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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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Flat faced older dogs with hind limp amputation
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Forum Posts: 11
Member Since:
16 October 2017
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17 October 2017 - 8:44 pm
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Hi fellow Tripawds! I have a soon to be Tripawd, my baby boy, Leroy, an 8.5 year old male English bulldog that was diagnosed with an intermediate (stage 2) soft tissue sarcoma in his rear left leg. He is in excellent health, surprisingly physically fit (esp for a bulldog), had great blood, urine and fecal work up results…. and x-rays and CT’s show no sign of metastasis. 🙌🙌

We’ve been preparing for amputation for a while now when we first thought the swelling was a CCL, but we were waiting on amputation until we had proof of cancer after nothing showed up on aspirations multiple times over 7 months. Well, here we are after an emergency visit to Texas A&M small vet hospital and we’re looking at a spindle cell tumor. As of 10/13 we are scheduled for amputation on 10/30. We are removing the entire left hind limb and part of the pelvis. My few questions are:

1. Does anyone have experience with entire limb and partial pelvis amputation; is this more dangerous/painful than a normal amputation; and does it change recovery

2. Does anyone have experience with brick shaped dogs similar to bulldogs that their weight is awkwardly displaced (im assuming a rear leg amp would be best for him since 80% of his weight is on his front legs)

3. Any experience with flat faced breeds during anesthesia (he did fabulous under anesthesia on 10/13 but this was for a CT not surgery so I understand the levels will be different)

4. We are “on call” for the first available surgery if something opens up before 10/30, but should we be pushing harder for a sooner surgery date than 2 weeks since we are already stage 2. Hes already on Tramadol, Gabapentin and carbrofen to manage his current pain as the leg to be amputated is about the size of an apple and 95% lame. He is still his happy self… just a little drunk. Any advice for pre surgery maintenance since we still have 2 weeks?

5. Lastly, we have hard wood floors so we’ve prepped with rugs, yoga mats, toe grips and 2 different harnesses from Tripawds gear to prep for the homecoming. Is there anything else recommended to help him get around and feel comfortable at home. He’s a 65 lbs brick  and I’m petite and hardly 5 ft tall so getting him around may be difficult. I work from home so I’ll be with him 24/7 but my husband works long hours so any help for me helping Leroy get around for water and potty breaks would be appreciated. 

We are so thankful for this site as it has helped us understand that amputation can be a blessing… we are removing the pain, not the leg. I’ve appreciated every story I’ve read about the doggie and human bravery here and am thankful for any advice!

Thanks from a soon to be Tripawd and Tripawrent,

Ginny and Leroy 

Here and Now


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17 October 2017 - 9:05 pm
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Welcome and best wishes for Leroy! You have clearly done your homework and he is lucky to have you. You will find most have your questions answered here in the forums and in the many links found on Jerry’s Required Reading List . While “brick” dogs may have a more difficult time during recovery, there are many things you can do to help. But the first step is healing, after that consider getting Leroy evaluated by a CCRT or CCRP for specific treatment and exercises you can do to help rebuild strength. The Maggie Moo Fund can even pay for your first visit!

While you wait for comments from others, use the Advanced Search above to refine your forum search results with specific phrases, and you’re sure to find lots of helpful feedback. You can also search all blogs here . (Various members have had bulldog blogs and posted many forum topics over the years.) Or, consider downloading the Tripawds e-books for fast answers to common concerns and feel free to call the toll-free Tripawds Helpline anytime!

Please keep us posted. Your future forum posts will not require moderation.

Virginia




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17 October 2017 - 9:43 pm
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http://tripawds…..mendation/

Hi Baby Boy Leroy and Mom!!

Apologies for being so quickck right now, but just wanted to give you a link on Daisy.  Although Daisy ended up NOT being a candidate  for amp, the thread has several links to dogs and cats who didpproceed with pelvis/leg amp.   So a little something to check out.

