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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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Be More DogWhat does it mean to Be More Dog?

Find out in Be More Dog: Learning to Live in the Now by Tripawds founders Rene and Jim. Learn life lessons learned from their Chief Fun Officer Jerry G. Dawg! Get the book and find fun gifts in the Be More Dog Bookstore.

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Post surgery - struggling to find his hop
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Member Since:
8 April 2022
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23 April 2022 - 6:49 pm
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Good evening, we have been in a whirl wind of change over the last few weeks. Diagnosis, amputation on Wednesday April 20th.  Gator is 10.5 year old 110 lbs cane corso cross who recently had his left hind leg amputated.   His surgery was performed late day so he was only discharged yesterday afternoon and been home just over 24 hours.  Lots of bruising but for the most part is comfortable. 

We just haven’t found ourselves moving well on three yet. All walking so far is with a sling but when he stands for eating or drinking he holds the weight but I support him if he tires or wobbles. Don’t want to baby him but also don’t want him to hurt himself or have a lack of confidence. 

‘I have received great support from this site when I was going through the process of amputate or not and hoping to benefit from from others experience in this first week of recovery. We are seeing physio on Wednesday for a full assessment and development of a program. Hooping we can get outside soon without the need for a sling.  Got through the CT scan, and surgery now hoping to get up on three. 

The Rainbow Bridge


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23 April 2022 - 7:17 pm
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Hey there I'm so glad you started a new topic here, thank you so much.

Twenty four hours after surgery and any dog, cat, or human would be wobbly. I know it's hard to be patient. I can tell you are trying though! Moving well will happen. Bigger dogs tend to need a little more time but he will get there. Take advantage of this cuddle time together and enjoy the couch R&R. 

I'll be around tomorrow in the Tripawds Chat (later in the day, Pacific time) if you want to talk OK? Keep us posted.

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23 April 2022 - 9:00 pm
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Thanks Jerry, as recommended we are celebrating the gradual improvements and trying to stay positive and give him everything I can to succeed. His spirits are good, was playing with his toys on his bed and even surprised me this evening. He moved from his bed to beside me at the table. Was 5-6 feet but it was a 5-6 feet he did on his own. 

The Rainbow Bridge


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24 April 2022 - 1:10 pm
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You are doing so well with this! I love that you are noticing all those "normal" things that we used to take for granted, like playing with toys. Five to six feet on his own is momentous! I hope you have many more beautiful moments like that today.

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24 April 2022 - 9:16 pm
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Thanks Jerry, sorry missed you in the chat. Today we doubled the distance.  He got up and from one bed to the other near me. Was very thankful to see this. We are still using a sling to get to his food and outside.  He is eating well, drinking and I seen improvement in the bruising. 

Ordered a stroller today so we can soon get outside more to enjoy the warmer weather and sunshine. Also want to have to offer him some more mobility if he needs it. Looking forward to us being able to walk but also go for a truck ride. The truck is where he is most comfortable. Knows he won’t be left, lol. 

Thanks again for all your support. 

The Rainbow Bridge


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25 April 2022 - 10:33 am
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WOW! Doubled the distance? That is GREAT!!! I love that he has multiple beds to use as goals. Touchdown!

I'm so glad you are seeing all kinds of improvements with him. Yeah the bruising looks scary and typically it gets worse before it gets better. If it's already looking better that's a great sign.

Very cool on the dog stroller ! What kind did you get? I loved having ours for Wyatt Ray , it was a game-changer. He got to go many more places with us, I wondered why i waited for so long. Wyatt also had a fear of being left behind, I feel your pain!

Cheers to a great week ahead!

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25 April 2022 - 5:43 pm
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Thanks Jerry, we are seeing gradual progress. Today he made it across the room to his food.  I have been helping but trying not to baby him as has been suggested. Honestly it is hard to watch him struggle to regain his mobility and his hop but the alternative was not an option as we wanted an extended life.   Just looking forward to Wednesday when we get to physio to get the opinions and advice of the professionals. 

I searched around on Amazon and many weren’t available in his size or in a time which we were looking for as we hope to be able get outside without him having to push himself too fast.  The one we settled on was the Petbobi Stroller/Jogger.  Obviously this will be a new experience. Hoping he can get in, relax and enjoy. Missing our morning and afternoon walks for the last while has been challenging. Hoping we can find our new way which will include him walking on his own and using the stroller to extend our walks without any physical demands on him. 

The Rainbow Bridge


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25 April 2022 - 9:55 pm
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Oh man I know it's hard to give them that tough love they need to get strong. I had a hard time with letting our Jerry "be a dog" but making sure he didn't get hurt.

That tough love is ironic isn't it? And it's a delicate balance too. You're doing a great job at managing to walk the line. How are you doing emotionally? Holding up OK?

That's a pretty cool stroller! Here's aa link for anyone interested. It definitely looks like a big dog stroller . Take time introducing it. Keep it inside the house if you can, put his toys inside, bribe him with some tasty treats, and just get him used to it little by little. When you take your first walks again you will both be soooooo thrilled! The stroller is such a smart way to keep up with routines and not put that extra stress on his body.

