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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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Overweight Doberman is now an Amputee
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Maputo, Mozambique
Forum Posts: 42
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4 March 2016 - 8:44 am
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Hi all, this is my first post here so I hope the thread is in the right section. I’d just like to share my experience and ask for some advice at the same time. (Sorry in advance for the long post!)

My doberlady was diagnosed with bone cancer in November – both back legs, apparently. Back then we asked our vet about amputation and he just looked at us like we were crazy and said that no one does amputation in our country (Mozambique, where animal care services are not so great).

So we opted for palliative care and waiting for the inevitable. Then, in February, she started limping really badly and the rear left leg started swelling up. An X-ray at another vet showed a fracture, and the bone specialist there said she would have to be put down. He also mentioned that only that one leg had cancer.

She was still very energetic and had a healthy appetite, so we were reluctant to euthanize so early. The vet – a surgeon who’s done countless amputations here – agreed to do one for her after seeing how alert she was.

Fast-forward to post-surgery… she has been doing remarkably well. The first day (we took her home an hour or two after the surgery was over) was rough: she was constantly whining, seemed a little traumatized and unsure of how to get up and move. Her appetite, however, certainly wasn’t affected!

Then at 3AM, to our absolute joy, she got up and took a walk around the garden, and managed to do some of her business without help 🙂 The next day, she was running on the leash and her personality was back!!

***

Now it’s been just over a week since the amputation, and everything seems fine. Her stitches were supposed to come out yesterday, but after looking at it, the vets said to give it another week because it hasn’t healed completely. However, he said she’s doing very well and seems very healthy. Her antibiotics and pain meds also finished yesterday, but she seems ok. Appetite is TOO good, she’s barking a lot and trying to climb and jump everywhere (not to mention running).

Now here’s where I need some help:

1. I’ve heard that pain meds for amputation should last at least 14 days, but our vet says only 7. We haven’t experienced the dreaded phantom limb yet, but apparently that hits in week 2 of recovery and I’m terrified for my baby. How bad can it get and is it temporary? Also, her stump twitches/jerks/spasms quite a lot when she is standing and lying down. This seems to make her uncomfortable and she will pace around restlessly a bit, but after some coaxing she settles down and falls off to sleep. Does anyone else experience this?

2. The first few days, we struggled a lot because of her urinary and fecal incontinence. However, the past couple of days she has been managing quite well outside. The only thing she really struggles with is urinating, because females rely heavily on their back legs for squatting and now she only has one. We have tried supporting her ourselves but she doesn’t like this. On her own, though, she struggles and once fell on her stump while squatting. Does it ever get better for females with only one rear leg?

3. My dobie is and always has been overweight. It has been a constant struggle but now that she is a tripod, the weight just has to go. We don’t have access to a lake/pool, and for now her activity has to be restricted because of recovery. Does anyone have suggestions on how to cut calories fast? We already feed her much less than what is recommended for her age, breed and size. I’ve started substituting potions of her food with green beans and carrots, but she doesn’t seem too thrilled and is always begging for more food. Anyone got some weight loss tips apart from “decrease food and increase exercise”?

Thanks in advance!

The Rainbow Bridge



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4 March 2016 - 9:19 am
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izzyabraham said
1. I’ve heard that pain meds for amputation should last at least 14 days, but our vet says only 7. We haven’t experienced the dreaded phantom limb yet, but apparently that hits in week 2 of recovery and I’m terrified for my baby. How bad can it get and is it temporary?

2. Does it ever get better for females with only one rear leg?

3. Does anyone have suggestions on how to cut calories fast? Anyone got some weight loss tips apart from “decrease food and increase exercise”?

Hello and welcome! I can’t recall ever having a member here from Mozambique, you are probably our first 🙂 What’s your doberlady’s name? (I love that, “doberlady”!). We really applaud you for taking such a long look at her personality and potential for life on three legs, and taking the courageous step to amputate in a country where it’s almost unheard of. You are so brave! We will be here for you every step of the way.

