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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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Upcoming Oncologist Appointment for OSA
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Forum Posts: 29
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22 November 2021 - 11:20 am
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Hi Jerry,

Yes, you're absolutely right about the traction . I'm going to to try and find some pads for her paws and if not I'll put runners down where she walks most often. 

We have little rubber booties for her that we used when she was paralyzed and learning to walk again when she was a puppy, but they tend to cut her circulation off.

Thanks for the tips!!

Jamie & Lyla xo

The Rainbow Bridge



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22 November 2021 - 12:32 pm
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You are so welcome Jamie! Even cheap yoga mats are good as a temporary measure. Costco and Walmart both have rubber-backed carpet runners. Just put them in places where she walks the most.

We like booties for cold and hot weather surfaces but they're a hassle for indoors.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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22 November 2021 - 1:14 pm
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They are on my list!

Question: should I take her harness off when she's inside? I mean she gets up on her own now (jumped up again and yelped 🙁 ) but I'm just so worried about her not being comfortable when she sleeps. 

What is a good indicator that the harness can come off?

Thanks again!!

Michigan


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22 November 2021 - 3:37 pm
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Happy to read the swelling has subsided.

Awe, Lyla you are Brilliant. Can you imagine us hoomans doing this well four days after the amputation of a limb? No way.

Yaaaaay Llya, way to show your Mom you are better than ok on three. smiley_clapYes, we celebrate poops and pees like no one else:) Fantastic on eating too!

A little slower 4 days post is expected. They are just learning the new hop. Ditto on traction . It makes a huge difference. Lyla will be safer and more confident on the runners.

I can't help with the harness question.

Hugs and smooch to your crew, please!
Holly & Purrkins 💝💝💝

Virginia




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22 November 2021 - 4:01 pm
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And yet again I have a big grin on my face seeing sweet Lyla's picture.  She is a pretty and so sweet.

This is just my opinion, but taking the harness off at night should be just fine.    As a front legger, she's gonna have an ocassional  face plant.  

Is she still reclaiming "her" couch but willing to share it with you??

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!

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22 November 2021 - 4:48 pm
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I agree it's perfectly fine to take her harness off at night. Our Jerry and Wyatt both wore theirs all day but I did take them off at bedtime.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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23 November 2021 - 1:54 pm
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Day 5 Pupdate!

Lyla is having another quiet sleepy day.  She ate a little around noon and has taken her meds (she LOVES bologna which they are wrapped in).  She is peeing 4-6 times a day and still wags her tail and gets up when she sees her boy. She will get up and come and lie by my feet also (which she is currently doing as I type this).

Her paw swelling comes and goes and I find it the worst in the morning when she gets up. The vet said it could be from sleeping on her leg and/or the intravenous.  She is a little red on her leg where they shaved it and I’m treating it with polisporin, which seems to be working. She also had a couple of body trembles earlier this afternoon.  I covered her with a blanket and they subsided.  The only time I’ve see her tremble is when she ins’t feeling well. I’ve never known her to tremble when she is cold, but normally she sleeps on the couch all day.  Her bed is close to the floor and it does tend to get chilly down there, I know because I sleep with her and get cold during the night.

The other thing I wasn’t prepared for was being absolutely obsessed with every little thing that she does.  I am a helicopter by nature, but this has made me 10 times as bad and not just with her, but my other two too.  It’s crazy.

I like that she is sleeping as much as she is because I think this will be key in her recovery.  I’m also looking into physio therapy for when her stitches come out because her remaining legs have to be getting sore from supporting her weight.

So all in all, all good considering.

Jamie & Lyla xo

Michigan


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23 November 2021 - 4:52 pm
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Overall great update!

Cancer makes us helicopter moms on steroids. I am the same with our boys, and I was before the c showed itself like you. But, I think for most of us, the super copter part comes with this journey.

If the trembles happen again, talk with the vet. Maybe her meds need tweaking?

Rest is the best; it's healing!
Hugs to you and Lyla
Holly & Purrkins💝💝💝

The Rainbow Bridge



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23 November 2021 - 4:58 pm
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All in all very good, for sure!

I agree with Holly, this ordeal makes us hyper aware of every single thing. That can be both good and bad. You have great observations that can help your vet if the need arises to talk to them about things like the trembling. My guess is that it's from exhaustion. What part of her is shaking? All over? Just her legs?

So glad you're looking into physio! It's super educational for us to know what our Tripawd is capable of doing, and where they can use help. Remember the Tripawds Foundation can pay for your first rehab visit smiley4

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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24 November 2021 - 2:40 pm
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Hello All!!

DAY 6 PUPDATE:

What a difference a day (and some grippy pads for paws) makes.

