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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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10.5 year old Shi Tzu with rear leg amputation
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Forum Posts: 9
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6 August 2019
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6 August 2019 - 8:34 am
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Hello Everyone

My boy Jasper was running along the fence Sunday morning barking at a dog walking by and the next thing I knew he was lame. His rear left leg was just hanging. I thought of torn ACL or something similar. Nope. Completely fractured femur. His Dr fears bone cancer. His amputation was yesterday and he is still at the hospital. We are waiting on the pathology to confirm. They didn’t see any tumors in his body so hopefully it was isolated, but I don’t know how it works really. He should be coming home today and I am freaking out a little. I know there are plenty of dogs with similar amputations that do really well, but I have no idea what to expect for the next few days. Any advice would be great. icon_cry

Here and Now


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6 August 2019 - 9:26 am
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frontierbetty said
I don’t know how it works really…and I am freaking out a little.
I have no idea what to expect…

Welcome and best wishes for Jasper’s speedy recovery. Freaking out is common, and to be expected. Just don’t do it in front of Jasper. He needs you to be strong and balanced now. It’s why we say Be More Dog , and that’s not just some silly saying.

Don’t miss the growing series of Tripawds News blog posts all about what to expect. You will find many more helpful articles, videos, and podcasts by searching these forums and the Tripawds Blogs , and you can search all blogs here . Or, download Tripawds e-books for fast answers. And start here for finding the many Tripawds resources and assistance programs, or call the toll-free Tripawds Helpline anytime.

Please keep us posted, your future forum posts will not require moderation.

Forum Posts: 113
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6 August 2019 - 9:46 am
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Hi jasper and jaspers human. Im so sorry you’ve been put in this situation but so happy that you found us!

As our admin said freaking out is totally normal no matter how much you’ve prepared. Jasper is your baby and you want the best for him ❤ 

Good for you and your vet for acting so quickly. As for what to expect today. Every dog is a little different some jump right up and some need a little more time. but for the most part a very groggy pup till the meds from surgery wear off. Dont worry thats good thing. right now rest, water, food if he will take it, potty and more rest. Your vet will probably send you home with antibiotics and an anti inflammatory like carprofen as well as a pain med,  gabapentin or tramadol. Pain managment for the first few weeks is key. You know jasper better than anyone so dont be afraid to call your vet if you feel his meds need to be adjusted. 

I know how hard it is to see them like this after surgery but try not to panic. The first few days can be a little stressful till you find your new normal. It will get easier and his sparkle will come back.

If you have questions or need to talk we’re all here for you both ❤

Hugs,

❤ Bev, Roane & nurse Moe

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12 August 2019 - 7:53 am
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It’s been a week since Jasper broke his femur. The surgery went well and he is bouncing  back nicely. I can’t thank you enough for the reassurance. I’m pretty sure it was harder on us than him. The hardest part is keeping him from doing too much. He wants to run and go upstairs so badly. I’m hoping when the stitches come out on Sunday and he gets more strength he will be our happy boy again. Still waiting on pathology results, but not sure I will persue any additional treatment at his age. 

Mary and Jaspersmiley4

Here and Now


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12 August 2019 - 8:11 am
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frontierbetty said
The hardest part is keeping him from doing too much….I’m hoping when the stitches come out on Sunday and he gets more strength he will be our happy boy again. 

Confinement and moderation are key for a speedy, safe recovery.

There are various starter exercises you can to to help Jasper rebuild strength and proprioception , but the best bet is to consult with a CCRT or CCRP for a conditioning program designed specifically to address his issues. The Tripawds Foundation can even pay for your first visit.

Livermore, CA




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12 August 2019 - 2:26 pm
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Hi Mary and Jasper, welcome.

I’ve had two small rear amp dogs.  My first was a Pug named Maggie who lost a rear leg to mast cell cancer.  Although given a prognosis of 6 to 9 months she lived for almost 4 years!  Now I have a little Pug mix named Elly who was hit by a car at 7 months old and lost her right rear leg as a result.  Elly is now 4.5 years old and does pretty much anything a dog her size can do.  And she is about 8% Shi Tzu smiley4

Having to keep him quiet is a good problem to have!  Once those stitches are out you can start re-building his strength and endurance. 

And yes- he will be your happy boy again!

Let us know what the path report says.

