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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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The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 25587
Member Since:
25 April 2007
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24 January 2008 - 11:20 pm
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We’ve heard from tripawds of all shapes, sizes and ages. And we’ve heard from many people concerned that their big dog may have a hard time with amputation. Well my good friend Finnegan is an older Irish Wolfhound. He makes me look small, and he has no problem getting around. Just take a look at the movie from when we met each other.

Darcy is another giant breed tripawd with an inspawrational story! And 12-year old Genie should put the age question to rest. But all stories are different.

Please share your thoughts and concerns about the age and size of animal amputees for others in this forum.  

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Pagosa Springs, CO
Forum Posts: 5
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30 January 2008 - 4:47 pm
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Eisen was a 110 lb German Shepherd before the amputation. He has a little arthritis in one of his hips and is still getting around great!  He has to go up & down stairs to get in & out of the house and he WON’T let me help.  I even bought the AST harness….but we haven’t used it yet.  So far, so great!  Now, if his doggie girlfriend would stop body checking him, he would have an almost perfect percentage for not wiping out!! Laughing  ~ Eisen’s Mama

Eisen & his Mom

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 25587
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30 January 2008 - 11:25 pm
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I’m just over nine years old, and probably about 80 lbs. I too have a problem with other dogs, but only when they try to hump me. That makes me snap and bark. Otherwise I’m always a pretty nice pup! But my hips just can’t take that kind of rough play.

However, my people have recently started giving me the SynFlex liquid glucosamine supplement with my food instead of a pill. And they think It’s making a difference … enhancing my mobility and endurance. (You can find SynFlex in the Tripawds Store).

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Written by Aleksei'
4
31 January 2008 - 11:53 pm
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Aleksei, a 6 yr. old, 125 lb borzoi, had his right hind leg amputated last Wed  (1/23/08) and still having a very hard  time.  He’s been whining a lot, has moved around on his own just a little indoors and absolutely resists being helped onto his feet(with a sling) to go outside.  this results in mom using extra "force" and him being even more traumatized.  When Mom approaches to see why he whining, he’ll try to fade flat into the couch in case she wants him to get up again.  Mom can’t figure out why he’s having such a tough time when all the vets and info talk about how quickly dogs bounce back.  Aleksei hasn’t.  Any thoughts on what’s going on would be appreciated.

The Rainbow Bridge



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1 February 2008 - 11:44 am
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Give Alexsei time! It’s only been a week.

One thing that might help is to get him off the couch. Keep him on the floor or a very low firm bed until he gets the hang of things. By all means, don’t use force. If Aleksei needs to get up to go potty, he will figure it out and do so. Just be patient. Unless he is refusing to eat and drink, he’s probably doing fine and just needs a little time to recuperate.

Another issue may be medication keeping him dopey. Again, it just takes time. I was weened off Tramadol after a couple weeks. And while I was up and at ’em within a week or so after surgery. I really didn’t get all my spunk back until I got my stitches removed.

Anybody else out there have suggestions?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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cassandra
6
2 February 2008 - 4:59 am
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My nine year old Rottweiler, Czar had his right front leg amputated  on Jan. the 17Th. He had his staples removed two days ago. This past couple weeks were so hard for  him that I was starting to feel that I had made a terrible mistake and was feeling guilty for causing him so much pain. Two days after the surgery he started having muscle spasms.  They would have him screaming in pain. Some days he had up to seven of this attacks in a twenty four hour period. I had to take  him in every three days for additional pain shots & fentanyl patches. He was also put on a muscle relaxer. Which helped a little but did not stop the spasms. Duing this time he was very depressed ,did not want to eat, drink,get up or move except twice a day only with being assisted to his feet and coaxed to go outside. I had to hand feed him food and water while he was laying down.   I think one thing that happened the first night we got home shook Czar’s self confidence and made him not want to walk. He tried to lift his leg and fell right over on his surgery side. He got right back up but you could tell he was shaken. Partly is may have been from the medications that he had no appetite and was depressed. But after reading how well dogs do after amputation and seeing how badly Czar was doing I was really getting worried that Czar was not going to pull through.

 

Today you wouldn’t even know it was the same dog from just three days ago even. He is wanting to go outside, getting up and down on the couch. Eating on his own and even begging for food when I was fixing dinner.   He has his Rotti wiggle back and except for that he gets tired pretty quick is almost back to his old goofy happy self.   

Just hang in there. My guess is like Czar, Aleksei will be up and moving around when you least expect it from him.

 

The Rainbow Bridge



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2 February 2008 - 8:58 am
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cassandra said:

Today you wouldn’t even know it was the same dog from just three days ago even…


Thank you for sharing your experiences Cassandra! Please feel free to keep us posted on Czar’s progress in the Share Your Story forum.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 170
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4 February 2008 - 5:49 am
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Lalla is massive – she’s the offspring of a very tall Retreiver and a pretty wide Labrador. It took her quite awhile to regain her confidence around other dogs, and its only recently (we’re one year five months post surgery) that she’s showing them who is boss all over again. When I was reseraching amputation for canine osteosarcoma in the early days, I read that only 10% of dogs diagnosed were under the age of 7, but as time goes by, I read about a whole gamut of ages. I think that what comes into play (literally) is how active your dog was prior to surgery, because dogs just love being active, and they’ll just carry on rockin’ whatever. I really do have a hard time keeping up with our girl sometimes; the fact that she doesn’t have any more pain from that nasty tumor no doubt contributes. Her vet, who is a genius orthopedist, also told us that tripawds find it easier to run than to walk. When I look at Lalla "attack" the waves first thing in the morning, I see exactly what he means. And yes, Glucosmaine, thank God for Glucosamine!

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20 February 2008
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20 February 2008 - 8:29 pm
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Suzie Q, a 12 1/2 year old greyhound had her left rear leg amputated on Jan 11th due to osteo sarcoma.  She has a bone spur in her left front shoulder, which I knew would be an issue.  I ramped up her Deramaxx and that has helped.  Because of my living circumstances I chose to leave her in the hospital until her stitches came out.  This helped as she was fairly mobile when she came home.

In respose to Aleksei’s mom, give it time.  Once the stitches come out progress will be swift.  The stitches really hurt. 

Suzie does very well in the house but I use a butt support harness when I walk her in the street.  I suspect the issue is as much mine as hers.  I’m afraid to let her climb the stairs to the street without it.  I live in a city and I don’t always trust other dog owners to keep their dogs in line when they approach.  The harness allows me to move her quickly without worring about her falling. I’m trying to work up the courage to try at least part of a walk without the harness.  It would be easier on my back.  I do think it is easier for a dog to recover when they are smaller or shorter.  There was a dog in the cage next to Suzie who had her leg off 4 days after Suzie did and was easily moving around looking totally at ease.  However Suzie is happy, eating well and fortunately so far tolerating the Chemo.

The Rainbow Bridge



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31 March 2008 - 7:33 pm
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I just moved a recent post here about tripawd puppies to it’s own Three-legged from Birth topic, since I believe it warrants it’s own discussion.

Please visit that topic and comment if you have any experience with three-legged puppies. Thank you!

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

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