Lyla has more and more energy as the days go on and is getting up more and more to do the “normal” things she does. She gets up from her bed to greet me and she got up on the couch today all by herself.  She seems to have a stiff neck, but I massage her daily to help. Her tail wags are much more frequent and she is slowly easing back into the sweet, happy girl I knew Pre-Amp. She still forgets she had major surgery less than a week ago and sometimes yelps when she tries to get up too quickly.

She is aching to go down the stairs into the yard with her brother and sister and wants to follow me up the stairs to where my office and the bedrooms are.  I’m not letting her do either, but the fact that she WANTS to is such a good sign.

She amazes me every single day. She is strong and brave and resilient and shows me that I made the right choice.  

I am so happy to be able to share her updates with people who know and who have been there and for those who may need to see these updates because they are just starting their journeys.

Take care my friends.  I’ll post another update soon.

Jamie & Lyla xo

Virginia




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24 November 2021 - 8:13 pm
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Talk about getting back to "normal"   This update is chock full of "getting back to normal"  Even if her hooma won't  let her do everything all at once.  Smart hoomans.

You brought back a happy memory  when my  Happy Hannah was recovering..  Although it took about two weeks, I truly had tears of joy the first time she greeted me at the door with her stuffy.  And it got vetter and vetter from there.  I think Miss Lyla's sparkle will start coming  back bigger and brighter and faster than you could  imagine!  And we love hearing about it and celebrating  her victories!👏👏👏

Yes, Lyla is strong and brave and resilient... just like her hooman😎

Yes, your updates definitely help newbies........and even help us old timers recall the times that made us smile "back then"♥️

Hugs

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!

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25 November 2021 - 12:11 pm
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Hi Jamie & Lyla.  I just joined yesterday because I am trying to make a decision on amputation for my dog Katie (Osteosarcoma, shoulder).  Thank you for documenting what you went through.  It has helped me and I think I am building up the strength to do this for Katie.  I cried through many of your posts as I can really relate to what you were feeling.  I had to quickly get to the end to see how this turned out and am so glad that it turned out so well for Lyla and that you feel good about making the right choice.  Good luck to you guys as she continues to heal.

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25 November 2021 - 12:24 pm
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Hi Katie's Mom!

I'm soooo happy you found this site and my posts. 

The decision for me was excruciating given how heavy Lyla is.  I was sick with worry about whether I was doing the right thing. Jerry and Benny were my saving grace. This forum was my saving grace. 

While nobody can make this decision for you, just KNOW that after day 2, I knew I'd made the right decision. Lyla wagged her tail when I picked her up. Lyla continues to wag her tail and get stronger everyday. 

We are one week post amputation and she is now getting up on the couch on her own and while she is still navigating life on three legs, I know, without a doubt she is happy to be alive and happy to be with her family and siblings.

I won't lie and tell you it's going to be easy, because it won't be, but what I've seen is that it will be worth it. 

Please feel free to reach out to me anytime. You can look me up on FB, Jamie Bashtanyk. I post photos and videos everyday.

Much love and strength.

Jamie & Lyla xo

The Rainbow Bridge



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25 November 2021 - 2:17 pm
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Jamie this is the best Thanksgiving news! Thank you for the update, it's so inspirational for everyone and especially members facing the decision of whether or not to do surgery. For a long time, vets wrote off big dogs as candidates for amputation surgery. Now we know that size is not a limiting factor. Lyla proves that, she is a ROCK STAR smiley10

I hope you are having a snuggly pawliday! Hoppy Thanksgiving!!!

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: 29
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25 November 2021 - 5:13 pm
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Day 7 PUPDATE:

Lyla is doing well again today.  She didn’t eat much breakfast, but demolished her dinner.

I haven’t taken her surgical shirt off yet, but I check the stitches and they look good.  No redness or sign of infection.

She is getting on the couch on her own and gets up like a champ.

Worries: I think her remaining legs are sore. She licks at them quite a bit.  I am going to speak with her Oncologist about massage therapy and physical therapy. She’s always been a licker, all of my pups are, but of course now I am hyper focused on every little thing she does.

Also, when does this feeling of dread go away?  When can I stop feeling like a piano is gonna fall from the sky?  Every little tremble or lick is freaking me out.  When she breaths heavy I immediately think it’s travelled to her lungs. The logical part of me KNOWS we caught it early with the first presentation of the limp in September, X-rays that showed nothing in October and then diagnosis and amputation in November (8 days after diagnosis). I have these awful feelings of maybe I should have let her go so that I don’t feel this way.  How awful is that? I’m ashamed of myself.

I swear to goodness, once my three cross the bridge, I don’t think I’ll ever have another, I just don’t think my heart can handle it.

Jamie & Lyla xo

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