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

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14 August 2019 - 3:49 pm
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We finally received the results from Jasper’s pathology. OSTEOCARCOMA, OSTEOBLASTIC SUBTYPE. There is no radiographic evidence of metastatic neoplasia within the thoracic cavity at this time. Lymph node contains no neoplastic cells. This is confusing: Rule out primary versus metastatic neoplasia.  Bottom line, I guess, is he tested positive for cancer. Relieved that we didn’t take his leg for nothing, sad that he may develop more severe symptoms in near future. I will not put him through chemo at this stage of his life though. He is healing nicely and seems to want life back to normal…he wants up the stairs to the main living area soooooo bad. I am doing better every day and so is he. icon_lol Thank you everyone 

Mary and Jasper

The Rainbow Bridge



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14 August 2019 - 4:09 pm
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Hi to you and Jasper again! Thanks for letting us know how things are going. I’m so glad that he just picked up where he left off and is doing well. Isn’t it wonderful how he adapts? He’s not reading that lab report and worrying, or regretting his new 3-leggedness. He’s just enjoying life like always. What a role model for all of us!

Osteoblastic osteosarcoma is pretty common around here. It’s basically the same thing as plain old osteosarcoma, but designated with a subclass that lets everyone know that the cells act a little differently.

Sounds like you and Jasper are on the road to good times again. Congrats! Keep following your heart and doing what you feel is right for him, there are no bad decisions in this situation. As long as you make them with love and his best interests in mind, you can’t go wrong.

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




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14 August 2019 - 5:17 pm
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Love reading about Jasper’s “nothing gonna’ hold me back” attitude!!   Clearly he doesn’t  give a crap about any ole’ pathology  report!! 

No dog has a timeframe  stamped anywhere on their butt and they don’t  count days on a calendar!   They just love in the moment and enjoy being more dog!  Just continue  to make every day the best day ever…..just like you have done every moment of every day!

It is good news that no sign of  spreading  is evident!!  Jasper has a lot going for him.

Sounds like once the stitches are out he’ll be making his way back up to the living area.   Dogs wamt nothing  more than to have their routine back and get back to their normal ways.  Yeah, living life to the fullest in three is no  big deal to Jasper!!😎

Hugs 

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

PS…One week ampubersaries call for a acoop,of ice cream!!!  Poctires please!

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!

Forum Posts: 9
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17 August 2019 - 2:49 pm
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Jasper is doing really well, although he is sleeping a lot still. He normally plays with his stuffed animals and we haven’t seen that yet. That’s really the only milestone besides strengthening that we are waiting for.  His stitches come out tomorrow and he needs a bath really bad. Any tricks for the first bath? I bought a really cushy mat for the tub for grip but I know he is going to want to sit and I need to be able to get to his booty. 

Mary and Jasper

Livermore, CA




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17 August 2019 - 8:06 pm
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Yay Jasper! 

Stitch removal day is a great milestone. You might see a little more spark come out after those stitches are gone.

Yes, a good mat with grip for Jasper is important.  My two rear amps have been different.  Elly stands for the whole bath so I can get all around easily.  Maggie always sat down.  When I needed to rinse or wash the rear end I would support her back end with one hand and wash or rinse as needed.  The hardest part was getting her dry- I ended up putting a towel under her to soak up some of the wet while she sat which helped. 

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

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24 August 2019 - 10:28 am
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Almost three weeks post op. We had to put him back on pain meds after the removal of the stitches. He was so drugged and lethargic though, so we reduced the dosage and that seemed to do the trick. He is more comfortable and even played with his toys a little after his bath. Now we are just trying to get him stronger before he hurts himself by doing too much. Two steps forward, one step back. icon_lolMary and Jasper

Virginia




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24 August 2019 - 11:48 am
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YAAAAAY FOR JASPER!!😀😀😀  I know you were thrilled to see Jasper play with his toys again!  Huge milestone!  And it still gets vetter!!!

And yes, some dogs need pain meds at a reduced dose past stitch removal.  No biggie.  

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 August 2019 - 2:19 pm
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Great news about Jasper! That’s terrific! And good for you for being conscientious about his activity. Don’t furget that this Tuesday we have a Tripawd Rehab Webinar that you will find useful:

https://tripawd…..et-strong/

Also remember the Tripawds Rehab Reimbursement fund will cover the cost of your first rehab visit , so do take advantage of it OK?

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Posts: 9
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6 August 2019
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25 August 2019 - 3:35 pm
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Today seems to be another setback day. Even on the pain meds he is acting uncomfortable. I could swear he is limping, but its hard to tell. He has always been a licker but he is insatiable, and he can’t relax unless he’s sleeping. I am now wondering if he is having anxiety. I had given him alprazalam before his stitches came out but the vet thought is was pain, not anxiety, so we  put him back on pain meds. He seemed better at first, but now not so much. He’s still eating and going to the bathroom. I just don’t know what to do for him to get him comfortable. Do any of you think a thunder coat would be a good idea? I don’t want to just keep drugging him.smiley6

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