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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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Goals for your tripawd
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Forum Posts: 262
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28 July 2008
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4 September 2008 - 11:41 pm
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I noticed a couple of pawrents are discouraged and concerned if their tripawds aren’t meeting the average goals of their tripawds getting back into their routine. I think it is important to remember as long as your tripawd is progressing don’t worry about the "month" goal. Every tripawd is different some get there quicker some slower. Please don’t get discouraged and hang in there. With Titan I just threw the goals out the window. I just worked with him everyday encouraging him.

Titan and Heidi

TRIPAWDS ROCK!!!!

Michigan
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5 September 2008 - 10:41 am
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couldn’t agree with you more.  I compare Radar to my other dogs and know that each of them would handle the change and recovery differently.  They are all unique individuals. 

Hang in there folks and have patience.  Your tripawd will set his own course and believe me, you will be amazed when they are done.

Connie & Radar

West Chester PA
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5 September 2008 - 9:21 pm
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I agree completely.  Bonnie is progressing and constantly surprising me.  She seemed to take FOREVER to go to the bathroom, but in hindsight, she was right on schedule.  Her schedule.  I am now following her schedule and she is teaching me how she will walk on three legs.  Every minute of every day is a blessing and I thank you all for helping us get there.

chris-bonnie

The Rainbow Bridge



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5 September 2008 - 10:36 pm
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Thank you for starting this thread, Titan, I know it will help a lot of pawrents out there who might be feeling sad about their decision.

You are SO right. Everyone is different, some of us will recuperate faster, some of us will go slower. We might not ever get back to exactly where we were before our amputation, but who cares? The important thing is to do what Chris and Bonnie say, remember that every minute is a blessing in itself, and humans should all just revel in each moment, each step, each potty break. Don’t compare your dog against what his or her fitness level was like before the amputation, because that will only lead to disappointment. At some point, humans will realize just how far and long their tripawd can hike, swim, play, whatever. Appreciate the fact that your tripawd is a hero for just making it that far on three legs, after such a major life changing event.

Just appreciate the moment, enjoy the gift of extra time, and love your dog each and every second.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Manchester, UK
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6 September 2008 - 9:17 am
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This is a very good topic indeed.

I remember reading about a million websites/stories/articles on the very first day that Darcy had her diagnosis and surgery.  She’d not come home from the vets yet and I was trying to prepare myself as much as possible.  Virtually everything I read seemed to say that by day two or three or four, the dog would be up on its feet, doing normal stuff like toileting and getting up and down on his/her own.

When it came to day four after Darcys surgery, she was still laying in one position, refusing to get up, being very difficult when we tried to get her up and peeing in her bed.  I’d not read anything that anyone had written about their dog being difficult like this and I remember, on that day, being at my very lowest ebb and wondering what the heck I’d done to my dog.  How is it that everyone elses dog was up and about, even playing – and my dog was still peeing in her bed and refusing to move.  (That was how I felt at that time).

But then, I remembered that all dogs are individual and Darcy has always been more individual than most LOL.  When she was spayed, we had a good few days of diva-style performances where she lay flat on her side and refused to move.  She seems to not do very well with surgery – maybe the aneasthetic makes her a bit funny or maybe just the psychological effect of it takes her a while to recover from.  And maybe she’s just very, very stubborn.  Actually, there’s no maybe about that… LOL.

And now, we’re 10 and a half months down the line from surgery.  My dog has the worst gait of any tripod I’ve ever seen.  She never put the work in to teach herself to do lovely walking on just three legs rather than four, so she’s made things harder than they need to be.  I do see people looking at her sometimes and they must be thinking "oh that poor dog – look how she walks" but I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t care what they think and neither does Darcy!

When Darcy had 4 legs, she was the worlds laziest dog.  Seriously.  Why I thought that would change when she lost a leg, I really do not know.  I must have been going through one of my more nutty phases!  So, when people visit and she’s laying flat out on the settee, or when we take her to an event and she spends the whole day laying on a dog bed, it’s nothing to do with her lack of front right leg (other than I do know that she’s lost a bit of confidence).  It’s to do with the fact that she’s still the worlds laziest dog!  Yes, she may have run around a bit more, played a bit more and been a little happier to be dragged off to some event when she had 4 legs but she was always happiest when she was resting – and thats how she’s happiest now.

