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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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Be More DogWhat does it mean to Be More Dog?

Find out in Be More Dog: Learning to Live in the Now by Tripawds founders Rene and Jim. Learn life lessons learned from their Chief Fun Officer Jerry G. Dawg! Get the book and find fun gifts in the Be More Dog Bookstore.

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Update on Arktik
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New York, NY
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26 August 2020 - 7:18 pm
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Hi Patricia!  What a fantastic and thoroughly enjoyable update!  Your vacation at the beach sounds amazing and the video of Arktik enjoying the water was too cute!  I'm so glad that you have had such a wonderful summer.  Griffin and Arktik continue to be twins - this time with being picky about food.  Hopefully they both get over this phase soon!  sp_hearticon2sp_hearticon2 Stacy

Griffin lived an amazing life for 11 years! Diagnosed with osteosarcoma on March 17, 2020, Griffin's right forelimb was amputated on April 2, 2020. Ten days later he was running and playing fetch! Lung metastasis discovered in July 2020 did not slow down Griffin and he lived joyfully for the next 7 months, passing peacefully at home on February 11, 2021. https://griffin.tripawds.com

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26 August 2020 - 7:40 pm
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Hi Stacy,

Yes our picky eaters twins like to keep their moms stressed out haha. Hopefully everything will be back to 'normal' soon for both of us. Arktik ate decently well tonight (first time in a week that I'm happy with what he ate!) 

Keep me updated on Griffin 😉

Patricia

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27 August 2020 - 9:41 am
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Such a. great vacay!  Clearly Artik had a great time frolic in the beautiful  surf, but not getting too close....love it!

Shhhh......don't  tell the other doggies....bitArtikwas the most hands doggy in the park!  

Picture of him with the hat over his face to protect him from su  burn.so cute

Thanks for sharing this fun time with us We always love seeing the videos and photos of this handsome boy.

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie 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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27 August 2020 - 2:37 pm
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This was well worth the wait! What a great vacation spot you picked out! What is the town and dog beach called? It seems like an amazing place to have a Tripawds gathering some day.

He look soooo healthy and hoppy. Based on what you described about his appetite, my guess is the food pickiness is just that 1) it's warm and his appetite is low, and 2) he wants the good stuff! 

I love the dog park videos. I always forget to ask, but what do you think the dogs are thinking when they meet Arktik? I see a bunch of dogs acting like any other bunch of dogs at the park, but do you suspect that they know he's got one less leg? I'd love to know your thoughts so I can share them in a future blog post about Tripawds going back to the dog park.

Give that boy a big smooch from us. We are thrilled that summer has been going so well! He's truly a special, one-of-a-kind Husky!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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28 August 2020 - 11:18 am
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Hi Jerry 

The place we went for our little beach vacation is in Ontario, Can. So the info might not be useful for all but maybe for some of our Tripawds friends 🙂  It is actually on Lake Ontario, so it is so big that it actually look like the ocean. I even brought my surfboard as there are enough waves. There are few places that are pet friendly so it is very cool! We went to Sandbanks Provincial Parks and Northbeach Provincial Park (they are about 30 min from one another). In the park itself people can book camping spots but that was all reserved this summer so we booked a pet friendly hotel room in the neighbour town of Belleville (which has nothing interesting except the really nice dog park haha). It was about 30 min from the beach so super easy to access. 

Here's the blog of a guy who gives great information on these pet friendly areas: 

http://blog.bar.....ario-dogs/

Sandbanks has 2 pet friendly beach sections on their main beaches and Northbeach has 1 pet friendly zone in a little bay, no waves but super cute beach, nice sand, easy to swim, no wind, very nice! I just really loved. our experience. 

Anyway, anybody who would have questions could message me no problem:) It would be so cool to meet up with other tripawds eventually 🙂 

For the dog parks, it is an interesting question. My feeling is that dogs (and animals in general) do not care and do not even pay attention to it. It is all about the energy the dog is showing. So I believe that they are acting with Arktik the same way they would have when he had 4 legs. They don't pity each others like human do when they see our tripawds. Dogs treat Tripawds the same way they would with any other dogs. I think if a new tripawds would have change in its personality a lot and had lost confidence a lot, maybe that would show for example at the dog park, not because of the missing leg but rather because the shift in its personality. Everyday I am still so impressed by how resilient our animals are! They are so great sp_hearticon2

Arktik is howling 'Hi' to you and Sally!

