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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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Emma's back leg amputation!
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Member Since:
22 July 2022
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2 August 2022 - 6:30 am
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Hello Everybody here!

Our wonderful dog Emma (born 11/08), had her left back leg amputated on the 27th of July.

We were so worried, if she was going to be able to walk on three legs, as she has had hip replacements since 2009. So she is left with one hip replacement leg, on the back to walk on. icon_cry

Apart from this she is in good condition for her age. She is a mix between Bernese Mountain Dog with Vizsla, Collie, Chow-Chow and Retriever. She is a slim dog, and her weight was 26kg before amputation. 

So we are on day 6 today and she can walk about 10 Metres and then she needs a break and then another 10 Metres and after that she needs to lie down. She can do this, about three times a day. So we hope this will improve and she will be able to move around more.

There were no other tumors visible on the x-rays at the moment. We are waiting for the results. 

We dont know, if we should let her have Chemo or not and would be so grateful for some advise of people, who have experienced the same?

Regards,

Claudia with Emmasp_hearticon2

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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2 August 2022 - 10:33 am
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Hi Claudia and Emma, welcome! Your future posts won't need to wait for approval so post as much as you'd like! Emma sounds lovely!

It sounds like she is having a pretty normal recovery. Her endurance and strength will improve over time as long as you take things every, very slow. Don't push her too hard right now, it's still so early. After losing a leg, walks are not so much about distance, but about time. A healed, healthy Tripawd should always take shorter, more frequent walks throughout the day. Those walks should last no more than 20 minutes once they are totally healed.

Where are you located? Did you know the Tripawds Rehab Reimbursement Program will pay for your first rehab visit with Emma? (Physio). That's the best way to find out how to exercise her safely and prevent injuries.

As for chemo, that's a big decision and everyone is different. What is right for one person is not necessarily right for someone else. Some people chose not to and others go for it. Most dogs tolerate it really well.  It's a popular topic around here. See:

https://tripawd.....diagnosis/

https://tripawd.....decisions/

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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3 August 2022 - 5:50 pm
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Your sweet Emma sounds like a Tripawd RockStar already being this early ON AND for being a "mature" gal!

She's recovering at her own pace and in her own way.  It takes a lot of energy  and effort to walk when first adjusting  to three. AND while recovering from MAJOR surgery.  

How is Emma doing overall?  Eating well? Drinking, pottying okay? What pain meds is she on and is her pain controlled adequately?

Be sure and give her lots of gentle massages  up and down her spine her neck and shoulder area.  Muscles are often tight and sore when dogs are first adapting to their new gait.

As Jerry mentioned, getting a consult with Tehab Specialist can be a big help in helping Emma stay strong and fit.

As Jerry said, chemo is such an k individual  decision.  Absolutely  no right or wrong!  Of course, finances  can come j to play, as well has how your dog tolerates carrides and Vet visits.  

For now though,  keep things chunked down and just focus on getting through recovery and getting your sweet Emma to a point where her sparkle starts to come back.

Update when you can, okay?

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!

Member Since:
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4 August 2022 - 2:14 am
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Thank you for your answers with this important information. 

Emma seems happy again since Sunday and I am not giving her any pain killers now. Her personality is a happy girl all day long. (like retrievers)

She was vomiting on Monday and I think she was just sick from all the medicine she takes. The vet gave her an injection for that and I feed her cooked ckicken breasts now. She is much better now.

Emma had two hip repalcements put in, when she was very young. Because of this, she always needed good muscels to keep her back in legs stable. I have done underwater physio with her every three weeks on a regular basis, since 2011 and it helps her a lot.

The vets say she is a special case, as she had hip replacements before this.

Emma is sporty and she used to go on underwater for 40 Minutes for many years. It reduced to 30 minutes later. I also take her for bike rides every day. So she is used to have exercise and we have nothing to do now! What kind of physio can we do in the future?

So it worries me, what will happen to her muscles after this.smiley6 Will she be able to keep her good back muscels?

We live in Austria and I take her to physio to Vienna. 

[Image Can Not Be Found]

Member Since:
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4 August 2022 - 2:37 am
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Recent photo from Emma!

