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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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What have I done???
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California
Forum Posts: 13
Member Since:
23 November 2008
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8 January 2009 - 4:07 pm
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I'm having a really bad day – don't know if I am posting in the right place – and don't even know if what I'm feeling is supposed to be posted.

Yesterday, I wrote about my dog Murphy – and his terrible cough.  I'm so concerned. Today, he slipped on the kitchen floor. I have rugs down, but he slipped between rugs. I felt so bad for him so I thought I'd take him for a ride in the car. Then he got he leg caught – he was stuck – and he cried when I tried to get him out. He never – ever cries! I gave him some pain medicine and he is now sleeping… His right led is already bad – had his knee pinned also also has arthritis… His left leg is gone and now his right is hurting – this was my fault – I should not have taken him in the car – but God, he has to have something!

I don't know what I've done – he has no life… it's killing me. I thought it was going to be so different – but I've made things worse – and I don't don't know what to do. We have chemo next week, but I don't if this is still the right road – but if I don't – I may lose him. There is no right way to go – and I hurt. Either way – seems we just can't win.  I can't let him go, but I can't let him be like this – I thought it would be so different – so different. I just love him so much – and it's killing me to see him now – he just has no life. He can't anything that he used to do – and I look into his eyes – and I just don't know any more. I know he doesn't have the cancer pain, but now he has a different pain – I've replaced one pain with another pain.

I don't what to do – I don't want to lose him… I dont' know what I'd do without him – but what I've done was so wrong. I've taken away everything he loved – and I feel so selfish – but I just need him. I just love him so much…………………………….

I'm sorry if I posted in the wrong place.

Debbie

Debbie & Murphy

Edmonton
Forum Posts: 428
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8 January 2009 - 4:37 pm
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Hey Debbie, don't beat yourself up.  Accidents do happen. 

Murphy knows that you just want to make him happy, and for what you have done is all for him.  I remember one winter night last year, I took Genie out to the neighbourhood park to have a stroll, I tried to lift her while navigating our the way through deep snow, I stepped on her paw.  She gave out a loud cry which echoed all over.  I felt so bad. I crouched down and held her dearly for a good minute.  Forgiving as she always was, she licked me, tail-wagging, telling me that she was alright, she was OKAY.  Then she eagerly (but gingerly) moved on.

Remember, the most important thing he wants is to be loved, to be with you.  Be it just sitting on the couch, peeking out the window; be it just a car ride to the corner store, if you are with him, he will be happy, he will feel secure.

Worrying about what is going to happen is only a human thing.  Dogs do not care.  The only time Murphy would get worried is when you “looked like” you were worried, depressed.  Don't let him pick up your negative thoughts.

Do some gentle massage on him.  Most dogs like body touch, even gentle rubbing would be great.  Hope that he (and you!) will feel better soon!

Forum Posts: 224
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8 January 2009 - 4:47 pm
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Debbie,

Honey, take a deep breath.  Lay down by your baby.  We try so hard for our pets and we really struggle if we think we are not succeeding. It's a real bummer that they can't talk to us.

My girl who has been handling steps fine slipped the other day, she's been shy about the stairs ever since and it breaks my heart.  But most days she is happy, especially when I stop fussing/worrying/crying/pacing so much myself!Embarassed

I feel for you, it's hard, but think of this as a minor step backwards and restart.  I don't know if that makes sense or even helps, but I know my girl does better when I don't try so darn hard with her, it's the doggie's sense of they are failing you.

We've started finding other outlets for our girl, she can't go tearing around our tile/wood floors anymore, but she started getting into tug of war, something she never did before. She doesn't even get up, just braces herself on her belly and grrrrrrrrr.

Don't beat yourself up, Murphy forgives you, please forgive yourself.  Tika wishes she was there to slobber up all of your tears.  We've put a moritorium on crying at our house (for now, Mommy makes NO promises)

I send you a cyber-hug.  Be strong!

