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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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Newly Tripawd our story
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Forum Posts: 3
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5 August 2015 - 8:36 am
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 Hello Everyone our English Bulldog Radar became a tripawd on Monday – I haven’t seen him yet we are going to pick him up tomorrow, I am so nervous to see him the first time, so any tips or advice would be appreciated

Our Story:

Radar had been limping off an on since November, in April took x-rays and he had a torn ACL on May 11th Radar went in for TPLO surgery, things seemed to be going well with recovery until about week 5 that his knee seemed to more swollen then it should be took him to vet and had to have over 90cc’s of fluid drained and an x-ray taken  my worst fear– he broke something – not sure how or when  Doc was willing to go in and fix things — this time we made it 2 weeks before something broke, so surgery 3 to fix again we made it about 2 weeks and things were broken again.  I am stubborn and didn’t want to give up, mostly selfish reasons because I was scared and didn’t know how to handle a 3 legged dog, so they tried to fuse his knee, we left him at the vet until his knee brace came and to get to the 2 week point when I would feel more comfortable bringing him home.  4 days after his 4th surgery while still at the vets office it broke again.   Now our only option was to take his leg they did that on Monday.  I know that is pain is gone and everyone assures me that he will be just fine and will adjust to 3 legs, but I am so nervous – It has been a long 3 months and I feel guilty for all of the pain that I put him through and now I am scared that he won’t adjust.  Does anyone else have any experience with a 3 legged English Bulldog, tips or advice.  Thank You

The Rainbow Bridge



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5 August 2015 - 9:17 am
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Hi Radar and family, welcome. Your future posts won’t need approval so post away.

I’m sorry you’re faced with this situation, it’s not easy. But trust your gut instinct and what people are telling you. Yes, he will get along much better than you ever imagined. It will be a relief after all you’ve been through, to see him so happy to be rid of that bum leg. The first few weeks may have ups and downs but not always. Just make sure he has a great pain management protocol in place and keep a pawsitive attitude, it makes all the difference in the world! Remember, animals absorb their humans’ emotions. What you project, he will feel. The happier and more optimistic you can be, the more he will be too. Crazy, but true!

I don’t have experience with this breed but I can tell you that because of his size, he has a huge advantage on three legs and will get along much better than you think. Stay strong when you pick him up, look in his eyes and tell him how happy you are he’s feeling good again. Watch what a difference it makes!

Be sure to read Jerry’s Required Reading List and our Tripawds e-book, Loving Life On Three Legs , for tips on recovery and life on 3. Stay tuned, more folks will chime in soon. Good luck with the homecoming today!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Norene, TN
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5 August 2015 - 10:18 am
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Howdy and welcome!!!

And believe me, there wasn’t a person in this community who wasn’t terrified with the new normal of a Tripawd! So you’re in great company! And we’ll always be here to listen and support you with anything you decide.

As far as caring for a Tripawd? Piece o’ cake! You will surprised how little you will need to do once he recovers fully from his surgery. Just remember little things like making sure he has good traction on whatever surface he may try to tackle. And don’t let him overdo, he’s going to be using muscles differently than how they were used before. He’ll be sore but will eventually get it all figured out quicker than you can imagine.

So, center yourself, read through all the forums. You’ve got this!

pam

Harmony became a Tripawd on 10/21/14 (MCT). She left us way too soon on 11/1/14.

"We miss you so much; our love, our heart, our Harmony."

- Pam, Ron and Melody, Meesha, Doublestuff and Mariah Carey

Virginia




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5 August 2015 - 11:25 am
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Oh my gosh! You and Radar have been through soooooo much! Yes, amputation certainly sounds scary and it’s something no one wants. However, in Radar’s case this is ABSOLUTELY THE VERY BEST OPTION!! I’m actually a little surprised the vet didn’t advise amputation sooner. Don’t waste anytime on guilt. We are not vets and can only follow their advice. F or goodness sakes, you weren’t “selfish”…you were scared out ofnyour mind like all ofmus were!! NOW is all that matters and NOW you are doing what needs to be done to allow Radar to live a pain free life and live.it to the fullest! Good job mom!!

After everything he’s been through, you will be amazed how happy he is going to be now!! Poor guy has already basically been a tripawd for three.months anyway!! Once recovery from the surgery itself takes place, Radar will really start enjoying life all over again and with no pain!

Recovery should just be limitw to potty breaks and rest, rest, rest! He may not want to eat much at first…pain meds can throw their appetite off a bit.

You may want to check into joint supplements also. Keep a towel handy to use as a sling for the first few days if he needs help. Oh! Let us know when he poops! We love ro celebrate first poop!!

Cannot wait to see pictures of sweet Radar!! I just know he will melt our hearts when we see him…he already has!!

Stay connected!! We are right by your side and want to help in anyway we can!

((((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle 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!

