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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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Large labrador--to amputate or not
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The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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16
16 June 2022 - 11:40 pm
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Gerica I'm so glad he's home and surgery is over. We all felt like you during the first few days but it does get better!

The fact that he's eating and even doing a little standing and going outside is really great! Yes it's the meds and the exhaustion of surgery itself, but his sparkle will return before you know it. Just keep your eye on the big picture, Chaco will get there!

Keep us posted ok? I apologize I'll be away more than usual the next few days, I'm at a family wedding and busy with that but will check back!

Livermore, CA




Member Since:
18 October 2009
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17 June 2022 - 11:34 am
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I was sure I had made a terrible mistake by choosing amputation for my Pug Maggie.  She did fine medically but had no interest in anything for weeks.  Mag had her surgery before Tripawds was here so we were alone. All I had to go on was the vets assuring me that dogs do fine on three legs.  No one told me about the recovery period before you get to the 'dogs do fine on three' part.

Amputation was by far the biggest medical issue I had dealt with at the time.   If you honestly think about it, it's amazing that Chaco can move on his own at all two days after losing a leg!  He is dealing with strong meds and his body went through a lot with the surgery.  Now he has to get used to a new gait and how he uses his body- it is exhausting to be a new Tripawd.

One thing that helped me understand this (way after Maggie's amp) was when I used a new machine at the gym.  I was in great shape, running, swimming, lifting weights. I could hike 10 miles easily in the morning and then get on with my day.  One day at the gym I tried a machine that simulated skating- I had never used it before.  I think I only did about 15 minutes but I was sore for a week!  Even though I was strong and in shape the different motion made me use my muscles in a different way.  I imagined that is how Maggie must have felt after losing her leg.

You did the right thing and are doing your best for Chaco.  DO NOT compare his recovery with any other dog, Chaco is his own dog and will recover on his schedule. Be patient and know that it will probably take a couple weeks before he is fully back to himself so it is important to be positive around him and celebrate every little victory.  Soon those little victories add up to Chaco's sparkle!

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

Member Since:
6 June 2022
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17 June 2022 - 7:00 pm
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Thanks everyone! We saw some improvement today as the drugs wore off. He’s doing much better getting up with minimal assistance—he even got up completely unassisted to join us at the dinner table! He did take a small fall outside after going potty earlier (our back yard has a decent slope unfortunately), but after he rested a few seconds he got himself back up mostly unassisted & has done fine going outside ever since!

We’ve had him resting in the living room with us today vs in the bedroom alone & I think that helped his spirits some as well. Still giving him pain meds on schedule & loving on him as best we can. Feeling more hopeful tonight than we did last night. 

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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17 June 2022 - 8:30 pm
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What a difference  24 hrs can make, eh?

Seeing "isome mprovement " is a HUGE improvement this early on!  Love that being with you st the dinnrt table motivated  him to hop over unassisted!  A Tripawd RockStar in the making!

Good job everyone!

Hugs

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

PS....Loved Karen's "skating analogy ".   Spot on.

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!

Member Since:
6 June 2022
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18 June 2022 - 8:02 pm
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Another good day over here. He’s continuing to impress us with how well he’s recovering. Had his first 💩 today, and has been resting pretty much ever since 😅

We reached out to our neighborhood Facebook page to see if anyone could assist us with taking him outside during the week, and we had a neighbor reply that is a former oncology tech at the clinic we’re getting him treated at. She stopped by today & said he’s looking great! He tried to get up to greet her at the door, but thankfully we were ready to hold him back.

Our oldest two sons—5 & 4 years old—come home tomorrow, so the circus around here will really begin then. Hoping for a smooth transition into our new normal when they get here!

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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18 June 2022 - 8:38 pm
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YAY FOR  poopicon!   We love celebrating. poopicon   around  here!

So glad to hear how well Chaco is doing👍   And give yourself  credit too!! This early  part is not easy, but once you start to see the sparkle come back it just gets better and better.  Great that you have such a competent  person to help take him outside.  Things are look g up.  Jist the fact that Chaco was ready to run and greet her at the door...such a good sign!

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


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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19 June 2022 - 8:02 pm
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Oh wow I'm so happy things are better! And you made a connection with a local treasure, an oncology vet tech neighbor? Golden! That's really super cool to have her as a neighbor.

How did the reunion go today? Did the kids do alright around him? 

By the way, if you don't mind, please start a new topic about his recovery in Treatment and Recovery. He's graduated out of the diagnosis phase. YAY!

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