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2 year old lab facing front leg amputation

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  • 2 year old lab facing front leg amputation

    Our beloved chocolate lab COCO broke the tie down in the truck and fell out. She is facing amputation on Mon. Has anybody been through this ar have advice on a good web site to help guide us through this.

  • #2
    Never actually had a dog - but seen lots of tripods running around, perfetly health, perfectly happy. Can't say as much for the owners going through the traumatic experience, but y'all will be fine.
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


    • #3
      Haven't had the experience with a dog but with 2 cats. No advice but wanted to wish you all the best on Monday. So sorry.

      \"If you are going through hell, keep going.\" ~Churchill~


      • #4
        This is the best site for owners researching veterinary procedures etc


        Dogs adapt amazingly well to having three legs.
        True North Dressage
        Select Cheval Canadiens for dressage and eventing


        • #5
          The granddog of a FB friend of mine in NE had to have one back leg amputated last year. He jumped off a farm trailer going very slow, I think dislocated a joint, but the subsequent panic at the clinic when he woke up alone in a crate, created the real problem. The vets did not keep him sedated long enough. He tore his bandages and re-injured himself worse than originally. He would not heal after that and they amputated. He is doing very well as far as I know.

          Dogs do not "think" and get stressed by whatever will happen to them or has happened to them. They also heal a lot quicker than humans.

          Good luck to you and to your dog.

          I also know a big Great Pyr cross who had injured her front leg as a young dog. The rescue who finally took her in some time later, got x-rays, raised the funds and had her leg amputated. She was subsequently adopted and lives on a farm, runs around and is very happy!
          http://www.friendlygiantsdogrescue.com/happy_tails.asp scroll down and look for Lucy (before and after pictures).


          • #6
            PM you


            • Original Poster

              Thanks for the replies everyone....She did not break any bones but severed the neurovascular bundle in the arm pit (axillary fossa). She is a trooper but so very active we have to run her several times a day to get her to sleep through the nite. Her life will be different for sure.
              Thanks again


              • #8
                "I never saw a wild thing feeling sorry for itself"

                Dunno who said it, but that is worth reminding when we deal with these things in our dogs.

                Don't count on having much of a different life once the surgery is over and the wounds healed. A dog can tear around pretty well on 3 legs. I actually saw a TV show a long time ago with a farm dog that had lost parts of 2 legs. Once he got up to speed he would not touch the ground on the stumps!

                So, the prognosis for a normal life is pretty darn good.


                • #9
                  No experience, but best wishes for a good recovery. Our pets will drive us crazy some times.


                  • #10
                    My sympathies. No experience, but a thought for the future. I would imagine that with a dog missing a leg, weight control would be very important, as would preventing/delaying the start of arthritis as the dog ages.


                    • #11
                      PM- If you want to talk further.
                      Did it w/ a Rotti.
                      The hardest part is going to be when she she first comes home.
                      You will need to help her get up-she WILL cry-try to ignore that the best you can and do help her get up.
                      For about a week, use a towel under her for support when she needs to get around.
                      If you haven't had the surgery yet ask about full shoulder amputation-it was what we did after Vet explained the benefits.
                      She will pull through this and be fine-our Tucker lived until he was 12 and was happily running as fast as an overweight Rotti can run.
                      But almost immediately upon coming home knew if he sat on his bum w/ his 1 leg held up-for sure someone would give him a treat-let's just say he had lots of treats.


                      • #12
                        My family's old dog had to have one of her front legs amputated (it broke due to bone cancer, they amputated to try to keep the cancer from spreading). She got along well on 3 legs, often ignoring my parents' attempts to keep her from going up the stairs when my parents weren't home - they put a bench/couch type thing at the bottom of the staircase and she just jumped over it and went on up the stairs, haha. They adapt really well - best wishes for your dog's recovery!


                        • #13
                          with years of experience with vet clinical, tripods do great. As someone said, the first week is the hardest with discomfort and balance issues.

                          the biggest challenge for you is that the front end carries most of the body weight. You are going to want to keep your friend as lean and trim as possible over the years.

                          You might also face some challenges with a big dog jumping down ( from a truck or level) Over time that is a lot of impact on one leg. You might wish to think about training your dog to wait and allow you to support her jump down
                          -- * > hoopoe
                          Procrastinate NOW
                          Introverted Since 1957


                          • #14
                            Definitely keep him at a proper weight. Overweight dogs become so immobile and struggle to get about as it. Take away a leg and it's even worse. Lab's seem to have a knack for getting fat too, especially once they are past their young years. Maybe try to find an activity for her to do and get informed about proper, healthy feeding (read: not what the dog food bag says).
                            Tru : April 14, 1996 - March 14, 2011
                            Thank you for everything boy.

                            Better View.


                            • Original Poster

                              Thanks for all the encouraging replies. Now if we can just get the pug to leave the front door waiting for her to come home. I will keep updating progress and news as we get it. Thanks again for the jingles everyone.


                              • #16
                                Ditto what ltc said. Be sure to have the pain meds ready. Also don't think you dog is done w running - ours had this done at one year old and ran with us for many years after. Recovery is quick after the initial rough patch. All will be well.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by chirojerry View Post
                                  Our beloved chocolate lab COCO broke the tie down in the truck and fell out. She is facing amputation on Mon. Has anybody been through this ar have advice on a good web site to help guide us through this.
                                  I'm sorry to read about your dog - some years back my 6 yr old Great Dane had to have her rear leg removed - even though she was still in the show ring, I told the doc to take the leg - I was told to not get hysterical when I saw my dog on three legs and not rush around worrying about her falling down -

                                  My Dane never greived the loss of her leg - she never fell, never had an issue and I ended up taking her back into the ring one more time for the
                                  veteran's parade at our Speciality Show - she flew around that ring like she was on all 4's -----

                                  I think it's much harder on the owners than on the dogs who have lost a limb
                                  for whatever reason -- good luck to you and your dog.

                                  ETA - My girl as she was - she lived to be 10 years old on 3 legs.
                                  Last edited by Roulett; Feb. 13, 2011, 07:19 PM. Reason: adding a pic


                                  • #18
                                    No advice but I have a dog that is dealing with paralysis since September in his hind limbs. They compensate and can still be happy healthy dogs. I think they handle it better than us. Hang in there and Good luck.
                                    \"You have two choices when a defining moment comes along - you can either define the moment, or let the moment define you.\" Tin Cup


                                    • #19
                                      I have a customer that brings in his Great Dane "Moose" who was rescued from the Humane Society that was an amputee, his right front was removed due to an injury that was not healing correctly.
                                      Someone forgot to let "Moose" know that he is an amputee because his owners, who just had a total lanscaping re-do, are discovering that "Moose" loves to dig holes--everywhere!! And they couldn't be happier about it too!!
                                      He is a happy, well-adjusted pup who is loving life and has brought great joy to his owners.

                                      Goodluck with your Lab and keep us posted.


                                      • #20
                                        Nope, her life wont be different at all. She will still run, jump and be an active lab. She wont be missing her leg at all. Keep her ACTIVE and LEAN. There is a border collie up here that had his front leg amputated 5 years ago, and he is competing as an ABLE dog in the Ontario Agility team.

                                        Life will be the same for your dog if you keep her LEAN!!!