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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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Blakes (chocolate thunder) new Journey
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Member Since:
24 July 2022
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24 July 2022 - 9:36 pm
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Hello all,

First and foremost I want to say thank you for everyone who has shared their stories and experiences on this forum. It has helped my family immensely get through this tough time knowing we are not alone.

Blakes story:

Blake is an amazing 7yo chocolate lab/chessy mix. He was a rescue found wondering the streets of a small town in Oregon. Blake was found then at a local shelter by a foundation that rescues dogs and turns them into rescuers. For the past 5 years Blake has been my search and rescue canine partner and more importantly my best friend, right hand man, my shadow, my son. I noticed one day he was limping after a search training and thought we should take it easy and pulled him off of the pile and let him rest for a week or so. The limp still persisted so we went to the vet to get xrays. I thought he simply pulled a muscle as his job is extremely difficult and he is an absolute stud on the pile. Xrays revealed substantial mothing to his left humerus and I was told its highly possible he has an osteosarcoma in that leg. I immediately broke down and felt like my heart was ripped out of my chest. We started a pain management regimen which seemed to help him well until we could see what treatment we needed done. The day before we had our appointment with the oncologist we we’re walking into the fire station(one of his favorite places to be) when he bolted into they station and slipped. Upon slipping, due to his bone being so weak it snapped under the pressure of him trying to correct his balance. I immediately grabbed him and rushed him to our team vet who was thankfully three blocks away. We were able to manage his pain in under 10 minutes( THANK GOODNESS!). Even the fire engine showed up to the vet to support Blake.

This is were one of the hardest decisions of my life came into play.  While sitting in a room waiting to gear from the surgeons and oncologists so many things played through my mind. I was then faced with the decision to amputate his front left leg because there was no good bone left to surgically repair it. My only thought in my mind was I will do whatever will give him a happier life and no pain. A week later im sitting on a dog beg laying next to my best friend while he recovers. Let me say this…. Its not an easy road like many have stated before. You see your loved one confused, depressed, in pain and you feel helpless because all you want to know is how can i help you more. If i could take all his pain and burden it unto myself i would in a heartbeat. The first three days were not bad. This stud stood up right after surgery and was hopping around the house his first few days. Once the local anesthetic wore off is when things got rough. The panting, drooling, and just the shear look in his sweet eyes. I know every little thing about my boy down to what he’s thinking by how he wags his tail. All I can say, like many others have, have a good routine of pain management and stagger some times of each med so that there is full coverage throughout the day. It KILLED me to see him fidget, shake, and pant. Luckily. We have found a good routine now to where he sleeps most the day. Icing the surgery site in early days and switching to a heating pad has helped a lot. The heating pad puts this moose to sleep almost every time. Today has been the best so far. He’s been getting up and walking around the house and following me as he always did. As much as i want him to i try to make him get his rest. Also, what I have found to help him in particular is keeping with your normal routine of what life was before the surgery. He has always had a very regimented life with me and he learned it quick. One thing we would every day off from work would be to load up in the truck, get a coffee, and go for a beach cruise. We did that yesterday and I almost started crying because it was the most normal i had seen him in a week. His tail is beginning to wag more and he is moving faster each day. Stay strong for your pup. They need you. When i feel down i think about how tough he is and that i need to be even stronger for him. Blake is an inspiration to me and hope that whatever caused this he gives it hell and lives a happy and strong life. Thank you again all for your wisdom on getting through this. We are proud to say we are a new part of the Tripawds. 

-Mike 

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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24 July 2022 - 11:04 pm
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Hi Mike and Blake, welcome. I wanted to get your post approved so others can see it. I’ll be back in the morning when I can give it the attention it deserves. I’m sorry you had to join our club but glad you found us. Back tomorrow.

Member Since:
4 April 2019
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25 July 2022 - 4:50 am
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Hi Mike, first I just want to say what an  amazing boy you have. But as I know choc labs are amazing. My boy Brownie was a choc lab and also had amputation of front left leg. Brownie passed a little over two years ago to bone cancer and he is still the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last thing I think about when I go go sleep.

Brownie was almost 12 at time of amputation. I just wanted you to know he did fine especially for a super senior. It did take him about three weeks to get his personality back but it did come back stronger than ever.

What you have said about Blake I just know he is going to do fantastic. If he hasn’t gotten his stiches out yet once he does he will feel better and he will be more normal once he is off those meds. He will do everything he did before but just in a different way. 

