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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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Cesar's Story
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Forum Posts: 10
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23 June 2020 - 6:34 am
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Our little Cocker Spaniel Cesar is 5 years old and last February 2019, while out on a walk, Cesar got his front left leg caught in a rabbit hole and broken the leg in three places. After a few days with the vet to fix the leg Cesar was allow to come home on rest. We followed the instructions from the vet and kept Cesar well rest within a crate but Cesar kept getting infection after infection and just when we thought we had a break through, Cesar collided with one of our other dogs.  So back to the vets we went and this time it wasn’t good news. That best course of action would be to remove the leg.  Over hearing the news from the vet, we were in tears. I could believe that after 16 mouths of trying to help Cesar it had come to this. I keep going over and over it in my head Cesar walks with a limp at the moment and from the outside the leg looks fine but I know on the inside it is causing him pain. I feel so guilt over what is happening and overwhelmed with it all. I keep wondering if we can do this, having a three legged dog.  How can we keep going our lovely walks and trips to the beach (Cesar loves beach and swimming). Our lives involves everything with our dogs, apart from work we don’t do anything without them.

So I went in to research mode, to start with I couldn’t find anything that would help me I felt so alone, but then I can across this website (tripawds). After reading your stories I couldn’t believe what a community there was for families with three legged dogs. 

I’ve worked out that things will be a little hard to start off with but dogs are better than human with dealing with things.  I’m so worried that I won’t cope but that I looked out our pack and think if we can cope with a deaf dog (which our Great Dane is and our mad ball Springer Spaniel) we can handle anything.

I just want to say thank you for listening and making me feel like I’m not alone anymore. Claire x

The Rainbow Bridge



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23 June 2020 - 7:20 am
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Hi Claire and Cesar, welcome! You are definitely not alone and have come to the right place. I’m so sorry you had to join us but glad you are here.

Have you seen Jerry’s Required Reading List yet? Do you have any specific questions we can answer? You sound like you have a pretty great attitude and that will go very far in helping him get to a full recovery. 

I need to take our Wyatt Ray out now but will be back later with some thoughts. Meanwhile stick around for feedback from others, your future posts won’t need approval so post away. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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23 June 2020 - 7:35 am
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Hi Jerry, thank you for a warm welcome.  I was wondering if others have a tips for us. I’m trying not to go over board with things, so any tips would be helpful.  

I’m about to order Be More Dog . I’m looking forward to reading it.

Enjoy your walksmiley4 

Virginia




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23 June 2020 - 9:59 am
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Cesar sounds like a spunky Warrior!  You two have been through a lot!

You are definitely  in the right place for support, understanding and Information!

FWIW, we see this fairly often where a leg ends up being amputated  after failed fracture surgery,  infections, etc.  

Now, to put your mind at ease, dogs definitely  live life to the fullest on three!!  Amputation  is ONE surgery, one recovery phase, and then they get their sparkle back!  Not saying recovery  is easy, but proper pain management ,  patience  and staying connected here will get you through that.

I have a feeling you will see Cesar’s sparkle come back bigger and brighter than before now that the bum leg is gone!  It’s probably  been holding him back more than you know.  Compared to what you’ve already been through, you are far vetter prepared than most…and so is Cesar!!

ABSOLUTELY, he can definately do walks on the beach, swimming, taking walks with his hoomans, LIVING LIFE TO THE FULLEST!!   We have tons of video of dogs swimming,  chasing balls, etc.

If you have hardwood floors, you’ll want non slip scatter rugs for traction .   The first two weeks, no jumping, running, etc.  Just short leashed potty breaks and back to bed for rest.  

Is the surgery scheduled,  You’ll want Cesar to stay overnight  in a fully staffed 24/7 clinic.  Cesar will come home with Gabapentin,  Tramadol. Rimadyl and an antibiotic .

