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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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Wheelchair for a frontleg-tripawd (and some other questions)?
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13 July 2021 - 10:20 pm
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Would someone like to answer me three questions?

1. Is it true that there are wheelchairs for frontleg amputees?

2. Leyla knows driving by bus but is not used to, because normally we drive by train/subway. Today we drove by bus but I had to be very careful that she didn’t fall over in the curve. Since I don’t have a car, I thought: How does it work with a tripawd in the car?

3. Does anybody have experience/tutorials with massage for supporting a tripawd?

The Rainbow Bridge



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14 July 2021 - 10:30 am
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Hi Leyla’s mom! We are hoppy to answer! How is she doing these days?

1. Is it true that there are wheelchairs for frontleg amputees?

Absolutely! But we do not recommend going out and buying a wheelchair until you consult with a canine rehabilitation therapist. These experts can help Leyla get strong so that she doesn’t need one until absolutely necessary. For instance, our Wyatt was a lifelong Tripawd and he didn’t need one until he was 10 years old. Therapist can evaluate her to help you figure out a plan to get her strong and keep her injury free. And IF she needs a wheelchair now, they can prescribe the best kind for her, and measure her precisely so it fits and does no harm. Our posts about wheelchairs for Tripawds has more info, check it out! 

And don’t forget the Tripawds Foundation can pay for your first rehab visit so please take advantage of the program!

2. Leyla knows driving by bus but is not used to, because normally we drive by train/subway. Today we drove by bus but I had to be very careful that she didn’t fall over in the curve. Since I don’t have a car, I thought: How does it work with a tripawd in the car?

I guess it depends what kind of car you have. In a passenger car with back seats, some people use a hammockto keep their Tripawd snug from falling over. Some allow them to sit on the back seat but use a seatbelt restraint. In our pickup truck, behind the front seats our Wyatt Ray had a platform where he sat. When you go around curves and such, it’s actually really good core-strengthening exercise for a Tripawd to keep balanced. Of course it’s a fine line because you don’t want them bouncing all around. So I guess the trick is to drive carefully and slowly around curves. And on a bus or public transport, a harness like the Ruffwear Flagline is especially helpful because you can use one hand to hang onto them by the top handle on the harneses, and one hand to hang onto the bus pole if you are standing. Make sense?

3. Does anybody have experience/tutorials with massage for supporting a tripawd?

Oh you bet! Check out our posts about massage for Tripawds! And again, a rehab therapist is an excellent instructor to show you how and where to do it. Massage is one of the best things you can do to keep Leyla limber!

Great questions! Thanks for asking.

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15 July 2021 - 6:02 pm
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Hi Jerry, thank you for your answer!

I dont think a wheelchair is neccessary. But some people at the street asked me, why I let my dog run around on three legs, why I do not buy a wheelchair ..

Besides of the warm weather, Leyla is doing fine. But the warmth is very exhausting. Like most boxers, she has always been sensitive to heat. But with three legs it is even more strenuous.
In the spring she had kennel cough and the lymph nodes on her neck were swollen. That was completely over, but now another lymph node is swollen.

I already use the Flagline harness since the amputation, but at the bus I had to be careful anyway.

I watched a video in which a dog owner worked his boxers with a massage gun and they found it extremely great. That’s why I’ve now ordered one for Leyla. She also likes massages, but I don’t know if there are any methods or if I can just do it just as I like and as Leyla likes.

Virginia




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15 July 2021 - 10:02 pm
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So good to hear from you AND Leyla!  Jerry’s the best for input on ways to safely and easily transport Leyla.

And we do have videos  on proper way to massage dogs, do leg stretch, etc. I’ll have to try and find some that I took of Fran.   But. quite frankly,  just massaging  all up and down their spine, their neck and shoulders, using your hands to loosen  any tense muscles .  And massaging  over a warm towel out of the dryer feels good to them too.  Maybe not so much now  in the heat though.

It really was good to hear from uou.  We would love to see some pics or more video of Leyla♥️

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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16 July 2021 - 2:17 pm
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 But some people at the street asked me, why I let my dog run around on three legs, why I do not buy a wheelchair ..

Yep, I think that with all the cute stories of dogs in wheelchairs that you see on TV and in social media, people assume 3-legged dogs always need them. They don’t as you know! 

Leyla is doing fine. But the warmth is very exhausting

I’m so hoppy to read this! The heat is such a challenge! See our Tripawds Gear articleabout cooling options for dogs, maybe something there will help Leyla feel better.

I already use the Flagline harness since the amputation, but at the bus I had to be careful anyway.

You are ON IT! Great job! smiley_clap

I watched a video in which a dog owner worked his boxers with a massage gun and they found it extremely great. 

Oooooh neat! Share the link when you have a chance, and let us know how it works for Leyla. Keep us posted!

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20 July 2021 - 1:47 pm
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I try to make a video when the massage-gun arrives. 🙂 I’m not sure if Leyla likes it because of the noise.
For cooling I just use a cooling-collar and water for drinking and showering. I always take some bottles with me. But I can still only walk short distances with her when the temperature is over 20° C. 🙁

The K9 Vest is much too warm now. I used it only in autum. In the winter a soft coat with the flagline-harness.
Leyla in her winter-outfit: https://www.you…..-BnjcfAulU
Leyla in the spring:

The Rainbow Bridge



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20 July 2021 - 2:15 pm
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Oh how beautiful! You live in a gorgeous area (Germany, right), it looks like a great place for a dog and people too. Leyla is sure having a good time! 

