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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 tripawd to be
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Forum Posts: 15
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23 February 2019
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23 February 2019 - 5:28 pm
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Good evening everyone.

I am new here and hoping we are making the correct choice. I took my dog to the vet on Thursday to see if she had completely ruptured her back cruciate ligament.  The x Ray shows that yes it is ruptured, but also the one at the joint has a huge bone cancer. The vet said the best option is to amputate. Without amputating he gives her minimum 6 weeks, max 3 months.  Right now it is apparently only in her leg. So we are amputating it, unless of course by next week it has moved a lot. Then I don’t want to think about the next option. She is a bigger dog 70 pounds, and very active with no disease in any other joints. So here go… hopefully making the right decision.

Here and Now


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23 February 2019 - 6:06 pm
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Welcome to the club nopawdy ever wants to join! What is your dog’s name?

70 pounds is not that large, if she is otherwise fit and trim, she will likely do well. The vast majority of dogs recover quickly and adapt well to life on three legs. It’s us people that need the help! That’s why we say the best advice is to Be More Dog , and that’s not just some silly saying.

While you wait for comments from others, use the Advanced Search above to refine your forum search results with specific phrases, and you’re sure to find lots of helpful feedback. You can also search all blogs here . Or, consider downloading the Tripawds e-books for fast answers to common concerns and feel free to call the toll-free Tripawds Helpline anytime!

Please keep us posted. Your future forum posts will not require moderation. Meanwhile, start here for help finding all the helpful Tripawds resources and assistance programs. 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: 15
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23 February 2019 - 6:37 pm
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Thanks! My dogs name is DJ. She is a rescue and the closest we can say to knowing what breed she would be is, German wire haired pointer/ lab…. maybe. Vet says maybe some bouvier. Who knows. She is around 7years old. She has huge feet, a huge chest and when lying on the bed is almost 6 feet long😳. I have had other pets, ones that I have raised from 6 weeks old. But DJ is special so when she started loosing weight as well as the ligament problem I decided the vet was needed.  This hit me way harder than I ever thought a dog illness would hit me,  so.. we cut the leg off and pray for the best.   Thanks for the welcome. I look forward to reading the blogs and finding out about everyone else’s pets.

Virginia




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23 February 2019 - 10:07 pm
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You have come to the right place for support, information and understanding  from oeopl6 who know exactly  all the emotions you are experiencing!

You’ve gotten great advice and links from Admin. And no, 70 lbs is not too large at all as far as handling  there legs.  My Happy Hannah was 125 lbs.  Many Great Danes do just fine on three!  So no worries about DJ’s size, okay?

Have you had her evaluated by an Orthipedic Surgeon?  Will he be staying  one night in a 24/7 staffed clinic?  Did her regular Vet check out any underlying  cause for the weight loss?  

And as far as ‘statistics”, we don’t  pay too much attention  to those around here.  K e pf mu favorite stories is Stubborn Pug Maggie.  She was given a grim “statistic” of about six months.  She didn’t listen.   She had an addional FOUR YEARS bonus time!!  Your DJ doesn’t have a timeframe  stamped anywhere on her vutt.  She doesn’t  care about  number of days on a calendar.   She does care avout being  pain free and being spoiled  and getting  lots of extra treats!!!   DJ lives in the NOW.  No worriers  avout rhe tomorrows.  Just continue  to make every mome7 the best moment  ecer andnyou will be victorious!

YOU ARE NOT ALONE, SO STAY CO9, OKAY?  Let us know any questions you may have.  Recovery  is no picnic fot a couple of weeks, but we are here to help you through  it.  And we are here to celebrate  as DJ’s sparkle comes back bigger and brighter  than ever!!

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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23 February 2019 - 11:31 pm
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Thank you again. As for the ‘stats’. I don’t put a lot of store in them either. My DJ doesn’t realize she’s sick, just that she hurts. I figure that if she knew how sick she was she would likely pass. But she doesn’t, so she still acts like the crazy puppy! . As to answer your questions. The weight loss was from the pain. She’s been on pain killers for 2 days now and I am no longer bribing her with cheese to eat😊.   I live in a smaller town. We have 3 vets in oir town. I actually came to this one for a second opinion on the ruptured ligament. He confirmed it and to fix quoted me 1/2 the price of the original vet. Then gave me the stats on his orthopaedic surgeon, the success and failure rate etc. Then of course he found the cancer, and showed us the xrays.    I don’t think they are 24 hr staffed. I don’t know what they do when they have an animal overnight though. I Will ask on Monday.    I have been researching ( my coping skill) how to help DJ with healing and it looks like some kind of sling or harness is the way to go.    

