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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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Kirkland, WA
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2 June 2009
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22 August 2009 - 7:10 pm
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What a wonderful update, Cecilia!  Hope Horacia keeps up the good work 🙂

Winnipeg
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13 July 2009
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22 August 2009 - 9:32 pm
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Hi Oslo and Horacia

Glad to hear that each of you are progressing. Tazzie and I just drove to Winnipeg from Alberta. We are actually having some trouble getting into the website (funny how very well we did on dial-up this summer), but I expect the computer will slowly learn to recognize the 3-legged website the way our dogs learn to walk on 3 legs.

Speaking of which, when the amp was first done, some friends made the very good point that Tazzie's brain pictured a dog with four legs, yet he only had three, so it make sense that it would take time to learn to walk on four. Although with adrenalin, he fled the vet clinic as a fast hop, he then laid around. My best take on his behaviour was that he still pictured himself as having four legs, but one was not working. So he just did not move, regardless of what was going on around him. That impression seems confirmed by the types of movement he showed when he did start to walk, e.g., a very slow 3-legged walk that would only make sense if you had four legs.

Both of your dogs are very large, much larger than Tazzie (I hope to get his picture up soon!), and I would expect it to take a bit longer. The larger dogs seem a bit slower to get moving then the smaller dogs. (I am sorry to hear of Oslo's screaming - that sounds horrible. Some breeds do make more noise than others (malamutes are notorious), but I know nothing about Newfies with respect to screams.)

In any case, we got to Winnipeg this evening and Tazzie easily got in the house using the plywood ramp that my Very Nice Neighbours had built within two weeks of his diagnosis (!) and has also gone up and down the stairs to the 2nd floor a couple of times. That surprised me!

Susan

Cordoba, Argentina
Member Since:
20 August 2009
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23 August 2009 - 6:13 pm
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LaughSmileRasberry YES! We are much better in form today than yesterday and that feels great! Today I had to keep chasing her around the grounds once i had helped her get up. I am still afraid that she overdoes it, so I try to restrain her, but it is wonderful to see how active she is getting... and it is so sudden! Two days ago I was terrified that she might not move ever again, and now she starts barking when a strange car comes along (we live really secluded, so it is not often) and once she stands, she even goes/hops there barking. Terrific!

The same as Tazzie, Hori kind of needs prompting to start hopping. First she tries to walk and doesn't move because her leading leg is gone... but as soon as this is overcome she is really speeding! The same thing happens when she wants to GO up the two steps leading out of the house, she just stands there till she realizes that she has to use the right leg. But that is peanuts! Life is starting to be HOPPY!

Susan, if I may say so: You have wonderful neighbours! Most people look at us and can't understand what we are doing just to spend some more time with our dogs (they think we are crazy you know, them being just dogs)... and you have neighbours who buid a ramp for Tazzie!

I hope Oslo is better and not suffering more sudden pains.

Lots of positive energy from the south send Cecilia & Horacia

Spirit Horacia, Castaño, Olympia + human family Cecilia, Georg and Julia - - - Hori first diagnosed 8/6/09, ampu 8/12/09, run over the bridge 9/10/09 – We miss you every day dear girl!

On The Road


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23 August 2009 - 6:16 pm
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Yaaaahoo! That is awesome news!!! Yes, do try to keep her from overdoing it. Remember, slow and steady progress and everything will be OK.

You'll have to take some pictures of your girl, we'd love to see her getting around and loving life!

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

Winnipeg
Member Since:
13 July 2009
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23 August 2009 - 6:24 pm
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Hi Ceclia and Horacia

I know I have wonderful neighbours. It is great! Tazzie is a bit nervous on what appears to be a suspension bridge to him (the plywood sags), but it works. These neighbours take Tazzie to their posh cottage on the lake sometimes on the weekend, or if I am away (which would be PERFECT for him now). Notice that the dog gets the invitations, not me. Actually, they let me come once during the day.

Funny - when you said that Horacia was not moving much, I was going to ask if you lived in a secluded area. Until yesterday, we were at a large ranch in southern Alberta, so people were hardly ever around. I think that probably contributed to Tazzie's 'cement' state. He was perkier when people showed up and when I took him to the big city. Maybe they can dwell on their injury when secluded - which probably has some pros and some cons.

Yes, standing at the top of the stairs looking down was a stumbling point. Now he is going up and down a full set of carpeted stairs - not sure if that is good for him.

