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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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Harley is officially a TriPawd!
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On The Road


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24 September 2009
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15 December 2021 - 10:46 pm
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Hey he is making progress, that’s terrific smiley4 He’s definitely on his own schedule and doing things his way, but it’s working so far. 

Sally raised a good point about his bed. She’s referring to the Big Barker bed, which is pretty awesome. Is Harley’s bed a firm mattress? Tripawds really do better on firmer surfaces. They can maneuver on them so much easier than squishy “denning’ type beds. I know that some dogs will have a hard time getting up off the amputation side, and a firm bed can make it a little easier.

I’m so sorry you lost your other dog so recently. What a whirlwind you have been through. 

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

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16 December 2021 - 9:09 am
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Harley had a great night last night.  We did use a firmer bed – not one that had bolsters or a sunken in spot and he was able to adjust himself much better/easier.  He slept without any kind of heavy breathing or restlessness for 9 hours!  I did give him a Melatonin before bedtime – perhaps that helped.  I could not coax him outside this morning with his food though so on went the muzzle (because he was growling at my husband when he approached to help him up) and my husband carried him out.  Harley was able to stand the entire time while he ate his food from an elevated platform and then he had a huge poopiconpoopiconpoopiconpoopicon  He did not have one yesterday so it was a relief that he got that taken care of so early in the morning.  When it was time for me to leave to walk dog #2, Harley popped right up and made the move like he was coming so we had to get him back down on his bed and my husband consoled him while I was gone.   I think now that Harley is feeling better that it will be harder to keep him still.  Although he’s sleeping pretty hard right now – on the floor.  Which was his preferred bed before so I don’t think we’re going to get him to always sleep on a bed.  His back legs are quite spastic on his first attempt at standing/walking after he’s been prone for a while.  As soon as he’s been cleared by the Surgeon, we’re going to get him started on physical therapy to try and slow down the deterioration of his hind end and build those leg muscles up a bit.  

Pathology results came back this morning (quicker than anticipated).  Confirmed Osteosarcoma – high grade.  Lymph node was clean though so that was good news.  No guarantees that there hasn’t been micro-metastasis.  I guess the bone was pretty chewed up.  It was a large lesion – 10cm x 5cm and there was a lot of necrotic tissue within the tumor.  The bone was a fracture waiting to happen.  

Jerry – you opted for no Chemo after your dog’s amp.  Was there a reason?  I think we want to do Chemo for Harley but would like to hear from someone who opted not to but still had very good results for a long period of remission and quality of life.  

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16 December 2021 - 9:19 am
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jerry said
Hey he is making progress, that’s terrific smiley4 He’s definitely on his own schedule and doing things his way, but it’s working so far. 

Sally raised a good point about his bed. She’s referring to the Big Barker bed, which is pretty awesome. Is Harley’s bed a firm mattress? Tripawds really do better on firmer surfaces. They can maneuver on them so much easier than squishy “denning’ type beds. I know that some dogs will have a hard time getting up off the amputation side, and a firm bed can make it a little easier.

I’m so sorry you lost your other dog so recently. What a whirlwind you have been through. 

  

Thank you for the condolences about our other dog Bear.  That one crushed me.  Still crushes me every single day.    Starting to think he had something similar to what Harley is going through but nothing showed up on x-rays.  Same leg.  Except Bear stopped eating….   and he was a Lab also.  Lived to eat.  He’s one of those “inconclusive” results that leave you second guessing and “what if’s”.  He lived a long life though – was likely between 12 & 13 and had cheated death twice before.  We rescued him from a high kill pound in 2011 when he was about 2 to 3 years old.  He was scared to death of everyone and everything.  Took 6 months for him to trust us and then another year after that to wake up and not be depressed.  He was diagnosed with mast cell tumor in 2012 and vet wanted to amputate.  We opted for a lumpectomy and he had no recurrence for the rest of his life.  He lived in 4 different countries (USA, Japan, Germany & Canada) and visited 29 states.  He loved the RV and usually rode “shotgun” in between the two front seats.  He was one of those dogs that you hope would live forever.  He was so easy going and was a friend to all.  We fostered a lot of dogs and he was the calming force in the house and “raised” a lot of those dogs until they could find their own people.   He was the one dog that Harley took to right away and that Harley got along with.  Bear just had that “vibe”.  Harley does not have that vibe.  But Harley was let down by humans for the first half of his life.  We’re trying to do right by him and not give up on him like others have in the past.  

Virginia




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16 December 2021 - 10:28 am
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Thank you for sharing your Bear with us.  What a sweet boy.  Quite a  legacy   eing a friend and calming force to your fosters.  I’m sure hiheelped shape them into the dogs they were born to be.♥️  

Harley slept nine hours and had a  bigpoopiconpoopicon….YAAAAY! 

