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harness problems for male hind leg tripawd
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Member Since:
31 March 2024
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31 March 2024 - 12:54 pm
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Milo came home yesterday from a hind leg amputation with a "Help-em-up" front and back harness.  He needs assistance for getting up but the harness straps are right over his penis. We need to pull it out of the way for him to urinate and pee goes everywhere.    Are there harnesses better suited for male hind tripawds?  Milo is about 75 lbs, very lean and long legged.   Suggestions are appreciated.





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31 March 2024 - 3:04 pm
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Hi Ron,

Welcome and your future posts won't require moderation.

It's been many years since I had a Tripawd that needed a harness but I do have the Webmaster harness . I used that for my non-Tripawd when he had a tumor on his leg (we couldn't operate) It has a handle on it but the straps come no where near the penis area.

I am sure others may jump in with some other ideas as well.

Michelle

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Sassy is a proud member of the Winter Warriors. Live long, & strong Winter Warriors.
sassysugarbear.tripawds.com
07/26/2006 - Sassy earned her wings 08/20/2013

05/04/2006 -  Bosch, Sassy's pal, earned his wings 03/29/19  fought cancer for 4 months.

"You aren't doing it TO her, you are doing it FOR her. Give her a chance at life."

The Rainbow Bridge



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31 March 2024 - 4:27 pm
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Hey there, welcome! Yeah, it's pretty early in recovery and many dogs do need assistance. As Michelle said, the Webmaster harness is terrific, and so is the Flagline . Both can be used long after surgery and last for years. In the meantime you can use a DIY grocery bag sling to assist him.

We look forward to following along with Milo's new adventures! Keep us posted and holler with any questions. 

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31 March 2024 - 4:42 pm
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Thanks for the suggestions.  I'm not sure the problem is with the harness design, maybe just the fit.  Does any have any experience with the "Help em up" harness? That's what the hospital send him home with. They charged $150 for it.  

https://helpemup.com/

It seems to have a lot of adjustments.  We're concerned about it pressing on his wound, and he's not comfortiable standing long enough for us to adjust it at this point.  

Virginia







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31 March 2024 - 5:10 pm
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Well, this feedback on the help em up won't  be particularly  helpful. 

I found  it close to impossible to use, especially  if you are the only hooman trying to put it on.  It was recommended  by my tripawd's Rehabilitation  Specialist.   He was a front legger. I can only imagine a rear legger would be even more difficult.     You are right, ot requires a lot of adjustments.  I kind of felt like maybe the Rehab Specialist  had a little monetary incentive for pushing it....and that's okay.  

I hope some of the other suggestions will work better for you.

Hugs 

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

PS

This was just my personal experience and it may have worked very well for others. My tripod Frankie was not the most agreeable to putting something on him that he didn't want or like. So maybe a more laid back chill dog you could find it easier.

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!

Livermore, CA




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31 March 2024 - 8:47 pm
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I haven't used that harness but I followed the link you provided to their website.

Under the FAQ they posted this under 'Is it possible for my dog to urinate and defecate wearing the dog harness?':

Most male dogs can use the conventional harness without issue, as their penis generally will come out in front of the belly band – giving them good clearance to urinate. However, for those male dogs whose penis starts further back, between their hind legs, the tip of their penis may be partially covered by the belly band. For them we have a male version that provides a cutout for penis clearance.

On this page about choosing the Correct Hip Lift it talks about a modified hip lift that allows male dogs to urinate easier.

They also have information on Fitting the Harness, I assume you looked at that already but I thought I would throw it out there.

 

We don't see very many pups using that harness around here.  If I remember years ago someone had problems with that harness on a rear amp dog because it didn't fit correctly without the other leg to keep it in place.

Sorry- probably not much help...

 

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

The Rainbow Bridge



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1 April 2024 - 11:05 am
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That's helpful info Karen, thanks. I wish I could be of more help, but that's the exact same issue we found when testing it on Wyattt Ray, and a big reason why we don't carry it in our Tripawds Gear store. 

@ron let us know if you find a work-around for it OK? 

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1 April 2024 - 11:30 am
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Thank you all, especially Karen for doing the research on the help em up site. Your support is greatly appreciated!  Indeed i read through the website and literature and found out about the male version, which it seemed to be too late to do much about.  I watched the videos which are long and clear but a lot to take in, especially since Milo doesn't want to stand for long enough, even with support, for someone to make all the adjustments. 

The biggest problem that I see with this is that it is designed to go around the top of the hind leg, so there's nothing to support it on his left side.  I'm also concerned about cinching it up around his "stump" (which is just the muscle they left as the femur was disarticulated at the joint) and is still very raw 5 days out from surgery. 

 Is there any reason to believe that other brands of harness fit better?  I'm not sure how much longer he'll need a hind harness as he's already getting up and around on his own.  We haven't yet had to deal with his figuring out how to poop, but I'm sure that's coming soon 😉

Livermore, CA




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1 April 2024 - 1:49 pm
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Hi Ron,

Glad it was helpful.

I'm guessing that Milo won't need rear end assistance once he is healed up- unless that is some underlying health issue?  Most rear amps around here, including my two, don't need just the rear harness assistance.  I've used the RuffWear Webmaster with my current little Tri for almost 8 years.  She is little but about 2 years ago she injured her remaining hip and I was able to help her up and around with the Webmaster.

You could use a sling temporarily if he struggles with his back end.

