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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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TPLO surgery on remaining back leg
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Virginia




Forum Posts: 21166
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24 September 2021 - 11:16 am
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She's  got the art of napping down pat!  And she looks so pretty doing it!

Thanks again for sharing more details.   Interesting about the "pin" and where the fracture was.  Looking forward to what the other Surgeon has to say about that, plus his plan moving forward, as well as the Rehab.  Without wasting energy on what was, or was, or was not done by the "other" surgeon it does appear not as much thought was given to Bryce being a tripawd. 

You are doi ng an exce job of moving forward  now with a new team and new solutions  AND reassurances👏👏  As Jerry pointed out, there are def instances where fractures do jave to heal on their own.   Makes sense.  And hat's where your new team can offer guidance  on any simple additional  non invasive steps you can take to help facilitate  that.

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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24 September 2021 - 12:12 pm
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Awwww what a doll! Thanks for figuring out images uploading.

Yeah I understand why you feel let down. Phone convos can leave out so much, and a bad connection makes communication even more difficult. And without "THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED TO DO FOR IT TO HEAL" instructions, I would feel lost too! I agree totally that another opinion is in order, good job on getting that set up. If you even want a third, Drs. Sherman & Debora Canapp, an incredible ortho/rehab vet team, do long-distance consulting and I have a feeling they would geek out on Sam's situation. 

Good idea to wait on the brace. Therapists may have other ideas. I'm so glad you will be getting Sam into a rehab practice. Those pros often see things quite differently than surgeons and should have excellent instructions to get healing under way.

You are so fortunate that Sam is a chill doggie! Having a crazy spazzy dog in this situation would be incredibly tough.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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28 September 2021 - 5:10 pm
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Another pupdate....

We just had our consultation for that second opinion and we'll be taking our girl in for another surgery tomorrow 🙁 This surgeon says that this type of avulsion fracture cannot generally heal on its own, particularly in a tripawd where weight bearing is a necessity. The portion of the tibia that's broken off is where the quadriceps muscles attach and those are what extend the knee and allow weight bearing. So while this procedure is a common one in young puppies who this type of fracture is most likely seen with, Bryce will need to be on strict rest for the next 8 weeks. The doctor will place some pins and tension wire to secure that section of bone and then he'll splint the leg extended so the quadriceps muscles don't continue to pull at it. That splint will be on for the first two weeks and for the first four weeks, we'll be using the Help Em Up exclusively so she cannot put any weight on that leg at all. No significant weight bearing is critical to get this to heal properly and to get her back to her typical activity level. 

We've got another long road ahead of us now that our recovery clock has been set back to zero. We've got a rugged baby play pen style thing we're going to rig up to give her minimal space to move around, but that is open on the top so we can pick her up out of it while she has the splint on for those first two weeks. 

This surgeon said that if *he* had seen the radiograph taken at the three week mark, when we took her in after she stopped using the leg initially post op, he likely would have splinted it then or at least given us a strict rest regimen to follow to get it to heal on its own before that portion of bone was pulled away. We're quite frustrated with our original surgeon who perhaps could have done the TPLO procedure differently to account for this type of post op complication given her tripawd status, and with our primary care vet as well who saw those xrays at three weeks, where there's clearly a fracture, and didn't say there was a potential problem!

This is the xray taken at the 3 week mark when we took her in after she randomly stopped using the leg. I had forgotten to give her gabapentin that morning, so thought maybe that had something to do with it. The vet even asked my husband (who took her in) if she was a bit of a diva (she can be) because it may be that she's just acting a bit diva about a slight increase in pain.....in retrospect feels A LOT like a brush off of an actual issue!

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I'm still trying to stay focused on the current situation and getting her through the recovery which will likely be much tougher this time around. That said, it's very difficult not to feel like we've been let down by the folks who we had entrusted to care for our pet [read: child]. Not to mention that we paid quite a bit for the TPLO procedure and now will be paying an even higher cost for a second procedure.  Very thankful that we have pet insurance but still is frustrating. 

Well that felt a bit more like a rant than an actual pupdate, but I guess I needed to get that out of my system!

Virginia




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28 September 2021 - 6:09 pm
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OOOOMMMMDDDDD!!!   RANT????   NOPE!  That was an incredibly  restrained  response to a bunch of bulls**t that never should have happened!!  You have every right to be furious  and piffed off beyond words!    FWIW, his piffed us off too!!  

Maybe at a later time you can put things in place to be reimbursed, at least partially by both Bets involved prior!

But for now, you are right.  All energy needs to be placed on the path forward to heal this screw up and get your sweet Bryce back to 100%  And she will get back to 100%!!!  You have a solution  now that yes, will take a lot of,patience, but your love for Bryce will get you through.  She's strong and you are strong!!

