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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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New York, NY
Forum Posts: 415
Member Since:
24 March 2020
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8 May 2020 - 2:26 pm
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Hi Taylor – Jetta is adorable!  Look at that huge smile, soulful eyes, and possessive paw on the ball!  Thanks for sharing!  The Big Barker Bed looks awesome with the bolster on one end.  Griffin wasn’t a big dog bed kinda guy during the day (he uses one in my bedroom at night about half the time), but I put one in the living room so that he has options and he uses it all the time since surgery.  He also still snuggles up on the couch!  After surgery, some dogs come home with bandages and others don’t.  Griffin’s stitches were internal and he was not sent home with any covering (the Animal Medical Center did send him off with a dog shirt since it was raining when I picked him up).  For the first few days, I used a human neck gaiter as a body sleeve (I cut a hole for his remaining front leg) to cover the incision when we were outside, but after a few days, I didn’t use anything at all.  You can see photos of Griffin’s early days at home on his blog, Griffin’s Journey (his surgery was on April 2nd).  If you will need to use the harness while Jetta still has stitches, you definitely need to use something like a t-shirt to provide a protective layer to prevent rubbing and irritation.  It’s great that you already have experience keeping Jetta quiet and resting after she tore her ACL.  I’m not sure what kinds of meds she was on then, but that is a big topic on this website as many dogs require tweaking of the meds after they are home to make sure that their pain is managed well.  Do you already use an elevated feeder with Jetta?  A forelimb amputee of her size might have issues balancing to reach a bowl on the ground.  Keep the questions coming – I’m happy to provide whatever insights I might have or refer you to the right folks on here.  Fingers crossed that you get an update on your girl soon!  ~ Stacy

Livermore, CA




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8 May 2020 - 2:27 pm
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Hi again,

What a beautiful girl!

Did she have surgery to fix the ACL tear? I’ve been through an amputation with one Pug (rear leg) and two knee surgeries with another Pug and and I can tell you from experience that the recovery time from the amp is way shorter!  The first two weeks can be up and down but usually by week 3 or 4 the sparkle is back!

And you have the advantage of seeing how Jetta has acted on strong pain meds with her ACL recovery. 

Ask your vet about using the harness right away since she is losing a front leg- you don’t want the harness to rub the stitches or incision.  Some here have used a tee shirt under the harness when they really needed the harness right away to help their pups get around.  Lots of front amps use a tee shirt to cover the incision but you want to be sure that she can’t get to the stitches so a cone is usually needed.  There are some alternatives to the cone of shame but it is important for a smooth healing process that she can’t get at the stitches.

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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8 May 2020 - 2:56 pm
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Hi Stacy,

I am still learning to navigate the website, there is just so much information to comb through! Its amazing. I am gonna check out Griffins blog now 🙂 I will be sure to ask our surgeon about using a harness, I believe he said he’s going to send us home with a sling to help her get around. I don’t remember exactly what meds she was on after the acl tear, I do believe she had gaba & tramadol and maybe one other sedative she was very hard to keep quiet she is so playful! She has been on novox & gaba I believe at the max doses for the past month for her pain management because we initially thought this was a sprain until we went to the surgeon yesterday. I do not use an elevated feeder normally but we ordered one from amazon for her depending on how that works we will see… my fiancee said he might just make one specially for her 🙂 We are actually supposed to get married in October & Jetta is to be in the wedding so we made a promise no matter what happens with this whole covid disaster we are going to get married even if its in the backyard to have my baby girl there.

Forum Posts: 20
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8 May 2020 - 2:59 pm
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Hi Karen!

thank you!

she did have the surgery to fix the acl tear, we drove up to OSU to have it done with dr.dyce who is AMAZING! Ugh that is refreshing to hear! I will definitely ask the surgeon about his opinion regarding the harness. I am actually an ICU nurse so I am going to make sure that incision looks beautiful lol, I am just nervous that a harness would rub, so we will see what he says.

Here and Now


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8 May 2020 - 3:15 pm
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taylorb said
I am still learning to navigate the website…

If you ever need help navigating the blogs, start here for help finding all the helpful Tripawds resources and assistance programs or watch this quick tutorial video.

Forum Posts: 964
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8 May 2020 - 3:49 pm
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OMD! what a beauty!

Brownie was a front legger and we used the flag line. It is Awesome. I do know that Sally has the Big Bark Bed and loves it. You don’t want a bed that is too soft where they loose their balance when they hop on, so you made a wise choice.

Just wanted to greet you, and sending positive thoughts your way.

And yes there are dogs that lived past the 14 months. Of course the only and only Jerry, Pug Maggie, and Nitro. We don’t go by statics here.

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




Forum Posts: 19292
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8 May 2020 - 4:01 pm
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THAT PICTURE…..OOOOMMMMMDDDD……I’M  SOOOO IN LOVE!!!  That is one of the best pictures of a happy dog grinning ear to ear I have eber seen!!😁

As you can see from the great replies, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!    This is the best place for support, Information and an understanding  that only those of is who have  been on thos journey can provide.  We under6 the depth of your love and your willingness  to do whatever it takes to give Jetta a quality  pain free life!!

While recovery  is no picnic for a couple  of weeks, it doesn’t  last furever!  As we say around here, you are doing this FOR Jetta, and not TO her.  

Try and keep things chunked  down for now, okay?  You have plenty of time to do yoir rese and develop  a treatment plan as you go forward after recovery.  Getting your home prepared  for her homecoming  is first on the list.  You’ve done an excellent job of doing that! 👏👏  And I cannot say enough  good things about The Big Barker Bed !  Excellent  choice for joint support and firm enough to avoid any slippage as dog gets up.

