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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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Forum Posts: 4
Member Since:
12 January 2009
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12 January 2009 - 1:04 pm
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Hi, my name is Elisabeth. Me and my family are blessed with a five year old bird dog mix (he looks like a mix between a Border collie and English setter), called Risky. He's a sensitive and sceptical little guy, but full of love and affection. We all love him dearly.

Sadly, last Wednesday when I was taking Risky out for a walk, he got attacked by an unleashed male dog. It all happened very fast, and even though Risky wasn't unleashed there was no way I could have prevented it from happening. The other dog was a Bull terrier; he bit Risky's right front leg and several painful minutes went before he would let go. I won't go into details how his legged looked but when we got to the vet the first thing she said was that this was the most horrible case of mutilation she had seen.

An amputation seemed obvious, but after examining him they found that the nerves wasn't broken. Together with the vets we decided to try saving his leg. He was given strong antibiotics and pain-killers and the leg was heavy bandaged, completely immobilized.

Today was the day of the operation, and the intention was to try to fix his leg further, but it was so infected that the chances were slim, and would involve a lot of pain, healing time… yeah. In short; an amputation was evidently the best choice for our Risky, and everyone at the vet agreed. They are now finished with the operation, everything went well and tomorrow we'll bring him home.

Naturally, this has been very hard for the whole family. It's all so meaningless and unfair, but now that we'll soon have Risky back with one less leg needing our affection and help more than ever it won't help anyone being sad and think “what if”. I am very happy to have found this forum, and the little I've been reading on here has given hope and encouragement. I'm now eager to see Risky again and make him feel as comfortable and loved as possible.

Edmonton
Forum Posts: 428
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12 January 2009 - 1:35 pm
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I am sorry to hear of the trauma you and Risky had.  It is so unfair in this world that the bad guys (in this case, the bull terrier's owner!) are at large, and the innocent victims suffer.

On a positive note, glad that the surgery went well.  He is such a young pup, he will be up hopping in no time.  Be sure to read Jerry's Top 10 FAQs: 1-5, 6-10 

Wish Risky have a speedy recovery.

Bring a big stick along in the future when you take Risky for a hop!

Hugs!

Forum Posts: 4
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12 January 2009 - 2:51 pm
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Thank you for your kind words. And thanks for the links, they helped a bit!

I don't think I can get perfectly prepared for tomorrow, but I think I have an idea of the feelings that will dominate.

Forum Posts: 729
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12 January 2009 - 9:18 pm
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We are wishing you well and will be thinking about you when you pick up Risky…focus on his eyes and his tail – and give him a big smile and hug and tell him how much you love him – the emotions will be huge.

The first couple weeks are tough…some had a relatively easy recovery (mine was pretty uneventful except for the first two days) and some were pretty difficult. Stay positive, stay strong, be a good pack leader for he will look to you and follow your lead, get some rest for yourself – that is critical – stay connected here and know that we are with you to listen, provide advice if you ask for it, share our experiences and confirm that you did the right thing by your baby…he will amaze you – wait and see.

Love Heather and Zeus

Heather and Spirit Zeus - Our life changing journey…from the earth to the heavens…one day at a time…always together

The Rainbow Bridge



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13 January 2009 - 12:37 am
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Risky owner said:

… it won't help anyone being sad and think “what if”. 


That's the spirit! When others get that way, we tell 'em … Stop shoulding on yourself!

There will always be what ifs, no matter what you do. But dogs don't regret the past or fear the future. They live for today.

Believe it or not, you are fortunate to have not done the amputation. Too many times, we hear from people who put their dogs through multiple painful expensive operations only to end up amputating anyway.

Don't worry. Dogs are born with three legs and a spare! Best wishes for a full speedy recovery.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 4
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12 January 2009
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13 January 2009 - 10:04 am
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Thank you Zeus and jerry so much! I can't tell you how much it means to be able to share these sad news and get so positive and comforting words back. Our relatives and friends have supported us amazingly but it often ends with tears.

Risky is now laying beside me, sleeping, his head resting on my thigh. I can hear him breathing quietly, and he looks so peaceful and content! The reunion was, as you say, all huge emotions. I was so afraid that the wound after his amputated leg would look so horrid that I wouldn't be able to give him the loving welcome that I wanted to. I was waiting with my mum and dad in the reception, we were all ready to go to pieces, when I could hear Risky crying in another room. Then he was there, as happy as ever. He wouldn't stop crying till we got in the car, it was like he had so much to tell us! My mum cried a little. It was hard to see him looking so small and fragile, but I can say for sure that the biggest emotion was joy. I think it's a lot thanks to this forum, that I've been able to prepare myself, and see the glimpses of light. Also, Risky's mental strenght has given me hope. It seems like he has kept his personality, and that's what means the most to me. He's tired, but interested in what we're doing and has even come to me with his little knot in his mouth wanting to play!

I don't want to leave Risky at all today, I want to get used to his new appearance and of course give him as much love as he wants. It looks like he is used to it already! When I watch him it's like he's already forgotten that he used to have four legs.

Thank you again for the warm welcomes. I'll make sure to come back to the forum and tell how Risky is doing. And, here is a picture of our Risky last summer:

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13 January 2009 - 12:59 pm
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Hey beautiful boy – welcome home!!!

This will be an amazing journey for you and your Mom…you can't even imagine the wonderful and meaningful things this special boy will teach you.

Make sure you both get some rest over the next couple weeks ~

Best wishes and please do keep us posted on how you both are doing

Love Heather and Zeus

Heather and Spirit Zeus - Our life changing journey…from the earth to the heavens…one day at a time…always together

Metro Kansas City
Forum Posts: 248
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13 January 2009 - 4:09 pm
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Hi Elisabeth!

I'm so glad you & your vet chose amputation with the infection in his leg. We struggled for almost a year with infection in Calamity's broken leg. Many months of antibiotics and many surgeries & money. All to have it end with an amputation which probably should have been done in the begining.

Risky will be back to a happy dog in no time & doing all of the things he used to do & probably more! Calamity amazes me almost daily with the things she has learned to do on 3 legs! Her remaining front leg is more muscular & buff than it was when she raced and she uses those built muscles to the most!

Here's to a happy healing for Risky!

Janie & Calamity

Janie & Calamity http://www.trix.....gspot.com/

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
Forum Posts: 3754
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13 January 2009 - 9:12 pm
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Awe, Risky is too cute.  Hope he has a speedy and uneventful recovery.  It sounds like he is off to a great start.

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.

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 28741
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13 January 2009 - 9:34 pm
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Your making my people cry … tears of joy! Such bittersweet memories. Be strong for Risky and enjoy your new life together.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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