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Tripod suddenly can't put weight on single back leg
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10 September 2018 - 9:31 am
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My 8 year old, 55 pound mutt (Bear) had his back right leg amputated due to osteosarcoma in February. Since then, he was running, playing and getting around great until four days ago. Bear ran out into the back yard, suddenly laid down and wouldn’t put any weight on his single back leg. He seemed to be in pain so we took him to the ER vet who took x-rays. No breaks or obvious bone damage.

We took him to our regular vet for a follow up appt. two days later and he stretched the leg to check for ligament damage, but did not notice any ligament issues. The vet is hoping it is just a muscle strain that will heal with rest.

Bear has been resting and on pain killers and a muscle relaxer for the past 4 days with no improvement. We are wondering if this could be due to a back problem/injury. 

Does anyone have any experience with this or any guidance? 

We have an appointment with a rehab doctor in two days. Hopefully some insight will come from that, but I would love some advice if anyone has any to share.

Thank you!

-Matt

The Rainbow Bridge

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10 September 2018 - 10:30 am
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Hi Matt,

Sorry to hear about Bear. Poor guy! He sounds like he’s been doing great, that’s wonderful! Try not to worry, this is quite common especially in new Tripawds who are active like yours. Our community sees it here all the time. Most time R&R, NSAIDs and rehab therapy will take care of the issue. Be sure to follow your doc’s orders: strict leashed potty walks, lots of binge tv watching and no running 🙂

I’m SO happy you made an appointment with a therapist. It’s helpful for the Tripawd but sooo helpful for the human so they can know what activity is acceptable and harmful for their dog. We still learn all the time, even 8 years after our Wyatt Ray had his amputation. In fact we have an appoint for an ortho/rehab evaluation in a few weeks because he’s been slowing down a bit.

You may want to review our e-book, Loving Life On Three Legs , in the meantime. We have lots of great tips there on how to keep your Tripawd fit and healthy. Also see the Tripawds Gear blog for more tips.

And remember, the Tripawds Foundation will reimburse you for your first rehab visit so do apply!

Keep us posted on the vet vist. We’re sending you and Bear lots of healing thoughts.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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10 September 2018 - 12:36 pm
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Hi Jerry,

Thanks for the reassuring words. I’ve downloaded the book and will start reading it tonight.

It sounds like you are saying this is a common injury and he should recover from it, correct?

We have been trying to let him live his life as if nothing has changed, but it seems like we need to regulate his activity level better. We just want him to be happy and have a great quality of life.

If anyone else has dealt with this issue and has any suggestions, please share to at least help with our peace of mind.

Thanks!

-Matt

Virginia
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10 September 2018 - 1:35 pm
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You’re  bring  a really good advocate  for your Bear. Good job of staying on top of things.

Yes, muscle strain, soft tissue injuries, etc are a bit rougher on a trpawd than a four legger, that for sure.   And the recovery rime is longer as Bear doesn’t  have the same option as a fourlegger who can hold that fourth leg up.  A tripawd has to figure out how to walk on two!  Not a good option!

Also really glad you have an appointment  with a Rehab Specialist.   They are EXCELLENT  at pinpointing  the root of the issue that may not be as easily detected  by a regular Vet.

One thing that’s  REALLY important, it appears Bear has NOT been prescribed  an anti-inflammatory like Rimadyl,  Metacam or Galliprant, just to name a few.  Not a Vet and not giving  Bet advice, but please talk to your Vet about  getting him on one pf those asap.

I have a tripawd whi jhad gone thru cruciate  repair surgery on his remaining  resr leg (end of December), as well as  more recently additional damage/injury (not 100% clear of exact cause).  I can tell you the value of Rehab therapy has been nothing short of a miracle!   And yes, as hard as it is to make dogs like Besr take ot sooooooo and easy for awhile, rest and short hops for potty and back to more rest.  Your Rehab Vet will most likely  incorporate  laser therapy as well.  

In the meantime,  maybe you can use a DIY sling or harness to help Bear go to potty.  Have a feeling  he won’t like that “help” though!

The Rehab Bet will also check up and down his spine for any issues there.  In the meantime , gently massage all up and down hos spine, all around the neck and shoulder  areas for any signs of tension.  

Keep us posted AND we would love to see pictures pf Bear!!

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!

Livermore, CA
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10 September 2018 - 1:40 pm
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Hello and welcome.

I’m sorry Bear has some pain issues!  Since the vet couldn’t find any issues with his leg it could be his back.  Very easy for a Tripawd to hurt themselves.

It’s great that you are seeing a rehab vet!

My current Tripawd is a little rear amp named Elly, she lost her back leg after being hit by a car when she was 7 months old.  She is now a little over 3.5 years old.  We work everyday on her strength and balance through games, puzzles and exercises.  Hopefully the rehab vet can get you on a program to get Bear as strong as he can be- core strength is really important for Tripawds.

We have been trying to let him live his life as if nothing has changed, but it seems like we need to regulate his activity level better. We just want him to be happy and have a great quality of life.

Yes to all of that!  My first Tripawd Maggie lost a rear leg to cancer just before this site was established.  I had no idea what to do for her or how much activity to allow her.  Lucky for me she was a 7.5 years old Pug so napping was one of her favorite activities big-grin.  This is a hard balance to hit in my opinion, you want them to be dogs and enjoy all the things they did before, but you also want to protect what they have left. The trick is to find activities that challenge them and that they enjoy. 

Let us know how the rehab visit goes!

