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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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Could do with some positive thoughts today!!
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Forum Posts: 59
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23 May 2016
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7 November 2016 - 3:22 am
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So Zuki has been doing wonderfully and life has just been hopping along as normal (we are just over 5mnths post op), but Friday and the weekend Zuki has struggled a lot. At first he yelped when he got out of the car. We use the handle on his harness to take some of the weight as he gets out, but on Friday lunch he cried when his what seemed front feet touched the floor, although its such a quick movement its hard to be sure. So on Saturday I went to take hold of the harness while he was still fully in the boot with the intention of using the harness to lift his front end and an arm under his tummy for the back end (he’s 100lbs) but he just cried and whimpered before I even touched him. It was heart breaking. I got my husband to help me and we got him out. The yelps only seem to last an instant but he is also noticeably weaker on his remaining back leg with a slow deterioration over Saturday and Sunday. He can still stand and walk but seems weak and is opting to drag his back end on most occasions. Now choosing to sit or lie down to eat and drink. I have prodded and poked and massaged and pulled and pushed but he gives no reaction to anything. Its just getting out of the car that he cries. I have given him a couple of pardale pain killers I had from his surgery (the vet had told me to keep them for this such occasion) but it doesn’t seem to have made any difference. He’s booked in to see the vet (although not our normal one) at 11.30am (UK time) so I’m just hoping they can give a proper diagnosis and its something we can fix with some anti inflammatory and rest… crying

People are giving up on him though and I can tell they are starting to judge me – “what is she putting that dog through”. But please believe me I am a firm believer of a day early is better than a day late. But he’s done so fantastically well so far I cant just give up on him over what might just be a pulled muscle or a strain…. I’m doing the right thing aren’t I? He was in fab spirits till Saturday and then he just seemed a bit down, not depressed just not as bright. But he still comes in for cuddles whenever he can catch me for sneaky tummy rub (I have a 20mnth old so he knows quiet time during in the day is a luxury to be exploited laughing) and still eating and although mobility when out on his walk is definitely not as good as he was he’s still keen to go.

I’m going to see what the vet say obviously but I know I might have some tough decisions to make this evening if the new isn’t good sadxxx

Zuki Wuggafer 30/09/06 - 11/11/16. Right hind tripawd due to Osteosarcoma. He had a strong 5 and half months as a tripawd but unfortunately a secondary issue with his spine ended our battle. He loved life, loved our family and was the best dog I could ever ask for. Truly my first love, forever in my thoughts and heart.

Read our story: http://zuki.tripawds.com/

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7 November 2016 - 6:13 am
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So the feedback from the vet was positive ish….. he thinks Zuks is suffering with arthritis in his remaining hock. They have prescribed him pardale painkillers and rest (we’d already reduced his walks over the weekend). Case of wait and see how he goes over the next few days. I’ve been doing some research and come across joint injections you can give to help ease the pain and slow down the rate of deterioration in the joint – Adequan. Does anyone have any experience with this?

xx

Zuki Wuggafer 30/09/06 - 11/11/16. Right hind tripawd due to Osteosarcoma. He had a strong 5 and half months as a tripawd but unfortunately a secondary issue with his spine ended our battle. He loved life, loved our family and was the best dog I could ever ask for. Truly my first love, forever in my thoughts and heart.

Read our story: http://zuki.tripawds.com/

Idaho
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7 November 2016 - 7:31 am
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Is there any chance you can get him to a rehab specialist? I know that when Murphy would get sore like that, a session of acupuncture and laser therapy would work wonders on him.

Murphy is a five year old Lab/Chessie cross. He was hit by a car on 10/29/12 and became a Tripawd on 11/24/12. On 2/5/13, he had a total hip replacement on his remaining back leg. He has absolutely no idea that he has only three legs!

UPDATE: Murphy lived his life to the fullest, right up until an aggressive bone lesion took him across the Rainbow Bridge on April 9, 2015 and he gained his membership in the April Angels. Run free, my love. You deserve it!

Virginia




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7 November 2016 - 7:37 am
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You darn right you’re doing the right thing!! Stick with us kiddo! We get it!! No “judgement” here when it comes to givie our pups the best chance possible to heal!! And, based on your second post, it looks like your Vet agrees!!

I love that Zuki “exploits quiet time”! Such a smart boy! Still keen to go on walks, eating, drinking, etc, all good!

Hopefully the rest and pain meds will do the trick. You may ask the Vet about adding Tramadol and Rimadyl (or Metacam), as they seem to be helpful with arthritis. It’s also very ppssible that, along with the arthritis, he may have a shoulder sprain, etc.

Although I have not had personal experience with Adequan injections, I have seen others use it here with really good results!! So my non professional opinion, definitely get him started on that!!! Others will chime in.

Keep us posted on that handsome boy! And you can count on everyone of us I. Zuki’s extended family will be sending positive energy and healing thoughts!!

Now go give that sweet boy some extra cuddles and treats for us, okay? And give yourself a hug too! Of course, it’s hard not to think the worse, that’s what we do really well on this journey!!! Right now though, you jave every reason to be hopeful and optimistic that your plan of action will help.