Anf for goodness sakes, there is nothing  to feel guilty about.  You are a powerful advocate  for Cesar and absolutely  every decision  you make is in his best interest!  It is very clear the strenfth of your bond will get you through this!  And we are here by your side every step of the way!   Cesar is going to thrive and all this nightmare you’ve  been through will be replaced by the bliss of seeing him so happy!  He will get to be Cesar again!!!

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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23 June 2020 - 10:19 am
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Thank you for your kind words. 

I’m feeling more confident in helping Cesar through this and finger crossed getting him back to himself ASAP. 

We are scheduled for surgery next week.  So will keep you all updated. 

Thank you for your advice I will look into getting some anti slip rugs for our hardwood floor.  I was thinking slip socks too but wasn’t 100% how Cesar would cope with them and I don’t want to cause anymore issues for him.  

Cesar is my little soul mate, we do everything together. Just want to do my best for him. 

Thank you again. Claire x

The Rainbow Bridge



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23 June 2020 - 11:01 am
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I’m back! Thank you Sally for your kind wisdom, as always.

Here’s a link to Jerry’s Required Reading List so you can check it out.

So you have two hearing impaired dogs? Wow! Then YES you can do this, absolutely without a doubt. Those darn rodent holes. We’ve had a few members whose dogs lost a limb in the same way. Please don’t beat yourself up, you gave the terrible situation your best and Cesar is totally aware of that. Once he gets rid of that painful leg he will be such a hoppy boy, back to his usual self and ready to romp again. 

I agree, better to just put down traction than to try socks right away. Things like Pawz booties are nice to use when you visit someone’s home with slippery floors, or go to the vet, but they’re not an everyday thing. We do like Dr. Buzby’s Toe Grips as a happy medium between socks and carpet runners, but Cesar needs to be fine with you messing with his feet.

In the meantime, keep up the pawsitive attitude, it means a lot to Cesar and the entire pack. When you’re happy, they’re happy! It will be hard at first and you’ll probably question your decision, but in the end, giving Cesar the ability to have a great quality of life without pain is such a gift, it will be worth the emotional rollercoaster.

Oh, don’t forget: if you can get Cesar to a canine physiotherapist, the Tripawds Foundation will pay for your first rehab visit as long as the practitioner is credentialed. Check the link for details. A therapy session can make a huge difference for a Tripawd, and will increase your knowledge about what Cesar should/shouldn’t do to stay injury free.

Let us know how we can help OK? We are here for you.

P.S. Thanks for wanting to read our book, we hope you enjoy it!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Livermore, CA




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23 June 2020 - 2:13 pm
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Hello and welcome Claire and Cesar.

I’m sorry you are facing amputation but you certainly gave all trying to save the leg!  16 months is a long time to be dealing with a bum leg for all of you.

A couple things come to mind-

Since you have been through major surgery with him you have a bit of an advantage knowing how he shows or doesn’t show pain and how he reacts to pain meds. 

You’ve been though long surgery recoveries and know how to keep him calm and comfortable. The recovery from amputation will be much shorter than what you have dealt with- most pups get their sparkle back in 2 to 3 weeks.  I’ve been through one amp recovery with my first Pug and two very invasive knee surgery recoveries with my current Pug boy and I can tell you amputation recovery was much faster! 

Things may change a little for Cesar post amp since he is young and not dealing with cancer you want to account for the fact that he will be the rest of his life on three.  My current Tripawd is a little Pug mix who lost a back leg at 7 months old after being hit by a car.  Elly is now 5.5 years old and can do pretty much anything a dog her size and age can do.  I don’t generally take long walks with her and I limit burst type activities. We do lots of training, food games and puzzles.  We also do the sport of Nose Work.  And I have a couple strollers so if I want to walk farther she can come with me.

Of course there is a bit of a balancing act between being careful and letting a dog be a dog!  Elly is very fit and strong and I keep her on the light side weight wise. So when she does discover there are bunnies to chase in one of the open areas we go to I don’t worry (too much) about her hurting herself.