Yeah, the Rehab will help build his core strength and make getting up easier, etc.  It will also improve with time the further he gets through recovery.  Generally it takes avout two weeks to get thru the surfery recovery itself and about one mo th to fully adjust to the tripawd gaits, using different t muscles, coordination, balance, etc.

Harleyn is  such a lucky  boy to have you and your hubby as his hoomans.  And Bear was too!!

Hugs 

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too 

PS….Jerry, probably have the name wrong, but didn’t  we have a dog  membe named Clyde who was foing strong after two years…no chmo… some alternative/holistic approach?  I know there were others, but as you know, I’m “searched challenged”.

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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21 December 2021 - 8:18 am
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Harley is doing pretty good!  We took a 3 day “trip” to our other house in Pennsylvania to take a load of stuff and check on the house.  Harley was super excited to get in the vehicle thinking we were going to leave him behind.  He traveled really well and I was able to get him into and out of the vehicle by myself when we stopped halfway for a potty break.  He definitely had an easier time at our PA house because there are no stairs for him to get in and out of the house.  We had rug trails throughout the house where there are hard surfaces so he could move easily about.  We got back to our old house on Sunday and we decided that neither of us had to sleep on the couch or air mattress to monitor Harley because he’s doing so well.  I got up in the morning to find him up on his favorite chair.  We have a footstool beside it and had the air mattress that I had been sleeping on beside the stool so he figured out to get up on the air mattress, then onto the stool and then to his favorite perch.  This morning, he got up from the floor and went over to the couch and I could see the wheels turning.  He wanted to get up on the couch but couldn’t figure out how.  So I stacked up two dog beds beside the couch and walked away.  He doesn’t like to be watched.  He easily got up on the couch, circled a few times and got a comfortable spot.  About an hour later, he got himself down off the couch by slithering down to the dog beds.  He is getting  more and more comfortable with his new normal.  Sometimes his legs are a bit wobbly but his balance and coordination get better each day.  He really wanted to go on the walk this morning with our other dog and was quite disappointed when we left him.    He is eating like a champ – we probably need to cut back his calorie intake a bit to keep his weight down – and he has regular BM’s.    I ordered a Ruffwear harness and a Thunder Shirt knockoff to protect the incision area.  We’ll use the harness to help him get up and down the 2 stairs which is more of a mental thing than physical thing.  When he’s adequately motivated (treat), he really has no problem with the stairs.   My husband has only had to lift and carry him twice in the past few days.  His back is very thankful 🙂  

On The Road


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21 December 2021 - 7:25 pm
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WOW! smiley_clapThat’s a pawesome pupdate! I love his independent spirit. He’s got his oomph back and is doing things his way. You are doing so well monitoring him, and assisting without being over-protective. And your being so vigilant about his weight and activity gives him everything he needs to live a hoppy, safe and mobile life on 3. YAY!

If you want to walk him with your other pup, a dog stroller is a fantastic way to do that. They leave no dog behind, we love ’em! And yep, they make them for big dogs too.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

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23 December 2021 - 11:39 am
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jerry said
WOW! smiley_clapThat’s a pawesome pupdate! I love his independent spirit. He’s got his oomph back and is doing things his way. You are doing so well monitoring him, and assisting without being over-protective. And your being so vigilant about his weight and activity gives him everything he needs to live a hoppy, safe and mobile life on 3. YAY!

If you want to walk him with your other pup, a dog stroller is a fantastic way to do that. They leave no dog behind, we love ’em! And yep, they make them for big dogs too.

  

Yeah – we already have a collapsible wagon that we used for our dog that passed in September.  It was a godsend then and will be handy for Harley as long as he’s not too stubborn to use it.  We just have to wait until he’s been cleared by the Surgeon before we go on any official walks.  Right now, we’re just sticking to the yard.  I went upstairs to shower this morning and my husband was gone.  I heard this noise that I didn’t expect to hear.  Harley then hopped into the bathroom and plopped down in his usual spot.  Ummmmm.   So he’s been playing us.  Not that I wanted him to come up a flight of 13 stairs no way, no how, he did.  So now we’ll have to block the stairs off.  Getting down?  My husband carried him because I don’t think it would have gone well.   The last two days Harley’s confidence has really bloomed and he’s moving around so easily now.  He’s sleeping well through the night and generally back to his old self.  He’s really bored though.  I am using the puzzle games and he’s getting a boiled cow femur marrow bone to work on outside every couple of days.  It really keeps him busy for about an hour at a time.  And is hopefully keeping the tarter off of his teeth seeing he’s getting mostly wet/soft food now.  