I'm looking forward to your Wednesday physio appointment too! Can't wait to find out what they have to say. 

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26 April 2022 - 6:42 am
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Thanks Jerry, those are good suggestions. Will start off inside and slowly. I would have jumped right in the deep end hoping my talking and his good listening would give him the necessary comfort.  It should be good size but he will fill it for sure. 

Emotionally I am holding it together.  As I have said, this website has been my crutch which I am thankful to have. I do have a great Vet team and we connect regularly but without this site I realize the lonely journey it would have been. So many more unknowns. For now celebrating the progression. And although we aren’t as advanced as many others we are progressing and I am trying to walk that line of not babying him knowing soon enough we can get back to some of the things we love to do and thankful and blessed we have that in our near future.  This guy means the world to me and I hate that he has to deal with this all.   But again without all the experience on this site I am sure I would have regretted putting him through this only to miss what I am already seeing today. 

We are excited for today but tomorrow we see physio and our Vet. Both will be very helpful and I know the whole Vet Team is waiting anxiously. For him to come tomorrow.  It is such a blessing to have a Vet that has a team that lets her engage with her patients so well. I can’t thank them enough.   

Virginia




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26 April 2022 - 7:49 pm
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Gradual progress....recovering at his own pace and in his own way.....that is exactly  how you move through  recovery!.

AND, it is so important  not to compare ine recovery  with another.  GWIW, it took me about three weeks before I felt like I could say I did this FOR my Happy Hannah and not TO her..

And like you, I found the first hand experiences  here invaluable.  No one ever has to travel this joirney alone with thos supportive community  by uoir side👍

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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27 April 2022 - 8:50 pm
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Thank you for all your support. Today we met with Physio (although a canine facility they are not vets). So although it went okay I was not not overly impressed with the assessment and what we got out of it. They did say he is progressing well and at times I think he is getting this more and more but at other times I still have some worries of where we will get too.   They were measuring him for a wheel chair as a tool to help him with building endurance.  I just wonder if he will use it too much as a crutch and slow is overall progression in an effort to extend his distance with aids. I think I rather he be adept at getting around the house, out to bathroom and use a stroller and getting out to sniff around to extend our outings. 

After physio we went to see our regular Vet for Massage/acupuncture and just an all around visit so all could see Gator post surgery.  This visit went well and they were happy with where he is at.  Our Vet recommended two other Physio clinics that are Vets and she would prefer we see one of them. The one can see us May 9th and the other not till May 30th. The location leans me to the Physio on the 30th but I don’t want to wait a month. I don’t know I am wondering if I should attend both and assess which is best for us. 

Virginia




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28 April 2022 - 8:32 am
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FWIW  I think you're gut feeling and the assessment you and your vet have made together about going to another rehab vet is spot-on. To use a wheelchair at this point is not what deems to be needed,, at least in my unprofessional opinion.

Building endurance is not about longer walks oh, but it's about building core tummy muscles for strengths, developing a proper gait, and  proper flow and balance  for a tripod walk.

It may be that if you keep the first appointment in May, you may not even have a desire to see the other one at the end of May. Overall, it seems like things are going well and heading in the right direction. We know all too well it's hard to be patient, but patience really will get you where you need to be, slow and easy.

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!

The Rainbow Bridge


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28 April 2022 - 11:30 am
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Aww I'm sorry that you didn't have a great experience at the first physio location. And honestly I'm a bit surprised they jumped to a wheelchair already. I think your regular vet is spot-on with their recommendation:

Our Vet recommended two other Physio clinics that are Vets and she would prefer we see one of them. The one can see us May 9th and the other not till May 30th. The location leans me to the Physio on the 30th but I don’t want to wait a month. I don’t know I am wondering if I should attend both and assess which is best for us.

If you can go to any clinic with vets as the physio practitioners too, it's really the ideal situation. Do you have website addresses for the clinics? I'd love to check them out. 

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28 April 2022 - 6:38 pm
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Good evenings,  

Thanks for your your thoughts and sincere appreciation for you both commenting on our journey. Although I have a wonderful Vet team that I can’t speak highly enough of it is great to have your input. Below are the two links of the recommended providers. 

https://vcacana.....services 

https://caninea.....itness.ca/

Update:  We still are using a sling regularity but seeing but starting to see him move better as he starts to use a more aggressive hopping motion which is causing him to move faster. For a short distance he is very good but as he tires he gets weak and sloppy and needs support of the sling.  Still heavy hearted to see him struggle. Praying we can get strong enough to be somewhat normal. 

The Rainbow Bridge


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25 April 2007
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28 April 2022 - 7:36 pm
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Thanks for sharing the clinics. They both look outstanding! You are so fortunate to be near such qualified practitioners. Honestly it's a toss-up as far as who I would pick. Probably the first available. Both vet therapists have excellent credentials and both clinics offer multiple modalities, always a good sign.

As for the fast hop. Yep, that's what Tripawds do! They do walk faster naturally. Over time, that weakness and stumbling will go away, and rehab will definitely help it to go away faster. You are on the right track to helping him be the fittest and strongest he can be.

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