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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I apologize if I am not posting this in the right forum. My large tripawd (front leg amputee since April 2018; I adopted him as a tripawd) is beginning to show signs of pain in the mornings with his remaining front leg. When he gets up in the mornings he tries to stand and when he puts his weight on his leg he cries out. Typically he just falls to the floor, tries to get up again, cries, and falls to the floor. This will happen for about 5 attempts to stand and cries, and eventually he is able to fully stand. Once he gets moving he is fine… he’s a little slower than usual after these episodes, but manages his short morning potty walk. I am wondering if he is just laying on his leg weird at night? Has anyone else experienced this?
We go to the vet tomorrow, but I wanted to get a feel for anyone that might have similar experiences.
His name is Buddy and he’s a 6 year old St Bernard/Shepard mix. He weighs about 74lbs. We only go on about 4 or 5 shorts walks around the block a day. He doesn’t seem to be overexerting himself too much, he lives a pretty low key life (St Bernard took over his entire personality).
Thank you all so much!
25 April 2007
Welcome and best wishes for Buddy!
While you wait for additional feedback, please consider consulting with a certified rehab vet/tech for a professional evaluation, treatment recommendations and exercises you can do at home to keep him fit and strong. Visit a CCRP or CCRT and the Tripawds Foundation will even pay for your first visit from the Maggie Moo Fund for Tripawd Rehab! They have special training to identify and address orthopedic and mobility issues, while most general practice vets may only prescribe x-rays and medication.
Please keep us posted. Your future forum posts will not require moderation.
Meanwhile, start here for help finding all the helpful Tripawds resources and assistance programs.
22 February 2013
Hi adorable Buddy! Love your avatar picture. Hearing that the St Bernard part took over your personality made me laugh😀
And yes, as the Admin Guy said, do get a consult with a Certified Rehabilitation Specialist. They do an incredible job of pinpointing the cause in cases like this AND identifying solutions to help! And yes, they can give you at home exercises to do as well.
In the meantime, try massaging all over before he gets up. Massage neck area, shoulder area, up and down his spine. Also look for any signs of tension as you do. So many things could be tweaked…shoulder, elbow, wrist.
I would hold off on walks around the block and just do potty breaks until your Vet or Rehab can evaluate him. Is he on any anti inflammatory or pain meds? Vet might take an xray since he seems to be experiencing pain at firdt.
We’ll look for your update. Yay for you for adopting a tripawd❤
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!
I am totally in love with Buddy! What a face! Why did he become a Tripawd?
You totally posted in the right place. Great move to see your vet tomorrow. They may or may not prescribe pain medications to help him feel better, but I also suggest getting an opinion from a rehab therapist. It could be something simple like a muscle strain, or a little more complex, like a wrist sprain, but either way these experts are great at figuring out the issue.
Let us know what your vet says OK? Thanks for joining us!
Thank you all so much! And especially thank you for the rehab replies. I will definitely be taking advantage of these helpful tools!
Ugh, it’s kind of a sad story for why he lost his leg. He was brought in to the shelter by his previous family to have him euthanized for being aggressive. The shelter took him in, did xrays, and found out his aggression was due to severe leg damage (apparently he had been hit by a car years prior and was never taken to the vet). The shelter removed his leg (really makes me emotional they did so much to save him), and now I’m the luckiest mom ever! Zero aggression from this big boy.
Thank you for the idea of massaging him in the morning. I usually do in the evenings as I seem to always be scrambling around in the mornings, but I started allotting myself extra time in the morning to massage his leg, shoulder and back. The vet said his upper leg near shoulder feels pretty tight. She gave me some doggy aspirin to help, and recommended booking an appointment with someone who has a better understanding specific to tripawds and is more rehab focused.
We’ve been doing perfect since I posted this, so I will definitely be keeping up this routine with his morning massage. What a lucky dog! 😉
Amanda thank you for giving him such a loving home. He has the dream life now! Poor guy, he must have really been hurting. More people who have dogs and cats need to understand pain signals before taking on pet parenthood.
I love that your vet recommended rehab! Please let us know if you would like help finding a clinic. They are usually closer than you think. We can’t wait to read about Buddy’s rehab visit. Glad he’s feeling better!
15 November 2019