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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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Ike is my problem pup but I'd do anything for him, Wish I could do more
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5 January 2020 - 7:36 pm
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IkeImage Enlarger

I’ve had Ike since he was only a couple months old, born in August of 2010 and we’ve been through a lot (alongside his sister from another litter, Hershey, born a week apart but raised together) and he’s got a Hemangiopericytoma tumor on his front left leg. I was hoping we could just get the tumor off but because of it’s placement and growth rate they have to amputate the entire leg… I’m planning to do it the end of this month/very beginning of Feb. It’s a hard choice for a lot of reasons…

For starters, while Ike is not a large dog he is fat. He always has been, since he was little pup. Nothing I’ve done has changed this in all the years I had him and he doesn’t over eat much anymore (I feed a little in the morning, then dinner at night). And since his hypothyroidism was caught 2 years ago, he doesn’t get table scraps of any kind. I’d take him for walks but the area I live in is pretty bad with dogs running loose that I don’t feel safe taking him out and about. And to top it all off, I live up stairs so he has to climb stairs just to get in and out. I’ve discussed it with the vet so I know how this can complicate things but I would do anything I could for Ike. I nearly lost him to anaphylactic shock once a couple years ago and had to rush him to an emergency vet in the middle of the night… I didn’t give up on him then, and I won’t do it now. But I know it’ll be hard on him…

Along with that, he’s agitated his tumor so much that he’s not got two open sores on it. The vet knows and has given me ointments to care for it, but nothing is working. I spray it with hydrogen peroxide, put on some antibacterial ointment, some of the vet ointment, keep it clean, but it won’t stop. It smells so bad. And now he’s begun limping. I almost started crying right then. I’m doing all I can to keep him good until the surgery but I can’t stand watching him suffer like this. I want nothing more than to just get it done and have him heal, but I can’t get my work vacation yet to watch over him. And I don’t have any support network to watch him in my stead.

IkeImage Enlarger

But another issue is that I’m poor. I mean, I live right at or under the poverty line and can hardly pay rent. I just paid off last months electricity because I finally got the cut off notice. Things are looking up because I’m getting good hours at work (though only at 10 per hour) and I finished my associates in Med Admin and got CPC certified, so I’m watching the job market closely. But right now, I’m still on food stamps, live from check to check, and well… I don’t have much anywhere to turn. My dad died back in 2007 and my mom died almost 2 years ago. I have a brother who lives a couple states away but we were never horribly close. The last time I saw him was when my mom was still alive in the hospital. So I feel pretty alone in these things. I’m doing my best but it still hurts and what not. And watching Ike suffer because I can’t get him the best possible treatment (such as a prosthetic) make me feel like trash. And all these bills, these meds, paying ubers to get to our vet, I’d do it without a second thought but it makes things so tight.

I’m powering through it and hoping Ike can hold on until the end of the month. I won’t be able to get my vacation until then to watch over him. And even if it puts me into debt, he’s getting the surgery. I’ll be there for him. I just… I hope I’m doing to right thing. I hope he’ll be okay.

IkeImage Enlarger

I love him so much.

I know most of this is rambly but I just have. Nowhere else to really vent it.

The Rainbow Bridge



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5 January 2020 - 9:12 pm
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Hi Ike and family, welcome. We are so glad you joined, cause you are definitely not alone here. You are not rambly either. It’s a lot to process when you’re solo and trying so hard to get on your feet. Be proud of all the work you are doing to get job skills and a solid income, that’s terrific! All your hard work will pay off. For now, please consider applying for a Tripawds Foundation Amputation Surgery Assistance Program grant. It’s an income-qualified grant for up to $500 to help alleviate surgery costs, for financially distressed individuals. 

About Ike…

First, know that you are doing your best to give Ike the best chance at a healthy, happy life. You’re almost there, it’s sooooo close. And don’t beat yourself up about a prosthetic…it’s not something that most people have the time or money to invest in, and just because Ike isn’t going to have one doesn’t mean he can’t be happy on three. 

About his tumor…does your vet know you’re using hydrogen peroxide on it? HP can damage skin and prevent healing, it’s not something you want to use for cleaning. See this article for more. 

