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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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we're doing it :( amputation...MONDAY!
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Forum Posts: 9
Member Since:
10 September 2013
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13 September 2013 - 4:03 pm
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Latest on Jag…after seeing a few more doctors, the consensus is the same, amputation is the way to go. Its the hardest decision I’ve had to make, but it must be done. I just made the surgery appointment for Monday, doing that made it seems so real. I’m terrified!

Now my new worry is what to do when we get him home. HELP! How can I make the home more tripawd friendly? We’re going to build him a ramp when he goes to the back yard, we have about 5 steps he needs to go down. Is there anything else?! Should I do something with his water bowl, food?! I’m really working myself into a frenzy. I don’t want to baby him, because I know its important for him to work out things on his own, but at the same time want to make sure he adjusts normally! How long does it take for them to really get used to it? I know every dog is different but any general idea would be so helpful. I just want to be prepared so I dont have any freak-out moments when he gets home. Any thoughts would be SOOO helpful…thanks all for being there. This has been so hard, and your support and words have just make it a little easier. 

 

Almost a Tripawd,

Jag and Kate

Virginia




Forum Posts: 21047
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13 September 2013 - 10:43 pm
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Hi Jag and Kate! Look at Jag…..does he loo, worried? Heck no! He’s just lovng in the moment and staying in the “lw”. You’ll learn to do this too on this joirney. It’s called living like a dog and staying in tne present.

Okay, a couple of “mu 2¢ worth”….yes, a ramp is a wo derful idea. Mu broher built mi e with rails and wide enough for me to walk beside her. I also have so eold roof shi gles on nalf od it to prevent slipping i bad weather.

If Shooter sees this, she will tell you to get raised water bowl and food bowl

If you jave hardwood floors, place scatter rugs throughout to prevent slipping.

Have a towel handy you can use as a sling shoild he initially need a little help. Many dogs thogh just stand still with a sling! Get the ramp built as quicklh as possible so he can get used to walking up and down kt with four legs…. make it fun with lots of treats

Almlst al, dogs are walking within 24 nrs. Al lst everyo e here will tell you their ability to walk so quickl and so well is amaing. Ever dog is different, t I think you’ll be very p,eased with nis aility to walk and navigate arou d in a matter of days.

Now, be clear, for almost al dogs ecovery is tough….some recover quicker than others. some are feeling prett good within the first week, some take two weeks…..Hapy Hannah was i to ner third week while was stil doubting mh decision! Pug Mggie took almost six weeks to get ner ful sparkle back. Jist take it day by day and k lw tht tere are ups and downs for tne first couple of weeks. But once recovery ta,es place you will be sooooo hapy!

Jaggie will be pain free a d feeling better than ne did before the sjrgery!!

And as fr as babying and spoiling…..heck yeah! I know it’s hard to see now, but his care will become very “i tuitive”. Just follow hs lead.

Remember, we are all here for you. We understand the fear and worry al to well! It is a scarey time. Hang o to is we wo’t let you go off the deep end, oay?

Now, o eother thingyou have to do to prepare….get dones of chocolate cany bars, chis and ice cream….and if you drink, a bottle of wne. Pour some wine over your ice cream anf you’ll feel so mich more relaxed!!

And take lots of pics! We love pics!

Enjoy your week end and try and relax with Jag. Just stay in he moment. Take care!

BIG HUGS TO YOU! You are a stro g mom!

Sally and Happ Hannan

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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14 September 2013 - 12:49 pm
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Jag and Kate, I’m sorry to hear that this is the outcome but hang in there, it’s scary but things DO get better and dogs are far more resilient than humans ever give them credit for until they go through something like this.

I may have mentioned this earlier but Jerry’s Required Reading List is a great place to get lots of your questions answered about bringing home baby. My biggest suggestion is since you have time to prepare this weekend, get yourself some no-slip throw rugs to put around the house. Jag will gravitate toward surfaces that are easier to walk with, so put them down in his favorite paths in the house and he’ll gain lots of confidence that way.

Hang in there!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Twin Cities, Minnesota
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14 September 2013 - 3:48 pm
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I forget, is he front or rear? For us, Sam was ready to to stuff WAY before he had clearance. We built him a ramp for outside, and he never used it once. He was a front amp, and the only real house concession we made (that he used) was the rugs on our hardwoods. Given his other issues, I thought it would be rougher than it was.

