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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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Newly Amputated Golden Retriever Having Very Hard Time Peeing/Pooping/Going To Bathroom
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The Rainbow Bridge



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20 March 2021 - 11:44 am
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Yes I’m thinking of her too! That’s for the ping Sally!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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20 March 2021 - 1:08 pm
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Hi all – so sweet to get your messages. We have been thinking of you all too!

Today is a little past 2 weeks from amputation, and 12 days from bladder surgery. For the most part she has been lethargic around the house, lying around, recovering (she is still on Gabapentin but nothing else). But she is very engaged and excited on walks, which have ranged from 1-6 blocks. She does stop a lot on the walks, so we often use treats to get her moving back home, but we are already committed to giving her the best life for as long as possible (read: lots of treats), so we can live with this new bad habit.

In just the past 24 hours she has started to show more signs of life around the house – today she went and picked up a ball and also just now went on her own to the kitchen to do her vacuum cleaner routine. Both of those were very normal pre-surgery but we haven’t seen at all since the surgery, so we are super encouraged. This also seems totally in line with lots of other posts we’ve read saying they usually start to get their sparkle back 2-3 weeks post-surgery.

On Tuesday we head to the vet to get the incisions checked out and we expect the staples will come out then too. We are hoping to get the go-ahead to let her do what she wants/be more active. We haven’t let her get on couch or bed, and definitely haven’t done any ball throwing,  but we look forward to doing all of the above and hopefully more once the surgery sites are healed.

I think that’s it for now – sending you all love from San Francisco! Oh, also, bladder biopsy came back clean!! So, still a mystery there, but we are letting it go for now given that her peeing has been completely normal since bladder surgery.

Any thoughts on when we might allow those activities mentioned above? We will of course defer to the vet, but curious as to your experiences. Did you ever let your tripawds jump in and out of car once healed, or did you try to stay away from that to keep the solo leg in better shape?

The Rainbow Bridge



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20 March 2021 - 2:04 pm
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YAY Brooklynn! Thanks for checking in, sounds like that sparkle is coming back. You are doing a great job managing her recovery. It was a ruff road but you guys are terrific at making sure her activity is low key and she’s not putting herself in the injury danger zone.

Any thoughts on when we might allow those activities mentioned above?

As a matter of fact, we do! Please consider taking advantage of the Tripawds Foundation Rehab Reimbursement Fund, which can pay for your first rehab visit for Brooklyn. We see such a huge difference when a new Tripawd and their human can get evaluated by a rehab therapist! You will learn the right types of activities and intensity for her, and exercises that help her stay strong and injury-free.

For instance, did you know that when a dog sits down on a walk, they’ve already gone too far?  Or that even a four-legged dog shouldn’t jump in and out of cars without help? We didn’t know that, so we always want to make sure that new Tripawd parents are aware of these things. One way is by encouraging members to meet with a therapist!

AND, you are in such a fantastic place for canine rehab! One of the world’s best is Dr. Strubel in Pacifica! There are many others but we are partial to her because some good friends of ours had great success taking their Tripawds to her. I hope you’ll consider it!

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



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20 March 2021 - 2:05 pm
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Oh also check out some of our blog posts about the benefits of rehab:

https://tripawd…../tag/rehab

https://gear.tr…../tag/rehab

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




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20 March 2021 - 10:29 pm
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YAAAAAY!!!  So happy she’s starting to get her sparkle back and returning  to some of her special  little routines and habits!!

I know ot took me a solid three weeks before I felt like I could  finally  say I did this FOR my Happy Hannah and not TO her.  And sweet Brooklyn had to deal with a bladder surgery  basically  right after her amputation surgery! Yikes!!!  I’m sure she is still quite exhausted from everything  she’s been through

So to know her sparkle is coming  back really made my day!!  Can’t  wait til she reclaims HER couch!

Give her some extra treats for me too…..and some extra hugs too😊

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!

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23 March 2021 - 2:42 pm
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Thanks for these resources and continued support! Brooklynn got her staples out today, and the surgeon said her healing is going well. Once her scabs are healed we should be in great shape! We are now waiting for our oncology appointment – we are planning on giving chemo a try, possibly starting today but unclear. Any wise words of what we should be aware of on that front?

Also, planning on giving Dr. Strubel a call later today – thank you so much!!!

Virginia




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23 March 2021 - 2:56 pm
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YIPPEE SKIPPEE STITCHES  ARE GONE!!!😁😁

Some dogs sail through  chemo.  Some may have a little nausea or be off food a bit for a day nor so.  Some may be a little lethargic  for a day or so.  IF this happens, it’s “usually ” around day three-ish or five-ish.  Most Oncos send you home with Cerenia  for nausea.   On rare ocassions  side effects can be severe.  The good thing about chemo os you can always stop IF that happens.

Cheeseburgers  are always a great way for sweet dogs to celebrate  stitch removal!!  Maybe she’ll share it with you😉😉

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!

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23 March 2021 - 3:47 pm
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Haha, funny you mention that – I made cheeseburgers last night and of course one for Brooklynn. Made the mistake of feeding her hers before we ate. Let’s say it wasn’t the most relaxing of meals. But seeing her getting back to her old begging ways made it all good. 😂😊

The Rainbow Bridge



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23 March 2021 - 6:45 pm
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Oh gosh I can just see that cheeseburger scene! “What? They’re not ALL for me?!” icon_lol

SO happy she got a good checkup. As for chemo, well, my best advice is to have your vet give you an anti-nausea and appetite stimulant to take home, on the off chance that she needs them. Hopefully she won’t but better to be prepared.

