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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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Divot the Tripawd - Any advice is greatly appreciated.
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Forum Posts: 6
Member Since:
14 November 2012
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17 November 2012 - 8:30 am
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Hi everyone,

Unfortunately, I've stumbled across this site due to my best friend, Divot,  having some issues the past week and a half. He's 13 and an Austrailian Shepard mix. About a week and a half ago he got bumped in the kitchen and slipped on the floor(he had been having issues with his legs giving out for awhile, but very little arthritis had been found). It turns out he broke his left rear leg. crying We opted for bone plating surgery last friday and it was successful. However, the next day when he put weight on it the bone splintered more from the screws. They went in again on Tuesday to see if they could put a longer plate on, but the bone was splintered too much so we were left amputation. We were able to bring him home on Wednesday and as expected, it has been tough. We ordered a Get a Grip harness and got it yesterday and it has been great. We've been able to get him up and moving around more now. He was finally able to urinate for the first time this morning and that was a huge relief, now if we can just get him to do #2... His other leg has swelled quite a bit and from what I've read this sounds normal. I know it's going to be a long couple weeks, but my question is the strength of that leg. Since it seemed weak before the surgery should we expect it to be able to handle the work of two legs? His front legs are doing great. He's slowly learning how to balance, but he doesn't seem to be even trying to hop with the rear leg. Should we invest in the therapy or maybe look for a cart/wheelchair for him. He has a desire to be mobile, I just don't know if his body will allow it.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post and any and all advice is greatly appreciated.


Paul and Divot

17 November 2012 - 11:09 am
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Welcome to Tripawds, your future posts will not require moderation.

I'm sorry to hear about Divot's accident.

I think it would be a great idea to see a certified rehab specialist, especially since Diviot's remaining rear leg is weak to start with.  It is important though to see someone certified- Here is a Link on Therapy and Rehab to get you started.  There are links there and some suggested reading.  I would give Diviot every chance to become mobile on his own.  If that doesn't work then look into a cart or wheel chair .

My pug Maggie didn't poop until day 5 or 6.  Pain meds can be constipating, but most dogs seem to be able to go on their own.  If not talk with your vet, but there are some at home remedies that work to get things moving.  Plain pumpkin is one that works well.

You are in the midst of the hard part of recovery- you sound like you are prepared!  Hang in there and keep us posted.


Karen and the pugapalooza

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
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17 November 2012 - 3:03 pm
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They adapt to their new normal pretty quickly for the most part.  But they each definitely have their own pace through recovery and embracing the new norm.

Since there was some weakness prior to the amputation, you may want to look into a wheel chair device to help him get around easier.  I know Daisy the dalmation has a chair, and I'm thinking there may be others.

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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18 November 2012 - 8:59 am
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Thank you for the advice. This is day 5 and Divot is already showing remarkable improvement. His balance seems to be getting better everytime we take him for a walk. He's starting to use his leg to hop a little to move under his own power. It's really great to see his rapid improvement. I know it's still early and it looks like he is going to keep surprising us. He started pooping on his own yesterday, so that really eased a lot of my fears. Plus, he wants to go for walks. He's trying so hard. I'm just so proud of him. Maybe we'll try the therapy for a little while and see how he responds before we jump right into the car/chair option. I'm just concerned that the leg will give out from time to time and I don't want to risk harm to that leg as well.


Thanks again,


Paul and Divot

The Rainbow Bridge

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18 November 2012 - 11:07 am
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Hi Paul and Divot, 

My apologies for just now seeing your post, I'm not sure how I missed it. 

I'm very happy to hear that Divot is doing better! Chances are by this time next week you will wonder what you were so worried about. Yes, 13 is an advanced age to be a Tripawd, but it sounds like has everything it takes to find his groove and enjoy a great quality of life. 

These posts can help you learn about what to do next. There is one in here about when to use a cart, and when not to, be sure to check it out.

Interviews with California Animal Rehabilitation Therapy

Keep us posted on his progress!

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