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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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Hello, new to site - Cane Corso diagnosed with Osteosarcoma
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Member Since:
11 August 2022
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11 August 2022 - 7:22 pm
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Hello all

New to site today and wanted to say hello.

Zeppelin, our 7yr old Cane Corso was diagnosed yesterday with osteosarcoma and the vet has recommended amputating his left rear leg. He is scheduled for surgery next Wed and I have so many concerns/questions about his quality of life after the surgery. The last few weeks he has been confined to the living room and taken out on lease to keep him from running. We have a large fenced in backyard that is 1/2 mowed grass and 1/2 wooded area. Zeppelin loved running around with his brother Diesel (mini - Rottweiler) chasing squirrels and playing. We would spend many a day out there as I did yard work. I am hoping that after his recover he will be able to wonder the backyard at his leisure but my concern is that instead he will be on constant lockdown to make sure nothing happens to the one good hind leg.

We ordered one of those braces today with the handles to assist him. There is one set of 4 stairs he needs to transition daily to get to the backyard. Does anyone else use these?

It is great to have a site like this available with people who have experienced the same situation, I will be digging into the forums over the next several days gathering info and advice.

Thanks and looking forward to some conversations.

Ron

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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11 August 2022 - 10:15 pm
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Hi Ron thanks for posting! I saw your message in Olaf's topic so you can ignore my request to start a new topic. 

So glad you decided to share. I have more feedback in the AM but wanted to get your post approved now so others can chime in. Back in the morning...

The Rainbow Bridge


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12 August 2022 - 12:12 pm
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Hi Ron! I'm back. To answer your questions:

 I am hoping that after his recover he will be able to wonder the backyard at his leisure but my concern is that instead he will be on constant lockdown to make sure nothing happens to the one good hind leg.

Oh gosh it won't be as bad as a total lockdown. Zeppelin will be able to enjoy what he loves doing, your job will be to moderate things so he doesn't overdo it. So, he can still explore but make sure he takes breaks. Shorter, more frequent activity is better than long long chunks of it.

And to learn the right kinds of activity we recommend a visit with a canine rehabilitation therapist. These pros can explain what Zeppelin is capable of doing and how you can help prevent any injuries. And the best part is Tripawds Foundation can pay for your first rehab visit , so please take advantage of the program. It's so educational for pet parents to consult with these pros. Book your appointment now since there tends to be long waiting lists. If you'd like help finding a therapist let us know. 

We ordered one of those braces today with the handles to assist him. There is one set of 4 stairs he needs to transition daily to get to the backyard. Does anyone else use these?

He should do OK with those stairs as long as you have some kind of traction on them. Some grippy tape from a hardware store is good if they're outdoors. If indoors you can get clear grippy tape too.

So be sure to check out Jerry's Required Reading List and the Tripawds e-books library, as well as our What to Expect articles . Of course holler with any questions so we can help OK? 

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12 August 2022 - 5:38 pm
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Thanks for the info. I will definitely look into the rehab visit and also good ideas for the stairs, they are indoors. I am thinking going up will be more difficult than down but we will need to wait and see.

The vet did tell us to be prepared for when he comes home as it will affect us more than him when we first see him. Did anyone else have a difficult time with this?

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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12 August 2022 - 10:45 pm
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Just catching up . Zeppelin.  You've already gotten great insight from Jerry.  The more information  you jave, the more confident and assured you will feel.  And that is the type of energy Zeppelin  need to have from you. 

The vet did tell us to be prepared for when he comes home as it will affect us more than him when we first see him. Did anyone else have a difficult time with this?

I sure did have a 'diffic" time to say the least.  I had not found this site when I had my Hapoy Hannah's ampu.  I joined on day six saying I feared I had made a horrible decision!!  This wonderful  comm threw me a lifeline  and guided me with their first hand know and reassured  me her recovery waa "normal".  I got some advice on pain management , tips on what to look for if a challenge  did show.which it didn't..  Yjey do shave a lot of fur, so that startle me more than a thing.  The incision  was a pawsitiv in that it meant her pain would be gone.

