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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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22 February 2011 - 11:03 pm
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I'm glad you had a better day. It's great to hear Zaria is getting up a bit.

Shortly after Isabelle's amputation (and she was running down the street, rolling in the grass…) some crazy guy told me how inhumane it was, that dogs were meant to have 4 legs, and it was unfair to keep her alive like this… I told him when he got ill someday, he should be as fortunate to have the quality of life she has. I don't think I can say here what I said when he wouldn't shut up…but then he shut up!

Cynthia & Isabelle

On The Road

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24 September 2009
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23 February 2011 - 11:05 am
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Melanie, your update made my morning, this is great news. You both sound stronger than ever! And the feedback from your vet is fantastic. It sounds like they're on top of things, I'm glad to hear that they've been consulting with other specialists. The higher dose of pain meds may make her dopier but just remember it's for the best, she needs to sleep this off.

The weight loss is definitely not a bad thing. Remember that Tripawds need to be much leaner than four leggers. One pound of fat on a dog is equal to five pounds on a human.

Yes, stay away from anyone who is negative or pessisimistic. They are energy vampires and you need all the energy you can get right now.

To those people who say that dogs are "meant" to have four legs...I would ask them to consider how then if that's true, and humans are "meant" to have two legs, then what shall we do about all of the soldiers coming home who lost a leg in battle? Grrrr.

Things are looking up!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

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16 January 2011
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23 February 2011 - 12:13 pm
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Melanie -

So glad to see things are looking up for you and Zaria...and kudos to you for standing your ground with people that are not supportive....I had a couple people tell me the same thing about Riley.....they haven't heard back from me since.laughing


Sending strength and hugs....

KaCee & Riley

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
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28 November 2008
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23 February 2011 - 7:12 pm
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Sorry, I'm coming in a bit late also, but what I am reading is very encouraging.  It takes some of them longer than others to become comfortable with their new self.

if Zaria is overweight, one of the first priorities is to slim her down a bit. After Trouble's surgery/chemo, it was almost as if she knew she needed to loose weight.  she shed about 14 lbs between the surgery date and the last chemo date.  Back during the summer she was porking out a bit and had to be put on a reducing diet.  If isn't the easiest thing in the world, but it's doable.

I'm with Rene, stay away from negative people.  They may mean well, but they are no help a this point in time. It is energy draining to have to defend your reasoning.

Wishing you and Zaria lots of happy days ahead.

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.

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13 July 2009
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23 February 2011 - 9:05 pm
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Hi Melanie and Zaria

Just catching up with all the news. Didn't realize things has unfolded in such a challenging manner. I don't have anything to add to all the wonderful words that have been spoken (energy vampires, hahaha, isn't Jerry funny?). I remember someone saying it was time to put Tazzie down, and that same person couldn't even catch up with Tazzie to take his toy away from him. So I figured it was time to put him down instead.

When you were writing about Zaria's condition, I was thinking where is "Daisy, daisy, daisy" and then Daisy spoke up. Certainly she went through a rocky road with recovery so it is great to hear how well she is doing now (even going to daycare, Daisy?!? - do you take your cart?).

Glad to hear that things were a bit better during your last post - I hope that is still the case.

How old is Zaria? And do you have a picture?

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14 February 2011
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24 February 2011 - 9:42 pm
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Hi Everyone - busy couple of days .. but I "THINK" all is for good ???    (Fates don't listen...)

Zaria is doing better today !  We found her "scooting" down the hall this morning, and subsequently had to block it off as no mats on the hardwood there... ! 🙂  But I am happy !  that is my girl..  a little bugger at times. 

Today didn't move at all.. in same position she was 6 hours before, and no evidence of any movement while we were at work.  I think this may be good - as the other good leg needs rest. Tonight she has wanted out and up - but definatley still needs the towel as a sling.  Cannot manage without it at all. 

BTW the harness arrived, but sadly does not fit.  Anyway - not an issue as she still has weight to loose so one day she will get into it.. and if she doesn't then we are going to donate it to our vet who told us a sad story of dogs vs cars... hence tripawds.  I told them about the harness, they had heard of it but did not have it.  So I think we will just donate it to a dog who may need it.    As long as I have a strong husband and two teenage boys - and a bed sheet we will manage to get Zaria around.


Sorry all -  I've been a depressed mess.. today for the first time I saw some "light" ..........  I know she is farther behind in the recovery plan then she should be, but she has always been an "extremist" dog..  just is now too in recovery.  

