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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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Stirling's Journey on 3 Legs (Lab, Rear Leg Undifferentiated Sarcoma)
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strling
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26 April 2008 - 6:33 pm
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Let me start by saying thank you to everyone on this forum for the encouragement.

We have been going through the process of progressively worsening lameness to a final decision of amputation for the last month. He has been so tolerate of both the pain and endless vet visits. I on the other hand feel like I have been run over by a truck. Stirling had his right rear leg amputated last Wednesday because of the pain associated with a sarcoma. To date it is still classified as an "undifferentiated" sarcoma. On x-rays it encompassed the tibia, knee cap and distal end of his femur. His lung x-rays were clear. During the diagnosis period he was on Tramadol which made him sleep all day and not want to eat. For a Labrador Retriever not eating is a really bad sign. His surgeon said the bone crumbled in her hands so she understood why he would not put weight on the leg.

I brought him home Thursday night after his surgery (on Wednesday) and he has been off all pain meds and anti-inflamatorys since. I have to say I am amazed at his ability to cope with three legs. His girlfriends at home don’t seem to notice the three legs. He is getting stronger by the day –so much as in 10 minutes yesterday he was able to remove 1/3 of his stitches. We now have ½ stitches and ½ staples (I like to think of it as he wanted something a bit “more shiny” to show off). Now he has an e-collar on and we are slowly taking off all the texture on the walls which just makes 3 legging it harder for him. His eyes and personality have returned along with the constant tail wag. Slowly, I am recovering from what seemed like a downward spiral to loosing my boy.

Today is the first day he has decided he was hungry and can eat lots. His favorite is cookies which I guess he can sustain life on for a bit. I think over the next week he will decide other food is good too. I have tried everything from Alpo to his regular raw diet. It is amazing how fast they train us to cook them bacon and eggs! But, after 10 year of being an obedience and agility show dog he is worth every bit of the pampering.

I have taken several other tripawd owner’s advice and ordered a ruff wear harness . Right now he is wearing his tracking harness that works for keeping his supported on stairs or hills. If all goes well he will be swimming in an endless pool in 14 days once the stitches and staples are out.

The Rainbow Bridge



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26 April 2008 - 6:57 pm
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Welcome Stirling and thanks for joining the discussion!

You’ll be surprised how your boy continues to amaze you. Give some time, but he’ll be swimming again just fine. Scroll though my video playlist to see how I love to swim.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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24 January 2008
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26 April 2008 - 11:52 pm
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Welcome. What a lucky dog already being on a raw diet. I think our dogs know we are nervous and play it up to get extra treats too. His appetite will come back.

Have you tried just a t-shirt to cover the stitches? I can imagine how much more difficult an e-collar is for balancing.

Glad to hear he is getting better and wagging his tail. Hope your recovery goes smoothly and will be swimming in no time!

Tripawds Rule!!!

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30 March 2008
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27 April 2008 - 7:01 pm
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Welcome Stirling to the gang!  You will love it here.  We have lots of fun telling each other about our ups and downs and everyone always have lots of helpful tips whenever needed.  I wish you lots of swimming days!  When I didn’t want to eat (usually my mom gives me raw food) she gave me my favorite thing which is chicken but she added a little extra flavor with some garlic, ginger and parsley.  She also added a bit of cottage cheese and boy I have been eating since.  Another trick she used (and given on this site) is that whenever I don’t want to eat, she patiently sits on the floor and feeds me a little bit at a time and even if I just eat a tiny bit it makes her happy.  Take care….

Kellie

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