When you  do go pick her up after the surgery,  don't  even bother to look at her inc or draw atten to it.  Just look into her drug filled eyes and tell her what a good girl she is and she's going home!  She will show you she is a resilient Happy dog who WILL handle three just fine!!  Generally it  takes about two weeks to recover  from the surgery and about thirty days to adjust to the new gait as a tripawd,  to retain good valance, ete.

Is she staying ar an overnight clinic?  Use that time to get some rest yourself, okay?  She'll be in good hands.....-and high as a kite!

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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13 August 2022 - 7:24 pm
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captron said
Thanks for the info. I will definitely look into the rehab visit and also good ideas for the stairs, they are indoors. I am thinking going up will be more difficult than down but we will need to wait and see.

The vet did tell us to be prepared for when he comes home as it will affect us more than him when we first see him. Did anyone else have a difficult time with this?

  

You are spot on correct: rear leg amputees have a harder time going up stairs than down. They lose 50% of their propulsion when one leg goes. 

Oh my gosh yes, everyone takes it harder than their dog or cat! We have so much emotional baggage tied up in body parts, we don't even know it until something like this happens. Dogs and cats have no body shame issues, only we do! And we also tend to mourn the past and things we did together before amputation. But what this situation teaches you is how to re-think what fun means to us and our pets. We find new things to do together and our pets amaaaaze us with their resilient nature and ability to enjoy the present, not look back on the past. 

Our community exists not because the animals need the support, but their humans 😉

Virginia




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22 February 2013
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13 August 2022 - 8:31 pm
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Our community exists not because the animals need the support, but their humans

Bingo!!

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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14 August 2022 - 2:20 pm
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Hi and welcome.

I've had two rear amp Tripawds but both were/are small.  Maggie, my first, was a Pug who lost her leg to mast cell cancer.  She was not able to go up more than 2 or 3 stairs after her surgery, but she could go down anything.  My current is a Pug mix who lost her leg after being hit by a car at 7 months old.  She is about the same size as Maggie, maybe a little smaller and she has no trouble going up or down stairs.  Elly can actually jump up onto a full sized bed although she is not supposed to.  There are stairs or stools for her to use to get on the furniture she is allowed on.

I live in a split-level house and all the stairs are hard surfaces.  I have carpet stair treads (taped down) on all the stairs and Elly does fine with that.

It was pretty weird to see Maggie after her amputation surgery, I don't remember ever seeing a three legged dog before Mag's surgery.  She had a mid-femoral amp with the muscle wrapped around the little piece of the femur that was left.  The incision was hidden and the sutures were internal so I didn't get the 'zipper' look I was expecting.  But I did find myself staring at where the leg should have been.  And to be honest I still got that weird feeling later looking at her on three.  We were fortunate that she beat her prognosis and lived almost 4 more years and every now and then I would look at her and be almost surprised at how she looked.  But, the important part is that Maggie NEVER CARED!  Once she healed up she just got on with her life.

Elly was a Tripawd when I adopted her so I never knew her with 4 legs.  I never think she looks odd or weird...and she has pretty much only known life on three.  It's all on us to get used to our pup's new look! 

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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17 August 2022 - 5:05 pm
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Thanks all for the great support, I am so glad I found this site!

Zeppelin had his surgery today (late afternoon) and the doc said everything went well and he should be ready to come home tomorrow. There was a slight hiccup but in the end both hospitals came thru. He was originally scheduled for the procedure at 7:30am this morning but yesterday they called to inform us that the doc had a familiy emergency and all procedures had been cancelled. They were extremely helpful and called over to another hospital and got us an appointment to go in the same day. We dropped him off last night and it worked well as they kept him overnight and provided a second evaluation.

Looking forward to getting him home tomorrow so he can rest, he gets very stressed on the 2x a year we need to board him or any vet visit.

I will post another update on his recover once he get home. Thanks again all 🙂

The Rainbow Bridge


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17 August 2022 - 6:44 pm
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WHEW! and YAY! So glad they got him in and now he is on the path to recovery. Get some rest and know that we are cheering you on. Oh, and now that he's graduated from this forum, you can start a new discussion in Treatment and Recovery

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