–Kim (and Tika)

Kim and Spirit Tika http://www.tika.....ogspot.com

Forum Posts: 2
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8 January 2009
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8 January 2009 - 5:28 pm
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hello murphysmom,

i was in the same boat as you. my pup, arackiss, came home from surgery and what happened? i was so frantic about how much pain he must be in, and what did i do, that i forgot to make sure i was holding him securely down the ramp to let him go outside…he fell, all 100 lbs of him on his incision site. fluid came pouring out of him…i felt terrible. i felt utterly worthless. arackiss also has chronic arthritis in his remaining front leg, as well as arthritis in his rear hips. he was soooo very sore, so much so that he couldn't sleep comfortably for days. the first two weeks are so tough. just really awful….

but it does get better. i didn't think it would but i was wrong. be strong for your pup. just wait…right after the staples were taken out i stopped at the park to see how he felt…he ran and pulled me so hard…it will get better! just today we were playing fetch in the park (3 weeks post op)!

believe in murphy!  i bet he still believes in you. go give him some love! arackiss sends kisses too.

Forum Posts: 173
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17 December 2008
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8 January 2009 - 5:34 pm
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Debbie,

I feel for you hon…I do. Its so hard to look at what once was an active happy dog and see that they have slowed, but remember that dogs are VERY resilient and Murphy loves you for taking away that cancer pain and allowing him to do what he can without hurting. He will adjust and you have to take it day by day, hour by hour sometimes (thank you Zeus's mom!) without feeling guilty. I freak out too when Max slips or has a hard time getting up or down and when you are so emotional accidents will happen. The night after his amp I was taking him out to potty and since he is black and it was dark by the door I walked right into him and hit his amp site with my knee. He let out a yipe and I cried for an hour. But it was an accidient and he forgave me the second after it was over…licking the tears off of my face. He was sure to stay out of my way for a couple of days, but he is ok. Murphy will be too. Like Kim said…..breathe and snuggle up to your baby. You will both feel a lot better! Hang in there!!

Paula and Max

Paula and Spirit Max

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 27488
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8 January 2009 - 6:40 pm
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There will always be good days and bad  days with this damned disease. Try to remain calm and balanced when faced with adversity and great every day with gusto, no matter what life throws your way. This is difficult for humans i understand … but I was eventually able to teach this to my people.

And for the record, Murphy does have a life. But if chemo is too much right now, physically and/or  emotionally, forget it. Or, delay it. It's all about quality of life. Remain strong and take it one day at a time.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Metro Kansas City
Forum Posts: 248
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23 October 2008
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8 January 2009 - 6:46 pm
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Debbie,

First I have to agree, take a deep breath & relax. Go take a bath & read a magazine. Murphy will be fine.

Are you still in the first 2 weeks after Murphy's amputation? If so, this is such a normal feeling. I know I was there & cried & grieved the loss of Calamity's leg. The pain she had for the first 2 weeks hurt me much more than it hurt her I'm sure now, but I didn't believe it then. She healed. I promise you, it gets better.

Don't beat yourself up over this, take it a day at a time & be srtong for Murphy.

Sending gentle hugs your way.

Janie & Calamity

Janie & Calamity http://www.trix.....gspot.com/

Forum Posts: 387
Member Since:
27 July 2008
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9 January 2009 - 12:55 am
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Hi Debbie,

My heart bleeds for you.  You are still learning how to deal with a dog who had a recent amputation.  It was an accident.  You have tried so hard to do everything right and sometimes these things happen.  Murphy still loves you and the healing process can be really rough.  Please don't beat yourself up over this.  I know you are worried about his cough; have you had this checked out by a vet?  I know I would be just like you if this happened to my dog, but the people who posted before me are right.  Just keep letting Murphy know how much you love hiim.  Snuggle up and think pawsitive.  Like Spirit Jerry said, “…if chemo is too much right now, physically and/or  emotionally, forget it. Or, delay it. It's all about quality of life. Remain strong and take it one day at a time.”

