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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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Survey: What to Expect as a Tripawd Ages
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Totie
16
27 January 2013 - 9:16 pm
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These general questions are for all of you Tripawds who have been living life on three legs as a senior citizen. Whether you lost a leg because of cancer or have lived with three legs all your life, can you tell us:

 

What’s it like to be a senior Tripawd? I have been a Tripawd for 12 years. I was found by the Humane Society, under a parked trailer. I was hit by a car, and my leg was horribly mangled. They took me to the a hospital, where my mommy agreed to adopt me. They fixed me up, and I have been taken care of ever since. The first couple of weeks were a challenge, with ghost pains, and gaining my strength.

How do the senior years affect you? I have my good days, and bad days. When I was younger, I could tear around the field like I was a greyhound in a race. Now, I still love my walks, but they have become shorter, and take a little longer. I have to stop more often to rest, especially when the weather is warmer.  Sometimes I need a pain pill if I run or play too hard.

Has mobility gotten harder or stayed the same as you aged? I don’t jump as high, run as fast, as my younger days. I have to be more tentative when I go down stairs, or get into the car.

What kind of extra accommodations, if any, have been made to ensure you are happy and pain-free? Although I still prefer to jump right onto the bed, I now have a ramp at the foot of the bed that makes it easier for me to get off the bed.

What would you say to someone who has a young Tripawd? Just understand that we are amazingly adaptive to our condition, and our lives don’t change that much just because we have lost a limb.

What would you tell them to expect as their Tripawd ages? Just love us like you always do, and we will always give your our own unconditional love.

Anything else you’d like to tell us about being older on three legs is greatly appreciated! We’d love to hear your stories, please feel free to share as much as you’d like. Thank you.  

Emma Wright
17
28 January 2013 - 11:06 am
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First time to this site, but saw the link from facebook about senior tripawds and thought I’d share my story.

My tripawd Spike is a lab cross.  I got him from the RSPCA  when he was four months old as a healthy four legged puppy.

At four years old, he developed an intermittent limp in his front left leg, after a few weeks, a swelling appeared in what would be our ankle joint.  An xray was inconclusive, so he had an operation.  The growth was actually in the joint, so couldn’t be completely removed, but due to his age, neither me nor the vets were overly concerned.  When the results came back however, we were all shellshocked.  A very aggressive cancer that would regrow and spread to lymph nodes and liver.  He would have six months, but would probably become painful and poorly before that time, so I would likely have to have him put to sleep way before that time.  The only treatment was amputation.

I would have loved to have known about this site or something similar, because I had no where to go for help.  The only dogs I had ever seen with three legs were either Jack Russell or Whippet types, skinny and lightweight.  My boy was a big dog, with a massive head and I just didn’t know if he’d manage.

My vet was amazing, asked what she’d do if it was her dog, she said she’d do it in a heartbeat.  She went through everything with me in great detail, and after a heart wrenching weekend we decided to go ahead with the operation.

I asked if when removing the leg she could remove the lymph nodes at the same time to reduce the risk in case it had already spread.  And that’s what she did.  He lost a lot of blood and was quite poorly, but still managed to wag his tail at me when I went to see him – reducing me and all the staff at the vets to tears.

He came home the day after and that week was the hardest of my life.  He was poorly, and leaked masses of bloody joint fluid every time he moved.  He was miserable and depressed and I cried and wondered what I’d done to him.

Exactly a week after the op, he got up on his own and followed me out into the garden – I was over the moon!

We’ve had our ups and downs, but he’ll be 11 in April.  The amputation was over six years ago and he’s happy, cheeky and still the same superstar he always was.

We don’t walk far, but he does what he wants and is always sniffing and interested.  He’s on painkillers as he has terrible arthritus in his elbow of his front right leg, but for the most part, he appears happy and pain free.

He can jump into the car, but I’ve never let him jump out – I lift him.  

