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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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So very worried.
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Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
18 December 2018
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19 December 2018 - 8:05 am
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Hi my dog is not (as of yet) a 3 legged dog but I think he may be headed toward it but I don’t know.  I have an 11 month old bulldog named Dilly.  He is wonderful.  However his mother and another girl were in season so he went to stay at a friend’s house until the seasons had passed.  My friend let Dilly out and didn’t watch him and on Friday he was hit by a car.  No broken bones. No organ injury but he has no use of the right front leg.  I am a chiropractor and am adjusting him and my friend who is caring for him yet is massaging him but I am not seeing any change in it.  I have no experience in this AT ALL.  I don’t know anyone who has had this situation.  Can he recover?  How long will it take?  How long do I let him have this dangling leg before I opt for surgery?  I will take him after Christmas to a swim rehab place and I am trying to find someone who does laser therapy.  If anyone can provide any help I would be very very grateful.  Thank you.

The Rainbow Bridge



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19 December 2018 - 9:27 am
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Hi there Dilly and family, welcome. We are so sorry about the accident but glad that Dilly is overall OK. You’ve come to the right place for input, as many members have gone through similar situations.

Is there a reason why your vet didn’t refer you to a specialist? Does the vet know about the dangling leg? 

First, please don’t go to any type of rehab center before checking in with an orthopedic specialist. If your vet didn’t refer you to a veterinary orthopedic specialist, now is the time to start searching for one. If you don’t know of one, let us know where you live and we’ll help find one for you (you can also Private Message me your location through the little envelope icon to the right of my post). The orthopedic vet will do tests to find out how much nerve or muscle damage was done, and if there is a chance that it can be either surgically repaired or healed through canine rehabilitation therapy.

If your ortho vet determines that canine rehab therapy is worth a try, sometimes these injuries can heal in a few weeks to a few months. Rehab vets have told us that it’s best to give an injury like this at least three to six months before deciding on amputation surgery, provided that the dog is doing ongoing, daily rehab therapy exercises at home to recovery. A good rehab therapist will understand how to create a program for you and Dilly and work with you to teach you the exercises so you can do them at home, with only occasional check-ins at the rehab clinic.

One more thing, with all due respect to your knowledge as a human chiropractor, please don’t adjust him any further until you meet with an ortho specialist. Animal rehab specialists tell us that oftentimes, well-intentioned human chiropractors can do more damage by working on animals without having had any previous education on animal biomechanics. 

Let us know how he is doing and how else we can help OK? 

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