Moderators: betaman, krun15
Tripawds is brought to you by Tripawds.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG