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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Sadies story
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1
9 February 2012 - 10:53 am
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Sadie is a 5yr old English Springer Spaniel. She has a mild temperament and super sweet demeanor. She loves to meet new friends, very passive and submissive to other dogs. I go back and forth to whether she thinks she is human or she thinks she is a 6lb toy poodle!smile She gravitates toward smaller dogs, playing and romping around. She goes pheasant hunting once a year (out of state) with David (my husband). When she finishes the trip having retrieved one bird, we all celebrate! She is very much a house dog. wink My son would ride her around when he was smaller. Her hunting skills are not our focus, she does it all on instinct and a little prompting from David. She knows where the treats are and one is never enough. She has been through a couple of injuries, both accidental...stepped on object sticking out of the snow, took on a barb wire fence on a hunting trip one year, but nothing that kept her down for long.

We use an invisible fence in our residential yard, which is quite large. She has been raised to be free to run and explore within those limits. Never really used the "shock" part of the fence (that always bothered me), but responded just to the beep from collar. Eventually, the limits became basically memorized and she wouldn't even approach the idea of crossing them even if we were playing outside with her without the collar. When she more recently became braver and visited the neighboring yard, we put the collar back on. She was terrified. Trembling and becoming completely paralyzed. It wasn't even turned on, but she would NOT move, much less go outside. We couldn't figure it out. And after a few attempts, with the same result, figured that when spring came, we would have to replace the fence or figure out what the issue was. In the meantime, we continued to let her out freely, because she rarely attempted to venture further than the limits she knew so well. BUT...she did attempt a few times and our neighbor would let us know she had been over for a visit. This was crossing yards, not the street. The street was not in the forefront of our minds, because she was in and out often, never really wanting to be away from us for too long, she stopped at the limits when running around and even when her favorite UPS man drove by. Ours is a residential street with the main traffic being a few people living in the area coming and going. Not a street to any main destination.

On Feb 2nd, Sadie and I were hanging in the backyard and I went in to get something. Was coming back to the door withing a 5minute period. I heard her yelping and when I opened the door there was blood everywhere. Sadies front left arm was "degloved" with everything pulled back but her bones. I thought she had found a trap or something (though I would hope noone has those kind of traps around their houses and yards!). Getting hit by a car just wasn't an option to me...there wasn't enough time, I didn't hear anything-a truck or barking or anything. Later, we searched and searched for answers in the yard, neighbors, culd-e-sac, etc. We found evidence in the middle of the street in the front of our house. Her fur and "stuff".  I rushed Sadie to the vet, not far from our house, and we were faced with the decision of amputation or euthanasia. I was home alone. I had 5min to call my husband while the vet called a special "orthopedic" surgeon. Sadie had lost a lot of blood and they were trying to control shock. Surgery couldn't wait.

So, here we are. We have been dealing with alot of self blame and guilt, knowing it was our  responsibilty to keep her safe and we didn't. We took an ignorant chance, never ever dreaming of anything like this. This site has helped me immensly with this part of the ordeal and I don't want to dwell on all the indescribable feelings my husband and I have. We must let that go and move forward. We are trying.

Currently, Sadie is one week post-op tonight. She is fighting a serious infection and it has been a roller coaster of decisions, tears, anxiety, regret, fear, hope, compassion, etc. I will not borrow trouble. Day by day we will do all we can. We will do right by her, starting here and now.

Edmond, Oklahoma
Forum Posts: 333
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7 January 2011
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2
9 February 2012 - 11:24 am
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Sadie's story just broke my heart, I sure hope she is able to fight off that infection and make a full recovery.  I'm assuming she is still at the vets? She sounds like a lovely lady. I want you to know that we have ALL done what you did; we've all left our dogs (or our human kids) alone outside for a few minutes, either accidentally or on purpose.  You were just completely and utterly unlucky.  I truly hope you are able to move forward and focus on Sadie's recovery.  You can't change the past. You sound like wonderful pawrents and Sadie is lucky to have you to nurse her back to health.  Sending hugs your way.

Scout: January 31, 2002 to November 7, 2011

Scout's diagnosis was "poorly differentiated sarcoma"; amputation 1/11/2011.  Scout enjoyed 9 fantastic years on 4 legs and 9 glorious months on 3 legs.  If love alone could have saved you…

knoxville, tn
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12 February 2010
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9 February 2012 - 11:28 am
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bless your hearts.  yes, let the past go and move forward.  you can only start from where you're at, and right now seems your hands are full with the infection and such.  sadie sounds like a wonderful little girl with alot of heart.  sending our best 'ET juju' hoping she gets ahead of the infection and turns the corner to recovery soon.

 

charon & spirit gayle

Life is good, so very, very good!!! Gayle enjoyed each and every moment of each and every wonderful day (naps included).  She left this world December 12, 2011 – off on a new adventure.

Love Never Ends

http://etgayle

New Zealand
Forum Posts: 315
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6 November 2011
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4
9 February 2012 - 12:09 pm
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Do not let the guilt eat you up or it will consume you. We have all made mistakes and suffered for them. Forget what happened and feel blessed that Sadie is still with you.

It sounds like it has been a hideous time for you both and Sadie. I hope the infection clears soon and the rest of her recovery is smooth.

It shows in your post that you love your little girl with all your heart, she will not blame you so try to let go of the guilt and concentrate on her during this.