Love, Vicki & the Kids

Forum Posts: 173
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17 December 2008
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9 January 2009 - 5:38 am
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Hi Murphy and Mom!! How are you guys doing today? Much better I hope! Thought I would check in with you and see. We are supposed to be picking Max up from the hospital which is an hour and half away and are forecast to get a ton of snow. Hope the snow plows are ready to guide the way, otherwise we might have to rent out santas reindeer and sleigh. Glad we have a 4wd cause nothing is stopping me from getting him tonight. Once we get there we can always spend the night!! Heres hoping that things are going much better today and Max and I send big Labby hugs to you both! Cool

Paula and Spirit Max

Michigan
Forum Posts: 289
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26 July 2008
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9 January 2009 - 12:39 pm
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Please be as gentle with yourself as you are with Murphy.  Yes there are bad days but there would be bad days and good days even if you hadn't gone through with the surgery.  Next time you want to ask yourself “what have I done?”  The answer is – you gave Murphy a fighting chance.  Remember that. 

I also echo what others have said – be calm and positive around murphy – Your worry and axiety is more of a burden to him than his pain.   Radar found other ways to play also and takes absolute joy in just laying on the couch licking hubby's feet or snuggling while we watch tv.  It's that closeness and love that matters to them.

Sending positive thoughts and hugs your way.  It will get better

Connie & Radar

Forum Posts: 115
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9 October 2008
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9 January 2009 - 6:39 pm
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Hi Debbie,

I hope you are having a BETTER day with your boy Murphy.  In addition to what our other caring and supportive pawrents have already mentioned… may I also add that fear and guilt go hand in hand with our situations with our loving tripawds!  Please check out Doug and the B Brothers' website… not sure if I can give you a link here but I'll try.  http://www.doug…..thers.com/ 

Hopefully that works.  Doug has such a great perspective on coping with fear and guilt.  Hang in there and don't be so tough on yourself.  In time you will really be amazed with Murphy's abilities to live happily as a tripawd.  Search for little things right now that make you smile… Smile  that's what Murphy really wants… is for YOU to be happy!  Sending lots of warm, comforting and furry hugs to you and Murphy!    

Luv Spirit Jake, Smooch, Baby Gus & Mom (Sherri)

California
Forum Posts: 13
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23 November 2008
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10 January 2009 - 2:54 am
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I wanted to give an update on Murphy.

This morning he wasn't feeling any better – actually he appeared worse. His knee area was very swollen and his leg 'shook' when he stood up. So, I took him in to the emergency vet – they even brought a 'stretcher' to my car so he would have to walk. This relieved me, but at the same time, increased my fears!

Good News! The x-ray showed NO broken pins or screws (TPLO several years ago), Bone NOT broken nor fractued, but it did show moderate to severe arthritis. Diagnosis is that he sprained his knee and 'tweaked' his hip. So, more Tramadol and limited activity for the next week.

I can't tell you how relived I am. I was so afraid it was something major, and I knew that I wasn't going put him through another surgery. But Murphy jumped (so to speak!) this hurdle, and is on track to see his oncologist on Monday for his next round of chemo.

I want to thank all of you for your heartfelt comments – they truly helped me through an extremely difficult day! Murphy thanks you, too!!!

Debbie

Debbie & Murphy

Forum Posts: 224
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10 January 2009 - 8:03 am
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Debbie–

That is GRRREAT news.  Lots of TLC (for you both) and I bet Murphy gets to feeling better in no time.

My girl, Tika, gets her second round of chemo on Monday also. She's been handling it well. I'll be thinking of you guys while we are at the oncologists.

I know how it can be, Tika coughed the other night and started panting, my husband and I just looked at each other and said, oh no.  (I'm sure she's fine) It's hard, you know what's going on and it's always on your mind and the slightest thing….

I'm so glad you both are doing better, I was wondering about you.

Have a good weekend!

–Kim and Tika

Kim and Spirit Tika http://www.tika.....ogspot.com

The Rainbow Bridge



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10 January 2009 - 1:37 pm
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MurphysMom said:

… more Tramadol and limited activity for the next week.


Thanks for the update, good news indeed!

Please be sure to watch him carefully and really limit his activity while he heals. Remember, with the extra pain meds he may feel like running around more and playing harder … all in good time!

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

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Forum Posts: 387
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27 July 2008
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10 January 2009 - 10:23 pm
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Debbie,

Thank you so much for this update on Murphy.  We know this has been a very trying and emotional time for you and it's so good to hear some good news.  Let's hope you're on the uphill swing of things.  We will keep our fingers and paws crossed in prayer for you.

Love, Blazer, Kitty Kimber & Mom (Vicki)

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