It sounds like, although  a little late, you have the right Surgeon  for the job.  You are clearly in good hands now.

And we want to be here for you every step of the way.  On those days that are extra hard andnyou feel  defeated....we are here to hold you up and cheer you on.  On those days  when you start to see the light at the end of the tunnel....we are here to stand and applaud you and Bryce and cheer you on 👏👏

(((((((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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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29 September 2021 - 10:26 am
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Aww wow rant away, that's why we are here. I would feel the same way. You guys have been through so much! It's so frustrating to have spend the $$ and time on a problem that has a completely different solution with another vet. What it often comes down to is how each vet experiences successes and failures based on their chosen procedures for clients. They choose the one with the most success and hope the current client follows that pattern. When it doesn't, ugh!

I'm glad you found that boarded ortho vet, though. Sounds like a very skilled surgeon, and also really good at explaining things to clients based on what you described here. Many specialists have a hard time with layspeak. 

Did the surgeon say anything about rehab after the eight week mark?

Thank dog you have insurance. Can I ask which company you are using?

I'm sorry for the frustration with your primary vet. I would let them know, as diplomatically and gently as you can, what's going on with Bryce if you haven't already, so that they can learn from the situation. We all know that vets are only human like we are, and sometimes they miss things. That happened to us with our Jerry. We were led down a path that delayed treatment for him. When it's your own fur kid in their care and something gets missed, it's so upsetting and oftentimes really expensive. But like you said, focus on the road in front of you for Bryce's sake, and this will be behind you in time. 

We are sending tons of pawsitivity your way! Let us know how surgery goes today!sp_hearticon2

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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1 October 2021 - 7:50 am
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Thank you both so much for your kind words and encouragement! 

Her surgery went really well and she's back home again with us after staying overnight post op (which is their normal procedure there). She's got a splint and a pretty sweet bandage that will be on for the next two weeks. We have to lift her back end for her and are only getting up and going outside for eliminations. The help em up harness is SO critical for this wheelbarrowing and I'm so glad to have it! I had asked the surgeon about getting a cart made but she's supposed to be on such strict rest that there would be no point to one. So hand-held wheelbarrow it is!

She's obviously on quite a few meds (carprofen for anti inflammatory, cephalexin for antibiotic, gabapentin for pain, and acepromazine for sedation--they were initially planning for trazadone but she tends to fight that one and gets all anxious and alert), but she seems relatively comfortable. She does have a bit of a cough every now and again, but I imagine that's likely caused by the intubation during the surgery and will probably go away in a short time. She is eating/drinking and peeing/pooping normally though

My parents were a HUGE help and got us this rugged baby play pen set up so she's got a small enclosed space that we can contain her in but also get her into and out of relatively easy (though she is pretty heavy at almost 60lbs!). 

Also very luckily, I am able to work from home for at least the next two weeks while she's got the splint so I can be here with her during the day. 

No mistaking it's going to be a long and rough road to recovery, but I'm very grateful to have the support of my bosses, our family and friends and you all from this community. I'm encouraged by how quickly the past 5 weeks had gone in terms of her TPLO recovery, so these next 4 weeks may be done in a flash too. 

Anyway, I'm sure I'll be back with more updates at some point along the way here! And thank you again for your support!!

 

The Rainbow Bridge



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1 October 2021 - 10:45 am
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YAY BRYCE! You are HOME! And you're on the way to a once-and-fur-all recovery, that's pawesome! I love your "nurse" friend in the recovery ward, too cute.

Her meds do sound really good. Interesting about how she reacts on Traz! I've never heard of that reaction to Ace. Our Wyatt would be the reverse, he was awful on Ace but so much better on Traz. Just shows to go you yet again that all dogs are different.  

Glad you've got her maneuvering the potty walk process down to a science. Whatever works for the wheelbarrow!

At some point I'd love to send you some questions for an article about how this recovery went. No time soon, just get through it first of course. You can do it smiley_clap 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Virginia




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1 October 2021 - 11:42 am
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WELCOME HOME BRYCE!!!    What an ordeal.  You and your hoomans WILL get through this!!  You're  already two days closer  to a complete  recovery.  Check it off one day at a time.

His set up is a wonderful "recovery room". And yes, his "Nurse" is adorable.

We are here for you every single day...and we mean that!  You're  gonna have some roller coas6 days emotionally,  that's  for sure.  We're here to help hold you up on your less good days, and to cheer you on with every day closer to full recovery,  Consider us your personal  wheelbarrow 😎

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!

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