In any case, I am glad to hear that Horacia is much perkier. Do not be surprised if other things come up - each time I'd write to say that Tazzie was doing well in the first 2-3 weeks, I'd end up regretting my words 5 mins later! But it has worked out so far.

Susan & Tazzie 2

Montréal , Canada
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31 July 2009
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23 August 2009 - 7:13 pm
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How wonderful it is to read these very good news fromboth of you Susan and Cecilia! Congrats to Tazzie 2 and Horacia!! Laugh

A day with ups and downs here today. 

Ups: Gabapentin is still working very well.  So Oslo is back on track.  90% of tremoring, and screaming have ceased.  Which is great.  He continues to be  pretty active and moves easily enough to go wherever he wants to, except upstairs. He looks as he is having fun hopping like a big rabbit.  These are the ups. 

Big down for today is the fact that Rimadyl caused bloody diarrhea. ishhh Oslodaddy being out of town this week-end, I had to manage this matter by myself.  Not funny and nerve wracking if you want my opinion.  An other visit to the vet but hey...when you have to, well you have to ! But again, seeing Oslo in a good mood helped me to stay grounded on positive aspects instead of on negative ones.

Speaking of positive aspects: Oslodaddy is back !!! So guess who is going to wake-up 5 or 6 times tonight if Oslo needs to go outside??? Clown

Best thoughts to all of you

Suzanne, Marc-André and Oslo!

Winnipeg
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13 July 2009
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23 August 2009 - 8:47 pm
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Ahh, reading your post makes me miss the time I spent sleeping on the floor and couch next to Tazzie the last month. I can still almost count the days I slept in my own bed on one hand, and all but two were this week.

I am happy to hear you are seeing progress and keeping it in much better perspective than I ever did. I hope the rimadyl problem is not serious.

Susan & Tazzie 2

p.s. I have never met a white and black newfie like Oslo before. I did not know they came in two-tone.

Cordoba, Argentina
Member Since:
20 August 2009
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24 August 2009 - 4:59 pm
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Hello Everyone!

Hi Tazzie! How nice to finally see you! You really look very cute!

And by the way, I had't seen a two-coloured newfie either, just plain black or brown. But two colors are v.nice. I used to have St. Bernards when I lived in Germany, over here it is a bit warm (yes, I know, I just love giants).

Good to hear that Oslo is doing much better with his new painkiller. And sorry to read of your Rimadyl problems. Ask your vet, we switched to Previcox, just because I could not get the Rimadyl and it is working pretty good.

Thank God we don't have any downs to tell, still going steeply up! Horacia is more her old self since we got off Tramadol. Tail wagging and rabbitting just like Oslo. Without the Tramadol she seems to have less balance problems, or maybe it is just the progress.

Ah, just one question. I took out the suture yesterday (it healed ok) and left her without any "protection" but I'm afraid she might scrape herself when she lies down in the grass or somewhere that is not her bed. In fact, the sutrure line is a little bit thicker that it was this morning (it's now almost 9 pm here). Did you bandage your babies on and on?

Took some pics today, send them tomorrow.

Saludos

Cecilia & Horacia

Spirit Horacia, Castaño, Olympia + human family Cecilia, Georg and Julia - - - Hori first diagnosed 8/6/09, ampu 8/12/09, run over the bridge 9/10/09 – We miss you every day dear girl!

On The Road


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24 September 2009
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24 August 2009 - 5:03 pm
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No bandage was necessary for Jerry. The doctor didn't even send him home with a bandage after surgery. And once the stitches were out, it was time to play! But we did wait a while to go back to the beach ...

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

Winnipeg
Member Since:
13 July 2009
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24 August 2009 - 6:50 pm
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As for a bandage, Tazzie 2 seemed more comfortable having a t-shirt touching his skin for the first few weeks. He seemed a bit restless when he was not wearing a t-shirt.

Tazzie's suture area looked more vulnerable once the stitches were removed. I think the skin had healed over so well that the vet had to really dig in to get the stitches out - another ouchee. So I was hesitant about exposing them to different things (grass, dog mouths, dirty river water) for a few days.

There was (and still is thanks to chemotherapy) the issue of sunburn on his pale skin. I have been told that baby sun lotion is okay for dogs (not adult sunscreen) and Tazzie definitely needs some - his white skin is kind of bright pink and not from infection. But if your dog has dark skin and it is winter time, maybe that is not an issue.