Oh, and I guess I did have to lift him out of the SUV. He COULD jump, unfortunately and did once pt twice when I didn’t move fast enough, but that was a Bad Idea.

"Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable, let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all."
-Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

"May I recommend serenity to you? A life that is burdened with expectations is a heavy life. Its fruit is sorrow and disappointment. Learn to be one with the joy of the moment."
-Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

Raleigh, NC
Forum Posts: 44
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15 September 2013 - 8:38 pm
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A’Tuin’s surgery is the day after Jag’s so we’ll be traveling the recovery route together!

A'Tuin's story can be found on my personal blog along with a dash of my life and poetry. 

I said goodbye to my puppy love on 5/15/14 after more than tears years of the greatest love I've ever known.

Forum Posts: 155
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17 September 2013 - 11:57 am
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Since you seem to be very hesitant and somewhat overwhelmed you may want to get a local tripawd owner’s number for quick calls and not rely on not-real-time forum.  Your hound needs you to make decisions and make demands for its care.. and it seems that may be something you are dreading.

First, PAIN MEDS.  Demand (yes, use that word) that a Fentenol patch be used.  Its a great pain killer and your hound will need it for the first few days.  Since it is a narcotic they may try and talk you out of it… DEMAND IT.  Its about the dog, not their issue with handling narcotics.  Second, post-op MAKE THEM DO THE DOSING CALCULATIONS IN FRONT OF YOU.  Every pain med is Xmg per Ykg.  If they say ‘give two tablets every 12 hours make them show you that its sufficient.  Also request (unless they have a GOOD reason not to) that the dosing be on the HIGHER SIDE of the recommended amount.  You can always cut back.  Every single one of TJs meds was inadequate for his size.  Yeah, you like your vet and don’t want to question them…. NO.  Its about the dog and a very invasive procedure that WILL cause a lot of pain. 

Second, don’t do any holistic or homeopathic stuff for 90 days.  You need scientific medical treatment… not voodoo and witchcraft.  You can always start it AFTER the hound is up and around and no complications have arisen (yes, I know some people will take issue with that but its not about what YOU think.. the dog needs medication, not roots and herbs or chanting).  I will say that acupuncture can help, but I would still say go for pain meds till the dog is at least 30-60 post amp.

Lastly, be with your dog.  If you simply leave for work the day after surgery they are alone without any comfort.  I HIGHLY recommend at least one person be there for 2-3 days to help with mobility, feeding, talking to, giving pain meds on time and simply laying next to your hound.  I think next to the pain meds simply being there for TJ to help walk and pet him put him at ease and helped the process.  Plus it gets you used to seeing your dog in their new three legged body.

 

Virginia




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17 September 2013 - 1:45 pm
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TJ! You gotta’ love your Dad! He is, indeed your champion! He just needs to “open up” a little more and tell us how he really feels!!:winkerwinker

Kate and Jag, you’ll find great advice on nere based on each individual’s experince. Every dog is different and you need to sort through all the opiions ,research, etc. and see what works best for your Jag. I do like TJ’s idea of overseeing the doseage calculations…….an error was made one time and had I been more “hands on” in my oservations, I would have caught it.

keep us posted on how you’re doing and how Jag is doing..

And post us soe pics as soon as you can…..maybe hold off a touch til his eyes are a little less “glazed over and wide eyed high as a kite!

Hugs to you”

Sally and Happy Hannah

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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17 September 2013 - 4:37 pm
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Well, its a day after sugary and I still have my sanity, thanks to ALL of you! Even better news is that all went as well as possible! Doc says although he had to go and remove more tissue than expected (aside from the amputation), he feels he got all the tumors he could visibility see. He certainly gave me reason to be cautiously optimistic! Now its time for the healing to begin. I’m off to visit Jag in an hour, just hoping I can hold it together when I see him for the first time. He’s going to be in the hospital for at least another day, so that will be 2 full days total with some VERY strong pain meds. As much as I want him home, I know that being there longer will help with a faster recover. Doc’s say he’s alert and just sleeping it off for the most part. We’re going to bring him his favorite dinner to see if he has any appetite. Although I know its normal to not have much of an appetite after such major sugary and on top of that him being away from home. 

