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View Full Version : Anyone have a three legged dog?


gid
01-25-2013, 08:47 AM
Last Saturday our dog, Bullwinkle, was hit by a car. We found him, rushed to the vet.
Major breaks on the left hip / pelvic. Surgery was done; plates, screws, lag bolts - now it appears he has nerve damage and he is in pain (he is still on the max pain medicine) and the vet is suggesting removing the left left.

Our concern is his right pelvic was broken too, only one break though (left side had 5 and the hip socket was shattered) The vet feels the right will be fine once healed. And are we rushing this decision? We researched the vet - top guy, great reviews by other vets and such. I trust him

The dog just turned two this week, very fit, very strong - he is 60 lbs and very sensitive, drama king.

IF we do this he will be at the vet for another 2 weeks for healing of the pelvic and such.

Anyone out there w. a three legged dog - how is his/her life? I read where dogs are very adaptive. I just want him to be home, pain free and be able to walk. He is a very loving soul

CruisinGA
01-25-2013, 08:50 AM
Buddy has a 3- legged english setter. Same thing- hit by a car.

Saw the dog around Christmas, seemed to be getting along fine!

h2oskifreak
01-25-2013, 08:58 AM
Sorry to hear that man. I have a friend who is a vet tech. and she sees this too often. Her own vet just amputated his own dobermans leg at a much older age. I asked how the dog was doing and she said "great, a little depressed for the first 1-2 weeks, but is doing much better now". Just like people, everyone/dog is unique but I hear from a pretty good source they are resilient. Good luck to you family at this tough time.

milkmania
01-25-2013, 09:03 AM
I've seen them, don't have one.... they don't seem to be slowed down by much.
Old timer that comes to the coffee shop has a catahoula cow dog missing right front leg, never has any problem jumping up or down from his flatbed. He is just as fast as his running mate.

BrianM
01-25-2013, 09:42 AM
My dad has a 3 legged 80+ pound lab. He was hit by a car when he was just over 1. He's almost 8 now. Doesn't miss a beat. He'll still chase a ball all day long.

Do it. Once the dog heals he won't know the difference.

LTWon
01-25-2013, 09:57 AM
I am sorry for your situation. I have no idea what i would do. I am very happy it sounds like he will make a full recovery. Wish you and your pup the best!

pmkkdx
01-25-2013, 09:59 AM
I agree with the others on moving forward. My dad had a blue healer that got hit by car, shattered right side pelvis including ball/socket & fractured left pelvis only. Vet amputated right hind leg, he was fine after recovery period and it didn't hamper him much at all. I told dad he should change his name from Smokie to Tripod ...

gid
01-25-2013, 10:07 AM
Thanks to all for the prompt reply. Good group of folks here :) I just got off the phone with the vet - no changes over night, Bullwinkle can bear weight on the right leg (mostly, still recoverying from surgery) and that leg seems to be fine. The left is another story - some feeling, lots of bone fragments floating around, signs of nerve damage and pain. We, Wife and I, do not have kids (both in our late 40's) and these two dogs (Rocky and Bullwinkle) bring us lots of happiness. Both are very sweet good dogs.
I am waiting for wife to arrive at work and have a discussion - appears the surgery (about an hour of surgery time) will take place this afternoon.

mustangtexas
01-25-2013, 10:09 AM
The dog down the road from us got hit by a truck, lost his leg, and still chases trucks.

stuartmcnair
01-25-2013, 11:43 AM
losing a rear leg is much easier on a dog than losing a front leg. Friend had a dog that lost rear leg and still ran all over the place using it like a spring.

ski/hunt
01-25-2013, 12:32 PM
I know of a guy who has a hog hunting dog with a missing rear leg. It is one of his better dogs and ironically is one of the faster bay dogs he has.
Your dog should do fine!! I'd take my dog with 3 any day, when you consider the alternative.....

onewheat
01-25-2013, 01:04 PM
My cousin is a vet and she had to remove her Doberman's rear leg due to bone cancer. Piper did just fine on the remaining three until cancer consumed the rest of his body several years later. Dogs are the best - they deserve anything they need. :twocents:

milkmania
01-25-2013, 01:39 PM
gid,
you say you got no kids...
I know a lot of people without kids and their dogs become their kids, symbolically. That being said, if you can afford it and money's not the issue(none of my business), and the dog is in fairly early stages of life, I'd vote to go for it! Now, on a 12-14 year old dog, it'd be a different story, but it's also on a dog you've had for 12+ years. Ultimately, you know what Bullwinkle means to you and your wife, no matter what we say. You're just needing reassurance :)

gid
01-25-2013, 01:58 PM
gid,
you say you got no kids...
I know a lot of people without kids and their dogs become their kids, symbolically. That being said, if you can afford it and money's not the issue(none of my business), and the dog is in fairly early stages of life, I'd vote to go for it! Now, on a 12-14 year old dog, it'd be a different story, but it's also on a dog you've had for 12+ years. Ultimately, you know what Bullwinkle means to you and your wife, no matter what we say. You're just needing reassurance :)