Virginia




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28 August 2020 - 11:40 am
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Thanks for sharing  all the info on  the dog parks, hotel, etc.  

I think your insight as to how the dogs interact is spot on.  Theireenergy is their guide.  Same is true about how they see the hoomans.  could care less what we look like....just care about a good  energy. 

So proud of Artik! Keep rockin'handsome.........amd hold out for steak and cheeseburgers with a scoop of oce cream!

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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28 August 2020 - 12:16 pm
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Oooh thanks for the info about Sandbanks, Northbeach and Belleville! Wish we had known about them when we traveled to your lovely province with Jerry.

CAN_lkontario02.jpgImage Enlarger

You're right, Lake Ontario is crazy big! It was such a sight to see. And who knows, maybe some day we can get back up there and have a cross-country party with our Tripawds family! This is useful info to know about.

As for the dog park interactions, thank you for that bit of insight, it makes total sense that it's all about a dog's energy (and the person's too!) and not about the missing leg. I'd like to share that in a blog post if that's alright by you. I think a lot of members wonder about how their new Tripawd dog will do in doggie society.

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




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28 August 2020 - 2:03 pm
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What a great vacation!  And I'm glad Arktik continues to do so well.

As far as the interactions with other dogs- I think it's all about how the dogs 'read' each other. A dog who is weak or vulnerable can be bullied or attacked by other dogs- it's an instinct.  One of the reasons I don't take Elly to dog parks is not that she is weak but because she tends to run when she gets nervous which leads to being chased- another instinct.

Quad-Pug Tani had epilepsy caused by a brain injury.  I could never kennel or board her because the people who ran the facilities wouldn't take a dog that had seizures for fear that if she had one around other dogs they might attack her- the weak and vulnerable instinct again.

And- Tani attacked Maggie when they were re-introduced after Maggie's amp.  There had always been some tiffs but this was full on aggression on Tani's part.  I believe that she sensed Maggie was weak and went after her.  Maggie put her in her place before I could intervene and luckily no damage was done since it was only a couple days after surgery. Tani never attacked her again.

So I think for Arktik since he is strong and confident that's what the other dogs 'read' so they treat him just like the new guy at at the park.

Dog behavior is so fascinating! 

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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28 August 2020 - 6:34 pm
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Count me and Griffin in for a Tripawd vacation on the Canadian side of Lake Ontario (you know, once the pandemic is under control!).  We'll use my mom's house in Buffalo, NY as our jumping off point!  sp_hearticon2  Stacy

Griffin lived an amazing life for 11 years! Diagnosed with osteosarcoma on March 17, 2020, Griffin's right forelimb was amputated on April 2, 2020. Ten days later he was running and playing fetch! Lung metastasis discovered in July 2020 did not slow down Griffin and he lived joyfully for the next 7 months, passing peacefully at home on February 11, 2021. https://griffin.tripawds.com

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29 August 2020 - 2:36 pm
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That would be soooo much fun Stacy!

jerry said

As for the dog park interactions, thank you for that bit of insight, it makes total sense that it's all about a dog's energy (and the person's too!) and not about the missing leg. I'd like to share that in a blog post if that's alright by you. I think a lot of members wonder about how their new Tripawd dog will do in doggie society.

No problem if you want to share this 🙂

  

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29 August 2020 - 3:00 pm
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Following up on the lack of appetite of Arktik we have had a rough 24 hours yesterday and today, but hopefully things will be better in the next few days.

Wednesday and Thursday, Arktik was eating better (I was mixing ground beef, rice with his dog food). But yesterday he barely ate and I could tell he was uncomfortable. I took him for a little drive as I had to run errands, I did not seemed over enthusiastic. When we got home, I thought a little walk would cheer him up but for the first time ever. Arktik did not want to go for a walk, we got started and the only thing he wanted to do was to go back home. Heartbreaking moment for me....

So from there obviously I started to get very worried. I could tell he was nauseated too, it looked like he wanted the food but that it was making him sick to his stomach. I kept watching him like an hawk last evening and I notice a bump on his snout, and under I realized the lump was on his gums (higher than the canine tooth)...So I was hoping this could all be due to an abcess. This morning I managed to get a vet appointment, we did a good physical exam. We haven't done blood work and x-rays for the lungs (maybe we will eventually). The first thought is the abcess would be responsible for his lack of appetite and general discomfort over the last fews days. 

Anybody has experienced similar situation? 