As you said just keep things as normal as possible. When Brownie was recovered I was a helicopter mom and he hated it. So one day I told him just go do what you want to do and he was much happier.

I also wanted to thank Blake for his service. I think he deserves a T-Bone steak.

Sending positive thoughts your way and would LOVE to see a pic.

My Beautiful Beloved Brownie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on February 26, 2019.  With all odds against him he lived an additional one year and eight days with amputation, love, and prayer.  I was honored to be his mom, and I have never been so proud!  He will live forever in my Heart!

Brownie Bubba Bell

04/01/2007 - 03/05/2020

"March Saint"

The Rainbow Bridge


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25 July 2022 - 10:42 am
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Mike, wow. What a story! Blake is so lucky that he found his way to you. What a life you have given him, and will continue to provide long after recovery is over. He sounds like your right hand man, your best bud, your co-pilot and everything else.

Pathological fractures are such a horrible thing to happen, I’m sorry you guys all went through that. At least you took action quickly, and now that surgery is over you will start to see him getting back to his usual self. He will want to do too much too soon, so try to regulate his activity as best you can and make sure he doesn’t overdo it. 

Don’t forget the Tripawds Foundation can pay for your first rehab visit . It’s a great way to learn what his limitations and capabilities are now, and how to help him stay strong. He sounds like he was already pretty fit going into this, so that bodes well for recovery and life on 3. 

Where in Oregon was he found? We are in Sutherlin for a few more days. Sounds like you’re out on the beautiful coast? Lucky dawg!

Keep us posted and please holler with any questions OK? We are here to help.

Thank you so much for sharing his story!

Member Since:
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25 July 2022 - 6:03 pm
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Thank you very much for your kind words! Blake was found in Central Point of Jackson County Oregon. We were paired about 5 years ago through the Search Dog Foundation (Incredible foundation for giving sheltered dogs a second chance). We are very fortunate that the foundation covers any and all vet bills to give their rescued pups the best care possible for their life time. The last two days have been great as i’ve seen his personality come back and it warms my heart. I was working out in the garage today and turned around to find my best bud had made his way out there and sitting watching me with a happy smile on his face. He’s a tough boy. We’ve traversed every terrain you could think of, rappelled together, flown in helicopters, traveled nation wide. We reside in Encinitas of San Diego County about a mile from the beach so he has no shortage of beach time. Thank you again so much for your kind words. 

Member Since:
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25 July 2022 - 8:59 pm
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That is awesome that Blake met you in the garage on his own I know you are one proud papa. I could not stop smiling when I read that because I  remember the first time Brownie did the same thing. I helped him outside and then I went inside to change his bedding. I turned around and there he was. I thought how in the heck did you do that, and even made it through the doggie door. Our pets are amazing and we can learn so much from them. It makes me so happy that your organization gives shelter dogs a second chance! They definitely deserve it and I know Blake must appreciate you so much as you do him!

Would really love to see some pictures 😊

My Beautiful Beloved Brownie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on February 26, 2019.  With all odds against him he lived an additional one year and eight days with amputation, love, and prayer.  I was honored to be his mom, and I have never been so proud!  He will live forever in my Heart!

Brownie Bubba Bell

04/01/2007 - 03/05/2020

"March Saint"

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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26 July 2022 - 11:35 am
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Wow he was found so close to where we are now. What a lucky pup to be in San Diego now! Bet he’s going to show his pals at Fiesta Island what 3-legged dogs are made of 😉

Pretty cool that the foundation covers the cost of his health care. What a gift and a way to pay back for all the incredible work you guys do together. If you ever want to send us a Tripawd Tuesday story about your adventures I’d love to publish it in Tripawds News!

Hope he’s doing well today and you’re both feeling good!

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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26 July 2022 - 7:15 pm
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I was absolutely  mesmerized reading all about Blake and who he is.  Clearly you two were meant to be together on this journey that has helped so many. 

You already know what a one of a kind Soul Blake is.  And now his Tripawdness will even reveal more about all his  specialness as he shows everyone how to love life to the fullest regardless  of any “challenges”  

I lpve how he is already starting to get his sparkle back and reclaim his normal routines.  Blake is showing everyone it’s not about how many legs a dog has, it’s what they do with the legs they have😎😉

Looking forward to all pf Blake’s upcoming adventures as he continues  to thrive!

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!

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