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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 Greyhound amputee due to Osteosarcoma needs help
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Member Since:
4 October 2022
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5 October 2022 - 7:38 pm
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Hello! My 9 y/o Greyhound had her right rear leg amputated 9/26 due to Osteosarcoma, and man has it been a roller coaster. It’s been the typical emotional journey for all dog families after amputation and even more. 

Peppa has had some complications post-surgery that ended her up in the emergency vet for an overnight stay. There was a time, only a few days ago, where given her quality of life while in recovery I thought we were going to have to compassionately euthanize her. Luckily, with the relentless support of our vet, and my husband (her favorite person) she has really turned a corner and is getting better every day.  As I am sure most of you can relate, our family is exhausted, both emotionally and physically. My husband and I have been taking shifts sleeping with her on the living room floor for the past week and a half. 

I am seeking advice on a few things:

1. Peppa has developed a sore on her elbow from propping herself up all the time, even with the floor COVERED in layers or rugs, padding and cushions. Has anyone else had this problem and what did you do to protect her elbow? 

2. Our living room, where she is confined right now, is covered in padding but the rest of our first level is all hardwood. She isn’t quite at two weeks yet but once she can be up and walking around more, what do I do about protecting her from slipping? Booties? If I leave her at home with booties on while we go to work, she’s just try to chew them off. 

3. How do you protect your dog in the car? With so many trips to the vet that we had recently I cannot imagine her ever riding in the car again with only 3 legs. Right now, while in her post op phase, we sit in the back and (try to) hold her but we can’t do that forever. 

More advice will be needed, but this is all my tired brain can process right now. Thank you all so much for the help!!! 

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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5 October 2022 - 10:22 pm
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Hi Peppa and family! Welcome! Your future posts won’t need approval so post away.

I wanted to get your post approved so you can get some feedback asap. I need to run but will be back in the AM with suggestions. Meanwhile check out Dr Buzby’s Toe Grips for her (https://gear.tr…..ction-tip/) and look up Dog Leggs for elbow hygroma issues.

Back in the AM with some thoughts!

New England
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6 October 2022 - 5:11 am
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Hi, I can’t help with the recovery questions (I adopted my tri post-amp), but dog car safety is a topic I’m passionate about.  I do nosework as a competitive sport with both of my dogs, so we’re on the road frequently for classes (about an hour each way) and competitions (the furthest we’ve gone is about an 8 hour drive each way).

The ONLY safe way to travel with a dog in a vehicle is in a crate.

1.  A loose dog becomes a projectile in an accident.  This is not safe for your dog or the humans in the vehicle.

2. The “seatbelt tethers” often get wrapped around a dog’s leg or neck.  In an accident, the tether will cause it’s own damage.

Personally, I use a MIM Variocage, which is a crash safety rated dog crate due to the amount of travel time I have with my dogs.  For a more budget friendly travel crate, I like the Ruffland Kennel.  If you are doing minimal travel (short trips to the vet, etc), a soft crate is also a decent option.  I strongly advise against a basic wire crate in the car because it can break and become a bunch of spears during an accident.  Unfortunately, I know someone this happened to (neither dog nor driver survived the crash).

The Rainbow Bridge


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6 October 2022 - 10:13 am
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mischief said
Hi, I can’t help with the recovery questions (I adopted my tri post-amp), but dog car safety is a topic I’m passionate about.  I do nosework as a competitive sport with both of my dogs, so we’re on the road frequently for classes (about an hour each way) and competitions (the furthest we’ve gone is about an 8 hour drive each way).

The ONLY safe way to travel with a dog in a vehicle is in a crate.

1.  A loose dog becomes a projectile in an accident.  This is not safe for your dog or the humans in the vehicle.

2. The “seatbelt tethers” often get wrapped around a dog’s leg or neck.  In an accident, the tether will cause it’s own damage.

Personally, I use a MIM Variocage, which is a crash safety rated dog crate due to the amount of travel time I have with my dogs.  For a more budget friendly travel crate, I like the Ruffland Kennel.  If you are doing minimal travel (short trips to the vet, etc), a soft crate is also a decent option.  I strongly advise against a basic wire crate in the car because it can break and become a bunch of spears during an accident.  Unfortunately, I know someone this happened to (neither dog nor driver survived the crash).

  

WOW, thank you for these tips! I see a Tripawds Gear blog post coming. Got any photos you’d like to share of your dogs using the crates? PM me!

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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6 October 2022 - 10:21 am
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peppa123 said

I am seeking advice on a few things:

1. Peppa has developed a sore on her elbow from propping herself up all the time, even with the floor COVERED in layers or rugs, padding and cushions. Has anyone else had this problem and what did you do to protect her elbow? 

2. Our living room, where she is confined right now, is covered in padding but the rest of our first level is all hardwood. She isn’t quite at two weeks yet but once she can be up and walking around more, what do I do about protecting her from slipping? Booties? If I leave her at home with booties on while we go to work, she’s just try to chew them off. 

3. How do you protect your dog in the car? With so many trips to the vet that we had recently I cannot imagine her ever riding in the car again with only 3 legs. Right now, while in her post op phase, we sit in the back and (try to) hold her but we can’t do that forever. 