Now that she’s on 3 legs, you do have your work cut out for you, only because of her weight issue. I will try to answer your questions…

1. Not all dogs get phantom pain , so she just might be one of the lucky ones who doesn’t. What medication is she on and how often? Seven days of pain medication is below average, at least here in the States, and most dogs are on meds about seven. We know this differs from country to country however. What I would say is that take her entire personality into consideration and if you believe she needs more, call your vet and insist. Now is the time to be a stronger advocate than ever before.  For more information about post-amputation pain, see our recent News blog post, Post-Surgery Pain in Tripawd Dogs and Cats, Part 1

And here’s a great video about staying strong and helping to ‘normalize’ her life again.

2. Yes, it will get better when she loses the weight. The problem is not that her leg is weak, it’s that her stomach is too big 🙂 Dogs need strong core muscles to hold them up, just as humans need strong abdominals to avoid back pain. Without strong abdominals, we sink down, fall over and don’t have strength. You can read more about the power of strong core muscles in our Tripawds Gear blog post, Why Core Strength Matters for Tripawd Dogs

3. You are absolutely right, you need to cut those calories fast. Since our dogs can’t open the refrigerator door (well, most of them!), only we have the power to help them eat a proper diet and lose weight. You are off to a great start with the green beans and vegetables to add some fiber and bulk to her diet without adding calories. Of course she’ll complain for a while, but that will subside if you are strong and don’t bend to her puppy dog begging eyes 😉 First, keep in mind that the recommended amounts of food on a dog food bag are general guidelines, they are not meant to be hard and fast rules. All dogs metabolize differently, just like people. She got used to eating that amount, so it will take getting used to eating less, but you guys can do it! We have lots of diet tips in the Tripawds Nutrition blog , like:

Best Tips for Keeping your Tripawd Slim

Pumpkin Pulp Treats for Cat and Dog Weight Loss, Digestion and More!

Tripawd Diet Tips to #GetHealthyHappy

Homemade Dehydrated Green Beans Make Great Treats for Dogs

Finally, although she does have restricted activity now, that just means that you need to find other things to do with her, things that will also help her lose weight. Our Tripawds Gear blog has tons of exercise tips, as does our e-book, Loving Life On Three Legs .

I hope this helps. Stay tuned, other people will chime in OK?  Thanks again for joining!

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




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4 March 2016 - 10:00 am
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Welcome DoberLADY and Mom!

Sitto every si gle word of Jerry’s and, adding a STANDING OVATION to you for being such a great advocate for your girl! Bringing her home just a few hours after surgery…WOW!

Sooooo glad you got another opinion with a different vet and proceeded with amputation. Recovery can be rough, but getting rid of that painful leg has to make her feel so much better!!

And yeah, most dogs here stay on pain meds at least 10 to 14 days, and quite often longer. In the States they are usually given Tramadol, Gabapentin, Rimadyl and an antibiotic. Gabapentin is the one that targets phantom limb pain. Many dogs do NOT experience it,so try not to be too concerned. Generally, if it does happen, the pain comes a d goes quickly. Yiu may see the dog jump up and try to run away from the pain, yelp, ears pinned back. It’s generally over in less than a minute. Just speak calmly, try gentle massage. My Happy Hannah needed some of her pain meds into the third week.

Generally, the stitches stay in approximately two weeks here in the States.

My Happy Hannah was a somewhat “fluffy” 125 lbs Bull Mastiff. Like your DoberLADY she would have nothing to do with a sling. Your girl will get the hang of peeing. She’ll maybe adjust her stance a bit. It leg muscle will get stronger. I know seeing her fall on ner stump is really hard on ner AND on you. She’ll work through it though, hopefully with no more falls.

One suggestion is to make sure all she is doing these first two weeks is just going out for short potty breaks and then back in to rest. Even though she seems to be doing really, really well, her muscles and joints need to adjust to her new mobility issues (that takes approximately thirty days according to some vets). Muscle strain and soreness can creep up pretty suddenly.

You have really been through an emotional roller coaster getting to this point. You are so strong! Good job!! You now have more extended quality time with your girl!! Make every day count!!! Every day is a gift, savor it, treasure it and don’t waste any time worrying about the tomorrows. Now is all that matters!