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

Scotland, ON
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12 September 2018 - 10:39 am
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We experienced something very similar with Bruce about a year and a half ago, he was suddenly unable to use his one and only hind leg and we were having to carry our 90lb beast in and out for potty breaks we also used his harness once he was outside and on the grass to help him stand to do his business. X-rays showed nothing and it was eventually decided that it must be a soft tissue injury, he had a habit of running and jumping either onto or off of our front steps. He was prescribed Metacam and Gabapentin, my husband built him a pen out in the back yard in order to let him still enjoy being outside but limiting him trying to get up and go anywhere. It took about a month for him to be back to normal as far as walking went, we expanded his pen as he got better, but still kept him (and his favorite companion) in it during the day to limit his activity. We haven’t had any recurrences since and he’s now at just over 2 years post amputation. I think the good news for Bear is that with nothing showing on x-rays, it is more than likely something that is just going to take some time to heal, but I would definitely speak to your vet about an anti-inflammatory, I looked into hydro therapy for Bruce but we had very limited options in our area, a rehab specialist could make a big difference in Bear’s recovery timeframe. 

Good Luck we’ll be sending lots of healing thoughts to Bearheartheartheart

Tracy and Sweet Bruce

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13 September 2018 - 2:23 pm
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Hi there!

we have just had this happen to Hamish and know how scary and heartbreaking it is!

He is doing really well and improving every day – we saw no improvement for two weeks and it frightened the life out of us. The physio/rehab we have seen has been amazing – we have followed all of her exercises, massages and heat packs to the letter daily and it is paying dividends, you will get out what you put in!

hope you get him sortedz

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8 October 2018 - 2:08 pm
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Hi everyone,

I just wanted to give an update on Bear’s progress and thank you all for your suggestions and support. We have taken him to three physical therapy appointments where they did laser treatment, acupuncture and some exercises. This helped tremendously. We didn’t see much progress until the PT, then he started to seem better and better each day. Now after about four weeks from his injury he is walking around the house fine and can do short walks around the neighborhood. He gets tired quickly and we don’t let him push himself too hard.

We were very relieved that there was not bone or ligament damage and the PT was able to help. Thanks for the suggestions and hopefully Bear’s story will help others who deal with something similar. I highly recommend PT, laser treatment and acupuncture. 

Moving forward, we are definitely going to regulate his activity much more and not let him push himself so hard. He will still be able to be active and have a great quality of life!

-Matt

Virginia
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8 October 2018 - 5:09 pm
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YAAAAAAAAY!!!   BEST NEWS OF THE DAY!!!   HUGE GRIN PLASTERED ACROSS MY FACE😁😁😁😀😀😀

Sooo happy to see this update!  Bear still gets to be Bear and continue  to be loved and spoiled like crazy!!!💖

Ice cream and cake for everybody!🍨🍨🍧🍰🍰

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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8 October 2018 - 5:53 pm
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Matt this is GREAT news! clap I am beyond thrilled and relieved to know Bear is doing so much better. YAY! 

You are both a real testament to the power of PT for Tripawds. If and when you ever feel up to writing a guest blog post for us about your experience, we would be so grateful and happy to share it with the world. 

Keep us posted on how he’s doing, we are Bear’s biggest cheerleaders besides you!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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8 October 2018 - 9:33 pm
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Over the 4+ years that Murphy was a tripawd, he had a couple of instances where he suffered from muscle spasms and pain.  There was even 1 morning where I thought something was seriously wrong – he was yelping every time we tried to move him at all.  I think he had strained his neck that time.

We often did back massages for him, from his neck all the way down to his hips.  He loved it!  He would moan, groan & arch backwards. laughing We kept medications on hand in case he needed a dose here or there, too.  He didn’t mind some heat once in awhile, either.  Once we started seeing the rehab vet, we learned how to do some stretches to help increase his core strength.  She also did chiropractic adjustments for him, which helped with the stiffness for him.

Murphy loved to run in the back yard with our other dogs.  He chased the squirrels and he really loved when another dog was in the park behind us so he could run the fence.  He didn’t mind if he face-planted once in awhile, he just got right back up and kept running! clapWe mostly let him self-regulate his activity.

Donna

Donna, Glenn & Murphy  http://murphyh......pawds.com/

Murphy had his right front leg amputated due to histiocytic sarcoma at 7 years old.  He survived 4 years, 2 months & 1 week, only to be taken by hemangiosarcoma at 11 1/2 years 6/12/17  

Donna.png

The Rainbow Bridge

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9 October 2018 - 9:08 am
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Donna I love these memories of Murphy, thank you for sharing. I can just see him now running after the critters and not letting anything get in his way. So cute!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Virginia
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9 October 2018 - 3:46 pm
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Agree with Rene.  Had quite a smile as I  visualized Murphy enjoying being Murphy💖💖💖

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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11 October 2018 - 1:24 pm
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Jerry sent me here to read about Bear. So so so very happy to hear he is doing well and PT helped. Anyone know a good one in the Atlanta, GA (Northside) area? 

Our sweet girl can’t stand on her hind legs at all today. She tries to get up and is a front leg amputee about 70 lbs. vet thinks possible slipped disc and it’s kind of wait and see. Jerry suggested physiotherapy. We aren’t sure what we will do if this doesn’t resolve as she has 2 large mets in lung and we are 5 months post diagnosis/amputation.

thanks you all are great

Virginia
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12 October 2018 - 10:25 pm
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If it is a disc issue, lots and lots of rest, resrt, rest.  Did the Vet offer anti-inflammatory meds, or may Prednisone   or a steroid/cortisone injection …..anything other than “wait and see”?   Would pain meds help?

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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