I’m already getting all my no-slip rugs ready to go. The towel as a sling is a great idea, I will definitely use that to help him along if I see him struggling. …and I will certainly be counting the pain meds,  I dont want my baby in ANY pain at all! 

It was Jag’s rear left that was amped and according to the Doc, if we could choose that would be the better of the legs to amp because dogs mostly use the front legs for pushing up and balance. I mean who knows, but it does make me feel better and hopeful that it will make his recovery time faster. I’m just looking forward to getting my Jaggie back to his happy furry self!

Thanks again to all for your continued guidance and support, I’m going to need it all! I know the next few weeks will be most challenging…but Jag’s ready, so I need to be too!

 

Kate and Jag

Virginia




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17 September 2013 - 4:47 pm
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YAAAAAAAAAAAY! Out of surgery! High as a kite and not feeling a thing! I would be very surprised if he eats…..but then again, he aybe envisioninghmself eatcg a just caught turkey with mashed potatoes and gravy!

Yeah, just look straight into his eyes…..not his surgery site….and applaud hi and kiss him amd tell him what a good job he’s doing!!
You will be truly amazed at how well he figures out walking. And yeah, the rear leg amps. are “easier” on dogs…..relatively speaking of course!!

He’s in good hands. Now you go home and get some rest……because you may not be sleeping too much those first several days!

Hugs and more hugs to you all!

Sally and Happy Hannah

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!

New Jersey
Forum Posts: 524
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25 May 2013
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17 September 2013 - 5:59 pm
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Glad to hear that Jag is through with surgery. Now you start the healing. A lot of rest, and quiet. Seems most take two to three week to start to get back to themselves. Be patient and just take one day a time. Any problems or concerns call your vet, they are there to help you. Remember to take care of yourself too, it’s exhausting sometimes. Keep us posted or jump on chat to talk.

Good thoughts,smiley
Esther and her Snoop

The Rainbow Bridge



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17 September 2013 - 10:33 pm
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Kate I’m so glad things went well! Your vet is right; although front and rear tripawds have their own unique challenges, in general losing a rear leg isn’t as challenging for the animal as losing a front. Good job in looking at the pawsitives!

How did your visit go? Most vets discourage it because they feel it stresses out the animal, although some are OK with a quick visit. Do let us know how Jag did. And like Esther said, if you want to talk come here or jump in the chat, you’ll usually find folks in there throughout the day and typically each evening.

YAY JAG!

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

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Crossing the rainbow bridge
Forum Posts: 84
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18 September 2013 - 10:49 pm
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Hi Kate,

 

So glad to that Jag’s surgery went well.  We will all be here to support you along the way.  I echo what the others said about pain meds.  Daisy was also in the hospital for 2 days and the first few days home went quite smoothly.  However once the injectables wore off, we had a week of hell trying to get her pain under control but after that things improved dramatically. I wish I had been more forceful right off the bat but live and learn.  The other thing that I feel made a big difference in her recovery was K9 immunity .  Although our oncologist, Dr. David Vail, is more of a traditionalist (and I have to admit I’m also more of a proponent of traditional medicine) he didn’t discourage me from giving them (and was confident they wouldn’t harm her).   I truly believe they helped her bounce back from surgery.

 

Alicia and Angel Daisy

Forum Posts: 155
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19 September 2013 - 10:25 am
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The surgery is the hardest part.  Give yourself some time to adjust to your new tripawd.  For the first day I could barely look at the surgery… but I found that TJ liked if I put my hand on his shaven skin… I think the warmth of my hand made him feel better… plus I think he was a bit scared and needed ‘the pack’ to reassure him.  The first week is the hardest.

Don’t let your hound be to active… yes, they can walk, but are not great at it… and falling down now while still raw from surgery is not the best thing to have happen.

Good luck and welcome to the club no one wants to join.

Raleigh, NC
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19 September 2013 - 10:49 pm
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Woohoo! Glad Jag made it through! Hope homecoming went well!

A'Tuin's story can be found on my personal blog along with a dash of my life and poetry. 

I said goodbye to my puppy love on 5/15/14 after more than tears years of the greatest love I've ever known.

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