Thanks, and yes they are our 'kids'. Bullwinkle is only 2 yrs old, very fit, no fat, was running 2 miles everyday with me.
The love and kindness a dog can show is amazing; how can they never have a bad day, worry, fret, pout, complain - just want to love you every time you come in the door. :D

We are not rich by any means but cost is not a factor to us just him being pain free is. (% free credit card here I come) The first surgery on Tues costs about 4k + being at the vet this whole time and now amputation. I am guessing 6-7K total. To me, priceless, if we get to lay in bed on the weekend mornings. His soul is so giving and sweet. $$ comes and goes in our lives.
ps - His brother (the last two of the litter) Rocky has been looking for him every day.

milkmania
01-25-2013, 02:43 PM
Thanks, and yes they are our 'kids'. Bullwinkle is only 2 yrs old, very fit, no fat, was running 2 miles everyday with me.
The love and kindness a dog can show is amazing; how can they never have a bad day, worry, fret, pout, complain - just want to love you every time you come in the door. :D

We are not rich by any means but cost is not a factor to us just him being pain free is. (% free credit card here I come) The first surgery on Tues costs about 4k + being at the vet this whole time and now amputation. I am guessing 6-7K total. To me, priceless, if we get to lay in bed on the weekend mornings. His soul is so giving and sweet. $$ comes and goes in our lives.
ps - His brother (the last two of the litter) Rocky has been looking for him every day.

Life gives us challenges every day, it's what we do with those challenges that define us :)
I just made that up, hehe8p

ski_king
01-25-2013, 02:47 PM
I have know a few people that had 3 legged dogs. They did fine after the recovery, but dont let them get too heavy (fat) as it is too much for the remaining hip.

The plus side is he can no longer lift his leg to pee on your tires.

woobiedmd
01-25-2013, 03:08 PM
I'll agree with everyone else that your dog will do fine on three legs. My chocolate lab Woobie lost his back leg several years ago. He was as fast on three legs as four. The hardest part was we had to change his name to "Tripod"! Best of luck to you! Who wants to list the top ten reasons why dogs are better than women?;)

milkmania
01-25-2013, 03:36 PM
I'll agree with everyone else that your dog will do fine on three legs. My chocolate lab Woobie lost his back leg several years ago. He was as fast on three legs as four. The hardest part was we had to change his name to "Tripod"! Best of luck to you! Who wants to list the top ten reasons why dogs are better than women?;)

you go right ahead, I'll watchhttp://68.178.167.89/smf/Smileys/default/unsure.gif

park190
01-25-2013, 04:12 PM
I'm VERY sorry to hear of this tragedy gid. Unfortunately, three legged canines are more apparent than people think and most do very well after surgery. It will take time, dedication and rehabilitation commitment on account of all you; however, those are great bonding moments to say the least. Within weeks of surgery you'll start to see the glow in your dogs eyes again and you'll rememeber why you made the decision. It may be a struggle at first but hang in there. Summer will be here before you know it, the pooch will be having fun again and you won't look back on the decision...not trying to be sappy by any means, this is just coming from someone who's almost 40 and our two canines are our "kids" too. I wish you the best of luck!

cwarndahl
01-25-2013, 06:48 PM
Last year charlie was hit by a truck. the surgery to save her rear leg was almost 5000. fortunately i had money saved for a new interior for my MC, well of course my dog is my kid and worth anything i can do for her. so i did pay the money, but the vet and the specialist both suggested on removing her leg. i got to meet several dogs with 3 legs and they were all great. (they really wanted me to loose the leg.) the recovery for her was about 7 months, the amount of pins in her leg make it an awkward leg to use at any speed over walking, (plus after 7 moths of being only on 3 i think she learned to use 3) jumping climbing and swimming with me on the boat. so she only uses 3 legs above a walk. she can still jump 6 feet and clear any fence that holds her in. (which at home she will not ump a fence until i leave) which she loves to jump and climb which was why i spent the money to save the leg, just to find she can still chase a squirell up a tree and i mean way up like a cat. when she swims she drags the leg most of the time. when she runs she does it on 3 legs. the saved leg is more in her way and she prefers to be 3 legged dog now. she still has the leg of course but runs most of her life on 3. i guess im trying to say anything that effects her quality of life now she does on 3 legs, i now have no doubt she would have been fine on 3, and she would have had the same quality of life she was used to. and as her owner i want to give her the same quality of life she gives me which is awesome. so i hope this helps.

