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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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Depression- day 8
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Forum Posts: 729
Member Since:
28 May 2008
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21 October 2008 - 9:28 am
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We’re happy to hear that Molly is resting comfortably in her own home Smile…that was a long time for her to be in the hospital. Cry

You summed it up well with being taken out of their homes, dealing with a traumatic experience and probably not 100% certain that they will go home again! Wow…I never really thought of it that way.

Many, many prayers and tons of love for everyone as always.

Heather and Zeus

Heather and Spirit Zeus - Our life changing journey…from the earth to the heavens…one day at a time…always together

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21 October 2008 - 11:51 am
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I think dogs have no concept of time. I could leave the house for an hour and Buster thinks I’ve been gone for a month. I agree a hospital stay may have them thinking of abandonment. Which is why I like having them recuperate at home if you have the time to keep an eye on them… Jerry mentioned this before but when a dog is healing they like to be alone so to say and lick their wounds. That is what they would do in the wild its their defense mechanism. Not to fall prey due to their temporary vulnerabilities. It’s survival of the fittest….

Kim & Angel Buster

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
–Anatole France

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21 October 2008 - 9:02 pm
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I’m so glad to hear that Polli is brightening up, and that Molly is home!  I also totally agree with Molly’s mom’s words about how their whole world in a sense gets turned upside down (as does ours) and it just may take awhile to settle back in.  They may not have the image stuff we would about losing a limb, but they are still needing to learn how to balance, etc., and moving forward without really knowing exactly *what* just happened!  That’s also the blessing- while we are worried about mestastesis (sp?), once they adjust they are back in the moment, and calling us to join them there, and hopefully, more often than not, we can heed that call.

I would like to say that, regardless of how deeply I wish not to have had this "opportunity" to learn these things as I have of late, I have been so impressed, in these short three weeks post diagnosis, by the power of love between people and their animals/animals and their people, and by the generosity of spirit that our animals seem to help us access within ourselves.  This website has been a tremendous support.  Going to visit Sophie at the critical care unit post surgery and seeing all of these other people there during visiting hours- businessmen, blue collar guys, elderly women, people from such different walks of life but so equalized by the love and care they felt for another being whom they had brought into their live, and who was now ill.  Sunday when Sophie and I went to get her staples out we spent a half hour in the waiting room with a woman and her "rescue parakeet," which was having beak problems.   I know I’m kind of rambling, but it has been a gift to witness the attachments between people and animals that I have been exposed to of late.  I think it says something about the better part of our nature.

Thanks to all of you for your care, for your love of your dogs, for reaching out to others going through similar experiences.  You have kept me great company through the dark days between diagnosis and Sophie’s first return to real sparkle, and, I know you will be there for whatever dark days might be ahead.  I also love seeing things like Zeus and Darcy’s ampuversaries, it’s so important to be there for each other for the good moments too!  Thanks again, and for the inspiration to try to return the favor out in the world as well.  And thanks so much to the spirt of Jerry, and his mom and dad, for creating this space in the first place.

Sophie and her rambling mom 




The Rainbow Bridge

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21 October 2008 - 9:39 pm
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sophiesmom said:

… I know you will be there for whatever dark days might be ahead.

Of course! And all the bright ones too! Thanks for the kind words and continued support.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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24 October 2008 - 1:15 pm
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Robinm said:

Today is day 9 and today I got a ROO and  a waggy tail. My heart soared.

 One day at a time!

one little victory. ember is at day 7, 2 days post fentanyl patch. yesterday she greeted me at the door wagging her tail 🙂 the day before, she greeted me when the clock radio went off and howard stern filled the room.

22 November 2008 - 7:12 pm
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Hi – I am new to this site. Some very kind people who I ‘met’ through UC Davis referred me to this site.

As I read your post – my heart broke because I know exactly how you feel  – I am currently in the same situation. My dog, Murphy, had his left rear leg amputated (bone cancer) on the 14th (8 days ago). He is very lethargic, seems "depressed" and doesn’t really want anything to do with me. He eats his meals, then turns right around and wonders off to be by himself.

With each passing day, his isolation seems to increase rather than decrease. He’ll find a way to get comfortable, lay down and not move for hours. The vet had said I was going to have trouble keeping him down (post op) because he was going to be so happy to be pain free, but nothing could be further from the truth.

I am more than concerned, and I don’t know what to do. I realize that this is going to take time, but at the same time, my heart is breaking. I know that this has to be so hard for him – painful, confusing, etc., I am beside myself because there is NOTHING I can do to help him.

I do know that his appetite is good, and the surgery site looks as if it is healing, so in that regard everything appears to be OK. It’s just that he seems to be getting worse ("emotionally") rather than better.

From what I have been reading, his behavior seems to be typical, but that is not really relieving my concerns. I feel so bad, because I feel as though I’ve done this to him (Logically, I know this isn’t true, but emotionally that’s an entirely different story.) He just seems sooo unhappy – and that truly hurts me.

I didn’t mean to go on and on about my situation – I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Polli.

The Rainbow Bridge

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23 November 2008 - 12:12 pm
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Hi Debbie, thanks for sharing Murphy’s story with us here. He really sounds like an awesome, strong and healthy dog who’s having a normal recovery. He’s eating well? He’s getting around? His stitches are healing? Lucky boy! Yeay!

You’re right; his behavior is pretty typical. Eight days is a blip in time when it comes to the big picture. Try to keep that in mind, and stay focused on the big picture. Celebrate the little steps along the way. You have so much to work with!

Remember, your boy is still recuperating. Pain meds are still in his system, he’s still getting used to a new body, a new way of balancing, etc. Think to yourself; how long would it take me to cope if I was in his situation?

We know how hard it is for humans to cope, mentally, with this kind of surgery. My pawrents don’t have kids, and they too felt a heavy responsibility and guilt when they gave the OK for my amputation, like nothing they’d ever been through before, being so responsible for another life. It took many weeks before they felt like they had done the right thing. Maybe it was the way they saw me running after sticks again, or chasing frisbees on the beach, after I was healed. It didn’t happen right away, it took a couple of months, but little by little I showed them that life would be good again.

Just remember, as the pack leader, it’s your job to project strong, pawsitive energy to the rest of the pack. If you’re not strong, Murphy can’t be either. He’ll try, but if he sees you being sad, he’ll pick up on your energy, and go with it. That’s what we dogs like to do, play follow the leader. Try to push out those negative thoughts, and replace them with visions of Murphy doing the things he loves to do the best. He may not be able to do everything 100 perent like he used to, but I’ll betcha he’ll do his best!

Hope this helps. Keep us posted about how he’s doing. You can start another Forum thread that’s all about him, and remember, if you register, your posts can show up immediately. Good luck! 



It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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