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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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Soon to be Tripawd Dog Mom
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Member Since:
9 September 2023
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9 September 2023 - 7:33 am
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Hello Everyone, my 13 year old terrier has a large soft tissue sarcoma on her right front leg. We have been consulting with several specialists and made the decision yesterday to have her leg amputated next Thursday. I am currently in the research phase to ensure our home has everything “Boots” will need post-op. From everything I have been reading thanks to this site and all of the the other tripawd parents, I believe I am off to a good start with my supply list. One question I do have is what suggestions are there for transporting boots home from the surgery? She will be kept overnight and the hospital is about an hour away so wanting to make the initial car ride as comfy as possible for her. We have an suv so space in the back on a flat surface with a large orthopedic bed  with some towels is what I am thinking but want to make sure I am on the right track. Additionally, what is the best recommendation for getting her initially from the hospital into the car post-op. I am hoping the nurses and vet techs assist simply because I want to be sure she is transported and placed in the car properly for the long ride home. Thank you.





Member Since:
16 October 2012
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9 September 2023 - 12:01 pm
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Hello and welcome Erica. Your future posts will not require moderation.
Thank you for sharing about Boots. Sounds like you have a good plan for transporting boots home from the hospital. When I brought Sassy home I just had her in the back of my mom's Tahoe and didn't think about putting a bed back there. That is a smart idea.

Most generally dogs can hop out to the car or depending on how far of a walk it is you can request assistance. I am not sure how big she is. You said Terrier so I assume a smaller dog. It has been awhile for me for this part of the journey. I am sure there will be other's who will jump in and share their ideas and how they got their baby into the house. 🙂

Keep us informed on how she does.

Michelle & Angels Sassy, Bosch, Baby Simba and sweet Snickers

sassymichelle-sm.jpg

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."

Livermore, CA




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9 September 2023 - 1:54 pm
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Hello and welcome.

How big is Boots?

When I picked up my Pug Maggie after her rear amp surgery I had someone with me and they held her on the way home, 45 minutes or so.  Mag was little, about 17 pounds.  The vet tech carried her out to me and I carried her to the car.

If Boots is too big to be carried there is a good chance she will be able to hop to the car with some assitance.  And if she needs help the vet techs should help.

Will someone be going with you?  You want to be sure she doesn't try to get up or move around while the car is moving. 

 

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

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9 September 2023 - 2:12 pm
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Thank you for the replies. Boots is a medium size dog about 27-30 lbs. Its good to know there is a possibility that she will be able to hop to the car and I am going to park very close to the hospital doors to make her initial journey as minimal as possible. If she is unable to hop, I will request the assistance from the hospital staff. My wife will be with me and one of us will ride in the back with Boots on the way home. My initial fear is that I will unintentionally hurt her if I have to pick her up to put her in the car. Just jitters from being an inexperienced tripawd mom so doing lot of overthinking and planning because I want her recovery time to be as peaceful and restful as she needs. I ordered all of the supplies I know she will need based upon many helpful posts I have been reading within this site. I appreciate the initial responses. Thank you and I will provide updates on Boots once the procedure is completed. 

The Rainbow Bridge



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25 April 2007
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9 September 2023 - 2:57 pm
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Hi Erica and Boots!

Sounds like you are pretty well set for the big day and recovery. Yes if you have someone to help then you should be A-OK. Boots will likely be feeling so wonky and out of it that you can probably just scoop her up and into the car without a problem. We brought our Jerry home the same way, back of our covered truck, with a nice orthopedic bed and lots of blankies and pillows to make sure he was snug and safe. 

Has Boots ever had other surgeries? Sounds like the anesthesia experience might be all new to you?

I'm sorry you are faced with this situation! Please let us know what questions you have and how we can help.

Member Since:
4 September 2023
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11 September 2023 - 10:01 am
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Hi Erica,

I just picked my Bizkit (26 lb mix) up a week and a half ago... I was sitting in the waiting room all nervous and then realized I didn't have a carrier or harness or anything.  Luckily they said that was fine, she walked out (slowly, groggy for sure). I lifted her into my back seat where I have a dog hammock and I brought a dog bed from home so it would smell like home.  In retrospect having someone else back there would have been helpful so she didn't try to get up, but it worked out OK.  Also once out of the vet office, I let her hop to the grass to pee, she didn't need to, andin retrospect I would have skipped that too...it was a lot, walking for the first time, being outside, being groggy, I think there was too much going on to pee. 