Best of luck, keep us posted with how she is going.

Sarah, Kayla and Sarge.

San Diego, CA
Forum Posts: 2503
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29 October 2010
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5
9 February 2012 - 1:21 pm
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I'm so sorry to hear of Sadie's accident. These things do happen so try to not beat yourself up - Sadie sure won't.

I hope her infection can be dealt with quickly so she can get on her full road to recovery.

Once she is healed up and happily hopping around, she'll begin to amaze you. It is an awesome thing to be a tripawd pawrent, as you will soon find out.

Hang in there and keep us posted,

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!

Forum Posts: 166
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18 January 2012
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6
9 February 2012 - 1:34 pm
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How heartbroken and frightened you must be!   Try to concentrate on the day your beautiful girl is home with you, snuggling and recovering.  Get the tears and fears out so you can give her lots of smiles and love when she's home.  One thing I've noticed about Baby - she lives in the present moment... no blame, no regrets, just hmmmm time to eat? pee? poop? get scratched? sleep?... the simple day by day things.

You're obviously wonderful, caring pawrents.  Best of luck getting through this.

Judy and Baby

Peoria, IL
Forum Posts: 297
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7 November 2010
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7
9 February 2012 - 4:19 pm
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Your story shows how much you love Sadie, and that is the only thing that is important to her. She will not blame you, and you should not let guilt weigh you down. You didn't mean for her to get hurt. I don't feel so kindly toward the jerk that hit her and drove away. He is the one who should feel guilty.

Once the infection clears up, you will be astounded by how little it changes her life. She will be a perfectly normal dog — just a three-legged one. She will still run (my Sammy could outrun his four-legged brother), play, swim and and do practically everything else she could do before. Watching her learn to do everyday activities in a new way is both awe-inspiring and entertaining. I couldn't believe Sammy found a way to dig in the sand with only one front leg. But, he did, and he looked like a big, happy, golden steam shovel!

So give yourself a break. Sadie will soon be the same sweet dog you describe so lovingly. Good luck with everything. You may not feel like it now, but Sadie is safe in your arms.

Sending courage and hope your way,

Beth and Spirit Smilin' Sammy

Smilin' Sammy, March 16, 2004 – Dec. 5, 2011
Golden retriever, diagnosed with osteosarcoma in September 2010 — right front leg amputated November 2010. He fought valiantly to stay with us; but a second diagnosis of osteosarcoma, this time in his left front leg, was more than our golden warrior could overcome. He loved his pack — and everyone else he met.

We loved him even more.
Thanks for the pennies, Sammy. They helped.

8
9 February 2012 - 5:40 pm
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Oh my goodness!! That sounds just awful! I am sooo sorry that happened to Sadie!  cry  I know that you are feeling guilty but you can't change what happened. All you can do is move forward. You will have to dig deep but it will be worth it. This is truly a heartbreaking story. I will pray for you and Sadie. God Bless you. This is not your fault. We can't control everything every minute. Try to forgive yourself and focus soley on getting Sadie through this. I know you can. Praying that her infection will be cleared up and she will heal quickly. You poor dear. May the Lord give you the strength to get through this.

New Jersey
Forum Posts: 270
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4 June 2011
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9
9 February 2012 - 7:37 pm
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Oh, that's a sad story. But please don't feel guilty...we can't be with them every moment. Instead, focus on how quickly you reacted when you found her. I'm sure you saved her life by fearlessly and instinctively getting the help she needed.

All paws crossed at our house that Sadie's infection clears up and that she's back to normal very soon.

10
10 February 2012 - 7:56 am
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You have all been so encouraging and kindly honest. Thank you! Sadie had her drain removed yesterday. Back at day pt today for monitoring as to whether she needs it back over the weekend. I hope not. I feel she is more comfortable with it out. As I write this, I'm thinking I should post this under the post op infection forum to be consistent. yell technology!!

11
13 February 2012 - 9:39 am
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Dropped Sadie off at vet this morning. Surgery at 230 today for the infected incision. Dead tissue and junk to be debrided. Vet doesn't know how extensive it is until he is in. Could be bad, could be fixable. I worry about NF (flesh eating bacteria). The research I have read makes it sound like this is a real possibilty. Its hard to try to find answers when there aren't any yet. Hard to wait...but even now, today, time goes too fast. Sadie is my friend, and I don't want her to be scared or hurt anymore. I will update with news.

San Diego, CA
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29 October 2010
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12
13 February 2012 - 10:37 am
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Hoping for good news. Fingers and paws crossed here.

Hang in there, Sadie!
Jackie, Angel Abby & MBBunny Rita'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!

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 30832
Member Since:
25 April 2007
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13
13 February 2012 - 11:06 am
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We're thinking of you both today, keep us posted OK?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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14
13 February 2012 - 12:31 pm
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Hoping for the best for Sadie and you today.

 

Karen and the pugapalooza

knoxville, tn
Forum Posts: 1705
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12 February 2010
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15
13 February 2012 - 1:42 pm
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sending our best 'ET juju' and keeping you in our thoughts today.  waiting can be heart wrenching, know that we are all here for you!

 

charon  & spirit gayle

Life is good, so very, very good!!! Gayle enjoyed each and every moment of each and every wonderful day (naps included).  She left this world December 12, 2011 – off on a new adventure.

Love Never Ends

http://etgayle

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