As far as traction socks- I tried them with one of my quad-Pugs who had some mobility issues and they didn’t really work for her- they would rotate on her feet so the slippery side was under her paw!  I did use Pawz Booties with great success when I had to take her to the vet- she could not keep her feet under her on the slippery floors otherwise.  But I wouldn’t use them for much more than an hour at a time since they don’t breath at all.  I find having traction on the floor (rugs, yoga mats) much easier then remembering to put on booties or socks.

Let us know what other questions you have.

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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24 June 2020 - 2:54 am
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Hello Karen and the spirit pug girls

Thank you for your kind words and reinsurance. Hearing everyone stories and advice is helping me feel less alone. 

Elly sounds amazing.  We already have a stroller, we brought that after the first surgery because we didn’t want Cesar to feel like he was being left out of pack walks and sometimes our other dog Sheldon loves jumping in for a little rest too. Sadly it isn’t big enough for Hollie (Great Dane).

We already have canine physiotherapist due to the first surgery, we did everything in our power to help Cesar now I just want to make him comfortable and do what is best for him.

At the moment Cesar is on lead walks and had been for the last 16 months. I was wondering that after the surgery and recovery period, would we need to keep him on the lead all the time.

Thank you for all the advice on the traction and I will be looking in to getting a few things for Cesar.

Many thanks again

Claire and the little man Cesar.sp_hearticon2

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2 July 2020 - 12:45 pm
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Evening all, 

Just want to give you all an update. Cesar has his surgery on Tuesday (30/06/2020). The vet were happy with it and he is now home. We have had a few grumpy moments and a few slips but Cesar managed to catch himself before hurting himself. 

This morning Cesar was desperate to do for a walk but we are taking it easy for now. 

I can’t believe how well Cesar is coping, me on the other hand has had a few tears and times of feeling guilty but together we are getting through it. 

we decided to update on doggyhut and buy Cesar a better stroller. 

Again thank you all so much for your help and advice. It has truly helped us. 

love Claire & Cesar xx

The Rainbow Bridge



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2 July 2020 - 3:02 pm
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YAY Cesar! I’m so glad you are on the mend. Sounds like you are getting the kind of spoiling that you so deserve. Good boy! Good recovery!

Claire it’s our honor to be there for you both. Thank you for taking the time to update. Here’s to many good times ahead. Can’t wait to see the new dog stroller .

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Livermore, CA




Forum Posts: 3952
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2 July 2020 - 7:21 pm
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Thanks for the update.

Our surgeon said that Maggie, my first Tripawd, was only allowed short, leashed potty breaks for the 14 days following the surgery.  After that she was allowed to do what she wanted.  It’s important to ramp up activity slowly, and probably extra important for Cesar since he has been on restriction for so long. 

We would love to see pictures of your boy and his new chariot!

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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3 July 2020 - 8:03 am
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I will update with Photos ASAP.  We have a check up on Monday so fingers crossed. 

Love Claire and Cesar x

Virginia




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6 July 2020 - 9:30 pm
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Thrilled to hear ,how wept Cesar is doing,  especially  this early in recovery.  Just wanted to pop in to say YAY CESAR, and YAY CLAIRE too!  Voth of yoj are dojng a great job!!

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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11 July 2020 - 4:33 am
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Morning all.

Cesar seem to be coping so well at the moment, only a few slips but sorted out with the non slip matts on the floor, we also had a few problems with his harness but after reading some of your threads (messages) we managed to sort it out.  Yesterday we use our new stroller, which he seem very happy with to take a rest when needed. At the moment we are only on 10 minutes walks in the morning and evening.

I thought i would added some photos for you all to see.

Thank you again for your all your help and support.

Love Claire and Cesar

7XZAxIa.jpg

6Yf7co5.jpg?1

Virginia




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11 July 2020 - 10:54 am
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From the looks of Cear’s big smile, he likes his stroller!  So cute!😊

I love how Cesar   by passed his bed and sought out the sun spot.  Such a smart boy👍

Tha is for the smiles today

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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