I had a Pug years ago that had neurological issues that got worse as she aged. Periodically she would lose most function in her back end and was iffy in her front end.  I used the Webmaster harness with a leash to hold up her front end and a Ginger Lead on her back end.  This was during her last year and the rear end function would come back in a day or two after her episodes.

Yes, she was small but she hated to be carried and she needed to be on her feet to potty so the combination of harnesses worked for her.  I would leave the Webmaster on all day, the Ginger Lead is sort of a sling so was only 'on' when in use.

Finally- have you thought about rehab for Milo?  It's important to get the core and remaining legs as strong as possible.

 

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls and Boy

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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1 April 2024 - 2:04 pm
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Thanks again, Karen, and thanks for sharing Maggie's story.  I will try to get around to sharing Milo's odyssey here when I have some time to catch my breath. Its been a bit of a whilwind since we got the diagnosis on March 5'th.  We've moved very quickly to amputation because this was clearly the only reasonable option and were fortunate to get him into the schedule at UC Davis. 

So yes, while we're waiting for the path report (which will take a month they tell me) I've already been looking for PT rehab people to work with. Sadly, Davis is nearly 2 hrs away making it impractical to do regular therapy there and the few places I've contacted so far in our area have a waiting list.  I'm still going down the list. 

A big problem is that Milo is very anxious when approaching a vet clinic and usually needs to be sedated even to get a vaccination.  He is not mean or aggressive, he just cowers and trembles and does't want to be touched.  He's completely fine with all people and dogs in every other context.  We found a mobile vet to give him his shot at home.  But I can't see how beneficial doing PT would be if he's doped up.  I'm just starting this investigation so any suggestions are welcome!

Virginia







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1 April 2024 - 3:43 pm
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Search for in-home rehabilitation specialist in your area. I was fortunate enough to jave one who make " house calls" 

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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1 April 2024 - 5:41 pm
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Ron, you would be surprised at how well rehab therapists can work with a dog, especially at home. No dope required!

Check out our lastest Rehab Therapy Tripawd Talk podcast for some general insight on rehab.

And if you'd like me to find a therapist near you who can do home visits, pm me your location if you can't find one by looking at the directories on our Rehab Reimbursement page. I'm pretty familiar with CA therapy centers.

Livermore, CA




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1 April 2024 - 8:58 pm
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Hi again,

Are you closer to the Bay Area or north of Davis?  I'm in the SF Bay Area.

I totally get what you mean about the vet visits.  My current Tri (her name is Elly, Maggie was my first) came to me with severe anxiety and fear issues.  Elly lost her leg at 7 months old due to a car accident, she is now over 9 years old.  Vet visits have always been a trial for her but during Covid they were terrible when I couldn't go in with her.  I had some issues with paying on my phone for an eye vet appointment so she was in there for more than 30 minutes without me.  She slept for a day and a half after that.  She has another chronic issue which requires a vet visit every 4 weeks.  My vet is very accommodating and allows me to go with her, even if we have to use the treatment room (I've been going there for 25 years). She is still nervous but the aftermath is nothing compared to when I have to leave her.

When she hurt herself though I had no option- she really needed treatment to get better.  We go to Holistic Veterinary Care in Oakland, back in 2022 when she got hurt I think we had to wait 5 or 6 weeks for an appointment.  She was getting laser treatment a couple times a week and I couldn't go into the treatment area with her- it's not that big and their opinion is that the dog actually will do better without the owner around.  I'm not sure I believe that but she was able to deal with it.  Most important to me was the home exercise program and suggestions for supplements. I like the practice but traffic makes it a challenging drive sometimes- Elly also has some anxiety in the car.

I also understand the 'whirlwind'!  You are only a few days from surgery... hang in there, it does get better!

 

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls and Boy

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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3 April 2024 - 9:28 am
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@Karen. I live in Redwood City.  I'm looking into a fews mobile therapists that Jerry shared and emailed a couple of ones.  I doubt that they travel with equipment like water treadmills-  does anyone know if this is important for a hind leg amputation rehab?  Milo is doing really well, is getting up and down by himself and walking (more like hopping).  We're still trying to keep him sedated so he doest' get too excited.  He tried to chase a cat the other day..

I found a few places online, including Aquadog in saratoga and a holistic vet in Pacifica, who haven't responded to my inquiries yet. THe closests place to us is Scout's House in San Mateo, which is recommended by my vet and many others.  They're booked through the end of May at least we're on the waiting list.

If he's doing this well on his own, how important is therapy?  The main reasoning I've head seems to be that they can help with his gait and help to minimize joint or spine issues later in life.  Milo is just about to turn 4.

The Rainbow Bridge



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3 April 2024 - 10:31 am
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Hi Ron,

A water treadmill is only one modality to use for therapy, there are many other tools and exercises that can be used to help Tripawds strengthen and stay in shape. In fact, more than one vet therapist has told us that treadmills are more for the human than the dog, because they see them and think they're so cool! But the dog can really get in shape in a number of ways. 

And believe it or not we know a therapist in Oregon who does travel with a tank on a trailer!

Listen to the podcast I shared above, or read the link to learn about the benefits of therapy. It's very helpful and really about educating you, Milo's human about appropriate activity and keeping him in shape. Also, how to recognize his pain signals , and know when he needs more help later on. Even just one visit is helpful for us to learn about our dog's unique needs. So even if going every week or other week isn't an option, at least having a point of contact to turn to when Milo needs help will be useful.

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