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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Radar Update (Need Advice for Senior Tripawd)
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Forum Posts: 289
Member Since:
26 July 2008
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10 August 2014 - 6:09 am
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Hi everyone, I know it’s been ages but wanted to hop in and give a Radar update and ask for some advice on our aging guy.

Radar is now 6.5 years post amp.  His OS diagnosis was done by x-ray only and no biopsy was ever done (before or after amputation).  We now “suspect” that the diagnosis was in error after taking some of this vet’s x-rays to a specialist and learning that they were of such poor quality they were virtually unreadable.  Radar has never had chemo or radiation and has never shown sign of any cancer since then.

Our big guy is getting older however and a month ago he went suddenly and mysteriously blind.  We learned that he had a slow growing tumor in the pituitary gland that was putting pressure on the optic nerve and prednisone daily has brought his sight back.  Also along with aging comes the expected achy joints and being so large he often seems uncomfortable and licks his joints a lot.  Usually an aspirin makes him feel better.

Over the last few years Radar has begun to eat cloth.  Clothes, toys, towels, anything he can get his teeth on.  This has caused gastro issues with him and we have to constantly vigilant that he has access to absolutely nothing made of cloth.  Suggestions on the cause of this behavior and a way to stop it would be welcome.

With aging and sore joints he has begun to get up and out less and less and over the past couple weeks has actually urinated on himself rather than getting up.  One of the side effects of this lack of activity amounts to bed sores (knee on non-amputation side and shoulder at the amputation site).  Since there is one on each side he rolls over a lot to relieve one side or the other.  He also licks these two spots mercilessly and we have to wrap him to keep them from getting infected.  We cannot put a cone on him because of his tripawd balance and limited eyesight.  Would love suggestions on ways to heal these quickly.

Radar is nearly 12 years old now.  Has had an active life and only over the past year started deteriorating with age.  We love our big bubber tripawd but with the tumor and other aging issues, know that he may not be with us too much longer.  The vet said within a year we would see other effects of the brain tumor and if his sight goes again, we may not be able to get it back with meds. 

He has been my best friend and a true inspiration and now that I myself face cancer find myself learning from him in terms of attitude and grace. 

Love to hear from those who have dealt with tripawds and aging issues so that I can make him more comfortable and active.

Hugs to all Connie

Forum Posts: 76
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1 August 2014
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10 August 2014 - 10:09 am
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Hi there. Sorry to hear your dealing with your own cancer battle along with aging of your beloved furry friend.

eating cloth- I admit I googled it and the thing that came up is that it cpuld be PICA, which is just eating whatever and that it’s compulsive. One site mentioned it could be attention seeking as in they want to be closer to your scent. Another said it could be nerves, anxiety, boredom. Can you try to make specialized chewing toys so he can satisfy chewing cloth without eating it? Or can you try the whole bitter apple thing or other ways thay are traditional with puppies?

My husky is 14 and suffers from arthritis. She’s not a tripawd, but she’s still a senior with aging issues. We started giving her deramaxx and she’s like a puppy again. aspirin did not work for her. It wasn’t strong enough.half a tablet of deramaxx works though. Perhaps Radar would do better with something stronger like that too.

I’m not sure about the sores. They need to stay dry. That’s quite the battle though. :/

I wish you and Radar luck with both of your health issues. Stay strong!

hugs from, Tina, Pebbles, and Smore

Tina and Smore

(with the spirit of Pebbles watching from the Rainbow Bridge)


Smore is my tripawd kitty who adopted me one summer evening. She had an injury to her front left leg and had to have her leg removed July 17th. She was only 3 or 4 months old at the time. Now she moves faster than some four legged cats!

Livermore, CA

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10 August 2014 - 1:51 pm
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Hi Connie,

As soon as I saw this topic title your avatar popped into my head- so nice to see it again!  I’m sorry you are facing your own challenges.  Our Tripawd cancer heroes are very inspiring. 

I’m sorry Radar is having issues now- aging, like the cancer battle, is not for sissys!