Looking for pictures of your sweet girl!! Name? Update when you can

Stay connected! We are here for you!! Even though we are in different countries, we all live together under the umbrella of the Tripawd Universe! 🙂

Love!

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

PS. We have quite a few Dobbies here. Their humans will chime in. NITRO is o e of our Rock Stars, as is Angel Leland

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!

Schofield, WI
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4 March 2016 - 10:10 am
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Welcome!  Sorry you and your Doberlady have to be here.  So glad to hear it wasn’t cancer in both legs.  Wow that must’ve been a really stressful time for you!  I’m not going to be any help with the losing weight part but Rene (Jerry) has given you wonderful advice in that area.  As she gets stronger it’ll be easier for her to do her business.  She’s still learning how to navigate this early on.  I’ve heard it takes 2 to 3 weeks for recovery and over a month for mobility to get good.  That is why those core exercises Rene gave you the links to are so important.  Sounds like recovery is going well let us know if we can help you in any way.  You’re doing wonderfully with her your love for her shines through your post.  Hugs to you and your beautiful girl.

Linda, Ollie, Riley & Spirit Mighty Max

Maryland
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4 March 2016 - 10:33 am
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Hi There!

I’m so glad you found us. We’ve all be through this, so we’ll all try to help. You’ve gotten some good feedback about the weight and the meds. I do think it would be good to get her started on Gabapentin if it is available. It is much easier to ‘stay ahead’ of the pain than try to get it under control once it starts. But overall it sounds like she’s doing good for this point in the recovery.

Our Ellie was also a rear amp and she also had a rough time at first squatting. But w/in a few days she had figured it out and hated to have us help. We were usually there w/ a sling under her (loose) just in case she lost her balance. She also definitely fell more than few times at first (not just doing her business, but just out and about in the yard). It is really hard to watch and I’m sure it hurt, but it seemed to be worse for us than for her.

Denise, Bill and Angel Ellie.

Active 10+ Pyr mix suddenly came up lame with ACL tear in left rear leg. Scheduled for a TPLO but final pre-op x-rays indicated a small suspicious area, possibly OSA, which could have caused the ACL tear. Surgeon opened the knee for TPLO but found soft bone. Biopsy came back positive for OSA. Became a Tripawd 9/18/14. Carbo6 with Cerenia and Fluids. Pain free and living in the moment. Crossed the Bridge on 7/12/15 after probable spread of cancer to her cervical spine. A whole lifetime of memories squeezed into 10 months. Here's her story: Eloise

Martinsburg, WV
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4 March 2016 - 4:43 pm
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Hi and Welcome!!!

I’m not here as much as I’d like but I just happened to be checking to see what’s been going on and came across your post.  Like you My Leland was a handsome 125lb Dobie boy…he’s the one pictured in my avatar.  When you mentioned struggling with your Dobie girl’s weight (what’s her name by the way?) I just had to respond.  Like you our Leland struggled with weight.  I had him on a premium dry dog food for food sensitivities (he’d dealt with chronic diarrhea issues all his life).  I only gave him 1/2 cup (literally I measured it out) of dry food in the morning and evening.  I also included some grilled chicken or steak (he was a temperamental eater as well).  The vets always kept saying he was overweight and we needed to cut his food.  Well as you know a large breed dog needs to have some food and I couldn’t see where we could cut much else.  Leland got some treats and he loved peanut butter in his Kong toy.  This went on for several years and it wasn’t until the surgeon who would be performing Leland’s surgery had blood work run to check his organ functions did we find out what the problem had been all along.  Leland had hypothyroidism (low functioning thyroid) which in turn caused the weight gain.  Our local vets kept telling us “he’s too young to have a low functioning thyroid.”  Leland was 4 1/2 years old when we discovered this and I’d say the weight issue had been going on since age 3.  Hypothyroidism can be treated with medication in dogs just like humans.  Your vet should be able to run a blood test on your Dobie girl.

Hypothyroidism is a pretty common disorder within the Dobie breed.  If you’ve tried cutting her food but she’s still not losing weight and is even putting weight on I’d be asking the vet to check her thyroid function.  My husband and I felt so guilty after we found out what was really going on because we had cut Leland’s food so much trying to get the weight down.