Lots of love and 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!

Green Bay, WI


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7 November 2016 - 8:41 am
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Sorry to hear Zuki is going through a ruff patch….my Dobe nitro has had similar issues recently. He is a front amp, and experienced hind-end weakness, and was reluctant to put weight on his right back foot. After many (28) xrays, it was determined he has arthritis in that right knee, and also low back by his tail. He is on a drug regimen of carprofen (rimadyl), tramadol and gabapentin, as well as getting acupuncuture/chiropracitic adjustments every 2 weeks. He has bounced back incredibly well, I’m happy to report. 

Hang in there, it sounds like there are options for Zuki. Do you have the availability of laser, or acupuncuture?

Paula and Nitro

Nitro 11 1/2  yr old Doberman; right front amp June 2014. Had 6 doses carboplatin, followed by metronomic therapy. Rocked it on 3 legs for over 3 years! My Warrior beat cancer, but couldn't beat old age. He crossed the Bridge peacefully on July 25, 2017, with dignity and on his terms.  Follow his blog entitled "Doberman's journey"

http://nitro.tripawds.com

"Be good, mama loves you".....run free my beautiful Warrior

Forum Posts: 59
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7 November 2016 - 9:11 am
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Thanks guys, I am breathing a sigh of relief at the moment although I think Zuks will have a couple of sore days while the pain meds take effect.

I am absolutely looking into laser/acupuncture. Although when my husband asked the vet about rehab options he dismissed it ( what-evercant fault my vets usually) and I need a referral to put it through my insurance. Once I have located the best place to get treatment ill take it back to my vet for the sign off. I live on a small island so unfortunately we are limited on the resources available, on the flip side there is a fantastic doggy community to get recommendations and advise.

Although we have slip mats through all the doorways and turning points in our house to give Zuki traction we had left some of the kitchen floor bare since he always preferred the cold hard tiles to sleep on, especially through the warm summer. Well currently my husband is off collecting a roll of carpet a family member has kindly donated us so we can cover all the floor – i’m convinced the cold hard floor now is not doing his joints any good. I’ll be giving him a good massage with a warm compress tonight too.

Paula, although I feel awful for Nitro and you, it is comforting to know others are experiencing the same issues and have come out the otherside! So so pleased he’s doing better. I have to say there were moments at the weekend when I watched my pitiful boy drag himself across the house or the field for his ‘walk’ and regretted so much putting him through all this. Then I checked myself and got some perspective – its just a set back, just something we need to adapt to, a couple of down days after all the fantastic up days we have had is to be somewhat expected!

Hopefully we can get him sorted and back on track

xx

Zuki Wuggafer 30/09/06 - 11/11/16. Right hind tripawd due to Osteosarcoma. He had a strong 5 and half months as a tripawd but unfortunately a secondary issue with his spine ended our battle. He loved life, loved our family and was the best dog I could ever ask for. Truly my first love, forever in my thoughts and heart.

Read our story: http://zuki.tripawds.com/

Forum Posts: 59
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7 November 2016 - 9:19 am
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Sorry Sally I should have added that Zuki is on a daily dose of Metacam and has been since surgery. I was giving it to him in he evening (that’s just when the dose was due from his medicine schedule at surgery) but on Saturday I swapped him over so he got it with his breakfast, hoping it would have more effect for him when moving around more in the daytime. Vet thinks the cancer will get him before the potential organ damage that metacam can have as a side effect….. also apparently there is some research that was presented at the seminar in Lisbon that suggests Metacam can slow down cancer cells.. I don’t have the specific research however.

Zuki Wuggafer 30/09/06 - 11/11/16. Right hind tripawd due to Osteosarcoma. He had a strong 5 and half months as a tripawd but unfortunately a secondary issue with his spine ended our battle. He loved life, loved our family and was the best dog I could ever ask for. Truly my first love, forever in my thoughts and heart.

Read our story: http://zuki.tripawds.com/

Livermore, CA




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7 November 2016 - 11:04 am
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I’m glad to hear that it seems fixable!

I used Adequan with my quad pug Tani.  Tani was diagnosed with arthritis in her back at 6 years old and it progressed to all her legs.  We started with supplements at low doses and slowly ramped them up.  Then added rimadly at a low dose and ramped that up.  Then started Adequan.  At some point we added gabapentin too, but honestly I don’t remember if it was before or after we added the Adequan.

Anyway- the Adequan worked like magic for Tani! I was at the point of making the decision for her because she was having so much trouble getting around and her life quality was deteriorating.  Half way through the loading phase we saw a HUGE improvement. I think the loading phase was an injection every week for 4 weeks then her regular treatment was one shot a month.  After a year or so we went to a shot every two weeks.  Tani never had any adverse reactions to the med but she didn’t like going to the vet so I learned how to do the injections and did them at home.  I believe the adequan gave us two more years together, Tani passed at almost 15 years old from a stroke.