As for the negative energy from my "friends"...  I have cried enough about.  I told them exactly my feelings.. that this girl is literally not 2 weeks out of surgery,  still has her stitches in for #$@ sake, we are not considering any options other than RECOVERY and REHAB.  Those are the only 2 options..  anyone not on that plan is not welcome to be involved.  I made a commitment to her 7 years ago and I will honor it. 


It's amazing - when I stopped crying and found my voice again, my energy has pulled through and I hope that she feels it too.


Tears I'm sure are ahead and another vet appointment tomorrow -  (which is scary as I don't want any bad news)... but for tonight we are good..  not great.  Good. 


Once more I send you all my deepest and most humble of "Thank you" to all of you


PS:  Yes - pics are coming -  I'm just having hard time to upload -  I will try again tomorrow 🙂

24 February 2011 - 9:48 pm
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I'm glad your feeling a little better & Zaria got out tonight. Things will seem slow for a while. Muscle mass deteriorates at an alarmingly fast rate, so Zaria has a lot of catching up to do. You are all doing a great job!


On The Road

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24 February 2011 - 10:19 pm
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melanie said:

BTW the harness arrived, but sadly does not fit...

So I think we will just donate it to a dog who may need it...

Are you sure you have adjusted the harness properly? It has five separate adjustment points and they ship tightened to their smallest configuration.

Ensure all the straps extending from the three-point front support junction are all adjusted out. They can each be extended for a looser fit. The chest and belly straps can also be lengthened. The harness should be snug, but not constricting.

The three straps that join in front through the junction with the yellow lining and small white Ruff Wear logo all have sliding plastic adjusters. Slide these adjusters toward the junction to extend the straps. Extending the belly and chest straps should be obvious.

If you still fell the harness is too small, and want to donate it, that is exactly why we created the Tripawds Angel Exchange.

Sorry for the inconvenience, but thanks for the update!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

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14 February 2011
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26 February 2011 - 9:59 pm
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Hi everyone

My girl is not good.

Went back to the vets today re the "good" leg not functional at all.  He wanted to check her anyway as to check the fluid buildup.  The amputated leg.. (is there a proper correct name to refer to this leg now ?) ..  has to much fluid build up.  They were hoping her body would absorb it, but it isn't. Local today - and took out 250 ml of fluid.  This leg is so badly bruised, and vet is stating she is still in allot of pain on the actual recovery of this.


That unfortunately was the good news............


The bad news is the other "good" leg has deteriorated almost completely.  We have to do intensive therapy to hope to recover this leg., otherwise just as we feared, she will loose it too.


I just don't understand what has happened over the past 30 days. 


How could she literally be running in a park 6 weeks ago and now we face the probablility of a double amputation ?  Like serioulsy.. what has happened here.. ??????????????????


Anyway - we have to walk / excercise her every 2 hours.  It takes 2 of us.  As mentioned, the harness is not fitting, so we still need to use the bed sheet as a back leg harness/ sling.  She cannot walk without it.  She can barely walk with it.


As of Monday she will go to the vets all day.  I will take her in the morning (with my son to help, and a ramp , ) drop her off for rehab all day .. walks / massage / every 2 hours.  Intensive therapy to save the leg, or as I was told today "it is instrumental to save her life". 

Then I will pick her up on my way home from work and we will continue to walk / excercise every 2 hours.  So tonight we began. She is exhausted now as we have been walking her all night.  Thankfully Vancouver, BC saw snow tonight for the first time in ages.. so my siberian is a happy girl in the cold snow.    🙂   (Small pleasures at this moment.)


You see me calmer when I write this.  I'm not.  I just knew this was going to happen.  I predicted it from the start... I knew she wasn't right.. or healing right.   She is so far from being ok..  

6 weeks ago she was running around the park



PS:  Thanks for the vent

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14 February 2011
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26 February 2011 - 10:02 pm
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PS:  I forgot to mention, the vet is not charging me for this daily therapy.  He just said for us to bring her food with us.   He said he "doesn't care for payment, just wants to save this leg". 


Also -  he has consulted today with 3 other vets, and the "rehab" hospital is involved now for her treatment schedule.  I don't know what else to do, I can't fault him...........  he is doing his best.    I have to believe that, because if I don't... the alternative is just horrible.


Melanie / Zaria

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24 September 2009
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26 February 2011 - 10:30 pm
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Melanie, I'm so sorry. It sounds like she will be monitored closely and cared for to the highest level possible at this clinic. We hope that her recovery will start now and she will begin feeling better soon. Please don't give up hope. Be strong and pawsitive, Zaria needs you to believe more than anything right now. And you have us behind you too, sending lots of love and pawsitive energy.