Thanks again for the warm welcome [Image Can Not Be Found]

The Rainbow Bridge



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24 February 2019 - 2:06 pm
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DJ and Grace, we are so glad you found us. It sounds like you are a wonderful advocate for her Grace, good job! 

When it comes to vets who don’t have overnight care, there are two options: you take the dog to a 24/hour ER clinic (transport there and back to the regular vet in the AM), or you take her home. Either way she is much better off than being left alone in a clinic, which some old school vets will still do (and which can be very dangerous to the animal who’s had the major surgery like this, so we don’t recommend it).

If you check out Jerry’s Required Reading List , you’ll find lots of guidance as far as harnesses and such. And you can ask us anything, we are here to help. 

Oh and here’s a post about adding images to the Forums. If we can assist with that, just bark!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 15
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1 March 2019 - 4:36 pm
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Well…l the surgery is set for Tuesday. Hopefully this cancers only in her leg bone.  My vet has been fantastic,  my son had a bone cancer scare a few years ago and his dr didn’t ha e half the beside manner this vet has. I will let you know how it all goes on Tuesday.

The Rainbow Bridge



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1 March 2019 - 8:33 pm
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Ok well please let us know how we can help. 

I hope your son is OK now! And yeah I’ve found myself wishing many times that my own doctors were half as awesome as the vets we’ve worked with!

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Virginia




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1 March 2019 - 9:51 pm
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Okay, we’ll all be sending  extra pawsitive energy to DJ on Tuesday.❤

And yes, so glad your son is 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!

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12 March 2019 - 1:21 pm
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Well after delays, appointments, a short trip to hockey and the arrival of another dog we have surgery today. Wish us luck. On to the next chapter with our Tripawd.

Virginia




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12 March 2019 - 3:09 pm
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Let us know how things are going when you have a chance to catch your breath.  Quite a whirlwind of a day!

Try and get some rest yourself, okay?  DJ will be in good hands at the Cljnic, and will be high as a kite on pain meds😎

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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13 March 2019 - 12:26 pm
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It seems like the surgery went well. They said she was doing exceptionally well. Then of course two hours before I am supposed to pick her up they said she has torn her done off and ripped her stitches out. Apparently she bled a lot so they will keep her in for another night to make sure she clots  properly. I just phoned them and asked if they had it covered. In the past I have had to cover any wound or open sore because she licks and chews at them continuously. I am thinking that when she gets home I will put a kids t shirt on her or something so she can’t get at it if she manages to get that cone off again.     Does anyone have any ideas on what I could use? 

The Rainbow Bridge



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13 March 2019 - 1:06 pm
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Yay for putting surgery behind you! That’s wonderful. Sorry about the cone incident though. Yikes! Glad to hear the vet is keeping her just in case, that’s terrific although I’m sure you’re anxious to have her home again.

Putting t-shirts on, along with the cone, can definitely help as long as they are used together. You may also want to check into a surgery recovery suit.

In the meantime you may want to ask your vet two things:

1) What will her pain mediation at home look like? Bothering an incision can sometimes be a sign that the patient hasn’t been given enough pain medication. A combination of meds like a nerve blocker, opioid and anti-inflammatory is often what we see works best to keep a patient feeling good.

2) Ask if a sedative is appropriate. Many dogs who are known for being anxious during recovery, or doing things like destroying their stitches, often need to be mildly sedated during recovery. If your dog has a reputation for bothering incisions,, it may do you some good to have a prescription on hand just in case. Hopefully you won’t need it.

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Virginia




Forum Posts: 17344
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22 February 2013
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13 March 2019 - 1:50 pm
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DDDDDJJJJJJJ!!  NAUGHTY, NAUGHTY GIRL!!!   YIKES! Glad everything is under control now though!  This is an overnight  staffed clinic, right?   I hope they assign her someone to watch her as  consistently as possible!

As Jerry said, pain management   is very important.  Most dogs here come home with Gabapentin,  Tramadol, Rimadyl and an antibiotic.  

Update when you can…..and use this as an opportunity  to get more rest!

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!

Forum Posts: 15
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23 February 2019
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13 March 2019 - 7:25 pm
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Ohh yes, she is persistent that’s for sure. I took my own cone that Velcro’s up but they used their own cone on her. It must not have been  done up tight enough. So she took it off, and just took those pesky stitches out herself. I hope they stapled her shut this t8me. I told them to cover it too, as well as put my cone on her. She chews her feet and skin all the time, she is an itchy dog. The way I stop it is to cover the sore up with tape and socks.

And now we have this second dog who doesn’t know how to dog… she was a show dog so doesn’t sit, has never sat and doesn’t know how to. I think she has been hit so she cowers when I try to teach her most things… poor little dog. So now I will have one I need to teach ‘dog’ and the other I have to guide into Tripawd life…. it will be an interesting next few weeks.

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