More advice will be needed, but this is all my tired brain can process right now. Thank you all so much for the help!!! 

  

About the elbow pressure sore. Is it open and raw looking, or more of a callous? If the latter, it will probably be OK as long as you continue giving her the option of laying on soft surfaces. It’s not uncommon for these to happen to Tripawds. As I mentioned, Dog Leggs offer a great product but it’s more of a thing you use when the sores become irritated or infected. Hopefully in time as Peppa becomes stronger she won’t plop herself down (or get up) with as much impact. A canine rehab therapist can show you how to help strengthen her core muscles so she can do that. (Tripawds Foundation can pay for your first rehab visit too!)

Regarding the hardwood floors. It’s all about traction . Booties are nice but not practical or kind to a dog’s feet for 24/7 use. No-slip rugs are your best friend. Most dogs are smart enough to figure out that they should walk on the carpeted areas. Dr. Buzby’s Toe Grips are also a great option.

About the car…well I can’t top the advice you’ve already gotten there! Excellent suggestions!smiley_clap

I hope this helps. Let us know how Peppa is doing and remember, now that she’s on the mend it’s a good time to start normalizing your life with her again. Try to ease into old routines that she loves, it’s good medicine for you and her!

Virginia




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22 February 2013
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6 October 2022 - 10:53 am
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The attention you are giving to Peppa’s well being is wonderful.   Clearly  she’s a very loved Greyt♥️

Thanks Loki’s Mom for the input on safe care travel.   So sorry to read about your friend’s tragic accident   and the awful experience  with the wire grate.tragedy with the wire grate.  

Another option as far as traction would be yoga mats or non slip scatter rigs for traction .  Also there are “cushioned vinyl  covering a that come in a variety of sizes long runners, etc.  Usually a dog will gravitate  to walking on the covered pathways.  In the home of a teipawd “decor” takes a back seat.  A member equated her floors with all the various colored coverings looked like a clown had thrown up all over the floor🤣😂🤣😂

you can also check into medical high grade manuka honey as well as a cabbage poultice to help heal the aore on the elbow.  Hopefully  the Dog Leggs Jerry mentioned will help.

Try and get some rest.  We k ow getting  to this poi t is exhausting  mentally and physically.   Recovery will soon be in the past and seeing Peppa thrive as a Tripawd is eight around the corner.

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!

Raleigh, NC
Member Since:
29 April 2013
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6 October 2022 - 6:21 pm
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Allen had the same issue with his elbow in June and now I cannot remember what we did for it.  It did resolve as he lost weight and got stronger.  Like you, it was so exhausting going through amputation recovery and this was our second amputation but fourth greyhound with OSA. 

I just have $5 yoga mats from five below all over my house.   They stink fresh from the store.   Best to hose them down outside and air out for a few days on sun.  

I use PawZ when traveling and often just on the hind leg for traction .  I cut a small slit on top so it can breath.  If you use toe grips, more isn’t better.   A PT vet can tell you what toes would work best for peppa.

I completely understand the projectile issue!  Allen is 30 inches at the shoulder and was 90 pounds before we took his leg.  He no longer fits easily in my Hyundai Santa Fe so we bought him a used minivan for $5000.  I can for him and his littermate in a crate now.

If peppa is petite, can you fit a 42 inch crate in your car?  If she is riding in the backseat, a hammock might work.   Crates are always the safest way to travel.  

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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6 October 2022 - 6:59 pm
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Ingrid thank you so much for sharing your Greyt wisdom. It’s so good to hear from you but I’m sad about Leo. Heading over there now …

The Rainbow Bridge


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25 April 2007
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7 November 2022 - 7:06 pm
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mischief said

Personally, I use a MIM Variocage, which is a crash safety rated dog crate due to the amount of travel time I have with my dogs.  For a more budget friendly travel crate, I like the Ruffland Kennel.  If you are doing minimal travel (short trips to the vet, etc), a soft crate is also a decent option.  I strongly advise against a basic wire crate in the car because it can break and become a bunch of spears during an accident.  Unfortunately, I know someone this happened to (neither dog nor driver survived the crash).

  

With permission, I have photos from @mischief to share. Check out these incredible kennels!

The Ruffland Kennel:

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The MIM Variocage

PXL_20221022_202657233-1.jpgImage Enlarger

PXL_20221022_190004686-1.jpgImage Enlarger

PXL_20220414_203658650-1.jpgImage Enlarger

Member Since:
23 August 2022
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12 November 2022 - 8:47 am
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Thanks to Jerry for sending me to this discussion thread!  I laughed so hard about the “decor goes out the window/clown rug barf” description.  In my little trailer, I have about 10 various rugs just to cover the floors.  I shop at Grocery Outlet and am constantly buying their little indoor/outdoor rugs in cute prints to put down over top of runners.  Yoga mats are awesome and yes, they stink but after a day or two of airing out, they are a crucial tool.  I have a yoga mat that I cut in half specifically for visits to the vet.  Those hard floors can be uncomfortable when having to wait.  

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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12 November 2022 - 11:13 am
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You are so welcome! Yes we have an assortment of runners too. I LOVE the idea of cutting a yoga mat in half for travel. Genius!

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