It sounds like you’re on top of Ike’s weight loss challenges. You may want to check out the Tripawds Nutrition blog weight loss tips for more ideas. 

Also be sure to ask your vet for some strong pain medication for him. Is he on any now?

Don’t forget to visit Jerry’s Required Reading List for more ideas about what to expect and life on three legs. We are here for you.

Please keep us posted on how he’s doing. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
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6 January 2020 - 2:49 pm
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I did tell them and ask what all I could do to help it, but they never mentioned that (or maybe I missed it). I’ll cool it with that and focus on the ointment and washing… As for meds, he’s on pain meds (once or twice daily depending on his need), some anti-inflammatory (once daily), and his thyroid medication(once daily).

I just spoke with his vet and we’re going ahead and pushing his surgery to the 30th this month. I’ll have to work my work schedule around it but I don’t want to push it back anymore with the rate its getting worse. Here’s hoping for the best. I just need to get a good pick-up harness and wrap to help him move around now.

new hampshire
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6 January 2020 - 3:48 pm
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Hi Ike and ike’s human. Im so sorry to hear about Ikes diagnosis but so glad that you found us. Please know that you are not alone. ❤

I wish no one was put in situations like this. I think at one point or another we all agonized over making this decision. your doing everything you possibly can for Ike and im sure he knows it and loves you for it. Becoming a tripawd definitely has its challenges but you will get through it together. One day soon that handsome fella will look at you with those big beautiful eyes and wag his tail and you will know that its alright. 

In the mean time take a deep breath and try not to beat yourself up. Keep us updated, vent, ask questions what ever you need to do to relieve a little stress. We’re here to help in any way we can.

A harness will definitely help with the stairs. What are your floors like? Carpet is good but tile or wood can be tricky for tripawds. Jerrys required reading list has some great tips for getting ready for life on 3 and im sure our tripawd family has some great hacks to keep things cost effective.

Stay connected when you have time. Sending you and that handsome guy lots of good vibes and support.

❤ Bev, Moe cat, autumn angel Roane & angel dog Gypsy 

         Hugs ❤ Bev, nurse Moe cat, Autumn's Angel Roane & Angel dog Gypsy 🐾

My sweet soulmate Roane was diagnosed with osteo in June of 2019. Had a rear leg amp on July 2nd & crossed the rainbow bridge to be with her sister Gypsy on the first day of Autumn Sept 23 2019.

The Rainbow Bridge



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6 January 2020 - 5:19 pm
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dse10901 said
I just spoke with his vet and we’re going ahead and pushing his surgery to the 30th this month. 

Oh that is good to hear! I’m glad it will happen sooner and hope your work situation is good with it. Sounds like you have his care handled as well as you can right now. You’re doing great!

Please keep us updated and let us know how things are going OK? 

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

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12 January 2020 - 6:07 pm
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Hi, I am so sorry you and Ike are going thru this. Ike is so lucky to have you, because I can tell how much you love him by reading your post. Sending positive thoughts for you and Ike.

Congratulations on becoming certified. That is awesome! Be proud of yourself. I know Ike is!

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"

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12 January 2020 - 6:14 pm
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Just a thought. Until you can get a harness you can take a canvas bag and cut it to make a sling with handles. It will help with going up and down the stairs.

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"

Here and Now


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13 January 2020 - 10:15 am
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brownie1201 said
Until you can get a harness you can take a canvas bag and cut it to make a sling with handles…

For detailed instructions with photos see this Tripawds News Blog post:

DIY Tripawd Dog Sling

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16 January 2020 - 12:52 pm
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Sorry for my delayed response, things got crazy fast on my end. Between work, Ike, and his sis Hershey having sudden back issues, everything else fell to the wayside.

Ike’s tumor got much, much worse so we had to ASAP his surgery to the 15th. I only just brought him home and he’s resting right now.

IkeImage Enlarger

The vet said he’s healing really well, no problems with eating or drinking, and we’ve got more pain meds. They also showed me how to sling walk him with a towel, as they call it. He’ll go back on the 27th to get his stitches and staples removed. They’ve also sent off his mass to make sure it is what they thought it was and not anything that would leave him needing further treatment.

