Why a limb amputation?
A limb amputation is usually the result of either an osteosarcoma (cancer of the bone) or a traumatic accident. It is a scary and agonising decision to make but for dogs with a debilitating and painful disease or trauma to one of their legs, amputation is often the only choice for a better quality of life without pain. Dogs adapt surprisingly well to their new circumstances and you can help your dog by making sure they build strength in areas most needed.
How we can help
Tripawds (three-legged dogs) can live normal wonderful lives if we make sure they build strength in those areas where they now rely on more heavily. For example, a dog distributes around 60% of their body weight onto their front limbs. If one of the front limbs is amputated, your dog will now shift the extra 30% onto their sound limb (or potentially a small percentage also onto their hind limbs). Common problems we see are wrist and shoulder issues due to overcompensation. With hind limb amputation, we usually see hip issues and hip muscle injuries as your dog will have to move their sound leg under their torso for balance and stability. We also cannot overemphasise how important it is for Tripawds to have a strong core.
At Paws4Paws we will create a customised rehabilitative exercise program for your Tripawd family member to ensure we build strength in those areas most needed. We will also attend to those parts of your dog’s body that have been overworked and are tense and tight. We use a variety of modalities including remedial massage techniques, myofascial pain release and trigger point release, as well as acupressure to relieve your dog from overworked and painful muscles.
Finally, we also assess your dog’s home environment and make suggestions as to how you can adjust your home to make life easier for your Tripawd pooch.