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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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Divot day 8 post amputation.
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Forum Posts: 6
Member Since:
14 November 2012
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21 November 2012 - 6:23 am
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Today marks day 8 since Divot's rear left leg was amputated and he's making great progress. Appetite is still good. The wound is looking good. His balance keeps getting better and better. In fact the weather's been nice the past couple of days we've spent quite a bit of time outside. He even shocked us yesterday. I put him in one of his usual spots that he lays in while I was mowing the lawn. I was keeping an eye on him and checking in with him constantly. I looked away for a moment and looked back and he was gone. He had gotten up by himself and walked down a hill to the back yard by and went potty. My wife and I were floored to see this. We are so proud of him.


I do have one question though. The first couple of days we put our 'get a grip' harness on him he was excited to go for a walk around the house or down the block a house or two. However, the past couple days when I've strapped the harness on he immediately lays back down and doesn't want to go. I force him to go, because he needs to and once we get outside he seems to get into it and wants to start walking after a couple minutes. He'll start down the sidewalk and we'll get a couple houses down then I turn him around and he seems to get upset and doesn't want to go back home. I don't want him to over due it. Is this normal for him to act this way? Not wanting to go initally. Then getting upset if I don't let him continue?


Thanks for your advice.


Paul and Divot

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
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28 November 2008
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21 November 2012 - 6:56 am
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8 days is still very early in the recovery process.  He will adapt as time goes on and become stronger and more eager.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

21 November 2012 - 10:57 am
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Our surgeon only allowed walking for eating and potty until the two week mark when the sutures came out.  And Mag was supposed to be on a leash whenever we went outside for potty.  Maggie showed little interest in activity at first so it wasn't hard to keep her quiet.

Is your vet recommending Divot walks so much so soon? Of course follow their instructions.  Maybe he is getting sore and doesn't want to go at first, or maybe he doesn't like the help of the harness.  But once moving he is ready to keep going.

I found with Maggie as a rear legger that it took quite awhile to build up strength and endurance. It didn't help that she was a bit of a slug by nature, but she slowly got stronger.


Karen and the pugapalooza

Forum Posts: 6
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14 November 2012
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21 November 2012 - 11:24 am
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The vet never really said how much/little he should be walking. Just to take care of the wound. We don't take him out all that much, just to do his business. Once we get him outside we let him dictate how long and where he wants to go. Once he does his thing though I usually get him headed home. He's used to just hanging out outside and keeping an eye on the neighborhood and at this time he can't do that and I think that has him down a bit. Patience is just hard. I want to see him back to the way he was. I have faith he'll get there I just need to learn that this takes time.  The vet wants to start him on therapy (underwater treadmill) as soon as the wound heals (10-14 days) to start strengthing the other legs. Thank you for your respones. They are greatly appreciated.


Paul and Divot

21 November 2012 - 11:52 am
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Hi Paul and Divot,

Our vet said no activity beyond potty breaks for two weeks.  We also waited to use the harness (Jake is front leg amp) until all his staples and sutures were removed.  It was hard to keep him down, but I am glad I did.  Divot will adjust at his own rate and the progress will amaze you.

Our best for Divot's continued recuperation,

Lori and Jake

Columbia, MO
Forum Posts: 483
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10 December 2011
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21 November 2012 - 3:22 pm
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Daisy's vet had me limit her activity to only going out to do her business on a leash and right back in the house.  Well the leash part didn't work as Daisy would not go until I took it off her.  She is such a creature of habit that any changes in her routine really throws her off.  I also tried the whole sling business but she would not move until I removed it LOL.  Insisted on doing everything on her own. Most dogs will also go thru a period of depression where they seem uninterested in anything.  That's totally normal.

Best of luck with Divot's recovery!

Marla and Daisy

My Two Tripawds...Biscuit and Spirit Daisy

The Rainbow Bridge

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21 November 2012 - 4:22 pm
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I think at this point, anything is possible with his behavior. It does sound like he's on the path to recovery, despite the occasional challenges, many of which are hindered by silly human emotions ;)  

Things will get better, you WILL get there. This whole roller coaster really teaches a person how to go with the flow doesn't it? 


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