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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 here...nervous but hopeful
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Forum Posts: 37
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29 December 2012 - 6:27 am
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Our 13-year old dog Bailey went in for surgery yesterday for what we thought would be a mass removal on the front right leg.  After the surgeons opened the mass, they learned that the bone was compromised by the tumor.  We had to immediately choose to amputate or euthanize.  Obviously, we chose to amputate.  However, Bailey’s rear legs are already achy, so I am nervous about his recovery.  On the upside, I purchased a 4-wheel canine cart so he can take walks after his recovery, which makes me feel better about his potential quality of life in the future.  In any case, thanks for letting me be a part of this forum and giving people a place to discuss these situations.

 

Cassie

Here and Now


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29 December 2012 - 10:34 am
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Welcome and best wishes for Bailey’s speedy recovery! Your future forum posts will not require moderation.

New Haven, CT
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29 December 2012 - 12:27 pm
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Jackson is, like your pup, recovering from amputation for the same reason.  It sounds like he’s in good care and will still enjoy his life with you.  Paw crossed we all do OK!

 

ACL tear in right hind leg 12/5/12 and scheduled ACL repair surgery 12/21/12. Pre-op xrays revealed osteosarcoma. Amputation 12/28/12.  Chemo (carboplatin) started Jan 10, 2013 and ended on April 5, for a total of 5 doses. He handled carbo like a champ!  No side effects.  We started metronomic therapy at his third chemo and have been also doing some holistic treatments.  He's a lively, playful 10 year old huskie-boarder collie and a very proud member of the Winter Warriors!  Our love. Our funny little guy!

New York, NY
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29 December 2012 - 12:50 pm
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Welcome to you and you baby! Sorry you had to find us here but you came to the right place! Sending positive thoughts your way!

Jill is a 9-year-old tuxedo kitty. She was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in June 2012 on her toe in her right hind leg. Her leg was amputated on 12/12/12 and she completed four rounds of chemo (2 of Carbo, 2 of Doxy) in April 2013. "Like" Jill's facebook page: https://www.fac.....tty?ref=hl Proud member of the WINTER WARRIORS!!!! Her blog can be read at http://jillsjou.....ipawds.com. xoxo

Columbia, MO
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29 December 2012 - 2:22 pm
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That’s tough to have to make a decision on the fly like that.  What kind of dog is Bailey?  He looks like a big boy in your avatar.  My 80 lb. Daisy lost her left front leg to arthritis.  She also has arthritis in her hips and spine.  I worried about mobility post amp but she has done surprisingly well.  We don’t get to take our daily 3 mile walks anymore.  We do much shorter walks (and not every day) with lots of rest on the way (usually done at the dog park so she doesn’t have to be on a leash).  Hopping takes much more energy.  I purchased Daisy the DoggyRide stroller so when we wanted to go further she can just ride, although she doesn’t really like it.  She won’t get in on her own (I have to heft all 80 lbs of her into it LOL).

Is Bailey on any type of pain meds for his achy back legs?  Daisy gets Meloxicam or Derramax daily for her arthritis which really helps her.  I also give her a glucosimine/chondrotin supplement for her remaining joints.

Wishing Bailey the best in his recovery.  The next couple of weeks could be rough.  Daisy’s recovery was pretty uneventful except for the funk she went thru during week 3 but others on here have had much tougher recoveries.

Marla and Daisy

 

My Two Tripawds...Biscuit and Spirit Daisy

krun15
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29 December 2012 - 6:54 pm
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Welcome to Tripawds. 

My quad pug Tani has pretty bad arthritis in her back and all four legs, her back legs are the worst.  She takes Dasaquin as a joint supplement, as well as fish oil and a herbal supplement (can’t remember the name).  I also worked really hard to get her weight down, which is tough as they become less active.  She also takes rimadyl which is a NSAID, and we just started her on a more agressive  injection treatment.  I guess I am saying that there are probably some steps you can take to help Bailey more comfortable.

I also have a stroller for her- it belonged to my Tri-pug Maggie.  Maggie loved to ride in it, Tani…not so much.  I usually don’t get half a block before she starts barking to be let out!  She can’t walk nearly as far as my other pug Obie- but she does still want to come with us most of the time.

The first couple weeks after surgery can be tough- don’t get discouraged.  Sometimes it takes the older pups a little longer to recover.  The average is about 2 weeks or so- getting the sutures out and off all the meds makes a big difference.  My little pug Maggie was only 7.5 at the time of her amp, but she really took her time to come around.  It took her about 6 weeks before she would play with me again.  Dang she was stubborn!!

Keep us posted on Bailey’s progress.