One of the most important  lessons  is to remember  Jetta is NOT a statistic  and does NOT have a timeframe  stamped  anywhere on her Rottie. butt!!  Nor does she care about days on a calendar.   She does care about living  in the NOW and having  you fully present  with her as she flows effortlessly  from one happy moment  to the next!!  Do not waste one second  worrying  about the tomorrows.  Jetta sure isn’t!

Oh, and when you go pick up Jetta in the next day or two, don’t  even bother to look at her incision.   She just wants to see your smiling  Happy face telling  her she’s a good girl and she’s going home!!

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!

Liverpool, UK
Forum Posts: 50
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2 May 2020
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8 May 2020 - 4:27 pm
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First of all Jetta is such a beautiful dog! sp_hearticon2

You’re definitely not alone in feeling overwhelmed! I got my tripawd baby Hazel home yesterday after her op on tuesday and I was a just a ball of panic waiting to hear from the surgeon. You do not need to worry, your baby will be so happy to no longer be in pain and so pleased to see you! 

Hazel came home with a few dressings covering the site and I was told I would be fine to take them off after a day and only need to keep it covered if she shows signs of wanting to scratch at the stitches. So no need to worry about stuff like that. 

I love that your dog will be part of your wedding! That’s just so sweet sp_hearticon2

Everyone on here is so helpful so keep posting updates, stay connected and ask any questions you feel you need to!

love nyoom & Hazel sp_hearticon2

Forum Posts: 20
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8 May 2020 - 5:47 pm
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Hi everyone!

Got the call from the surgeon and everything went smoothly! thank God! 🙂 🙂 feeling relieved I just wish I could see her now lol.

He said he will visit her in the morning to make sure she is doing well and redress the incision & pretty much after that we are free to pick her up anytime after that… but here is my dilemma. As a nurse I work 12 hour shifts (currently I rotate between day & night shift but tomorrow is my last day shift & I move to straight night shift)… anyways I have my momma instinct that I should call off tomorrow and get her home asap (because of course I am thinking shes scared & will be more comfortable at home) but I know she is in good hands I am just struggling with that, I almost feel guilty for waiting until 830 pm to pick her up.

I just wish I could drop everything including my job and be with her 24/7 but I know that is not realistic. Before this diagnosis I was already a crazy dog momma & had anxiety being away from her just because I am so attached, now I am going to struggle with this even more

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8 May 2020 - 5:48 pm
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Also side note… I am so blessed to have a my fiancee who is changing his schedule around mine to make sure she will have someone with her 24/7 & my mom who is also going to be with her 24/7. Idk what I would do without them!

New York, NY
Forum Posts: 415
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24 March 2020
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8 May 2020 - 6:01 pm
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Hey Taylor.  Firstly – thank you for what you do!  Nurses are heroes all the time, and especially during pandemics.  And YAY for Jetta sliding through surgery!  She is so strong!  I totally get the perspective of wanting to get Jetta home as soon as possible and waiting until evening to do so seems awful.  However, keep in mind that she just had major surgery and will be hopped up on meds.  Having her stay at the hospital for a few extra hours means she is in expert hands and she likely will be sleeping all of that time anyway.  Some pups wind up staying 2, 3 or more nights in the hospital, so if she is cleared to go home tomorrow, waiting a few extra hours in the grand scheme of things will not be that big of a deal.  And, how amazing that your fiance and mom will be around to help and ensure that she is cared for around the clock.  What a blessing to have such a support team!  Thanks for the update and get some sleep tonight!  sp_hearticon2 Stac

The Rainbow Bridge



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9 May 2020 - 12:11 am
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Awww that’s wonderful she is over the surgery hump and almost ready to come home!! She will be cuddling with you before you know it, whet a treat that will be.

And you are a real hero my friend, thank you for all you do to help people heal, especially at a time like this. You, and your family, are so terrific!

Stay strong, she will be ready to go home soon and will have the best care waiting for her.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 20
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7 May 2020
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9 May 2020 - 10:56 am
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Hi everyone…

I ended up calling off of work today so I could go get my baby. She is home and doing well so far! we were sent home with gaba, an anti-inflammatory I forget the name & an antibiotic. No tramadol, going to call the doc & ask for his reasoning on that. She is already doing so well with her walking!! here’s a pic of her resting like the baby angel she is 🙂

New York, NY
Forum Posts: 415
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24 March 2020
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9 May 2020 - 11:19 am
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YAY!  Jetta is home.  Baby Angel, indeed!  What an adorable and peaceful photo!  Good luck today/tonight and keep us posted.  Hugs to both of you! ~ Stacy

Liverpool, UK
Forum Posts: 50
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2 May 2020
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9 May 2020 - 12:03 pm
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Yay!!! Jetta is home!!!!! sp_hearticon2

If you feel you need to take time off to be with her that’s fine, you don’t need an added stress on top of being at work! Lean on your partner and mum to help out when you can though, as you will need a break. It can be really stressful but you need to take a little time for yourself too. Simple things like cooking yourself your favourite meal or taking time to sit with a cup of tea is enough sp_hearticon2 

I won’t lie and say everything is easy, but you’ll be surprised how quickly and well dogs adapt. Enjoy your time together, celebrate the little victories and keep us all updated (especially with adorable photos!)

nyoom sp_hearticon2

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