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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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Bullmastiff 6 year old with 2 TPLO surgeries
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Forum Posts: 2
Member Since:
27 January 2019
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27 January 2019 - 2:05 pm
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Hi all,

So I’m new here, found out recently that my guy has bone cancer.  He started limping and favoring his left front leg around Christmas-New Years and it was getting worse with no obvious cause so I took him in.  They x-rayed and gave me the bad news, and recommended a couple places.  I know CSU is good but they had a longer wait to get in, so I’m going to another place here in Colorado.  I’ve been doing some searching on the inter webs and found this site among others, so just doing a bit of research in prep for my appt tomorrow.

I guess my main concern is how he’ll do on 3 legs after going through 2 TPLO’s.  He recovered nicely from both surgeries, the first one shortly after he turned 1 and the 2nd was last December.  The second took a bit longer to heal for whatever reason, but he’s done really well.  But I know these guys hold most of their weight on their front legs, and between those two bionic limbs and now likely being down to just one, I’m a bit concerned.  Luckily I live in a ranch house so not really much for stairs, just 2 steps off the front porch and back deck.

Anyone have a similar situation that can offer some advice in the event we do an amputation tomorrow?  I”m not too sure about the radiation or chemo as options either… but will listen to what they recommend at least.

Here and Now


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27 January 2019 - 2:52 pm
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Welcome and best wishes for Porter! Search these forums and the blogs and you’ll find plenty of stories of Tripawds who have coped well after remaining limb surgeries Since Porter has already recovered from his previous surgeries, if he is currently otherwise fit and strong he’s one hop ahead of the game.

The best thing you can do is schedule a rehab appointment as soon as he has healed and the stitches are out. CSU has one of the best rehab teams in the nation (you’ll find various articles and videos in the Tripawds News blog ). They can perform a proper evaluation and prescribe specific exercises for him to rebuild strength and prevent future injury.

Visit a CCRP or CCRT and the Tripawds Foundation will even pay for your first visit from the Maggie Moo Fund for Tripawd Rehab!

While you wait for comments from others, use the Advanced Search above to refine your forum search results with specific phrases, and you’re sure to find lots of helpful feedback. You can also search all blogs here . Or, consider downloading the Tripawds e-books for fast answers to common concerns and feel free to call the toll-free Tripawds Helpline anytime!

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.


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28 January 2019 - 8:58 am
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My English Mastiff Tazzie had a similar situation, although her ACL repairs did not involve TPLOs (she had lateral sutures).  She had her knee surgeries at about 3 or 4 years of age and then had her RF leg amputated at age 6 for OSA.  She did really well although I did keep her in the hospital for a few extra days.  I did not allow her to go down steep stairs after the surgery but she could manage small ones and still managed to play with the other dogs and hop around the yard.  Unlike other dogs on this site she never wanted to go to parks or for walks off of the property afterwards but she was happy.  She made it 14 or 15 months until the cancer came back in her spine.

She was 190 pounds before surgery and not overweight and we did carboplatin chemo for 5 doses as well as some holistic stuff.  I hope that helps and good luck!

Pam

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31 January 2019 - 10:16 pm
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Thanks Pam for the info.

Had the docs check him out and they said he looked like he could handle it.  He’s not overweight and the last week or so he hasn’t been using the leg anyway, so he’s already adapting.  We have him scheduled for surgery in the morning.

I’ve been checking out the site and you all have supplied a lot of good info and support, it’s much appreciated.  

Virginia




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1 February 2019 - 11:27 am
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Just catching up.  So glad you have the go-ahead to get that bum leg removed. 

Glad Pam chimed in.  Tazzie is one of our best known LARGE  tripawds around here!

Please let us know when surgery is done.  Is Porter staying  a night or two in a staffed  overnight  clinic?

Let us know if you have any questions,  okay?  Recovery is no picnic for about two weeks.  Some dogs take a few days to get up on their own and taking steps on their own, so no worries if Porter needs help at first.  

When you do pick Porter up, don’t  even bother looking  at his incision just look into his druggy eyes and tell him he’s  a good boy and going home!

My Happy Hannah was a …er….”fluffy” Bull Mastiff and handled being a tripawd like a graceful  ballerina!.  She loved being a couch potato  and getting snuggled non-stop.   She loved meandering around outside, sunbathing  and then lounging  in the shade getting  tumny rubs 

I have a wild and crazy  “rescue” tripawd Coonhound.   Mot sure how long he’s been a front legger, but at least for five years.  A year ago Frankie hsd cruciate  repair  surgery on one of his rear legs.  Fast forward to this past December  and he had a TPLO on his other remaining  back leg!  Knocking on wood, he is doing extremely  well all things considered!  So I have no doubt your Porter will do just fine!. 

As I’m  sure you’ve  already read here, lots of rest for the first two weeks.  Rest, short potty breaks, no stairs, no jumping.  He should come home with Gabapentin,  Tramadol,  Rimadyl  and an antibiotic.   Tweak the meds usually happen a few times before you get the right mix for Porter.  

May not want to eat much (although in typical Bull Mastiff fashion, Happy Hannah never missed a meal!), may not poop for several days.  Drinking  and pee are important  though.

Scatter rugs on any hardwood  floors for traction .  A good supportive  bed like The Big Barker Bed is a good tool for joint comfort.

STAY CONNECTED  and let us know how we can help, okay??  Looking forward to updates and we would love pictures!!

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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