Susan & Tazzie 2

Montréal , Canada
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31 July 2009
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26 August 2009 - 6:22 pm
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Hello! How are Tazzie and Horacia? 

Yeah...there are black and white newfies.They are also known as "Landseers".  Oslo's mother was all black and his father black/white.

Tazzie and Horacia are really really cute. Aw Shucks

As for bandage here, we bandaged Oslo during the firts 2 days when he was back home from surgery.  But then we stopped and it healed very well.  He will start swimming soon. 

Did I tell you that Oslo's bleeding diarrhea is now behind us?  tremoring and spasming too!  The past two days have been tremendous!  Laugh

Winnipeg
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13 July 2009
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26 August 2009 - 6:35 pm
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Hi Oslo

Tazzie thinks you are very cute too and wishes you could meet somewhere between Montreal and Winnipeg – we are both great looking winter dogs, aren't we?

How did you get the name Oslo when you are a newfie living in Montreal?

Great that you are feeling better in so many ways and too bad you had those crappy pains before – they sounded horrible.

Tazzie has been doing fantastic, although scares his mum everytime he charges down the stairs like a madman when the door bell rings. Now that we are in Winnipeg, we meet a new vet Friday morning – she is a general vet not an oncologist, but I think that will be just fine. We will follow the same chemo protocol that we started.

Oh – the LIFE JACKET was Very Important for Tazzie when swimming. I made the mistake of throwing in a stick when he did not have his jacket on. It was a bit scary to watch and kind of shattered his confidence so he did not want to try a second time. The life jacket really helps keep him afloat and right side up. He is not the great swimmer he used to be but at least can get in and paddle around. It would be easier if we had some quiet lakes with gentle slopes, but we just have a river with steep banks. Still, he is charging up and down the slopes like a madman. I sure hope the other front leg can handle all this!

Tazzie 2 & Susan

Cordoba, Argentina
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20 August 2009
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43
27 August 2009 - 7:15 am
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Hi! So good to hear pawsitive news!

We are doing fine, although Hori's back left leg is kind of swollen. Maybe because she moved more yesterday and she is taking the weight of her missing front left leg.

The seroma on her injury is almost gone and it will look pretty good once she is not "naked" any more.

Isn't it terrible to see them jumping down steps!? I get very scared that she might injure her remaining front leg!! I have to say, she is doing terrific and after moving around is very couch-potato, just as she used to be.Big Grin

Keep posted!

Cecilia & Horacia

Spirit Horacia, Castaño, Olympia + human family Cecilia, Georg and Julia - - - Hori first diagnosed 8/6/09, ampu 8/12/09, run over the bridge 9/10/09 – We miss you every day dear girl!

Winnipeg
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13 July 2009
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27 August 2009 - 7:44 am
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I can't believe Horacia is already running down steps! At least I don't have to be totally jealous this time since Tazzie is now doing well. Tazzie goes down the steps faster than ever. Even if he goes 'slow', it is two at a time. And when he goes fast - well there is a blur so I can't count. Scary.

I wonder how many other people have a true two-storey house with steps that their dogs go down?? At least these are carpeted.

I wonder if a vet should check out Hori's swollen leg. I seem to remember reading something about other legs becoming swollen, but can't remember what it was. But I think it applied to times when all three legs were swollen.

I am afraid Tazzie's fur is not going to cover his skin for a few months - the Adriamycin really made a dent in his fur progress. There is only light baby down, and unfortunately this also applies to the area shaved for his torsion surgery in June!

Susan

Cordoba, Argentina
Member Since:
20 August 2009
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27 August 2009 - 8:35 am
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yes, i will call my vet to check out the leg thing. Sometimes i just don't want to call him every day! it would be nice to give the good man a break! Wink

Hori and the rest of the animal family are not allowed to go to the upper level (just bedrooms), but we have some steps (stone) leading into and out of the house no matter wich way you take... i think i would have a heart condition if she could go down "real" steps.

Horis torsions (2) are now 3 years back and she looks like a zip-up when standing on her rear legs. Just two parallel zippers going down her tummy.

Hope Tazzies fur is there till winter, otherwise you'll have to get him some really cool sweaters! 

Cecilia

Spirit Horacia, Castaño, Olympia + human family Cecilia, Georg and Julia - - - Hori first diagnosed 8/6/09, ampu 8/12/09, run over the bridge 9/10/09 – We miss you every day dear girl!

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