As for lifting, I lift from the non-surgery side, both arms under abdomen between the legs ( so one arm behind front legs, the other arm in front of rear leg..Biz had a rear leg amputated).  Not sure if there is a recommended way to lift but that is what works for us and avoids contact with the surgery area.

I also discovered on other drives that she likes singing so I put on some Fleetwood Mac and sung to her on the way home.  Later that night to sleep I used a Spotify playlist of calm music for dogs (classical lullabies) and she does seem to like it.   When we got home I put her down on the grass to pee (she did, then she pooped too!) and then carried her in and put her on her bed where she stayed. I also reminded her of her water that evening, with the cone on I think she doesn't see it and doesn't seem to drink as much. 

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13 September 2023 - 8:56 pm
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Well everyone tomorrow is the big day for Boots. @Jerry - Boots has never had any other surgery so the anesthesia will be new but I think my wife and I have got everything we need (at least to start) to make sure Boots has a comfortable recovery. I just want to say, thank you again to each of you that have reached out and to other folks that have posted about their prior experiences. This forum has been very helpful and has given us a good foundation to start the next chapter with Boots. I will send an update once she is home and on the mend. 

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5 September 2023
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14 September 2023 - 5:21 am
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Hi Erica, I’m a new tripawd mom myself, so understand your worries. My greyhound had her right front leg amputated this past Monday. She stayed overnight and we brought her home  Tuesday late afternoon. Hubby and I were surprised when she came hobbling (walking) out into the lobby with the vet tech. Not sure what I expected. We had bought a ramp for our SUV because Summer weighs 69 lbs. It had only arrived the day before her surgery, so we only got to practice on it a few times prior, but Summer handled it well. When we got home, she came down the ramp - a little more hesitant coming down, but did it - and went over to the grass and urinated. So I think you’ll be surprised at what Boots can handle. Of course, every dog is different in their response to anesthesia and pain meds. I’ve learned not to hesitate to ask for the help I need. You’re off to a good start with the bed and towels for the car. And good that your wife will be with you. I also find it helpful to have a helper.

I’ll be thinking of you and Boots today and look forward to your update. I’ll bet you can’t wait to get your baby back home.

Robin & Summer 

The Rainbow Bridge



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14 September 2023 - 11:12 am
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Oooh you are so welcome! We are sending tons of pawsitivity and well wishes to you and Boots, keep us posted!sp_hearticon2

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14 September 2023 - 8:52 pm
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Brief update on Boots - she is finally out of surgery and doing very well…. She is sleeping peacefully (probably from drugs) but doing well. Surgery ended up being very late this evening due to several other emergency cases that came in. We will call around 11am to see how she is doing and if she can come home.☺️  Thank you to all for the “pawsative” vibes and Boots thanks you as well. Will send another update tomorrow. 

Livermore, CA




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14 September 2023 - 9:15 pm
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So good to get that 'everything went fine' phone call!  Wonderful she is doing so well.

The same thing happened to me when Pug Maggie had her amp surgery back in 2006.  After waiting and waiting for the call (and of course going down the rabbit hole of every thing that could possibly have gone wrong) I finally called to find out and they had got so busy with emergencies that they didn't even have time to call me to tell me that had to postpone the surgery to the next day! 

I hope Boots can come home tomorrow- on with the healing!

 

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

Member Since:
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16 September 2023 - 6:55 pm
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Update on Boots - she is home and on the road to recovery. She sleeps alot but I know this is likely from the meds. She is eating, ALOT so that is a great sign. Hoping her momentum picks up over the coming days/weeks. For now, just really happy to have her home with us and resting.

Member Since:
5 September 2023
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16 September 2023 - 8:33 pm
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Great news! Summer sleeps most of the time too, even now at 5 days postop. I'm sure their bodies need it. Hope Boots continues to heal.

Robin & Summer 

The Rainbow Bridge



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16 September 2023 - 10:43 pm
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That's pawesome! Welcome home Boots!

Yep, sleep is medicinal now and the fact that she is eating is a really good sign! Keep us posted.

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17 September 2023 - 5:28 am
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Good Morning Everyone, I do have a question. Does it “normally” take several days (post-op) for a bowel movement to occur? Asking because Boots had her surgery late Thursday evening and has not had one yet. When we take her outside, we have to carry her and then put her in the yard and hold her up and she urinates but then she immediately wants to lay down. I understand the medicine she is on is likely the cause of the constipation but just wondering how long I wait before contacting the doctor (if needed). The good news is that she is eating everything we put in front of her and we are giving her fresh cooked sweet potato to hopefully help her with digestion and excretion so hoping its just a matter of time. 🙂

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