We got him started on an antibiotic treatment to deal with the abcess, the vet was confident it would treat it for now (in most cases) but one of the issue is that this is the kind of things often comes back (whether it is in 1 month, 6 months and more). When it does (especially if it is very soon after the antibiotic treatment) the next thing to do is surgery to remove the whole tooth with the roots. Fingers cross that everything will get better quickly and that we won't have to go through surgery (especially not so soon after ampu)

In the general exam we did, we found out Arktik was painful in his lower back. I suspected he was a bit sore from his hind legs lately (in the past 2-3 weeks) as he seemed a little bit more stiff, but it is hard to tell as he is still running, jumping etc. It is mainly when he is getting up that I noticed a difference. Any advice for this is also welcome. I just want to help him to stay as healthy and comfortable as much as possible. The vet thought he still look to be doing very well mobility wise, it is just subtle change that I have noticed. 

Hopefully I will get back to you in a few days with positive news! (Now we are both taking it easy as I did not sleep much last night being overly worried.)

The Rainbow Bridge



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29 August 2020 - 3:41 pm
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Thanks for letting us share the dog park tips!

Ok I know it's suuuuper hard not to panic when you see some health issue crop up. You did great by having the vet check him out. Hopefully this is something simple that can be treated and cured with the antibiotic. It could also be a dentigerous cyst, something we got familiar with earlier this year when our Wyatt Ray developed one earlier this year (scared the heck out of us it grew so fast!). Like your vet said, it required a tooth extraction. We had it done by a doggy dentist and while the procedure was invasive, it wasn't as serious as something like amputation. A healthy pup like Arktik should have no problem handling it. 

Does Arktik's look something like this? This was what Wyatt had.

Benign odontogenic cyst (possible lateral periodontal cyst)Image Enlarger

As for the pain....what did your vet prescribe for Arktik, other than R&R? His pain signals are pretty typical for a dog that is hurting. Everything points to something like osteoarthritis signs in dogs. And, sadly, I suspect that he's probably getting in more activity than his body can handle right now. It's pretty common in active dogs like him. This would be a great time to see a rehab therapist if possible.  I hope he feels better soon?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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30 August 2020 - 10:30 am
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Thanks for your input Jerry! What Arktik has certainly looks like what Wyatt had. The vet seemed pretty confident it was an abscess but in any case, our first plan is to try antibiotic see if it takes care of the problem (we should know in about 5 days) if it doesn't, Plan B is surgery. I keep my.  fingers crossed for the antibiotics to work!

Our routine with Arktik is usually about 2km (1.2miles) of walking/running (at his rhythm) in the field/wood trails. Of course we have our little adventures once in a while that add to it but this is our regular exercise load. Do you think this is too much? He seems comfortable usually when he is running, and he is still jumping easily to get up in my car for example or other things like that. It has just been for the past few weeks that I have notice he is a bit more stiff getting up from his bed. I figure I would give him some rest the a little while to see if it helps and also try to get an appointment in rehab (during the spring after surgery it was closed due to COVID). He is still very mobile and agile, I think it is just subtle changes that I have noticed and I don't want him to get worse. In terms of prevention, he has been on carthrophen injections for about 8 months now.

He seemed fairly comfortable today! We'll see in the next few days:)

The Rainbow Bridge



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30 August 2020 - 2:15 pm
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Oh I'm glad the photo helped. We also did a round of antibiotics to see if it would help shrink the lump. When it didn't Wyatt went in for surgery. I sure hope Arktik doesn't need to go that route. Paws crossed.

It's hard to say if his activity is too much or too little, every dog is so different in how they adjust to being a Tripawd. Being a Husky, Arktik is pretty darn fit with natural endurance, so maybe it's just a matter of R&R breaks more often. Hopefully that'll do the trick. 

I've never heard of carthrophen, thanks for introducing that one to us. I can't find a U.S. equivalent, it looks like it's made in Australia and I'm guessing it's not available here. Bummer! It looks like good stuff.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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30 August 2020 - 5:00 pm
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Hmm, sorry to hear Arktik has a tooth abscess - I don't have any direct experience with that - but hopefully the antibiotics will do the trick and nothing more invasive is needed. On the note of the low back though - Copper has a history of low back pain (she actually had surgery for it 4.5 years ago) and what has seemed to help her has been a combination of Acupuncture + gentle chiropractic and Rehab for strengthening her core. Sounds like you're already planning to possibly go that route and i'm sure Arktik will rock it if you do. Glad to hear he's already feeling better and hope he gets back to 100% soon! 

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