I hope you and your loved ones are safe from the flooding? 

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20 July 2021 - 6:36 pm
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Yes, thank you! 🙂 I’m glad the flood is further away from here. There are a few nice spots in the middle of Berlin, where we live. 

Virginia




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20 July 2021 - 6:51 pm
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Seeing Leyla so happy makes us all happy!!!  She has no fear of jumping  into the water to get her toy and is ready to dif under that fence to fet ro the other side!!😉   She is wagging her tail and is showing  every what a Happy dog she is!!

You’ve done such a good job of making sure her life is filled with fun and love♥️

Thanks again for sharing the pictures and video.  Made my day👍

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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15 August 2021 - 8:28 am
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Thank you very much, it’s good to hear that someone is happy about Leyla. 🙂

And she is still a happy dog, even though she has cancer again. It’s a tumor on the neck-lymphnode that has been growing extremely fast recently and would make breathing difficult. Now she is on cortisone. That has already worked.
I don’t know if she can have cortisone for the rest of her life or if the lymph node can be removed. I have to discuss this with the vet.

The massage gun has arrived. But Leyla does not seem to like it very much. I hoped she would enjoy it. I try to make her life as nice as possible, but unfortunately it is quite warm outside and that was always difficult for her, especially now.

The Rainbow Bridge



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15 August 2021 - 11:35 am
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Oh you know it! We love seeing her! But that is so terrible about the cancer, it can be so mean! 

I’m really sorry and hope there is some way to get rid of it so she doesn’t have to be on the steroid indefinitely. Please let know how it’s going OK? 

Bummer about the massage gun! See if these tips help:

https://pawwave…../training/

You are such a great parent to her, she knows that. The hot weather doesn’t help any of us especially those who wear fur coats all year. 

Give her a smooch from us! We are sending tons of Tripawd Power your way sp_hearticon2

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18 August 2021 - 7:45 pm
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Thank you, we can use some power. sp_hearticon2
It is such a terrible time. The vet says that Leyla can be given cortisone permanently, but it is not certain whether the tumor will remain small enough over the long term. She says she could still operate, but won’t be able to remove the tumor completely, so it will come back. She wants to know before the operation what kind of tumor it is. We tried that in the spring, but with no result because the sample did not have enough material. We’d have to try again, take another sample under ultrasound. We must send it to the laboratory again. Maybe there will be no result again.

If we want to operate, we would have to do a CT because otherwise we would not know how far the tumor extends into the tissue. The CT could reveal that we cannot operate. But even if, it is questionable whether Leyla can take it. It would be a big wound.
But when the tumor gets bigger, at some point she will no longer be able to breathe.
It’s so mean because she’s still in a good mood and so happy. You can’t put such a dog to sleep. icon_cry

Virginia




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18 August 2021 - 9:42 pm
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It just sucks that you are dealing  with this.  So many unknowns,  so much uncertainty.  It’s so frustrating  when it seems like there is   clear direction.   

Couple of things come to mind.  First of all, Leyla is doing very well and that is a huge plus!  The Cortisone  does appear to be helping and that is also huge.  And the fact rhat Leyla can stay on it indefinitely  certainly  is a plus.

Did the Vet give you any indication if there had been any noticeable changes found in her most  recent  appointment?  Is it possible the Cortisone could actually keep any progression  at bay, at least for a while?

Leyla is a strong and fit gal.  She has continously shown everyone that she is strong and determined  and not ready leave her earth clothes  any time soon!

In the meantime, we would love more video  of Leyla when it cools down a bit.  We all love this girl so much and it warms our hearts to see the bond you two have.

(((((((((((((((((((((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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19 August 2021 - 1:36 pm
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Ugh I’m so sorry. So many unknowns and it’s difficult to keep your emotions in check when you don’t have any firm answers. Totally understand.

Your vets plan sounds reasonable. The thing about diagnostics like CT scans is it tells you so much more but then it doesn’t decide those next steps for you. If you are certain you wouldn’t operate, then why do the CT unless you need it for your own peace of mind? Some of us need it, some don’t, there are no right or wrong paths to take.

Day by day, treasuring her for every joyful thing she does and puts a smile on your face is the way to go. Right now, she’s here and charming us all, soak it in! And yes more video and photos please! 

Still sending Tripawd Power to you both, may you have many hoppy times ahead.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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23 August 2021 - 10:46 am
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Did the Vet give you any indication if there had been any noticeable changes found in her most recent appointment? Is it possible the Cortisone could actually keep any progression at bay, at least for a while?

I think it is possible but not likely. The tumor ist much smaller than before but it doesn’t seem to get any smaller.
Do you mean her general health? The blood values? They are perfect, also the ultrasound a few months ago. She would be healthy if there weren’t this tumor on her neck.

I would operate, if I knew it could give her some happy months more. But this is not sure. Maybe she will suffer from the operation for nothing when the tumor grows up again within a few days. The same thing happened before the amputation: The operation made the tumor smaller but then it grew even faster back to the same size and we had to remove the leg.

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