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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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Shelby 3 Leggie - almost 11, loosing balance but wants to live! any advice?
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Forum Posts: 5
Member Since:
16 February 2009
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16 February 2009 - 12:19 pm
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Hello – Shelby and I have been together for almost 11 years.  At end of March he will be 11.  At 3 yrs old he had Cancer in his left front leg. Undifferentiated Spindle Sarcoma.  The leg was taken to save my buddy.  He is now reaching the end.  I am so sad and heartbroken watching my buddy have a harder time walking, keeping his balance and his energy level is going down. I see it in his eyes, he wants to run and live!  I'm laid off right now so I get to spend great time with my buddy.  Anyone know of supplements that Really work to help my buddy?  I checked out Eddies Wheels and other Karts… any opinion on those or even better designs?  I think there could be a better designed kart for a front leg missing… any plans anyone can send me would be a great.  A friend of mine is starting to make one out of PVC with 2 wheels. I don't see how we can steady the 2 wheels and keep his mobility.  I want something he can rest his chest in… like a neoprene vest he can rest and it can flex with his chest going up and down as he runs. == Or some kind or a peg leg or kickstand that comes off his front leg that helps support him?  There just has to be a better way that what the options out there are offering. Anyway, I will do anything for my buddy. I bought the RuffWear Harness. I love the idea of the handle on top.  I can help him out… pick him up like luggage and take some weight off that leg for him. He's on a downward slide with his legs weakening.  Especially I noticed his back leg that is behind the missing leg… he is lifting that up and not using it much.  Resulting in him leaning on his 2 leg side… but then loosing his balance and almost falling on his heavier 2 leg side.  It's really freaking me out.  Any advice or kind words would really help me from this 3 legged community. 

With warm hearted kindness to all here on tripawds.com, Shelby and Rachelle

Shelby & Mommy, Rachelle

Northern CA
Forum Posts: 314
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16 February 2009 - 12:33 pm
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Rachelle,

I am so sorry to hear about Shelby- I know how difficult it is. You asked about supplements- I don't know just how bad Shelby's balance is , and I am not a vet so you may want to check with one for an expert opinion. A couple of years ago we had a lab mix ( Zima) who was battling cushings disease. She was about 11 when this started- I put her on the Springtime Inc. Fresh factors/Joint health supplements and she really perked up with those. She made it about another year with a great quality of life until she finally passed on. They have testimonials on their website so you can check them out. They are also very friendly folks at Springtime Inc and very helpful on the phone. A friend of mine recently put her lab mix on them instead of doing arthritis meds and she said Tess seems much better. Every dog is different so I don't want to make any promises, but they did work for us and our old girl.

Wish you luck- I know how hard it is.

Seanne and Wrigley.

Seanne and Angel Wrigley

Forum Posts: 5
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16 February 2009 - 1:31 pm
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Thanks so much.  I will check out Springtime Inc.  I have taken him to the vet and they want to put him on pills that when I look them up…. the side effects are bad. I feel that does more harm.  Plus, he was drooling clear drool and seems kinda drunk on the anti-inflam and pain pills. So I took him off. I think he will do better on supplements.  Thanks for the response and kind words. – Rachelle

Shelby & Mommy, Rachelle


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16 February 2009 - 1:31 pm
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What does your vet say?  Is your dog on any meds right now?  He might really benefit from an NSAID like Metacam. It also sounds like he might have partially torn his ACL on the sore back leg which could explain his loss of balance.  Unfortunately a cart doesn't work that well for a dog missing a front leg but maybe your friend can help you with that.  If he hasn't been to the vet in a while then I would start there.

Pam and Tazzie

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16 February 2009
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16 February 2009 - 2:03 pm
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Pam and Tazzie – He could have torn it!  he was playing with a dog last week and slipped and how long does it take for a torn acl take to heal? the vet pulled and felt him out and he showed no signs of pain.  but i DO think he strained or pulled something.  i think he may be like a human… once torn it just never heals properly and to full strength.  i am so upset that i brought him over to play with a bigger puppy dog that was bouncing all around and bumped into my dog and he fell.  hurts deep in my tummy to think that this may have to do with his balance.  he had been loosing his strenght this past month and now even more. eddies wheels wants $600 for my dogs size. i was at my friends yesteday with a prototype.  yep, the front wheel carts are hard and just don't seem to work right. he's working on coming up with some new ideas. thanks so much for your kind words.  he's resting a lot.  do you think the acl if torn will heal???

Shelby & Mommy, Rachelle

Here and Now


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16 February 2009 - 3:28 pm
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Thanks for joining the discussion! I think Doggon' Wheels may have what your looking for. If you do get – or make – a cart, we'd love to hear your review and see some pictures.

Glad you find the harness helpful. Bless you for taking such good care fo your pup.

Forum Posts: 104
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16 February 2009 - 5:25 pm
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Hi Rachelle, 

Maybe you could try a knee brace for her back leg?

I've been thinking of getting one for my Marley who just had her left hind leg amputated and might have an issue with the knee on her remaining back leg. I couldn't find any pricing info on the site and I got stumped by all the measurements they're asking for – there is a number to contact, but I haven't had a chance to call yet…

We'll be thinking good thoughts for Shelby! 

Holly and Marley 

The Rainbow Bridge



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16 February 2009 - 8:04 pm
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Rachelle, here is some feedback about carts that someone just shared with us in the Tripawds Guestbook. Hope this helps:

“My dog, Ayrton ruptured his disc and became paralyzed 4 years ago. We purchased a cart for him so that he could walk. His front legs were very strong, so he was able to take long walks on trails through the woods around our house everyday. His face was smiling and his eyes were very bright with joy when we would go out. Because of his other illness, he passed away two years ago;, however, my husband and I had a wonderful two years with Ayrton. There were some people who criticized us because they think we were cruel. However, I know animals can be happy even they are handicapped. It was clear to everyone who spent time with us that Ayrton really enjoyed his last years. “

 – Romi

 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 729
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16 February 2009 - 10:05 pm
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Hi there Rachelle and Shelby – I have no idea if this would work or even help Shelby, but after our chemo treatment, Zeus had 2 treatments of pamidrinite to strengthen his remaining legs (it's a bone strengthening treatment)…maybe those would help? They were 2 hour IV treatments, each a month apart. See what your Vet says about this…

We are thinking of you both and wishing you well…this is the difficult part caring for them as they slow down. We're saying lots of prayers for you, knowing that Shelby is in the best hands possible.

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

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16 February 2009 - 10:15 pm
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Heather and Zues – Thanks. I spoke with my regular vet today, she called to check on him. She recommended a specialist in Ortho and Older Dogs with special needs that is about :30minutes away.  I am going to make an appoint and also ask about this Pamidrinite Treatment to stengthen his legs. That sounds really good.  Thanks so much for the advice! I am glad it helped your buddy! 

Shelby & Mommy, Rachelle

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17 February 2009 - 9:58 am
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You are so welcome…please let us know how it turns out. We will be thinking of you and sending healing thoughts.

Lots of 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

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17 February 2009 - 8:19 pm
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Have you tried Dog Gone Pain? it's all natural…  it has also been written about in Whole Dog Journal. Otherwise a NSAID would help … I know all about side effects, maybe a low dose? I have also seen a kind of support that lifts their rear( on handicap pet)  or use the old towel under the tummy/chest  trick as a support (same concept) Would aid in providing some stability and possibly prevent a fall.

DGP free sample & info pack link  http://www.dogg…..sample.asp

Buster

Kim & Angel Buster

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
–Anatole France

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