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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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Tripawd injured his only remaining front leg
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Forum Posts: 3
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25 April 2019
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14 June 2019 - 2:02 pm
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I wasn’t sure which forum this should be posted under, I apologize if I selected the wrong one.

Coal is a 7 year old German Shepherd with a nasal tumor. 2 months ago he made a bad jump and shattered his elbow on his front right leg, biopsy of the bone showed no cancer so it was just bad luck. We chose the amputation because the recovery time for pins and plates was 8 weeks strict kennel rest and we don’t know how long he will be with us, diagnosis of the nasal tumor was in August, he is on Palladia and they gave us 6 months at his diagnosis so we are already on borrowed time.

He’s been doing good recovering from the amputation, however, this morning he went to chase his brothers and tripped and landed on his remaining front leg wrong. We took him to the vet for XRays and he did not find any fractures which was great news – soft tissue injury, however, he still will not put any weight on the remaining front leg and when we try to assist with a harness in the front, he just lays down. We have taken him out to potty several times, carrying him out and setting him in the grass and help him to stand with a harness on the front end and a bottom’s up leash on the back end and he just lays back down. Has anyone else experienced this?  We did give Tramadol and Gabapentin at the vets office 4 hours ago, he just won’t get up and won’t even try to move. I have potty pads underneath him, I’m just trying to see if there is anything else I can do to help him or if he just needs to rest and heal on his own for a while.

We’re very new to this and I’m very thankful to have found this amazing community! I want to do all I can for my sweet boy.

Misti

Here and Now


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14 June 2019 - 2:26 pm
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Welcome and best wishes for Coal.

Please consider consulting with a certified canine rehab therapist for proper evaluation, treatment recommendations, and specific exercises to keep Coal fit and strong. Visit a CCRT or CCRP and the Tripawds Foundation can even pay for your first visit from the Maggie Moo Fund for Tripawd Rehab.

Without specific medical questions, we’ve moved your topic here to the Hopping Around forum. Please keep us posted, your future forum posts will not require moderation.

Sorry we missed you in the chat!

Virginia




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14 June 2019 - 10:02 pm
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Well Mr Coal sounds like quite a Warrior!  And he certainly  has devoted hoomans willing  to do whatever it takes to give him the best quality  time possible for more loving  and spoiling!

Soft tissue  injuries  can certainly  be painful and take some time to heal and require complete  rest.   You certainly  have your work cut out for you, but a full recovery is certainly  doable.

As our Admin Guy said,  Input from a Certified  Rehabilitation  Specialist will be invaluable.  She may suggest an Assisi Loop, maybe laser, maybe  cold/hot compression, etc.  Just sort of throwing  everything  out there as a possibility. All his muscles are probably  quite tense now, so gently  massage up and down his back, his neck, and gently  around his shoulders.

While I’ve not had the exact same situation  with my front legger tripawd, he has off and on tweaked his remaining  front leg, as well as one of rhe backlegs.  I found the Gabapentin  did help, not only with the pain, but it kept him a bit more “relaxed”, a bit more mellow.  He often vocalized  whenever I tried to help him up because of “anticipatory pain”…thinking I was about to make him hurt.

My tripawd (Frankie) was very jard to help woth a harness.  He just didn’t  like it and wanted  to do everything his way…..even if it meant  laying down and refusing  to move.  I hope Coal will use the potty pads.   Sooner or later he’ll have to until he’s  up on his own.   You may  have to learn how to express his bladder fot a few times until he is able to stand  on that leg.  Again, the pain meds will help make that happen.

But yes, do try and get an appointment  with a Rehab Specialist.   It would be soooo helpful if rhey eould ve willing  to make a home visit 

And with all this that has happened, it IS good news that Coal did not fracture  anything  and, other than this TEMPORARY  setback, he has been so happy!!

Do keep us posted, okay?  Others may have some good input for you.

(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((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!

Latham, NY
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15 June 2019 - 1:30 pm
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I don’t have more to add.  Just wanted to wish you and Coal all the best!!

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Fallon  8/28/06--9/6/18.  My Heart.

Fallon's left front leg was amputated due to osteosarcoma on 10/11/17.

Nothing But Love in Her Heart - dawn3g.tripawds.com

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15 June 2019 - 3:03 pm
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Wow! Thank you so much for the info, suggestions and support!  I can tell you it was devastating to see him refusing to walk – I was at a complete loss as to what to do.  He’s a mommas boy and we have a very strong bond, it really breaks my heart to see him hurting. We rescue hard-case German Shepherds, we work hard to break their bad habits and instill good ones and keep them happy and well-cared for for the rest of their lives. We have 4 German Shepherds and 1 hound now, all are rescues in addition to 5 rescued cats, several chickens and guineas.  It’s a zoo, but we wouldn’t change it. None of the others have even counted his legs lately so nothing has changed other than him periodically needing extra help and that he doesn’t get to go on our long walks in the woods anymore.

I’m thankful to have some good news to report. He is starting to put weight on his remaining leg again and even takes a few steps on his own, we still help him to go outside and he is finally going potty again. He hasn’t yelped at all today so we’re taking it slow and making sure he doesn’t overdo it. He’s good with us helping him with the harness, he was not impressed with the bottom’s up leash so we have not been using it. He doesn’t complain about me massaging him or manipulating his leg so I think we’re moving forward. 

We had tried to check on rehab following his amputation but between his chemo meds and the cost of the amputation, finances don’t allow for an additional bill.  Our vet recommended having him swim to help build muscle without impacting the joints, we hold him up with the life vest and don’t let him get worn out.  It has really helped his mobility and his stamina. We take short walks every few hours throughout the day, just around the house and until yesterday he could even walk around the pond which is a little longer of a trip. I also do massages on him that our vet recommended.  