Virginia




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8 August 2015 - 12:11 am
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Update us when you can, okay?

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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10 August 2015 - 7:57 am
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We are home and adjusting the best we can — he pooped on Friday — I was relieved His appetite is awful, but can get a few things down him.  He seems depressed just lays around and doesn’t seem to be able to get comfortable, I am sure he is still in some pain and his incision and new hair itch, and sure that doesn’t help things.

I am struggling watching him – he has fallen down or slipped a couple of times and it breaks my heart and I do my best to hide it and encourage him that he can do this and it won’t be long and he will never know he once had 4 legs. 

I will post some pictures when figure out how

Virginia




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10 August 2015 - 9:22 am
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Thanks for taking the time to update. I know you have your hands full. On top of that, you are emotionally and physically exhausted! Nope, this recovery phase is not a fun time! Radar won’t feel like pawtying for a bit longer.

It’s so hard to watch them try and figure things out, espew when they’re loopy and dizzy from drugs. But it is so important to keep their pain under control while they are healing.

How much does Radar weigh? What pain meds is he taking and how consistently? Most dogs come home with Tramadol, Gabapentin, Rimadyl and an antibiotic. The restlessness and not getting comfortable are usually a sign of pain.

If you have hardwood floors, non slip scatter rugs can help with traction . Also, you may check into “booties” …..pawz…..as they may help also. Most likely though, he’s nust still unsteady due to the meds.

Resting and just going out for potty breaks is all Radar should be doing for now.

And speaking of potty breaks…YAAAAAAAAAY FOR POOPING!! clap We celebrate anything around here!!

Hamburger, macaroni and cheese, steak, ice cream…try it all to get Radar to eat! Stinky liverwurst helps sometimes too….the stinkiest stuff you can find! And then walk away…far away…when je poops!!! winker

It was about three weeks before I FINALLY felt like my Happy Hannah was getting her sparkle back!! Radar is still very early in recovery from MAJOR surgery. Hang in there, okay! You are doing a great job!!!

Update us when you can. Cannot wait to see his pictures! Love his name too!

Sending lots of love!

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle 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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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10 August 2015 - 9:59 am
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Hmmm. If you think he’s in pain, then give your vet a call to discuss adjusting the medications, he probably needs more. Trust your gut instinct. You are doing a great job envisioning the future, keep it up, it will get you through those occasional stumbles.

Otherwise it sounds like a normal recovery. I know it’s scary though. Hang in there.

Oh here’s how to add images to the Forums.

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Posts: 3
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10 August 2015 - 10:23 am
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benny55 said
Thanks for taking the time to update. I know you have your hands full. On top of that, you are emotionally and physically exhausted! Nope, this recovery phase is not a fun time! Radar won’t feel like pawtying for a bit longer.

It’s so hard to watch them try and figure things out, espew when they’re loopy and dizzy from drugs. But it is so important to keep their pain under control while they are healing.

How much does Radar weigh? What pain meds is he taking and how consistently? Most dogs come home with Tramadol, Gabapentin, Rimadyl and an antibiotic. The restlessness and not getting comfortable are usually a sign of pain.

If you have hardwood floors, non slip scatter rugs can help with traction . Also, you may check into “booties” …..pawz…..as they may help also. Most likely though, he’s nust still unsteady due to the meds.

Resting and just going out for potty breaks is all Radar should be doing for now.

And speaking of potty breaks…YAAAAAAAAAY FOR POOPING!! clap We celebrate anything around here!!

Hamburger, macaroni and cheese, steak, ice cream…try it all to get Radar to eat! Stinky liverwurst helps sometimes too….the stinkiest stuff you can find! And then walk away…far away…when je poops!!! winker

It was about three weeks before I FINALLY felt like my Happy Hannah was getting her sparkle back!! Radar is still very early in recovery from MAJOR surgery. Hang in there, okay! You are doing a great job!!!

Update us when you can. Cannot wait to see his pictures! Love his name too!

Sending lots of love!

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle too!

I still can’t figure out how to add a picture – but I changed my Avatar to see his cute face.  Radar came home with Tramadol 100mg every 8 hours cephalexin and carprofen every 12 hours. is he getting enough pain meds?   He weighed in at 55.6 lbs before the surgery and the best weight we could get on him after is 47.6.  He did eat some scrambled eggs last night and a little pizza – I couldn’t get him to eat anything this morning, but I will try again at lunch break and see if I can get him to eat something.  I am off to the store after work for a pot roast, and sweet potatoes to see if I can get him to eat something.  Radar has only been tripawd for a week,  but his eyes look better, no pain in them and that is a huge relief. We only have carpet, but he seems to even slip on that. I have been looking into booties for him and am gonna try to get some ordered today. 

I will keep you all updated, I need to read more on the site but its been a hectic few days getting used to our new normal. Thank your for all of your kind words, advice and support I really appreciate it

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