My quad pug Tani has terrible arthritis, she was diagnosed at 6 and is now 14.  We have slowly ramped up the supplements and meds over the years. I’ve tried a variety of joint supplements, we are now using Dasaquin.  3 or 4  years ago Tani was really starting to struggle and we started her on rimadyl- she was like a puppy again! Unfortunately pred can not be given with anti-inflammatories like rimadyl- so actually that’s not a very good suggestion oh-my.

Almost 2 years ago we tried adaquan, it is an injected anti-inflammatory.  She didn’t quite turn into a puppy again, but it took years off! It doesn’t work for all dogs, and it is expensive.  I don’t know if it can be given with pred- but you could ask your vet if you are interested. We did a loading phase of two shots a week for 4 weeks, then went to monthly injections.  I learned how to do them and do them at home now.  We have moved up the frequency to every two weeks now as her arthritis progresses.

My experience with dogs eating stuff they shouldn’t is always as a puppy- Maggie went through a paper eating phase so we couldn’t put any newspaper, writing paper, paper towels where she could get it.  Tani used to eat small rocks and bugs. But in both cases they grew out of it. My rescue pug Obie, he was 4 when I adopted him, was very mouthy.  He didn’t bite hard but he liked to grab fingers and hands.  I spent a lot of time re-directing his behavior with nylabones and he finally got the idea.  


Karen and Spirit Maggie

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

The Rainbow Bridge

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10 August 2014 - 8:41 pm
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Wow Connie, it is great to hear from you and know that Radar is holding his own for an old guy, but I’m sorry he’s having difficulties. It’s odd you posted because we just heard from Calamity’s Mom, Janie, who I believe was active here around the same time you started your journey?

OK I hope you don’t mind I moved your post here to this “Size and Age Matters” forum and edited your topic title, but I thought you might be able to get more insight that way. Now, we don’t have a senior Tripawd but here’s what I can help with:

The sores: have you tried the wound healing spray, Vetericyn? I’m really impressed with what I’ve heard about it, just learned about this product at a conference last spring.

The cloth chewing: our Wyatt Ray is notorious for that. He does it when he’s bored. He just goes for things that have our scent on them. Washcloths, dinner napkins and denim shorts have been his meal of choice. We do what you probably do: put anything away that he can get to when we leave the home, and we don’t let him get bored. Unfortunately I haven’t figured out a complete solution for this, it just started earlier this year.

I second the suggestion for Adequan, we’ve heard LOTS of good feedback about it. Check out the Tripawds Nutrition blog for more info.

One person you might want to get in touch with is Great Dane Nova’s Mom, Sue (DaneMom here in the Forums). Nova also went blind and had lots of mobility challenges as she aged (she’s one of the biggest and longest-living giant breed osteo survivors that we know of). Sue isn’t active here anymore but she can be emailed and I know would be happy to talk to you. PM me if you want her email address.

It is really, really great to hear from you. Now how about some photos?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 20113
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10 August 2014 - 9:13 pm
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Jerry…maybe you can give her the link to cabbage pouitice (?) for the sores…would that be something that would help in this case?

Connie, in the meantime, you might try the home page blogs…geez…I’m no hep with directing you to the right places.

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!

The Rainbow Bridge

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11 August 2014 - 7:24 am
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benny55 said
Jerry…maybe you can give her the link to cabbage pouitice (?) for the sores…would that be something that would help in this case?

Yer a genius!


It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Posts: 289
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26 July 2008
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11 August 2014 - 2:31 pm
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Thank you all so much for your replies and advice.  And Jerry – thank you for moving the post to the appropriate forum.

I will suggest the adequan to my vet.  It is odd that his mobility issues seemed to get markedly worse after the blindness hit him and I wondered if there was a connection.  He does have a followup with the vet and will discuss all of this then.

The cloth chewing is actually more like cloth eating.  It originally started being only “my” things and never “ate” toys.  But now that my things are being kept out of reach he has started eating anything fabric including toys.  Has gotten severely bound up a couple times, during a recent toy eating event he got so bad that he couldn’t keep anything else down and his meds weren’t getting into him so he started losing his sight again until he got the offending toy passed.  We have found that activity is key and we have to make him get up and move around so that his digestive system can move things along.

I do remember Calamity’s Mom and Danemom – will pm you tomorrow and get the email. 

The cabbage poultice sounds interesting – will give it a try.

So good to touch bases again. Thanks for all the input.


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