He had a flare up of the arthritus in his elbow a couple of years ago, he collapsed and could barely walk for a week.  I broke my heart, and made the decision to let him go, and the little monkey got up on his own the very next morning!  I was recommended a steroid injection into the joint.  He actually had two, the last one over 12 months ago, and he seems great.  He also takes a drug used for humans to treat Parkinson’s disease.  It works by blocking the nerve endings to the affected areas.  This was recommended by an orthopedic specialist who researched all sorts that might help my ‘very unique’ boy.

I always said I’d be happy to get him to 10, but we’re nearly at 11, and we’ve had over six extra happy years together.  It hasn’t always been easy, but I wouldn’t do anything differently if I had my time over.

He’s an inspiration….we don’t walk so far these days, and when we do we go very slowly, but he’s here, and he’s happy, and as long as I know that he’s happy, and relatively pain free, I’ll keep doing everything I can to help make his life as special as he makes mine.

 

 

 

Here and Now


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28 January 2013 - 12:28 pm
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Emma Wright said
…thought I’d share my story.

Thanks for the feedback Emma. Please consider registering to take full advantage of this site.

The Rainbow Bridge



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28 January 2013 - 5:13 pm
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THANK YOU EVERYONE! Bravo! Applawse! Applawse! clapclapclap

I have to say, this is one of the very best Tripawd discussions EVER. Your stories are inspawrational (Annie, yours in particular made my momma’s eyes get watery) and INCREDIBLE. Every single one of you Tripawd families are so dedicated, loving and understanding about your canine kid’s uniqueness, it really rocks our world to know you are out there. Thank you for all you do and taking time out of your busy day to share these experiences.

The more the merrier I always say, so feel free to join in if you haven’t already.

way-cool

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 2
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30 January 2013
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30 January 2013 - 5:07 am
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Hi everyone, and thank you so much for sharing your stories! Mack is a german shepard mix and is 7 years old. He is missing his front left leg. We started a blog to share the story of “The Love of My Life”. It was our way of following his story and having that to pass on to others. We are so glad to be a part of this knowlegable group of Tripawed lovers!

  • What’s it like to be a senior Tripawd?

Being a senior Tripawd for us is a slower more relaxed life. We lay around A LOT!  

  • How do the senior years affect you?

We are experiencing adjustment to the senior years. Mack is not as active as he once was and is now on meds for comfort. 

  • Has mobility gotten harder or stayed the same as you aged?

Mobility has gotten harder over the past year.

  • What kind of extra accommodations, if any, have been made to ensure you are happy and pain-free?

Mack now has a harness purchased from Tripawds to accomodate with getting in and out of the vehicle and is now taking Rimadyl and Glucosamine to help with joint stiffness and pain. 

  • What would you say to someone who has a young Tripawd? What would you tell them to expect as their Tripawd ages?

I would encourage people with a young Tripawd to enjoy them immensely and observe them closely. Learn their capabilities early so that as they age you are so in tune with them that you know when something is out of the ordinary. 

  • Anything else you’d like to tell us about being older on three legs is greatly appreciated!

For more about Mack’s story please feel free to check out his blog at http://mytripaw…..press.com/

We look forward to learning all we can to make Mack’s senior years the best they can be!!smiley

krun15
21
30 January 2013 - 8:53 am
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Welcome to Tripawds, your future posts will not require moderation.

Thanks for sharing Mack’s Senior info here.

 

Karen

 

Forum Posts: 2
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30 January 2013
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30 January 2013 - 10:29 am
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methomas008 said
Hi everyone, and thank you so much for sharing your stories! Mack is a german shepard mix and is 7 years old. He is missing his front left leg. We started a blog to share the story of “The Love of My Life”. It was our way of following his story and having that to pass on to others. We are so glad to be a part of this knowlegable group of Tripawed lovers!

We are SO blessed that Mack survived his ordeal. He is an absolute joy and inspawration to everyone he meets.

For more about Mack’s story please feel free to check out his blog at http://mytripaw…..ytripawed/ and click next to follow the “rest of the story”!

We look forward to learning all we can to make Mack’s senior years the best they can be!!smiley Please share…comments and suggestions are wanted and welcomed!!

 

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