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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This is my first post here. I have an 11 year old whippet x who has been a tripawd for 5 years. She is only 10kg and we have had very few issues apart from the odd muscle strain ( she is a kamikaze) and the fact she has a nail condition symmetrical lupoid onchyodystrophy which cause her nails to fall out and is quite painful.
for the last few days she has been reluctant to walk at all, apart from the odd rush around which normally means she’s in pain and she won’t stand to eat tea. I thought it was her nails but none feel loose and we managed to cut them back yesterday so unlikely to be her slo. I have checked her leg and hip, no flinching, and I normally know when she’s over exerted herself but with all the hot weather walks have been minimal. She is on metacam and half a paracetamol twice a day. She gets out to toilet and that’s about it. Any suggestions from anyone ? Is her leg just wearing out?
I have been in touch with my vet but can’t be seen for another 10 days due to covid etc etc
Hello and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.
What is your girls name? Why did she lose her leg?
I've never heard of that nail condition- it sounds awful poor girl.
Sounds like you are really in tune with her- that's great. What activities does she do besides walking? Could she have strained herself falling or jumping up or down off furniture or on the any stairs? Are there any trigger points along her spine? You said you checked her leg- how does she react if you flex her knee joint?
At 11 she could certainly be slowing down but in my experience with aging dogs it is a gradual change in ability not something that happens over a few days. Before the reluctance to walk over the last few days can you think of any more subtle indicators that there was an issue? Did she sit down more than usual? Was she less active? Dogs are so good about hiding pain that it's easy to miss early signs.
Sorry about all the questions... but more information might help us help you!
Are there any rehab vets near you? Depending on what your vet says a rehab specialist might be just what she needs.
Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls
Hi, thanks for the reply. I have noticed this summer that she has been slowing down a bit and her stamina is not as good. This is very sudden so on reflection it is more likely to be an injury. If she strains it it’s because she’s twisted it runnng about like an idiot but not this time. It could be from jumping off a bed as I might not have seen that.
we had her as a rescue at 2 and at 4 she had a collision injury last thing at night with her sister when they ran after something in the back garden. There was a massive yelp and she came back with her leg swinging. Three operations later, two with our vet and then with a specialist we saved it but she had a locked knee. 18 months later she collided with her brother at speed ( she is a kamikaze) straight back to the specialist to fix it but this time it kept getting infected so after a year we amputated. Tbf she has been a lot happier on the 3 legs after all the trouble trying to keep the 4. She didn’t get SLO until she was 9. It’s an immune disease but some people that know it’s brought on by trauma.
Your response has made my thoughts stop going into overdrive. I can cope if it’s just a strain even if it’s taking a bit longer than normal to heal. I think I’m going to have to start policing her a bit more to make sure she doesn’t over do it.
Welcome to you and Ms. Kamikaze! What a great description, she sounds like a lot of fun and I'm envious of her energy What's her name?
Ten days is a long time for her to wait to be seen, that would make me crazy. It's good that she's not showing any obvious pain signals but you never know, dogs and cats are sooo good at hiding symptoms. It's probably just a lot of years of three-legged activity catching up with her but I recommend getting her into seeing a physio therapist as soon as possible. They are highly skilled at pinpointing mobility problems (often more so than a general practice vet, because it's what they specialize in doing) and can get her feeling good again in no time at all. If you'd like help finding a therapy centre just let us know OK? And if your therapist has a "CCRT" or "CCRP" credential, the Tripawds Foundation can pay for her first rehab visit so please check it out!
Her name is Domino because she has 3 big black spots on one side and white ( blank ) on the other. Dommy for short. This was her rescue name and we kept it. She is no longer blank as she has lots of happy spots all over!
I have sent a video to the vet of her walking today but I also feel she is a bit better. We had a little 5 minute walk and she has come to ask for a treat. The delay at the vet is because our vets are still not open properly and have less staff in due to covid restrictions.They will see her in an emergency but I am prepared to give her another 24 hours for improvement.
The one thing that’s new today is I have noticed her leg is shaking when standing still even for a short period. Has anyone any ideas about that?
The physio idea is a really good idea going forward. I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of it. We have tried hydro therapy but she hated it.
I do love her to bits and if I felt she was going downhill or in pain I would be camping out at the vets!
Thank you all for your good advice.
I like her name story!
My current rear amp Tripawd Elly's coat/coloring is piebald (she is white with black markings) with black ticking. Her rescue name was Dottie .
But I have a good friend named Dotty and actually the name didn't really fit her (other than her markings) so I changed it.
With my two rear amp Tri's the time I've seen the back leg wobble was with my first Maggie and that was only early after her surgery. I think it was due to weakness right after surgery, she would stand for a bit and her leg would start to shake and then she would sit down. The farther we got from surgery the less it happened. Back then I didn't know anything about rehab or core or leg strength. Elly was 2.5 months post amp when I adopted her so she was healed but not really strong. I didn't notice wobble or shaking with her back leg but she did not spend a lot of time standing when I first got her. Now, 5 years later she is very fit and strong and I don't ever see the leg wobble.
Maybe since Dommy has been less active lately she has some weakness in the back leg. I think a rehab vet would be a great idea at this point for her, they can develop an exercise program for you that you can do at home. I work with Elly most every day on some type of strength or balance exercise or game and it really makes a difference for her. A couple years ago she had a very invasive dental surgery and was on activity restriction for 2 weeks- no toys, no games, no running around. There was a noticeable decline in her strength and balance after only two weeks!
Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls
Elly and Domino sound very similar in colouring.i do like a spotty dog. She’s a lot happier today. Still restricting her exercise as leg shaking a bit. I’m definitely going to sort out some sort of rehab,physio thing for her going forward. Anything to keep her active for as long as possible. Thank you for your advice. It us much appreciated.
Hi everyone. Just thought I’d update you on Domino. She has continued to improve with lots of rest and trying to police her activity. We eventually saw the vet and she confirmed her sprain was half way down her spine. My physio friend watched her gait compared to my other Whippets and said she flexes her spine in that area to get her back leg off the ground so that all kinds of makes sense. Anyway I have been giving her talks about taking it more easy now she’s 11 I’m sure she won’t listen. Thank you all for your help x
I'm sooo glad the vet had answers, and that she's feeling better! YAY! Keep up the great work being activity police, and she'll have lots of good times ahead. We would love to see photos! Here are instructions for adding images , let us know if you'd like help.
Thanks for taking time to let us know, this is super helpful for everyone to see that yes, things can get better even when our Tripawd shows weird pain signals that worry us. Great job!
22 February 2013
Oh good! While I know this is unsettling, but at least it's "fixable"! You have to listen to your Mom and take it easy cutie pie!!
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!