10 months and 20 days on from That Very Bad Day, I can report that we are all very happy and content and we live for today.  Tomorrow can take care of itself.  (But we are starting to think, in very tentative terms about the mother of all parties…)

Darcy – tripawd since 16th October 2007.

***Darcy would love to be your friend on Facebook - just search for Darcy Deerhound***

Michigan
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6 September 2008 - 11:25 am
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LOL  Bevd,  Darcy sounds like a true sighthound.  Mine will tear about the yard and play outside but inside they are lazy lumps.  We call them "High speed couch potatoes".  Also it is good for any sighthound owner to remember that they are more sensitive to anesthetics and other medications than many breeds are.   And they definitely are Diva’s of the dog world.  You go Darcy and don’t let anyone tell you you shouldn’t be waited on hand and paw.

Connie & Radar

John Carpenter
7
6 September 2008 - 12:10 pm
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My doberman, who is four, just had his amputation on Friday one week ago.  He was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in his right back leg, but on his ankle, and we immediately amputated (the next day as soon as we saw that his lungs were clean). 

I’m quickly learning that he just likes to stand.  The only way I can get him to eat or drink is right after I get him up and we go walk (or jog!) outside and he is excited enough to do both when he comes back inside.  It appears that the only time he is happy is when he is standing.  After coming back inside he just likes to follow us around or just stand while my girlfriend and I move around the main floor of the house.

Did anyone else have their dog want to move around this much?  I don’t want to make him lay down but I’m of course worried about his recovery from surgery.

The Rainbow Bridge



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6 September 2008 - 2:22 pm
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Hi John, thanks for writing, and welcome to the Tripawds community. Please keep in mind that if you join the forums as a member, your posts will immediately appear.

Anyhoo, about that standing and moving around. Well, sounds to me like that’s a good sign that he’s strong and getting along pretty good! Lucky!  Just keep an eye out for any seromas that may develop from too much activity. I would think that they would’ve by now though.

When I lie down, it takes a lot of effort to get down on the floor, and the same goes for getting back up. Maybe your dobie senses the effort it would take, and that’s why he prefers to stand?

Hope this helps somewhat. Keep us posted!

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



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6 September 2008 - 2:24 pm
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Bevd said:

When Darcy had 4 legs, she was the worlds laziest dog.  Seriously.  Why I thought that would change when she lost a leg, I really do not know.


Thanks so much for sharing this story, I know it will help so many others out there when it comes to looking at their tripawd’s progress!

Ooooh, can’t wait for that BIG pawty.

Love,

Jerry 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Pennsylvania
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7 September 2008 - 12:33 pm
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Hi, I am new to the site. My English Bulldog Gracie was diagnosed with osteosarcoma on August 16th. We had her left back leg amputated on August 20th.  I purchased k9 Immunity & she has healed up nicely.  we started chemo (carboplatin) on September 5th.  Teatment went well & so far no major side effects. I was wonderingn if anyone gives the k9 pills mixed in food (opening them up & putting the powder directly in the food) or whole? I have been opening the caps & mixing the powder in her food but…it does make the food smell & I’m sure taste different. I don’t want to flavor her food this way. Do you think it would be fine to give them whole with cottage cheese?  This is how she took her pain pills & antibiotics when she was on them.  Gracie is on a no grain diet now. I make most of her food using organic chicken & veggies. She also gets venison & veggies.  I started her on the organic lowfat cottage cheese adding high grade organic flax oil to it. She loves the cottage cheese. If there is anyone who may have suggestions on giving her k9 immunity we would greatly appriciate it. 

The Rainbow Bridge



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7 September 2008 - 7:37 pm
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gracie said:

I was wondering if anyone gives the k9 pills mixed in food (opening them up & putting the powder directly in the food) or whole?


Hi Gracie! Thanks for joining the discussion. My people mix seven whole K9 Immunity pils directly in my food without breaking them up. Only recently have I started to boycott my dinner, but for over six months I gobbled them right up with my food.

Now I get them shoved down my throat. Two in the morning, two at lunch and three at night. Aloha said this is OK as long as i get the right dosage in a 24 hr. period, and I get my Transfer Factor. My people are gentle, and I’m good about letting them do it. 

The pills are pretty bitter, so emptying their contents into the food may not be such a good idea. I guess it depends on what you get for dinner. But I say whatever works to get you to take your pills is the best solution. Let us know what works for you. Feel free to start a new thread …

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

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Pennsylvania
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9 September 2008 - 11:35 pm
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