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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is your home 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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looking for helpfull tips with a new amputee
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slimsdad
1
21 May 2012 - 8:28 pm
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Our boy Slim was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma last Thursday and after finding this site we made up our minds to have the pain removed surgically by amputation. We're bringing him to Colorado State University Vet Oncology Center tomorrow at 8am. He has lived with many challenges in his 10yrs.  He has had epilepsy since birth, had a FHO on the left leg that is getting amputated, and a TPLO on his other knee.  He also has arthritis in his right front and both feet.

We would love some advice as to what harnesses, ramps, etc. you have found helpful in helping your Tripaws get around  better.  Do you find it's hard for them to do any stairs?  We have just a few stairs leading up to the house and are thinking about putting in a ramp.  

We have gotten so much helpful information and insight from you this community and feel strongly that we are doing the right thing by Slim.

Jeff, Dana, Slim & Jake  

krun15
2
21 May 2012 - 9:32 pm
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Hi Slim's pack,

Welcome to Tripawds.  Your future posts will not require moderation.

Sorry you had to find us, but as you have seen this is a community of experienced and supportive folks.

I like to suggest that new members start with the Required Reading List- lots of good info there of what to expect with amputation and recovery, and treatment if you choose that path.

You asked about harnesses- many here use the Ruff Wear Web Master, both front and rear amps.

So I think FHO is a rear leg/ hip surgery, right? So Slim will be a rear amp.  That is actually a little easier on dogs (although I know a lot of front amps that get along just fine!).  If there are only a few stairs I bet he will be able to do them after he heals up from the surgery.  But since he has other joint issues a ramp might be a good idea, it depends on if he will use it.  My tripawd was  a little rear amp pug who refused to walk on several ramps I made for her.  She could go up 2 or 3 stairs just fine, but any longer stair case was too hard for her.  That was mostly because she was so little, only 12" at the shoulder, so jumping almost her body height each step was too much for her one back leg.  In general rear amps go down easier than up.

The first couple weeks after surgery can be full of ups and downs- so don't get discouraged.  Sometimes you think you did the wrong thing- I did.  But tri-pug Maggie just took her time to adjust to her new normal.  She was a happy pug for almost 4 years post-amp due to mast cell cancer.

Quad pug Tani, Mag's little sis, has epilepsy- she was diagnosed at 2 and now is almost 12.

Good luck with the surgery tomorrow, keep us posted.

 

Karen and the pugapalooza

Las Vegas, Nevada
Member Since:
14 August 2009
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3
22 May 2012 - 2:54 pm
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Welcome to the site Slim and Family.

So very sorry you find yourself here with us.  We are glad you have found the site helpful in your quest to end the pain for Slim! We, too believe amputation is the right thing when there is so much pain involved with OSA.

Karen gave you great advice.  I didn't have a cancer 3-legged dog but I had a deformed 3-legged dog from a puppy to the end for 12 years.  (front leg was deformed) and I just wanted to add, that my Comet had 2, TPLO's in her back knees as she aged but did very, very well.  I'm of the opinion that the knee surgeries actually helped or perhaps it just eased my mind because she couldn't blow out the knee with bionic metal knees!  rasberry

So, don't be worried about the other maladies with Slim.  And yes, Comet still went up and down stairs afterwards just fine.  As a matter of fact, she never stopped going up and down the stairs and she had hopped all of her life which was a lot of wear and tear on her body.  I've included a video for you. She would have been around 9 years old in this video. Those were steep stairs too and in 12 years the only fall on those stairs was from when I fell down them and blew out my neck!!  Comet was a champ at them....as for Mommy, not so much!

Is Slim a big dog?  We'd love to see a pic!

 

Wishing you all the best for Slim.  Please keep us updated on how the surgery goes!

Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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4
22 May 2012 - 5:22 pm
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Jeff, Dana, Slim & Jake, welcome. We can't believe we just missed you, we had a pawty in Golden on Saturday and would have loved to have met you. Next time!

You've gotten some great suggestions here, and I hope they help. Our Gear Blog has tons of suggestions for Tripawds gear. Check it out. I wouldn't hurry and put in a ramp just yet, I'm going to bet that Slim won't need it. If you have a high clearance vehicle, however, you may find the Ruff Wear harness super helpful as we do, for our Tripawd Wyatt, whenever he gets into our pickup truck.

We've had plenty of dogs who've had pre-existing conditions/surgeries like FHOs and hip replacements, and they did fine. If you are at all able, work with a rehab therapist for at least a few weeks after surgery to ensure that Slim is on the right track to recovery. There's a GREAT therapist, Deana Rogers, in Loveland who can help. We wrote about her in this blog post. Another member in the area, Sashadog, is also using a rehab therapist she really likes, so PM her if you want more info.