My girl does not seem to age...yes she is nearly 14 years old!

smiley4

https://sconten.....e=6310A78F

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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4 August 2022 - 6:29 pm
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Aww she is beauuuutiful!

[Image Can Not Be Found]

(*all you need to do to add photos here is copy / paste the image URL where it's hosted, or the actual photo if you're on a mobile).

I'm soooo glad she is feeling better! WHEW!

All the activities you've done with her all her life is paying off now that she is on three. There are TONS of things you can do to help her stay strong. Physio is especially helpful now. Check out these examples of Tripawds who had physio through our rehab reimbursement program:

https://tripawds.org/tag/rehab/

Also, interactive brain games are especially helpful for Tripawds. You can get them just as tired by working their mind with games, instead of working their bodies too hard. Brain games rock!

Member Since:
22 July 2022
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12 August 2022 - 6:37 am
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We got back the results for Emma on Wednesday. Sadly we are dealing with an osteosarcoma.

I had an appointment with an oncologist on Wednesday and she recommended chemotherapy.We have another appointment with another oncologist next wednesday and want to start chemo on that day. I just wanted to get two opinions.

Emma is doing well and has improved her skills. She can go on longer walks now and prefers to run slowly, as she finds that easier. She can walk down the 5 steps to our house and walks back up sideways. What a clever and adaptable girl she is. She pulls herself up on her frontlegs, in order to get up, which she did not have to do before. Remember, our girl only has one hip replacement rear leg left. We are happy and impressed with the progress she is making.😊

We used to do 40 minutes bikerides daily, before she became ill. She finds it disappointing to turn around so quickly. 

I have ordered a wheelchair , so we can go on longer walks in the woods again. Hopefully this will work for us.

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
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12 August 2022 - 12:03 pm
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Hi Claudia,

I'm sorry for the bad news. Try to stay pawsitive, some dogs go on to beat the odds and do really well, living out the remainder of their lives happy and healthy. We have our paws crossed that Emma will too!

That was so smart of you to seek multiple opinions for chemotherapy. You might want to ask them about BioceraVet. It's a limb sparing treatment that was recently approved in Europe, Emma might be a good candidate for it.

Use care with her activity right now. You don't want that bad leg to fracture

Be sure to contact a physio therapist for assistance with the wheels. A bad fit can cause injury so you want to make sure it's sized appropriately. Introducing it slowly is super helpful too, so that Emma will enjoy it! Also consider looking at a dog stroller . She can tag along on the back of your bike, they're wonderful!

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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12 August 2022 - 9:18 pm
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Of course, Emma didn't  hear a word about "osteo-whatever".  Means nothing to her.  Days on a calendar  mean nothing  to her.  She is her own individual dog and not a statistic. 

All she does care about is being pain free and being with you getting love and tummy rubs and lots of spoiling!

As Jerry said, check into a dog stroller type thing.  They make some that can go on bike rides.  A wheelchair   may not be what she needs  nor will it give her the flexibility  a stroller does.  She can go on walks and hop back in if she gets tired.

Good for you for doing research on chemo and getting two opinions.  And remember,  jo right or wrong when it comes to doing chemo or not. 

We are here to support you in any way we can. 

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!

Member Since:
22 July 2022
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10
22 August 2022 - 1:25 am
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smiley9I wanted to show you, how Emma was running last Monday. I hope this works. 

https://www.fac.....002986742/

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22 July 2022
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22 August 2022 - 1:57 am
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We did long bike rides all her life and she still loves to run. Now, we do walks of 20-25 Minutes, with a five minute break in the middle. 

The oncologist, who saw our girl for the first time said she appears like a 6 year old dog. The way she looks and is still able to get up and walk makes her look much younger.smiley2

She got her first chemo Carboplatin 300 on wednesday and she does not seem to be affected much. The vets want to give her another three every 3 weeks, so we hope she will cope ok with these in the future aswell.

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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22 August 2022 - 10:42 am
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Aww drats, looks like your Facebook settings don't allow public viewing so we can't see it.

Emma sounds so spunky, it's wonderful the oncologist can see that too! She has a lot of love and energy to give to the world! We feel so lucky to be part of her journey.sp_hearticon2

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