A couple of cautions- it does not work for every dog, I’ve met people who tried it an it had no benefit for their dog. It is very expensive, Tani was a little pug so it wasn’t too bad for me.  And the plant that makes it shuts down periodically causing a shortage of the med.  It happened once while Tani was on it but I had enough to make it though, it happened again just in the last year I think.

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

Copperas Cove, TX
Forum Posts: 144
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7 November 2016 - 2:20 pm
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i’ll admit when I started reading my heart stopped.  I was afraid for Zuki.  But you are Momma and know what is going on better than anyone.  I’m so glad you have positive to hold on to!!!  Hold on for dear life.  XO Deb and Angel Bandit.



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7 November 2016 - 5:02 pm
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Oh my goodness, my heart stopped too …

Gosh,I am so so so relieved to hear the wonderful news it wasn’t the ugly beast threatening to take your baby from you🤗

As said before only us at Tripawds can rejoice with any and every condition that does not include cancer progression.

I so hate it when outside people judge us, only we pawrents know when it is time to help our babies departure. 

Sally is so right, just stick to us, we are all going through the same journey and love our dogs more than we can tell. 

Really hope Zuki has a smooth recovery, really hope laser/acupuncture will bring a big improvement on your sweetie.

Sending you lots of pawsitive energy and cuddles to your cutie pie 😘😘😘😘🐾🐾🐶

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

London, UK


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7 November 2016 - 11:10 pm
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I am sorry Zuki is having such a hard time but my goodness he is getting the best possible, most thoughtful, loving care. And anyone making ignorant judgements is just that, ignorant. Keep on doing what you are doing. Zuki is so lucky to have you. Just one thought on the metacam. I looked up the titration levels because I wasn’t sure when it would be best to dose for maximum daytime pain relief and from what I read it seemed to me that it takes quite a while to absorb, so dosing in the evening provided best pain relief for the following day, rather than dosing in the morning. I could be wrong as in obviously not a vet, but that’s how I understood the charts do might be worth checking with your vet. 

Big hugs for you and Zuki and do hope he’s feeling better soon. 

Meg and Clare (and Elsie Pie) xxx

Meg, Mutt, aged around 12, adopted 31/12/2009. Sudden explosive right elbow fracture 06/12 (caused by IOHC), diagnosed with End Stage Arthritis 03/15, Total Elbow Replacement 08/15, problems with healing leading to skin graft & skin flap surgery, Chronic Infection leading to implant breakdown. Became a Tripawd 9th March 2016. 
Lives with Mum, Clare, watched over by Angel Pie and Angel Billie
My life as a MEG-A-STAR 


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8 November 2016 - 3:05 am
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Thank you for the support but I’m afraid its not good news. Zuki is still deteriorating and the tablets don’t seem to be doing anything. He now wont walk at all. We are back in the vets this afternoon. I sent a video to my regular vet who thinks it could be his back. I’m trying to get Acupuncture and Chiropractor appointments too but don’t know if we are past that point…..

My vet has suggested plt tablets but to me its gonna take something extreme to get him back from this. I wish I could share a video to show you all but can’t get it up. Just imagine a green field and a large gsd dragging his back end along the floor with his front paws and no movement from his back leg at all….. sad 

Zuki Wuggafer 30/09/06 - 11/11/16. Right hind tripawd due to Osteosarcoma. He had a strong 5 and half months as a tripawd but unfortunately a secondary issue with his spine ended our battle. He loved life, loved our family and was the best dog I could ever ask for. Truly my first love, forever in my thoughts and heart.

Read our story: http://zuki.tripawds.com/

Virginia




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8 November 2016 - 6:56 am
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We’re all holding you in our thoughts and hoping this can get figured out. Guess the Vet will do xrays,(or MRI?),etc. Maybe he’ll discover a disc kssue or something that’s fixable. And unless anyo e says otherwise, we’re going with FIXABLE, so you hang in there my friend.

Wrapping you up in our hugs and positive energy.

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!

London, UK


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8 November 2016 - 8:40 am
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Sending love and every positive vibe. You are in my thoughts xxxxxxx

Meg, Mutt, aged around 12, adopted 31/12/2009. Sudden explosive right elbow fracture 06/12 (caused by IOHC), diagnosed with End Stage Arthritis 03/15, Total Elbow Replacement 08/15, problems with healing leading to skin graft & skin flap surgery, Chronic Infection leading to implant breakdown. Became a Tripawd 9th March 2016. 
Lives with Mum, Clare, watched over by Angel Pie and Angel Billie
My life as a MEG-A-STAR 


The Rainbow Bridge



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8 November 2016 - 10:45 am
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My vet has suggested plt tablets but to me its gonna take something extreme to get him back from this.

I’m sooo sorry. It’s incredibly difficult to watch our pups struggling like this, and it’s clear you’re doing your best. I can tell you though, that rehab therapy can really do wonders and I’ve seen it bring many dogs back from the brink, even with spinal issues. And no, surgery is not always required.

It’s hard, but try not to think the worst yet until you talk to a therapist with the expertise to guide you the next move, whatever it is. Stay strong for Zuki, I know you can do it.

By the way what are plt tablets?

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