Lots of hugs to ADORABLE Leroy

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!

Virginia




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17 October 2017 - 9:51 pm
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One more link for you…..

http://eider515…..elvectomy/

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!

Forum Posts: 11
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18 October 2017 - 6:38 am
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Thank you so much for sharing! These strong pups’ situations sound so similar to my Leroy’s and glad to see that the use of toe guards helped with slippery hardwood floors! After speaking with Leroy’s amazing vet team last night, we are hoping to get him in by the end of this week instead of 10/30. Texas A&M’s teaching hospital is 3 hours away for us, but they are the best and that is what Leroy deserves. He also has a great team to help here at home if any emergency situations arise post op. Thank you all for sharing and advising and we are looking forward to update y’all on a happy, healthy, bulldog Tripawd!

Virginia




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18 October 2017 - 2:20 pm
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Here’s an update on BENDER the Bulldog!! 🙂   I think you’ll find it interesting and INSPIRATIONAL!! 🙂

http://bender.t…..-stronger/

Lots of 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!

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18 October 2017 - 4:07 pm
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Bender is adorabull! So happy for his success! Thanks so much for sharing the link! 

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25 October 2017 - 6:54 pm
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Leroy had his surgery yesterday to remove his hind leg and part of his pelvis and did fabulous! He has shocked the amazing drs at Texas A&M during his surgery and recovery! The senior bulldog rocked his almost 6 hour long surgery! He’s hopping around like pro and everyone is so impressed with his energy!! He’s already so much happier as a Tripawd! While I was anxiously waiting during his surgery I met a fellow Tripawd member who’s baby Bailey was getting chemo. Thanks so much Jan for helping me know everything to expect! Looking forward to bringing Leroy home on Saturday!

Virginia




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25 October 2017 - 7:11 pm
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A FEW TEARS OF JOY GOING ON OVER HERE!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂   LEROY IS done with surgery and showing everyone what a ROCK STAR he is!!! 🙂 🙂

A SIX HOUR SURGERY!!!  OUCH!!   And to be doing so well already is absolutely phenomenal! 🙂

So glad you got to connect with Jan.  Her Bailey does have some issues that were discovered while doing her work up, but she’s a strong gal!

Get some good rest while you can.  Sounds like Bender is in great hands!!  He’s clearly won everyone over!  Of course, that goes without saying! 🙂

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!

Here and Now


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25 October 2017 - 8:33 pm
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Thanks for the great update, please keep us poster. You are in good hands at A&M!

Virginia




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25 October 2017 - 9:29 pm
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Apologies Leroy…called you Bender above .  Hopefully I fixed it before you saw it!

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!

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28 October 2017 - 7:01 pm
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LEROY UPEATE!! Leroy is home and Loving Life on 3 Legs ! We are 4 days post op and he has tons of energy, a huge appetite and we are loving all our new toys! He has mastered walking (more like sprinting) as a Tripawd. I thought I would cry today when we picked him up bc he’d be mad/sad/confused… but it was totally the opposite. He is so relieved to have that tumor infected leg gone. Our only issue right now is since we had to remove part of his hip, his incision is extremely large and very close to his bootie. His tummy is upset and he’s been having a lot of diarrhea. No solid BM since surgery. We are on an antibiotic for it so hopefully it will help his tummy get back to normal. We are feeding him a very bland diet of boiled chicken mixed with some 1/4 of a can of Hill’s i/d stewed canned food the vets gave us. He still scarfs it down and appetite is strong!! Prayers for a solid BM so we don’t have to worry about his “sewage” getting near the incision. Currently we are taking him to the 24 hr vet for re-bandaging after each upset stomach potty. All of his stitches are interior, but today before we picked him up thy added a few staples to secure one location. It has caused a lot of drainage, possible due to a seroma that was there before they stapled. Thankfully the they are very close and accommodating so not a big issue. 