What kind of breed is Slim? 

Rest assured you can't be in better paws than the ones at CSU. They are fabulous! 

Good luck, please keep us posted OK?

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

slimsdad
5
22 May 2012 - 6:16 pm
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Update on Slim, he made it through the amputation and hemipelvectomy very well. He is a worrier so we'll wait to see him untill he is released. Just don't want him to think he is going home and then not take him. As far as what type of dog he is he is a chocolate lab, about 92 pounds so yeah he is a big boy. I'll try to post a pic of him

well it appears that i can't post a picture. sorry

slimsdad
6
22 May 2012 - 6:23 pm
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jakeImage Enlarger
[Image Can Not Be Found]

Member Since:
25 March 2012
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7
22 May 2012 - 6:44 pm
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"Hoppy" to hear the surgery went well.  Now on to a good recovery.  Slim is a handsome fellow, his fur just gleams in the light.  Who is the monkeybutt with him?  (That's what quadpaws are called around here.)

Heather & Spirit Shadow

slimsdad
8
22 May 2012 - 7:54 pm
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That would be Jake, he's our supermodel. And he's rather out of sorts without his big brother with him. They haven't been separated since we got him 8 years ago. Actually we are all out of sorts with out him here

knoxville, tn
Member Since:
12 February 2010
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9
22 May 2012 - 8:03 pm
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slim, you are a hottie!!!!  of course, jake's no slacker either!!  everyone will be happier once slim is home - home is for healing.  rest up now, paws crossed for a speedy recovery!!

 

charon & spirit gayle

Life is good, so very, very good!!! Gayle enjoyed each and every moment of each and every wonderful day (naps included).  She left this world December 12, 2011 – off on a new adventure.

Love Never Ends

http://etgayle

krun15
10
22 May 2012 - 9:28 pm
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I couldn't bring myself to visit Maggie either- I didn't want her to see me then leave her there again.

Mag's little sis Tani was really out of sorts too- she had never been an only pug.  Her first 10 months had been spent with 6 other pugs, and once she came to live with us she and Maggie had never spent a night apart- it had probably had been about 6 years by then. 

Glad to hear he made it though the surgery OK, now you can breathe a little.  Rest up for the homecoming!

I love the touch of gray on the muzzle (Slim's that is smiley).

 

Karen and the pugapalooza

San Diego, CA
Member Since:
29 October 2010
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11
22 May 2012 - 10:19 pm
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Sorry I am late welcoming you and Slim (and Jake!) to the site. Glad to hear the surgery went well. Definitely try to rest up before he comes home. It is very tiring when they are first back home - you listen for every little noise in the night, even if they don't need you.

The recovery period can be a bit rough (seeing your pup so out of it from the pain meds and whatnot - but maybe you are a little used to that from the other surgery?) but once he's off the meds and the staples are out you should see his old personality start to come back.

He is VERY handsome, and so is Jake. Quite the good looking pair!

Being a tripawd pawrent is an awesome thing. You'll see - once he's all recovered he'll amaze and inspire you. Welcome to the club,
Jackie, Angel Abby & Monkeybutt Rita's mom

Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

Las Vegas, Nevada
Member Since:
14 August 2009
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12
22 May 2012 - 10:37 pm
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He's handsome for sure!!

SO happy to hear the surgery went well!

Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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13
23 May 2012 - 10:23 am
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Paws up for a successful surgery! I agree that it's often best not to visit on the same day as surgery. Dogs need a quiet, calm place to sleep off the anesthesia and get ready to go home. Seeing their humans only gets them super excited and that's not what they need right after surgery. There will be plenty of time to love him up!

Glad you figured out the pics. Slim is one fine lookin' boy. 

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

El Dorado Hills, CA
Member Since:
13 April 2012
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14
23 May 2012 - 2:30 pm
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Hi, sorry for the late welcome! Slim sounds like he did great during surgery. I have to agree with everyone else that he is a handsome boy too! I bet Jake is a bit out of sorts with his brother missing. Rest up for the next couple weeks of care for Slim. I'm sure you will be amazed at how well he adapts! That painful leg is gone and that will be so much better for him.

Again, welcome and so glad to hear everything went as planned during Slim's surgery. Take care and we'll be thinking of you.

Suzie and Rizzo

Jack Russell born in 2001. Mast cell cancer found Dec 2009 and right rear amputation. Five rounds of chemo done before all treatment stopped. Living life to the fullest!! Read my story at http://rizzo.tripawds.com

slimsdad
15
23 May 2012 - 6:15 pm
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Got to see slim today, he looks great. even with the sedation i could see the sparkle in his eye that had been missing. He's getting around great. Hopefully we can bring him home tomorrow.

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