Vent anytime, that's what we're here for.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

26 February 2011 - 10:39 pm
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 I'm so sorry for all the difficulties Zaria & your family are experiencing. I hope she begins to improves with intensive rehab. There isn't anything more you can do. You are doing fantastic. I'm glad you don't have to worry about the financial burden of the rehab, coupled with the physical & emotional stress. You must all be so exhausted, but try to stay positive for her. You will all be in my thoughts.


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27 February 2010
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27 February 2011 - 12:27 am
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Melanie .... sending you all the positive energy I possibly can .... 

Zaria is such a lucky girl to have you for her family. You obviously love her so very much. Because you have a strong bond with her ... she will do all she can to please you. So take care of yourself - get sleep whenever you can - vent to us whenever you need/want to. But be strong and encouraging for her. She needs you to believe that she can get better. And she can. You are doing everything you can to get her the help she needs - and the support she needs to get this rehab underway. 

Please find a way to let go of the belief that the worst is going to happen - that you predicted it from the start. It is not going to be a cake-walk by any stretch - but she needs you to believe in her. What kinds of adversity has she overcome before? Think of the things that she has done that you never thought she'd be able to do. Dogs are amazing animals. They don't think like we do ... to their credit ! They just do things - they don't think about why. 

I'm very sorry that things are so challenging for you - and I know it is exhausting. Once you turn that corner, though - and you will - her recovery will be sure and steady. Don't give up on her - don't let her think you've given up on her. 

You're being an awesome dog-mom. God bless you ! I'll be praying that Zaria turns that corner very soon - and that you stay well to help her do that. 

Remember - for dogs - today is today ... they don't think about yesterday (she's not thinking that she was running around in the park 6 weeks ago) and they don't worry about tomorrow (she's not worried about whether or not she will be running in the park tomorrow). 

Sophie (1998 – 2010)

"Going Dog" def: living every day in the moment

"It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are."


My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
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28 November 2008
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27 February 2011 - 3:56 am
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I think Sophie's mom has some great advice.  This is all very hard for you right now, but staying positivie is key.  Zaria needs to know you believe she will recover.  She is essentially doing a double recovery - from the amputaiton, and from the diminished use of the remaining limb.

You have a vet who is going well beyond what most would expect, be grateful they are working so hard for Zaria's recovery.  The fact that they haven't given up on her says a lot to me.

This is not easy, and I know you are exhausted - mentally and physically. Sending more good thoughts your way, and hoping you begin to see a big difference with the specialized care.

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.

Leicester, NY
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11 February 2011
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27 February 2011 - 6:09 am
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sending you all the pawsitive healing thoughts we have.

(Mom just realized that Monkeydog Samson007 was still signed on but here is a note from Daisys mom)

When youi are up at 2am and "thinking", log on and post. It sounds silly but when you tell someone (uswinker) about what you are thinking and feeling, its good for you. A good you will be good for Zaria.

I am sure you are exhausted and I won't lie and say that even now I don't drag my butt into work because Daisys digestive system decides to turn on in the middle of the night and I have to get up and throw a dog bed into the washer BUT when she wags her tail and gives me that big Dal smile I know that her quality of life is good. She still gets excited about mom cooking dinner and she has learned how to roll herself over during the day. As for laying there for 6 hrs in the same spot, I think thats pretty much what dogs with four legs do anyway. I have pictures of Daisy racing like a cheetah across the field last June but SHE doesnt stare longingly at the pictures.

Have you asked your vet about using a chair as a rehab aid? It wiould make life easier for you to move her vs a sling. Daisy was NOT thrilled abou the chair at 1st until she figured out that she could move, on her own, without me guiding her with a sling or harness.

Keep us posted on rehab!!

PS-Next time some jerk makes a negative comment, tell them to back off or we will sic the Monkeydog pack to desend upon their scrawny @sses. I hope they never end up in a nursing home and their children have the same reasoning.

Spirit Samson was Spirit Tripawd Daisys four legged "brother" and ruled as the self proclaimed head of the Monkeybutt Federations East Coast Division. Lady Chunky Monkey stayed from Oct 2011 and left for the bridge in Apr 2012. Miss Perdy is left and has some big pawprints to fill.
Do you have what it takes to be a Monkeybutt? Find out more at the Monkeybutt Federation

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