We did find out he is grade 2 Neurofibrosarcoma that has not metastasized to date. Unfortunately we only got 3 mm margins (3 cm is preferrred) and we go back to Texas A&M in 2 weeks to plan with oncology the next steps for his treatment. We are currrently on the typical drugs: Gabapentin, Tramadol and Rymidol, as well as Metronidazole (antidiarrheal) and Clavamox (antibiotic). We also have an anti naseau pill and an anti anxiety to help him sleep since he seems to have forgotten that he had a major surgery. Thank goodness for the person who recommended cheese whiz for helping with pills. He happily takes all his pills now!

Its amazing how strong and resilient dogs are. I am in awe of his strength and his happiness as a Tripawd. Now off to get a new bandage hopefully the last for the night. Did anyone else experience lots of draining/bleeding at 4 days post op? Thanks for y’alls support! 

Virginia




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28 October 2017 - 8:11 pm
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CONGRATULATIONS LEROY!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂   Soooo happy tonhear you’re hoe and doing well!! 🙂   I kmow he is so relieved tp jave that vum leg gone, even though the surgery site has to hurt!  Spunds like you have his pain well managed and that’s huge!

Guessing all the meds are messing with Leroy’s tummy.  Bland diet and being home should help!  Just make sure he drinks plenty of water so he won’t get dehydrated.

Although good margins are always hoped for, but even then there are no guarantees.  Conversely, just because the margins weren’t as gooad they woukd have liked doesn’t mean there will be a recurrence. Plus I think the Onco will have some good insight on options too.

Sometimes drainw can be an issue and requires an actual drain tube to be used.  The fact that Leroy is having his bandage changed dailr is actually a bit of a blessing in disguise.  The Vet can keep an eye on things. Leroy had a pretty major surgery a bit beyond the “regular” amputation.  If additional help is needed to slow down the drainage they’ll address it.  Hopefully it starts to dissipate on its own.

Okay Mr Leroy!!  Slooooow and easy!!  Rest, rest, rest.  Sounds like your humans need to buy you a lot more toys to keep you entertained while resting!

YAY for Cheez Whiz and YaY for the UNSTOPPABLE LEROY!!!

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!

Livermore, CA




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28 October 2017 - 8:50 pm
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A late hello and welcome.

I’m glad to hear that Leroy is home and doing so well!

I love the title of your post- I had a Leroy mini-me as my first tripawd!  Tri-pug Maggie lost her left rear leg to mast cell cancer.  She was quite the flat faced dog who was 7.5 years old at the time of her amp, she weighed 17.5 pounds.

I hope Leroy continues to rock recovery!

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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30 October 2017 - 7:21 pm
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LEROY UPDATE: This dog is serious a CHAMP! He is shocking dr’s left and right and defying all odds! We went to our local vet today and she said everything looked amazing! He is healing really far faster than she thought he would with it being such and intense surgery, and that it was one of the best amputation incisions she has ever seen! We were lucky that all of our stitches were internal and we only added a few precautionary staples. Also, he did not need a drain. He uses his back leg like a little pogo stick and hopping all over the place! It’s a full time job to keep him still ha! We’ve been sleeping on the couches downstairs to be with him and while we were sleeping last night the little booger snuck upstairs to sleep in the master! He had’t even done a stair yet so we were obviously shocked! Kudos to Leroy but we will be blocking the stairs from now on! We have been having better BMs which is good! the only issues we faced today is that he keeps peeing on his bed. Not a little dribble, but like a stand up and pee. It’s only happened twice and both times were when I gave him his anti-anxiety optional pill (gave it to him day one of coming home and today for the vet). Not a big deal, just wondering if anyone has experienced this as well. Our appetite is still strong and our spirits are still high! So proud of this big guy! Thanks for everyone’s support and comments! 

PS sorry for lack of pictures! I cannot figure it out… and to think I used to build websites lol…. so much harder on an ipad! what-eversad

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