Anyway…hope that helps and gives you a direction with regard to the weight issue.

Warm Wishes

Sahana and her Angel Leland and Lucian too

smiley   

Leland

November 17, 2009 - June 30, 2014

May you finally be healthy and running free at the Rainbow Bridge. Until we meet again my sweet boy!

The Rainbow Bridge



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4 March 2016 - 4:52 pm
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OMG Sehana THANK YOU for that idea about hypothyroidism, you are the best!!!!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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5 March 2016 - 2:41 am
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Kudos to you for being such a strong advocate for your doberlady and getting her the veterinary assistance she needed. As far as the weight issues, I have the opposite problem with my tripawd (can’t get her to eat), so I can’t help you there. I did have a little Yorkie at one time who was quite the chowhound, and we helped him lose weight by supplementing his diet with frozen green beans and baby carrots. So I think you’re on the right track.

As far as pain meds, my own dog was sent home with Meloxicam (also known as Metacam) and codeine, but they wanted her off the Meloxicam just a few days past surgery, and they only prescribed the codeine for seven days past surgery. I did notice that she would start whimpering an hour or so before her next codeine tablet was due, so I called my local vet and was able to get the codeine refilled for another several days (until she got her stitches out at two weeks post-op), although even my local vet didn’t think it was needed and wasn’t happy with refilling it. However, the local vet was happy to refill the Meloxicam, so she got to take that for another week or so.

I do think my Susie experienced Phantom Limb Pain, so at two weeks post-op, I was able to persuade the surgeon to give her a prescription of Gabapentin. That helped tremendously, even though I only gave her one capsule per day (in the evening, when her symptoms were usually worse), instead of the three capsules a day the surgeon prescribed. Tonight was her last night to take the Gabapentin, and I’m so relieved she’ll now be off all pain meds.

I’m not a vet, but my advice would be to listen to your dog. If you think she’s in any pain, I’d call the vet and describe the symptoms and ask to continue the pain meds for at least another week. If your doberlady suddenly yelps or screams out, she could be having Phantom Limb Pain–and, in that case, Gabapentin could help her, as it helped my dog. If she seems fine without the pain meds after a week post-op, that’s okay, too. There have been other dogs on these Forums who have done well even without continuing the heavy-duty pain meds for weeks. Every dog has their own individual timetable. You just have to take your cues from your dog and don’t be afraid to be an advocate for her if you think she’s having any pain.

It sounds as if your doberlady is trying to get right back in the swing of things very quickly. It’s great that she’s got such a good attitude–that will definitely help with her recovery. But one thing I noticed with my dog is that on the days she tried to do too much the first two or three weeks after surgery, she paid for it the next day with pain and stiffness (which was different from the regular post-op pain). Your dog is having to relearn how to get around and is using new muscles and joints–that’s bound to take a toll on her and she’ll need lots of rest.

I love it that Sahana brought up the hypothyroidism issue that’s commonly found in Dobermans. It would be great if your vet could test your Doberlady–that way, keeping her weight down may not be such a struggle anymore, as a thyroid condition could be so easily treated.

I’d love to know your Doberlady’s name, too! smiley

((((hugs))))xxxx from Nancy and Susie

Maputo, Mozambique
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5 March 2016 - 2:57 am
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Thank you all so much for the warm welcome!! 🙂 My girl’s name is Venus (we got her as an older puppy so just kept the name that the breeder gave her) and she’s 8 years old. I will add some pics once everything has settled down here (as you can imagine, it’s hectic!!).

Surprisingly, we have recently come across many other tripods here in Moz, even some doing really great with the front leg gone. If you are interested, there’s this lovely story about a rescue in Moz that now has a wheelchair : https://www.fac…..ozambique/

@Jerry, I really appreciate all the links – very helpful and indeed looks like we have our work cut out for us. We never had a chance to do a full xray, so we don’t know if the cancer already spread to her lungs and other parts of the body. However, her blood tests are all normal. Pain & antibiotics: She was on Rimadyl and Cefixime for 7 days, which made her nice and sleepy.

