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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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My old greyhound girl
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Forum Posts: 4
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9 October 2015
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9 October 2015 - 9:09 am
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Hi, I have a 14 year old greyhound, who is 2 weeks post front leg amputation. She is doing well as far as toileting on her own and hopping around slowly in the garden. The only thing is that she cannot turn herself over in bed, so that means she starts crying and barking when the side she is laying on starts aching. This goes on both day and night and both myself and my husband are getting sleep deprived!  We have to turn her over which she doesn’t like and shouts at us a bit but as soon as it’s done she goes straight back to sleep. Please can someone tell me she will do it in time and would really appreciate hearing from any members that have also experienced this?

sadwhatever

The Rainbow Bridge



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9 October 2015 - 9:27 am
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Hi Gracie and family, welcome. I hope you don’t mind I moved your post here, this is a great place for issues with older and large dogs.

Is she having trouble standing up, or rolling over?

Most dogs will learn how to roll over without that missing leg in a few weeks. Have you tried playing games with her using some tasty treats to get her to roll over? We did that with our Tripawd Wyatt and now he’s a pro.

She might also be experiencing post-op pain. Have you tried massage therapy to see if that helps? Does she cry out any other times of day?

Finally, have you tried not responding at all to see if she’ll give up and try it on her own? I know it’s really hard, but sometimes our dogs have us so well trained to jump as soon as they bark, that we don’t even realize we’re making things too easy on them. I know she’s 14 so there’s a fine line there, but just throwing this out to see if it’s possible for you to give a go and see what happens.

I hope this helps. Others with senior dogs will chime in too so hang in there!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 4
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9 October 2015 - 10:56 am
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Hi there, it’s just the rolling over, as she has learnt to get up quite well. I think because of her age we are being a bit soft with her. She is a very nervous dog, as many rescue greyhounds are. I am going to try the tips you have given me and let’s hope that we can have a full nights sleep some time in the near future!  Any other advice will be gratefully received.  So glad I found this sight 

The Rainbow Bridge



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9 October 2015 - 2:20 pm
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OH ok well I’m glad she’s getting around really well otherwise, that’s great. And who can blame you for being soft with her, I would too, a queen at that age deserves royal treatment! 🙂

It does take time to build up core strength though, so check out the Tripawds Gear blog for lots of tips on how you can do that (our e-book Loving Life On Three Legs is also a great resource). Oh one more thought, is hermattress firm or soft? If she has a mattress that’s lumpy it may cause difficulty in moving around while she’s on it.

I’m sure otherswill have tips so hang in there!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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9 October 2015 - 11:26 pm
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Gracie is clearly a well.loved and very well cared for doggy! 14 yrs. young and rockin’ being a tripawd! A miracle dog!!

Don’t have any additional insight other than, as Jerry said, making sure her bed is firm enough she can get her footing. Wonder if the vet can give her someting for her stiff achy joints at night?

If she could turn over on her own, she would. No, you aren’t being “soft”. If Gracie could turn over on her own I’m sure she would. Twoweeks is still early in recovery, especially for a more “seasoned” gal.

Just want to lend you support and cheer for Gracie….and hope for a good night sleep for you soon.

Hugs to yiu and Gracie

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle 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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10 October 2015 - 5:08 am
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Hi Gracie,

For the first 3 weeks, Nixon would not even attempt to get up on his own and made me pick him up almost every time.  He was fine at the vets but at home, he was a mess.  I have a friend whose dog Taylor roaches all the time after his amputation and was roaching before the stitches came out.  Nixon would only roach if I was there to hold him.  Not sure why two dogs of similar ages and builds had such different issues!  But this is what our vet had me do to help Nixon with his mobility.  A lot of it was just a mental issue he needed to move past and the other was building up his core strength.  He rarely rolled over before becoming a tripawd and always stood up to flip.

Cookie Crunches while laying down and while standing up.

While laying down on the side, bring a treat past the nose and towards the hip and then back towards the nose.  The goal is to keep the dog from shifting to their elbows and to mimic a side bend crunch.  There is a benefit if she does shift to her elbows but not as much.  Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Doing this standing at first might be easier.  Some dogs have a hard time believing they can bend on the side they lost the leg and this is more of a confidence builder/stretch for them although it does help tone the core too.  Stand on the opposite side you want them to crunch to so they can lean against you if they think they need it.  Lure the nose back towards the hip.  In the beginning, they may not be able to bend very far but keep it positive and keep the treats high value.  Only do this 2 to 4 times at first each side but you can do this several times a day.  Eventually, you’ll work up to 10 times each side but that takes time to do.

The Rainbow Bridge



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10 October 2015 - 9:54 am
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Oh Ingrid thank you! This is so helpful.
(I’ve been thinking about you and hoping you and the pack aren’t flooded out. Hope you are OK).

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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10 October 2015 - 1:22 pm
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Thanks for the great advice. Will keep you up to date with how I’m getting on !

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10 October 2015 - 1:26 pm
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Sorry I forget to add I have got her two orthopedic beds, as recommended by the vet.

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