Karen and the pugapalooza

 

The Rainbow Bridge



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29 December 2012 - 10:45 pm
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Bailey & Family, welcome to Tripawds. I’m sure your head is spinning from having to make such a fast decision (I’m so sorry!), but rest assured we’ve had many senior pups do great on three legs. Take things slow and one day at a time, and you’ll get to a “new normal” soon enough. Ask as many questions as you’d like, and let us know how we can help make your transition easier.

Be sure to check out our Size and Age Matters Forum topic for inspawrational stories about older Tripawds. When does he come home? Our Required Reading List and ebook Three Legs & a Spare have ideas to prepare your home and your emotional state for his arrival.

Keep us posted. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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30 December 2012 - 7:10 am
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daisygirl said
 What kind of dog is Bailey?  He looks like a big boy in your avatar. 

Is Bailey on any type of pain meds for his achy back legs? 

Bailey is a boxer mix.  He weighs 77 lbs.  He’d been incredibly healthy his whole life until the cancer developed.  He’s been on several supplements for a couple of years now:  Dasuquin for the joints, Life Gold for his cancer (which is a great product), thyroid medication for low thyroid production, & natural pain medication.  The combination was managing his problems quite well. 

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30 December 2012 - 7:16 am
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krun15 said
Welcome to Tripawds. 

The first couple weeks after surgery can be tough- don’t get discouraged.  Sometimes it takes the older pups a little longer to recover.  The average is about 2 weeks or so- getting the sutures out and off all the meds makes a big difference.  My little pug Maggie was only 7.5 at the time of her amp, but she really took her time to come around.  It took her about 6 weeks before she would play with me again.  Dang she was stubborn!!

Keep us posted on Bailey’s progress.

Karen and the pugapalooza

Thanks for the info!  That’s good to know to expect a longer recovery time.  I’ve already had a couple moments where I wondered if we are putting him through more than he can handle, so it’s good to know that they all get down in the dumps for a while.  After about 24 hours home, he’s hobbled around some both with and without our help.  He seems utterly confused about where to pee, since he’s so used to going down our long set of steps to the back yard.  We walk him out front (just 2 steps) and he stands there like he has no idea what to do.  His appetite is good though, and he’s leaving the incision alone. 

 

Thanks for your support.  This is pretty emotional to go through.

 

 

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
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30 December 2012 - 10:16 am
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Sending good thoughts to you and Bailey.  The next two weeks will likely be a challenge as you both learn the new normal.  These guys heal at different rates, and adapt at different rates, so don’t be discouraged if you think it is taking Bailey longer than you think it should.

Keep the communication lines opened with the vet, don’t hesitate to call if you need them.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

San Diego, CA
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30 December 2012 - 3:04 pm
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Sorry you had to find us here. The recovery can be hard to get through… Sometimes harder on us than the pups. 

We’ve seen many older pups do well on three legs here! I hope Bailey will be one of them. 

We’re here if you have questions during the recovery. dont be surprised if he seems depressed and out if it for a while. That’s normal!

hang in there,

Jackie, angel Abby’s mom

Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

New Haven, CT
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30 December 2012 - 3:43 pm
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Jackson is going through the same thing, too.  A hearty appetite is always a wonderful thing!  Best of luck to us as we go down this road, hopping together.  Keep us posted.  He’s in good care, no doubt!

 

ACL tear in right hind leg 12/5/12 and scheduled ACL repair surgery 12/21/12. Pre-op xrays revealed osteosarcoma. Amputation 12/28/12.  Chemo (carboplatin) started Jan 10, 2013 and ended on April 5, for a total of 5 doses. He handled carbo like a champ!  No side effects.  We started metronomic therapy at his third chemo and have been also doing some holistic treatments.  He's a lively, playful 10 year old huskie-boarder collie and a very proud member of the Winter Warriors!  Our love. Our funny little guy!

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30 December 2012 - 5:19 pm
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fetchon3 said
Jackson is going through the same thing, too.  A hearty appetite is always a wonderful thing!  Best of luck to us as we go down this road, hopping together.  Keep us posted.  He’s in good care, no doubt!

 

Best of luck to Jackson as well! 

 

The Rainbow Bridge



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30 December 2012 - 7:46 pm
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Bailey sounds like he’s doing pretty good! Yay!

As far as peeing in a new spot…oh yeah, that can be confusing. Do you have a key word you can use to let him know it’s OK to pee there?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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31 December 2012 - 7:41 am
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jerry said
Bailey sounds like he’s doing pretty good! Yay!

As far as peeing in a new spot…oh yeah, that can be confusing. Do you have a key word you can use to let him know it’s OK to pee there?

Well, I keep saying to him, “Pee!”  but that doesn’t seem to be doing the trick. big-grin  I actually took him down the steps to the back yard this morning after 2 attempts at taking him to the front yard.  He finally peed out there (after 24 hours).  Looks like he’s being stubborn about his place of preference.  We’ll get it figured out.

 

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