I hope you can get in to see Dr. Strubel! Keep us posted.

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

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2 April 2021 - 3:04 pm
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Hello my friends! Hope you’re all well. Have I mentioned how awesome you all are. 🙂

Circling back with pawsitive updates about Brooklynn, as well as another question. Since we luckily seem to be past the original topic of this thread (not being able to pee!), please let me know if I should start a new one.

We are now four weeks out from amputation. Brooklynn is doing great. Main things we are just so happy about are that she is playing fetch with her ball (favorite thing to do prior to amputation besides eating), and she is playing with her toys (not as much as before, but we are doing tug of war and toy throwing/retrieving on a daily basis). This seems obvious now, but she is more surefooted when doing these activities than when she is walking/hopping slowly. I guess moving quickly is easier when you have three legs instead of four! In any event, we’re thrilled. She is definitely less lethargic around the house, although still spends a solid amount of time just lounging in her various spots. She does get tired relatively quickly on walks, seems like she is definitely still building up strength and energy.

We reached out to Dr. Stiefel about a rehab appointment and unfortunately their first appointments are not until June! Any other recs for anywhere in the Bay Area? Should we just make an appointment for June?

She had her first chemo 10 days ago, and we have not noticed any side effects. Yay. We go back for blood tests on April 6th (14 days after), and if all is well we will go back for second round of chemo on April 14th.

Lastly, my question, and I hope this isn’t too much of a downer, but its been on my mind so I figure you all can share what you know. I understand that normally osteosarcoma re-rears its head through metastasis to lungs. Does it ever reappear in the form of tumors/bone lesions/etc. in one of the remaining three limbs?

Much love to you all. Would love to share some pictures and videos, what’s the best way to do that? 

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2 April 2021 - 3:13 pm
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Quick follow-up. I think what got me thinking about other limbs is that I’ve noticed sometimes her remaining front paw will sometimes seem a little bigger, usually after exercise, but then goes back to normal. Not sure if this is normal because it’s just getting so much more work-out – have people noticed this? Is it all just in my head – certainly a possibility, lol. But it did get me thinking how it’s interesting that they never took x-rays of other limbs, just the one with the noticeable swelling/tumor and the lungs. As I mentioned, we’ll see the vet on Tuesday and can ask these questions then, but figured I’d start will all you wonderful and knowledgable folks.

The Rainbow Bridge



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2 April 2021 - 5:10 pm
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We are now four weeks out from amputation. Brooklynn is doing great. 

THAT is TERRIFIC! She’s so beyond the original topic of this post, you can absolutely feel free to start a new one if you’d like. But for now, CONGRATS! smiley_clapAnd yep, it’s much easier to move quickly when a dog has three legs. My theory is they move quickly for better balance and propulsion.

We reached out to Dr. Stiefel about a rehab appointment and unfortunately their first appointments are not until June! Any other recs for anywhere in the Bay Area? Should we just make an appointment for June?

WOAH! Well, that’s wild. I knew she was popular but I guess word is out. I would book the appointment and then check out these other clinics as alternatives. Sometimes it takes one or two practitioners before you find the one that clicks with Brooklynn and you.

I’m guessing San Jose is a way too long drive for you. I saw a couple of places there (our Vet Rehab Reimbursement posthas directories about 3/4 down the page). Would you consider Oakland? Here’s a pawesome clinic, lots of great feedback from folks who have been clients there:

https://holisti…..n-therapy/

 I understand that normally osteosarcoma re-rears its head through metastasis to lungs. Does it ever reappear in the form of tumors/bone lesions/etc. in one of the remaining three limbs?

Don’t ever be afraid of being a downer. We get it, we’ve felt your worries. So, sometimes it can appear in another bone. It’s rare. We’ve seen it happen. Unfortunately the only way to tell is with a complete CT body scan. Not a cheap process, most people don’t do it. But hey if you have pet insurance and it will cover it, then you may want to request one when she is due for her follow-up. 

 I think what got me thinking about other limbs is that I’ve noticed sometimes her remaining front paw will sometimes seem a little bigger, usually after exercise, but then goes back to normal. Not sure if this is normal because it’s just getting so much more work-out – have people noticed this?

That’s not something I can recall being common. She may still be having some post-op fluid swirling around her system. Have you tried palpating the area when you notice it? If so does she react at all? I would talk to your vet just in case, though it’s probably nothing. What I do know is that many front leg Tripawd develop a ginormous Power Paw in front over time. 

Hope this helps!

OH! this is how adding images to the Forums works.

Upload pics to a photo sharing site like imgur.com or your own Tripawds blog (https://tripawd…..#supporter). Pictures and video have to be hosted (live) somewhere other than in the forums. 
Once the photo is uploaded somewhere, right click and copy the Image URL or just copy the image if you’re on a phone
Return to your Tripawds Forum post and paste the image URL (or the image itself) in your post. It should automatically appear. 
If you’d like help figuring out the process let me know.

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

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