He does get Dasaquin MSM daily and he’s been on the Prescription diet Metabolic and Mobility food for 2 months now, but has dropped 17 pounds – the surgeon had told us to keep him at the weight he was (87 pounds) because it was a good weight for him, just a little light already – 90 was ideal.  Unfortunately, he’s also having what appear to be allergy issues from the food so our vet told us to add his old food back in to get some more weight on him because at this point, he’s too thin for his frame even with only 3 legs. 

There’s just so much to learn, it’s pretty overwhelming. We want to help him reach his fullest potential and we want him to be happy for as long as he has left with us. He’s an incredibly sweet and very special boy who deserves to be happy. He’s 7 and we have only had him 5 years but he has turned into such a wonderful boy and we feel so lucky that we’ve had him in our lives. 

Thank you again for the support, it’s nice to know we’re not alone. 

Misti

Here and Now


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15 June 2019 - 5:50 pm
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misti2 said
There’s just so much to learn, it’s pretty overwhelming…

That’s why we offer the Tripawds Diplomasmiley16

Virginia




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15 June 2019 - 9:44 pm
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Misti! I love the diverse family  you have!  They are all aooo lucky to jave uou as their partners!  Amd Coal certainly has a wonderful advocate in you!!

ABSOLUTELY  THRILLED to hear Coal is using  his leg some!!!  😁😀  Huge smile on my face!!    GREAT NEWS!!

Just continue  sloooow and easy!  His leg can still be easily  tweaked while it’s  recovering.

We certainly  understand finances. eing a hurdle.  We all wish we could do everything,  but that’s  not usually  an option.  What you have done, what you are doing, is far more than most would even begin to do!!

I going to post some links to some of Frankie’s therapy sessions that I videoed.  They may, or may not be helpful.   It may take me a while to find them and pull them up, so keep checking  in.

And in all my years here, I’ve never  seen the link the Admin Guy sonyou xan receive uour Tripawds Diploma……love it!

Hugs 

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

PS.  Shhhh…. a scoop of ice cream once a day can help Coal put a little weight back on😉

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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27 June 2019 - 8:43 am
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I’ve been reading the Tripawds e-books , I wish we would have had those before we had to make the decision to amputate, but there wasn’t a lot of time when he shattered his elbow.  Our only bright side is that they did not find any cancer in the front leg that was removed.  The nasal tumor is still there and he is on Palladia for that, and we tried the vaccine even though it had not been tested with his type of tumor.  He was diagnosed with the nasal tumor in August and we were given 6 months so at this time, we’re on borrowed time and we’re appreciating every single minute of it. The injury to his remaining front leg has been a major setback. Thankfully, he didn’t break anything but it’s a soft tissue injury and after 2 weeks, he’s still struggling.

At this point, he’s still walking gingerly after he tripped trying to run with the rest of our zoo.  Still not certain what he pulled but we are still having ups and downs.  We are keeping him on Gabapentin and Tramadol and we’re still carrying the majority of his weight using the harness.  He will get up on his own and periodically will walk very short distances at a time. He never yelps when I move his remaining legs to tell me where he hurts so I don’t know where the pain is.  We’re hanging in there and trying to keep all of our spirits up, but it’s really hard knowing he’s in pain and doesn’t want to walk at all.

We did get him moved back to his old food due to the allergies with the Metabolic and Mobility food.  Poor boy just can’t buy a break!  He is still on Dasuquin MSM and we are giving him Adequan shots as well.

Really helps to have a place to vent to others who have had experience with what you’re going through. It’s stressful and hurts us to see him in pain. 

It’s crazier than our ‘normal crazy’ right now because in addition to our two 13-year old German Shepherds (one with bone cancer in his skull), our 7 year old Coal Tripawd with the nasal tumor, a 10-year old hound and a 6 year old German Shepherd -(who is just ornery enough to live to be 35) we are also boarding 2 dogs for a soldier through Dogs on Deployment where we board dogs while their soldier parents are deployed so we have a 75 pound Catahoula Leopard Dog and a 55 pound pit mix with us for 2 months.  It’s a lot to handle, but we are hanging in there and making sure that everyone gets the time and attention that they need.

The Rainbow Bridge



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27 June 2019 - 8:48 am
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If you are still online, hop over to the Tripawds Chat , I’m there for a bit. Back in a sec with some feedback.

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

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The Rainbow Bridge



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27 June 2019 - 8:58 am
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Thanks for returning with a pupdate!

I’m so hoppy you found the Tripawds e-books helpful! If you happen to have time between caring for all the critters, would you mind posting a review? We’ve sold many copies but have been bad about asking for reviews. It would be so helpful but I understand with all you have going on if you don’t have time.

Meanwhile, I am in awe of all that you are managing with the doggies. Bless your heart! sp_hearticon2When it comes to Coal, the Adequan is a great start, but have you had a chance to consider meeting with a canine rehab therapist? I know you’ve got a ton of vet bills right now, but the Tripawds Foundation may pay for your first rehab visit if you go to a credentialed CCRT or CCRP therapist. One of these experts can help diagnose Coal’s pain and work with your vet to prescribe a good combo of meds to keep him comfier. They can also show you exercises to help him get stronger (as if you don’t have enough going on!). 

We would looooooove to see photos if you are able to share them. Here’s a post about adding images to the Forums, let me know if you’d like help.

P.S. Your 6-year old Sheppie sounds a lot like Wyatt Ray . We often say the same thing about our own Mr. Cranky Pants!

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

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