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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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Achilles 2 1/2 weeks post surgery
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Forum Posts: 10
Member Since:
28 November 2012
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12 December 2012 - 3:33 pm
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Achilles had his surgery November 26th...stitches were removed this past Saturday..He's really doing great....Doesn't have any pain...has been going for his usual morning and evening walks (a little shorter but still walking)...his breathing is somewhat heavy after the walks but calms down as soon as he's in the house...He seems to be fine..actually started climbing up on the couch by himself...but has been walking up and down the 3 steps in the den and out back since day 3! What I have noticed is his incessant licking! Of his legs...paws...body...everything...Not sure if this is just normal dog behavior that I paid little attention to or it's a sign of something else. He is also sleeping alot..I mean...I'm sure he's been doing that for hours on end when we weren't home...but he does seem to sleep alot and is interacting less with he mad? depressed? Or just recuperating from surgery????

Columbia, MO
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10 December 2011
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12 December 2012 - 3:58 pm
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Daisy got really "depressed" during her third week of recovery.  Would not get off the couch.  Just laid there and slept alot and acted uninterested in anything (even me!).  I think that is a normal part of the recovery and most pups on here have gone thru something similar post amp.

I am by no means an expert but his heavy breathing could just be because he is winded after his walks.  It takes a lot more energy to get around on three legs and he will have to rebuild his strength.

I've also read that licking can sometimes be a way that animals soothe themselves.  Maybe Achilles is feeling a little insecure?  It took Daisy about a month to be back to her more "normal" self.

Marla and Daisy

My Two Tripawds...Biscuit and Spirit Daisy

12 December 2012 - 5:43 pm
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Sounds like Achilles is doing really well for the most part.

I'm with Daisy- I would guess the extra panting is from exertion.  Tripawds have to work harder to do most everything. Probably accounts for the extra sleeping too. He really isn't that far past a major surgery and change in his life. He will get stronger as time goes on. My little tri-pug Maggie always broke into a pant sooner than quad-pug Tani.

And Maggie was unhappy for about 6 weeks after surgery.  No physical complications, but she was an obstinate pug who didn't like change. She came around- but on her own time line.

The licking may be a sign of stress or boredom.  My rescue pug Obie did not have a good start in life and developed some OCD type behaviors.  One thing he does is lick- his front left paw, rugs, clothes, and the air.  It is really irritating.  He does it more when he is stressed or agitated.  I have found distraction to be the best way to get him to stop.  I'll play with him, or get him to chew on a bone. Also when he is tired he doesn't do it as much.  I've heard a couple other people here talk about the licking, but it stopped when things got closer to normal.  I would keep an eye on the behavior and see if it decreases as Achilles gets stronger.  If it doesn't stop or gets worse I would talk to your vet or a trainer. 


Karen and the pugapalooza

San Diego, CA
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13 December 2012 - 12:10 pm
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Abby seemed very depressed after her surgery. (A normally very happy, very bouncy, very crazy dog who was my shadow just want to go and be outside by herself. She would "hide" behind our big potted plant for hours.)
It was hard to watch, but she eventually got back to being her old bouncy, happy self.

I hope you'll see your buddy back in no time!

Jackie, Angel Abby's mom

Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

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18 December 2012 - 8:33 pm
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how is Achilles doing?



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