On The Road


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23 December 2021 - 3:15 pm
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Can I just say one thing? You and your hubby are fantastic pet parents! You are doing everything right for a recovery that’s a role model for new Tripawds. Sounds like you’ve had a lot of practice being a nurse to your doggies!

That’s great you have a wagon. I can’t wait to see Harley out and about, and I’m sure you guys are chomping at the bit too.

When it comes to keeping his mind busy, you can also try scattering his kibble across the floor and hiding it in safe places around the house to keep him entertained. A little messy but it’s a fun way to keep ’em entertained.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Member Since:
25 November 2021
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25 December 2021 - 8:08 am
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jerry said
Can I just say one thing? You and your hubby are fantastic pet parents! You are doing everything right for a recovery that’s a role model for new Tripawds. Sounds like you’ve had a lot of practice being a nurse to your doggies!

That’s great you have a wagon. I can’t wait to see Harley out and about, and I’m sure you guys are chomping at the bit too.

When it comes to keeping his mind busy, you can also try scattering his kibble across the floor and hiding it in safe places around the house to keep him entertained. A little messy but it’s a fun way to keep ’em entertained.

  

We tried a short walk yesterday.  Mostly, it was just about getting him out of the house/yard and to a new location for some boredom relief.  He was able to get himself into the SUV (with 2 stairs).  I had it all set up and he was standing at the back of the vehicle and I am thinking it may be a bit of a chore to get him in.  I went to put something inside the driver’s area and before I knew it, he had gotten himself in with no problems.  Scared the crap out of me because I certainly didn’t think he could get himself in without help.  Getting him out at the park that we usually walk at was also fairly easy.  I put something soft at the very bottom in case he stumbled.  He enjoyed sniffing and peeing.  Figured out he couldn’t lift his leg on anything anymore…  he may just figure that out too when his balance gets better.  We only got about 50 yards down the tree line and he was pooped out.  So we just sat in the grass and enjoyed the balmy weather.  He let me know when he was ready about 15 minutes later and we got back to the SUV and he got in again quite easily.  I had to use chicken jerky to convince him to get in though.  At home, he stumbled getting out of the SUV and I wasn’t close enough to him (ugh).  And he fell.  But he got up rather quickly and didn’t show any ill effects the rest of the day.   We’ll have to make sure we’re really close with a hand on him when he’s getting out of the vehicle from now on.  After his re-check appointment on Wednesday, we’ll likely put the harness on him over a t-shirt to provide support when he’s getting in and out of the vehicle.  He has zero difficulty getting up off the floor – even if he gets onto the hardwood by mistake.  We have probably 80% of the hardwood covered with rugs or those foam squared but sometimes he veers off the trails and ends up on a slippery surface.    We may also just lift him out of the vehicle as long as we know he doesn’t have any pain in the amputation area and won’t bite us.  

Virginia




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25 December 2021 - 8:30 am
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AHarley boy, you are quite the tripawd Rockstar!  And so are your hoomans….the Rockstar part!

So thrilled to see how well he is doing.  And yes, that was quite a little hike for him at the dog park.  All that plus in and out of the car….vet he slept well afterwwrds.

Tha ks so mich for the update.  Knowing how well he is doing makes a great Christmas  gift for us all!

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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25 December 2021 - 1:22 pm
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Happy Holidays to everyone.  Thank you for all of the great information and support!!  Harley and our other dog Lucy are going to enjoy a bit of turkey dinner later today.  

Virginia




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25 December 2021 - 2:53 pm
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Try and take pictures before Lucy and Harley gobble up their festive dinner! Enjoy your dinner too!

My frontlegger tripawd Frankie sort of peeslike a yoga downward dog. Sinks back and tummy downward…hold butt up higher and pees ki d of in that standing position.  Some dogs actually lean on things and, some sort of squat.  

As he gets more j  tune with his new gait most of the stumbles will cease.  Isn’t  amazing how they just shake it off and bounce right back up?

  Hope you can relax a little bit now knowing how well Harley is doing and seeing hr IS improving  and plowing through recovery just fine!

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!

On The Road


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25 December 2021 - 3:57 pm
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Hoppy Pawlidays to you and Harley as well! I hope you are all having some good couch time today.

He had quite an adventure, it must have really lifted his spirits. I’m envious of your weather!

In time he’ll get the peeing part figured out, all doggies do. And yep, over time those stumbles decrease as he builds strength and stamina. 

Wishing you lots of love & Tripawd Power! You guys have got this!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

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27 December 2021 - 4:45 pm
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Ha!  He “girl” pees just finesmiley4icon_razz  It’s just when he wants to mark something that he tries to lift his leg.  

On The Road


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27 December 2021 - 9:17 pm
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AH! Oh yeah the marking thing! We have never had a boy dog who did that so keep us posted on how he adapts.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

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