I didn’t think about her tummy strength for urinating! No wonder she’s having trouble keeping herself up. Since the remaining back leg was faltering, I just assumed that that was it.

Unfortunately, most of the exercise tools and aids needed are unavailable to us here, and things can’t get delivered from overseas because of where we are. However, my brother is going to South Africa next week and I will ask him to look for some stuff. Is there any particular core strengthening aid that you would recommend? That balance disc looks great!

@leland4 Thanks so much for the advice – someone at the Doberman forum also mentioned thyroid, but I had ruled that out because she didn’t seem to have any other symptoms (except for shedding). Now, though, I think we should do a blood test next week to check for this. Does one have to a specific blood test for this or is it a general one? If the latter, we’ve already done 2 recently and the vet had no special comments on the results.

My girl is on Eukanuba Intestinal dry food (recommended by a South African vet because she had tummy troubles). The vets also keep saying she needs to lose weight and to cut down her food but I’m not sure how much more we can cut down!! Sometimes I think that Venus just lives for food so it would be awful to deprive her anymore.

I’m really sorry to hear about your struggle with Leland – why did he have to get an amputation by the way? And how long did he survive after it? You shouldn’t be too hard on yourselves; I also struggle with guilt a lot but it’s impossible for us to make sure they have perfect lives (not saying we shouldn’t try though!!). I went through your gallery and looks like he lived a pretty wonderful life 🙂 

@lyriclemom, we were using Metcam a few months before surgery – apparently it’s for pain and helps to prevent fractures and breaks of the bone.

***

Thanks again everyone for you input – it’s wonderful to have this kind of support. I have so much to add but this post is already way too long. My dog actually belongs to my parents, who didn’t take that great care of her most of her life, so now my brother and I have taken over. We’re also going to get some dog cream for her foot pads (apparently they crack more easily with the pressure), so if anyone has more suggestions on how to care for her – keeping in mind the limitations in this country – I’d really appreciate it!! 

I have a couple of more questions (sorry):

1. Regarding the movement of her remaining back leg: before the surgery, she was limping because of the bad leg. Now she is making the same movements and sort of hobbling/hopping when she walks (not when she runs). She’s moving the same way as I see other tripod dogs with one back leg move in online videos. So is this normal or should I be concerned that the remaining leg might also have some problems?? 

2. Are periods of constant twitching/trembling + jerking of the stump normal? This is usually when she lies down but sometimes when she’s standing up still.

Thanks again and have a great weekend all 🙂 

P.S. It was awful and slightly funny at the same time. Venus was trying to scratch her ear with her missing leg and it was so strange to see the stump making scratching motions!!

Martinsburg, WV
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5 March 2016 - 8:03 am
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I’m not sure if the blood test has to be specific to the thyroid or if it’s something that’s picked up in a general screening.  Check with your vet to see if the thyroid function was checked in the previous blood work Venus had run.

Regarding what happened with my Leland we had noticed his left knee joint was swollen and it caused issues with his walking.  We saw some different vets because his original vet practice wouldn’t do an x-ray of the knee at our 1st apt.  They wanted us to schedule another apt to come back so they could sedate Leland to take an x-ray (all the while charging us for 2 office visits).  So I called another vet who was able to see us the next day and took x-rays right then and didn’t need to put Leland to sleep to do it.  The vet was stumped about what was going on in the knee so he referred us to a larger practice.  The next vet thought Leland had cancer and wanted to do an MRI of the knee and biopsy of the “mass”.  So we agreed only to have 2 inconclusive results on the biopsy.  When he wanted us to bring Leland back to sedate him and cut open his knee and surgically remove a piece of the mass to be biopsied we decided no.  We would make Leland’s life as wonderful as possible for whatever time we had left with him.  This all occurred in February 2014.

