Pregnancy and Three Legs is No Fun!

Please post questions about pets who are expected to undergo amputation or who have already undergone amputation here, as well as pets born with missing or incomplete limbs.
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peggypups
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Pregnancy and Three Legs is No Fun!

Post by peggypups » Thu Mar 17, 2016 5:17 am

Our dog Peggy had not yet been neutered and got out one night when she was on heat. She got pregnant and has since given birth to puppies. There were 6 born in total but unfortunately one died at birth. Another was very poorly initially but now he's doing well and is the most misbehaved out of all the puppies. Peggy was born with a lame limb at the front which didn't develop bone at birth. It hasn't needed amputating but is completely unusable and she has no control of it. Her right leg on the front has to do all the work and she's always managed pretty well considering. That was until she got pregnant. Now she's had enough of feeding them and they should be weened off, It's absolutely terrifying watching them attack her from all angles whilst she tries to fend them off. She just can't getaway quick enough and it gets quite violent. Any suggestions on what we can do to help her? We were sitting her on a chair out of their reach, now they are bigger though they are getting to her, the same with the stairs. I suppose we are just going to have to wait it out until they give up trying to breastfeed.

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CarolC
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Re: Pregnancy and Three Legs is No Fun!

Post by CarolC » Thu Mar 17, 2016 11:17 am

I don't know how many weeks she has already nursed them, not sure when they were born exactly, and I'm not a puppy expert. But if they were already nursed 3-4 weeks and she's done, then she's done and I would want to respect that. They can be given gruel and moved to solid food when ready. I would put the pups in an x-pen and keep them there, it will make cleaning up after them easier, too. Or at least put a baby gate between them and her if you have a room they are staying in. A mom dog without a lame leg would be able to jump in and out of the x-pen when she wants, I have a friend who fosters who does it this way. If you think she would be willing and able to nurse them one at a time and they are still young, you might try putting her with 1 of them in a private room and see how she responds, but if she won't have it, she's done. I do know that when puppies get to a certain age, they are very aggressive and will jump at you all at once, crowding each other out of the way to get to you, and scratch you in a frenzy for attention, which is hard enough if you are a big human, so I don't blame her. I don't know, just practical ideas. If it's been 3 or 4 weeks, I would just feed them their puppy gruel or food and let her have her peace. It is a lot of work feeding and cleaning up after puppies, it is going to keep you busy. If they are younger and she wants nothing to do with them, then you will have to bottle them, but hopefully not for too long. I was glad to read this was the problem, rather than the weight of them while she was carrying them. Either way, you do not want to risk her future by letting them roughhouse her and injure her one good front leg, I would separate them. Just my :2cents:.

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critters
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Re: Pregnancy and Three Legs is No Fun!

Post by critters » Thu Mar 17, 2016 1:22 pm

I've never done puppies, but you're right. With kittens, mama may well be DONE with them by 4 weeks or so. Mush, gruel, watered canned food, etc. that they can walk in, then lick off themselves, can help them figure out what that stuff is.

Some mamas don't want to put up with nursing after the babies have teeth. :shock:

peggypups
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Re: Pregnancy and Three Legs is No Fun!

Post by peggypups » Fri Mar 18, 2016 2:44 am

OK thanks, that's some really good advice. She's had enough of nursing now so its only fair that we takeaway some of the stress. They are old enough for us to feed the gruel etc, they don't need bottle feeding. The main problem is just keeping the mother and the puppies apart as the house isn't that big and the layout also makes it difficult. The weather isn't great at the moment so we were keen to keep them all inside. We'll find a solution that works best for all I'm sure. Thanks again.

peggypups
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Re: Pregnancy and Three Legs is No Fun!

Post by peggypups » Fri Mar 18, 2016 2:49 am

I am concerned for Peggy, that all the work she's had to put in post-pregnancy, has put even more wear and tear on her working leg at the front. The way she has to use it to hop around means that surely she'll suffer later on in her life with mobility. I don't know now whether now we should be looking at finding her some kind of aid that will take the strange off her good leg a bit. Wouldn't really have any idea what that aid would be though due to the kind of problem she has. I can picture a wheel chair for a dog with two unusable back legs but that's different.

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CarolC
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Re: Pregnancy and Three Legs is No Fun!

Post by CarolC » Sat Mar 19, 2016 12:13 pm

Several wheelchair manufacturers do make a front wheelchair, in case she needs one some day. But you might talk to the vet. I wonder if just some rest and possibly some kind of anti-inflammatory would help her get back to normal, kind of like you do with a sports injury? Is she on any kind of joint supplement? That might be an idea. I have a 3-legged dog, her back leg is missing and her other back leg had a broken hip. She is on a glucosamine supplement. They make joint supplements in flavor tabs you can give the dog like a treat. My dog gets one at breakfast every morning. I'm not sure how much good it does but it seems worth a try, at least I'll know I did everything I could. They also make various prostetics, you could look at examples here:

https://orthopets.com/gallery/

peggypups
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Re: Pregnancy and Three Legs is No Fun!

Post by peggypups » Tue Mar 22, 2016 12:50 am

Thank you, i'll take a look at the site you've mentioned. We definitely need to speak to the vet once things have calmed down a bit, just to see if there is anything we should be doing with supplements etc to help her. It must be tiring for her, being a mother on 3-legs, so I just want to get her relief, however we can. Thanks again.

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critters
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Re: Pregnancy and Three Legs is No Fun!

Post by critters » Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:40 am

How big is Peggy? Smaller critters seem to have fewer problems being a tripod than bigger ones do. Another possibility may be a prosthesis, depending on her stump.

peggypups
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Re: Pregnancy and Three Legs is No Fun!

Post by peggypups » Tue Apr 19, 2016 2:18 am

critters wrote:How big is Peggy? Smaller critters seem to have fewer problems being a tripod than bigger ones do. Another possibility may be a prosthesis, depending on her stump.
She's a relatively small dog, her unused leg and paw are there but it just tucks under her side as no ligaments, muscle or nerves were ever formed, it is completely limp. Now she's been mothering for a while, the muscles on the side that she can use are huge. She's been bouncing around like crazy trying to keep the puppies in order so that's obviously took a lot of strength in the good leg and shoulder. The lack of muscle around the shoulder area on the unused side and the fact that it isn't a stump, means that there wouldn't really be anything there to work with if you were talking about prosthetics.

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critters
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Re: Pregnancy and Three Legs is No Fun!

Post by critters » Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:59 am

Is the limb formed in the normal shape? I wonder about a splint. Of course, she'd have to develop muscles in the shoulder, but I wonder if it would work? Custom splints are possible, too. That's what I had to do for my Koi boy, who had contractures in his foot from his spinal cord injury. Here is one of the HP front splints. http://www.handicappedpets.com/walkin-front-splint

peggypups
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Re: Pregnancy and Three Legs is No Fun!

Post by peggypups » Sat Apr 23, 2016 12:12 am

critters wrote:Is the limb formed in the normal shape? I wonder about a splint. Of course, she'd have to develop muscles in the shoulder, but I wonder if it would work? Custom splints are possible, too. That's what I had to do for my Ko boyi, who had contractures in his foot from his spinal cord injury. Here is one of the HP front splints. http://www.handicappedpets.com/walkin-front-splint
It's bent in towards her and has just been stuck like that from birth. A splint just wouldn't be any use I don't think as although the leg fully developed its shape, it is completely limp and has none of bones or ligaments needed.

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critters
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Re: Pregnancy and Three Legs is No Fun!

Post by critters » Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:00 am

If it has no bones, it might be best to amputate.

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