milkmania
01-25-2013, 06:57 PM
surely you all have seen Faith????
http://youtu.be/7f1ovurzU2s

trickskier
01-25-2013, 09:11 PM
Extremely sorry to hear about your dog getting hit by a car. Hope everything works out.

MNWild
01-26-2013, 09:49 AM
We had a 118lb Black lab (Jordan) My wife is a Bulls fan from Chicago that was hit (my fault, didn't have him leashed when opening the garage door) no broken bones car was going 20+. Nerve damage, took him to the only surgical neurologist in the 5 state region at the U of M Vet Hospital. He pulled out a pizza cutter with spikes rolled it on the front left leg and said it ain't coming back. He was 3 years old, we had another Dr. from the U of M come to our local Vet Hospital to remove the leg at the shoulder ($2400 in 2002). He lived to be 9 1/2 and ran daily with his Chocolate lab older brother until Jordan passed of a heart attack right in front of me. We are now on our 3rd Dog and 4th and 5th cats, still think about them all everyday. Good Luck to your entire family.

gid
01-28-2013, 09:16 AM
The amputation was successful on Friday - we gave him a day to rest and visited him on Sunday. He is off morpine. He looked tired and weak, that is expected. He back end looked like Frankenstein - a lot of staples and stiches...and no leg :(
He did wag his tail and lick me a lot. We got him to eat some chicken, his first food in a week.
The Dr will look at him today and we maybe bringing him home this afternoon. As his good leg was Lag Bolted back together walking is an issue - we will have to use a sling on him for several weeks till that leg gets strong. Poor guy. I feel all the bad stuff is behind us and now its the task of healing and recovery. I do wonder what his brothers reaction will be once he comes home.
Thanks to everyone for their kind words. This past week has been rough

thatsmrmastercraft
01-28-2013, 09:49 AM
Good to hear that things have turned in the right direction.

h2oskifreak
01-28-2013, 09:52 AM
gid, thanks for the update. Your pup has been on my mind. I spoke to my vet tech friend and shared the story. She told me more than likely your dog will want to do a little more than he should on his injured leg in the beginning. Glad to hear the sling is in effect. I am sure his brother will be glad to see him back. Take it easy. The next couple of weeks will be hard work, but worth it and then he will be off to a good doggie life. Glad you opted for the surgery and pray it was the right thing for you and him.

cwarndahl
01-28-2013, 07:47 PM
PLease keep us updated, these situations are stressful, im glad the first part was a success. I to have had your pup on my mind checking everyday for an update.

gid
02-15-2013, 10:08 AM
It has been 3 weeks since the surgery. He is walking on his own. Due to the fracture in the pelvic of his good leg we have to keep him from running, jumping, playing..being a dog, for four more weeks. He does sleep a lot now, I guess he is still healing and getting used to life with three legs. He doesnt eat too much either, one little meal a day

mzimme
02-15-2013, 10:43 AM
Looks like he's doing well! Definitely doesn't look depressed or out of it by any means. Glad things are working out :)

CC2MC
02-15-2013, 11:30 AM
Wow! Change that name to tripod! I had my 6 yr old Rhodesian Ridgeback get hit by a car at our lake house a little over a year ago. Unfortunately the closest vet was about 45 mins away and he did not make it, but one of these days I will be getting another one. Good luck with the recovery. Looks like he is doing great!

rjracin240
02-15-2013, 11:47 AM
He is looking great, glad he is well on the way to recovery; please keep the updates coming

park190
02-15-2013, 02:28 PM
Thanks for the update, gid and glad the pup is doing well. He looks proud and confident in the pic. He'll be back to playing again in no time:)

milkmania
02-17-2013, 01:39 PM
he'll soon have no idea he ever had 4 legs!

Good Job, thanks for the update!

JohnnyB
02-17-2013, 06:48 PM
Great pictorial of a 3 legged pheasant hunting dog in this months pheasants forever magazine.

Sent from my Motorola RAZR MAXX using Tapatalk 2

cwarndahl
02-17-2013, 09:23 PM
glade to hear he is doing good. and looking good as well!