Now we’re focusing on making sure to help him build up strength and balance with just three legs. I do have a lot of canvas bags so I might go ahead and do that. Of course, I’m letting him rest for the time being, he needs it.

Here and Now


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16 January 2020 - 3:40 pm
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dse10901 said
Now we’re focusing on making sure to help him build up strength and balance with just three legs… 

There will be plenty of time for that, after Ike is all healed up!

For now, focus on healing the body. Nothing more that short leashed potty time, rest and confinement are required. Once the stitches are out, then you can focus on doing some starter exercises to build strength and confidence. Better yet, look into the maggie Moo Fund for Tripawd Rehab and consult with a CCRT or CCRP for proper evaluation and specific exercises to help keep Ike fit and strong. Find many more helpful tips and videos in the News blog , Gear blog , and Loving Life On Three Legs .

Lookin’ good Ike! Welcome home.

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16 January 2020 - 7:53 pm
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Welcome home Ike!  When I look at the picture of Ike before his surgery and the picture of Ike after the surgery I think he looks so much happier and better with that nasty tumor gone.

As admin said rest rest rest. Brownie mostly slept for the first two weeks. The first week I stayed home with Brownie. On the second week i would give Brownie his pain medication right before I left for work so he would sleep most of the day.

If Brownie is confident on three at almost 13 years of age I know Ike is going to do great! In fact Brownie also had amputation on his front left leg.

Sending good thoughts your way and wishing Ike a speedy recovery. Keep sending pictures of that cutie…

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"

Virginia




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16 January 2020 - 9:53 pm
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YAAAAY FOR IKE!!!    While none of us want to ever have to deal with amputation, there is a time when it is a GOOD thing.  This is one of those times!!    That picture of his leg before the surgery looked sooo painful.  I agree witht Brownie ‘s mom, Ike actually  looks happier with that bum leg gone!!

STAY CONNECTED  and let us know any questions you have.  This is major surgery and reco is no picnic for about two weeks.  You’ll want non slip scatter rugs for traction if you have  hardwoods.   Ike needs to drink and pee, but he may not poop for a few days or feel like eating much due to the meds.  

Most dogs come home woth Gabapentin,  Tramadol,  Rimadyl and an antibiotic.   Managing  pain can be a bit tricky as each dog is different.  Just keep your Vet in the loop of you feel like Ike has pain, or if the meds need to be tweaked on some level.

BTW, I love looking at pictures of Ike!  He looks so sweet and cuddly!!

Jow is Hershey doing?  You really  have your hands full!

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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17 January 2020 - 11:30 am
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Ah, sorry, when I said focusing on building up strength, I meant that we’re not overly worried about his cancer showing up elsewhere so we can focus fully on recovery.

But yeah, he is resting up quite well. He wants to get up and do some stuff (every time Hershey bounds off to bark at something, he jolts to try and join her) and is trying to get around on his own. Like I told the vet, he’s a stubborn one. I’m keeping him down and resting all the same. He’s also eating and drinking quite well, and has already pooping like normal. While getting him up and down stairs is a bit difficult and wears him out, he’s catching on fast. He’s on his normal thyroid meds as well as Gabapentine and Rimadyl. He def seems to be feeling better over all. I’m sure that however sore he is now bothers him less than how much his leg did.

Hershey’s ok, she’s just having some spinal disc issues and is being prescribed rest and pain meds. So it’s double doggy rest time for these two.

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18 January 2020 - 4:42 am
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Sometimes stubbrand is Good! Brownie is the most stubbrand dog I have ever known. But with being stubbrand comes determination! I think Ike is going to do just fine on three, and besides being stubbrand he has you!

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"

new hampshire
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18 January 2020 - 7:15 am
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Awwww, Ike is so handsome! He looks so much happier with out that bum leg bothering him! Lots of rest and loving for him and Hershey. ❤❤❤

         Hugs ❤ Bev, nurse Moe cat, Autumn's Angel Roane & Angel dog Gypsy 🐾

My sweet soulmate Roane was diagnosed with osteo in June of 2019. Had a rear leg amp on July 2nd & crossed the rainbow bridge to be with her sister Gypsy on the first day of Autumn Sept 23 2019.

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