So I researched various supplements and herbal treatments and started Leland on them.  We’d take Leland to our local vet once a month to be checked out and to x-ray the knee/leg to see if there were changes.  By early May 2014 our local vet was shocked to not see any changes to the bone in the knee/leg.  If this had been cancer it should have started to eat away at the bone.  The vet didn’t think we were dealing with cancer and referred us to another surgeon well versed in TPLO procedures to correct knee injuries.  Like our vet this surgeon didn’t think we were dealing with cancer either and wanted to proceed with the TPLO procedure.  He removed the “mass” in Leland’s knee and told us he’d never seen anything like it.  It was sent off to be biopsied and came back as non-cancerous but unsure of exactly what it was.

After the TPLO surgery Leland came down with an infection in the leg.  His meniscus also was not holding the screws of the plate in place.  His TPLO surgery had failed and he was hospitalized for 4 days trying to get the infection under control.  The surgeon advised our only option now was to amputate or put him to sleep.  We went in to see our boy and he came in dragging this useless leg behind him.  He was so miserable and we felt horrible.  We had brought all sorts of food with us because Leland wasn’t eating.  I was able to get him to eat some jars of baby food so my husband and I decided to give him a chance with amputation.

The recovery was rough but at least we had our boy with us.  Getting around for him was tough because the knee in the remaining hind leg was weak.  The surgeon had indicated that we may have 2-3 years before it would need surgery because the ligaments would go out.  So we took extra care in helping Leland get up and maneuver.  Sadly, we didn’t have 2-3 years but only 4 weeks before his remaining knee went out.  Leland’s health also started declining pretty rapidly soon after the amputation.  There was a lot of visible muscle wasting in his head and neck.  Our local vet advised this was a sign of an autoimmune disorder and started Leland on a high dose of prednisone .  The large dose of prednisone was havoc on his thirst and urinary function and he ended up starting to urinate on himself while he slept.  My husband and I also noticed his tan markings around his backside had turned a cream color.  The surgeon had stated he could do a TPLO on the remaining leg but he was not confident in the success with these other health issues plaguing Leland.  Plus my husband and I couldn’t bring ourselves to put Leland through a 3rd surgery within 5-6 weeks.  So we decided to let our Leland go 4 weeks to the day of his amputation surgery.

We miss our boy everyday and there’s time when both me and my husband cry for him. 

But we now have Lucian in our lives…he’s another Dobie boy of course.  He’ll be turning 2 years old this May and he can definitely be a handful at times.  However, he does make me and my husband laugh with some of his crazy antics.  Right now he’s put on lock down in his crate when hubby and I aren’t at home.  He was doing so well there for a long time in being left alone in the house.  However, I think he’s realized how much fun it is to rip up hubby’s car magazines, shred pillows, and chew on mom’s Longaberger baskets that we can’t leave him alone in the house.  We’re hoping that eventually Lucian will grow out of this because I’d like to get this huge crate out of the living room and he looks so sad when we get home to let him out.

Here are some recent pics of Lucian from last weekend finally getting a chance to play outside after it warmed up a bit…

And this is Lucian after a hard day of playing with the rake and his ball….

Sahana and her Angel Leland and Lucian too

smiley

Leland

November 17, 2009 - June 30, 2014

May you finally be healthy and running free at the Rainbow Bridge. Until we meet again my sweet boy!

Livermore, CA




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5 March 2016 - 10:07 am
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P.S. It was awful and slightly funny at the same time. Venus was trying to scratch her ear with her missing leg and it was so strange to see the stump making scratching motions!!

My little pug Maggie would do that, she lost her left back leg to mast cell cancer.  I called it the air scratch. Maggie had a little stump of her femur left and you could see it go go go!  I became responsible for her left side face scratching unless she did it on the furniture or her sister.

My current Tripawd is a little pug mix also missing a back leg.  She was hit by a car and her entire femur had to be removed. To my surprise she still does a version of the air scratch- but with the muscles instead of a stump.

On the weight- I had a chronically overweight pug girl named Tani.  When I reduced her food she would eat anything she could find- bugs, little rocks, who knows what else.  When it became a critical issue I removed kibble as the main food source and finally got her weight down. I know where you are your choices might be limited, and it is much more expensive with big dogs to eliminate kibble.  But you might look at the kibble you are feeding and see if you can reduce the amount of kibble and substitute fresh food.  There are lots of recipes in the Nutrition Blog you could look at.  Even a couple meals a week would help.

