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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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PLEASE HELP! 16 year old three legged dog,, can barely walk.
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Forum Posts: 2
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12 February 2011
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12 February 2011 - 12:07 pm
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I'm Rachel, and i'm 20 years old. Ive had Toby since i was 5, and he'll be turning 16 this year. He's a miniature schnauzer thats become somewhat of a local celebrity. He got hit by a car when he was barely 1 and lost his rear right leg.

 

Im really worried about him. Up until this year, he's been able to get around fine. But now his only rear leg is giving out and he can barely walk around anymore without someone in my family lifting him up. I really need to find away to strengthen his back leg, or do anything just to help him get around, because i don't have it in me to put him down. Hes like my little brother and i REALLY dont want to lose him.

 

Any advice?

Madison, WI
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12 February 2011 - 12:22 pm
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Well, there are lots of things that could help that folks have recommended on this site, but it really depends on the cause.  Could be he needs something as simple as an anti-inflammatory for arthritis to as fancy as ancupucture or a chiropractic adjustment.  First step is getting your vet's opinion on the cause.

Gerry has been a tripawd since 12/16/2009.

He was a shelter dog with a mysterious past and an irrepairable knee injury.

Videos and pics of Gerry's pawesomeness can be found at: http://gerry.tripawds.com

Here and Now


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12 February 2011 - 12:26 pm
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Welcome and thanks for joining! We're sorry to hear about Toby but glad you found us.

Do you have any access to hydrotherapy near you? Water treadmill work may be very beneficial for Toby. You should also consider a daily regiment of stretching, exercises and massage. Watch our Cal Animal Rehab video interviews for details.

You can use balance pads, pillows or a homemade Buja board when exercising Toby, just don't let him overdo it. Focus on core strengtheing and unstable surface work – walking does not build strength, only endurance.  Finally there is always the option of using a cart for Toby, if necessary.

Please consult with your vet and seek out a rehab specialist. Best of luck and please keep us posted.

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12 February 2011 - 12:36 pm
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Thank youall. I'm going to call the vet today, I just dont want them to tell me its time to do what i most definitely don't want to do.

I know hes happy, and he still gets that “puppy spark” usually once a day, when he just goes crazy and acts like a puppy again. I just have to figure out how im gonna help out my little feller get around better and not be in pain. 

Madison, WI
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12 February 2011 - 10:13 pm
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Yeah, when my family dog was 17 and I was about your age, she clearly had a few serious things going on with her and euthanizing very well could have been the right thing for her, which we did, but in retrospect it bothered me very much that we didn't get her new symptoms diagnosed, just the recommendation for euthanasia because her quality of life was very poor.  Especially after learning about all the things they can do for dogs these days (both with conventional and holistic medicine) through my experience with my  next dog, Yoda, (who had cancer) I couldn't help but wonder if I had more information or asked for a referral to our local University's veterinary school, maybe there would have been more options for her.  (Though maybe they wouldn't have been financially feasible, which is a very hard fact of life).  Anyway, to sum up, if they are just telling you euthanisa is it and aren't telling you much else, I would recommend pressing your vet for what exactly is wrong with Toby.  Then tell your vet you need to think about it (totally understandable) and you can do your own research for other options, if you're not satisfied.  Good luck!

Gerry has been a tripawd since 12/16/2009.

He was a shelter dog with a mysterious past and an irrepairable knee injury.

Videos and pics of Gerry's pawesomeness can be found at: http://gerry.tripawds.com

Las Vegas, Nevada
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13 February 2011 - 1:31 am
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Welcome!

Sorry about Toby.  Definintely, have the vet check him.   He could have blown a cruciate ligament in his good back knee.  (very common in senior dogs even with 4 legs, three legs more so) If so, then it can be repaired. 

At his age, he could just be arthritic and need to be on meds.

Unless there is something very, very serious and in pain with no hope, vet's won't tell you to put them down.  They will try to make them better. 

Best wishes for Toby to have something minor!  He's a little guy, so he could have several more years in him!

Try not to worry and just get him checked out!

Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
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13 February 2011 - 5:29 am
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Ok, once more for my famous soap box – get a second opinion.  Not all vets have the same approach, and you may find one you are more in line with.  If by chance they both tell you the same thing, it may be time to listen.

Sending lots of good thoughts yours way, I know you are scared, and I know you aren't ready to let go.  Please remember 16 years is an long life for a dog and I know Toby has a happy life with someone who worries about him and wants the best for him.  Good luck as you fight to find the right answers.

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.

ddluvsanimals
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13 February 2011 - 7:14 am
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rachelmarieaull said:

Thank youall. I'm going to call the vet today, I just dont want them to tell me its time to do what i most definitely don't want to do.

I know hes happy, and he still gets that “puppy spark” usually once a day, when he just goes crazy and acts like a puppy again. I just have to figure out how im gonna help out my little feller get around better and not be in pain. 


rachel, i am sending prayers and healing thoughts for your “baby” – another option (and it's a good one if you choose to) is to get him a cart… eddie's wheels in MA is a great place for a cart and they will tell you how to measure… and since  your baby can get around some, you wouldn't have to have him in it all the time… they go FLYING around the yard in the carts… it is so cute… just a thought.

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13 February 2011 - 8:28 am
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Welcome to the family. I'm gonna hop on Shanna's bus, if you don't think your vet is giving you every option, second opinions can result in alot more time for some dogs, her Trouble is a living example, over 2 years now. And if you do decide to get a second, I would try to find a younger vet that might have knowledge of some newer procedures, technologies or treatments, some of the older guys tend to resist new ideas. That being said, no matter who you decide to have treat Toby, have them explain to you what is happening, why it's happening and the outcome, time frame, cost of any resulting treatments, don't be intimidated by any vet, there are no stupid questions. Now, let me say, as much as you want to get him going again, and only a thorough examination and x-rays, mri's or whatever will you find that out, it may be determined they can't help him. There is a point where no amount of treatment, medication, or therapy will help. One of the things you will find here is that top on everyones list here is quality of life, and as traumatic and gut wrenching as some decisions are, keep that in mind no matter what you find out. Believe me when I say there are a whole lot of people here who have had their hearts ripped out because cancer or illness took there best friend way to early, so noone here will tell you to do something without knowing the results of what they are saying. Don't give up yet, you may find his problem is comletely treatable, good luck, paws up, Spirit Gus and Dan  

My buddy Gus had a left front amputation on April 7, 2010 and lived a great life until July 26,2010

The Rainbow Bridge



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13 February 2011 - 5:43 pm
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I'll hop on that bus too. Second opinions, from forward-thinking vets, are often the key to avoiding a lot of heartache. We've talked to rehab therapists who were able to get dogs walking and functioning again, after other conventional vets had given up on them or recommended very expensive surgeries (just have to ensure that the rehab practitioners are qualified and certified to do this kind of work…look for CCRP or CCRT after their initials or visit the Canine Rehab Institute Directory to find one). And if it's something that needs a different type of specialist, a forward-thinking vet will have no problem referring you to that specialist.

Don't lose hope OK? Please keep us posted and do tell us more about your tripawd celebrity when you get a chance!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 1216
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14 February 2011 - 4:30 pm
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Everyone else has already said what I would have so just let me say that I will be praying for you and your boy, Toby.  Please let us know what the vet says.

Debra & Emily, a five year old doberman mix, who was diagnosed with an osteosaecoma. She had a right rear leg amputation on May 19, 2009. On November 10, 2009 she earned her wings and regained her fourth leg.

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