I also had excellent results with green beans.  I substituted the no salt added canned beans for portions of the dogs food.  They still feel full (for a few min anyway) and eat fewer calories. I also use them for treats and snacks.

And by the way Welcome to you and Venus!

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

Virginia




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5 March 2016 - 11:01 am
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SAHANA!! Wonderful hearing from you! Thank you so much for sharing Leland’s story for Venue. His legacy of making a difference is living through you! Love the photos!! Love to you and all!

Venus, yes the stump twitching/movement is normal. Gentle, very gentle massage, feels good to some tripawds. With my Happy Hannah (a rear legger), I made sure I always gave her a good all over scratch several fimes a dsy, plus a good ear rub and face rub on the side she couldn’t reach.

Would have to see a video of Venus, but it sou ds like her walk is lretty normal for a tripawd. The faster they walk, the easier it is to keep their balance and keep the momentum going. It’s still VERY early in recovery a d she’s still adjusting. Her muscles are probably sore too.

Sending 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!

Maputo, Mozambique
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6 March 2016 - 5:45 am
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@leland4, I’m so sorry that you went through that ordeal 🙁 I would have probably done something similar to what you had if faced with such a situation. It’s also difficult when dealing with different professional opinions and you never know which is the right one or if any of them are even right.

I’m glad you have another dobie now. He’s very handsome and definitely sounds like a handful 🙂

@krun15, I think it’s a good idea to reduce the kibble amount, thank you. I am currently substituting a bit with fresh, raw carrot and green beans, but I’m also thinking of substituting some with boiled chicken pieces.

@benny55, Once her stitches are out, I will upload a vid/pics of her moving and standing. At the moment, when she’s outside, I have to be constantly vigilant and can’t really take photos because she’s always trying to run, bark, chase and climb things – all which she shouldn’t be doing!! She has already fallen on her stump a few times despite both my brother and I constantly hovering over her.

I have been giving her daily massages and she seems very relieved / grateful afterwards, which makes me sad. Hopefully any discomfort or soreness that she has will pass after a week or two.

Thanks again everyone for your support and words of advice – they are much appreciated!

The Rainbow Bridge



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6 March 2016 - 8:20 am
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izzyabraham said
Unfortunately, most of the exercise tools and aids needed are unavailable to us here,

1. Regarding the movement of her remaining back leg: before the surgery, she was limping because of the bad leg. Now she is making the same movements and sort of hobbling/hopping when she walks (not when she runs). She’s moving the same way as I see other tripod dogs with one back leg move in online videos. So is this normal or should I be concerned that the remaining leg might also have some problems?? 

2. Are periods of constant twitching/trembling + jerking of the stump normal? This is usually when she lies down but sometimes when she’s standing up still.

You can post as much as you’d like, don’t hesitate OK? That’s why we are here. Nobody minds if your posts are long, the more info the more we can help.

Regarding the fitness tools: No worries! You can do LOTS with what you have on hand.

  • Got sofa cushions? Start there. Have Venus walk across sofa cushions placed on the floor. That’s a great way to start wiith core strengthening.
  • Very short walks through sand are a great workout.
  • Anytime she goes on a walk, ask her to step over curbs and short, low obstacles. This will help tremendously.
  • And when she’s stronger you can build your own Buja board with simple building materials.

Her hop sounds normal to me, but I haven’t seen her (and I”m not a vet so…) Got any video to share? Start a YouTube channel, then copy/paste the video URL into you post here.

Pretty normal about the twitching. Does she do anything when it happens?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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6 March 2016 - 2:52 pm
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One thing I want to mention (as a person who formerly had hyperthroidism and now has an autoimmune version of hypothyroidism) is that the tests for thyroid function are SPECIFIC. That means that a low thryroid level might not be picked up on regular blood tests. I don’t think it would hurt at all to ask your vet to run a thyroid test on Venus, just to be on the safe side.

It would be great if her weight issue could be at least partially resolved with thyroid medication.

((((hugs)))) from Nancy & Susie

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