Hi, I am the owner of a 3 legged minpin named Prince.
Prince lost his leg this summer after a botched surgery
to repair his broken leg.
His leg was broken at the knee, and a rod too big for him
was used originally. The rod ended up coming through his skin,
that's when I knew we had serious problems.
After seeking out an ortho specialist and being told he would
require possibly 5 more surgeries and have maybe 30% use of his leg
in the end, I decided amputation was the best option for him.
He could quickly heal and be out of the constant pain he had been in
for almost a month.
The only problems as I see them, are he cannot scratch that side
of his body, and he has a problem doing his business, but we are surviving.
Prince broke his leg when he was playing outside with our other dogs,
Skamper a shepard, and Tia his half sister, also a minpin.
I am looking to find other 3 legged dog owners to converse with
about any issues the dogs have down the line. I know with my breed,
they can develop hip dysplasia and knee problems and with his one hind leg gone,
that's a big concern for us.
Especially because controlling his weight isn't so easy.
Thursday October 19, 2006
My name is Jody. Our story began this past Monday morning when my husband
Sam was going to a job interview. He hit a stray dog, this was established
after I approached several houses in the vicinity of where the accident
happened trying to locate the owners. My husband called, upset about the dog
saying he's sure it's dead since it was hit pretty hard, but it was alive
when he left it, he understandably thought it would die.
I couldn't just assume this so I went to find the dog after my work day was complete.
I found the dog in a cow pasture about 20 feet out from the fence.
I could see its belly was rising and falling so I found a couple of teenagers
who agreed to climb through the fence and retrieve the dog.
I expected it to be on the brink of death but refused to let it lie there,
alone, suffering. As the boy carried the dog toward me it raised its head
making eye contact with me and wagging its tail!!!!!
I thought "oh no, here's dog number 7!!!!"
See, we have six dogs and a cat that all came from rescue groups, shelters or
were strays that chose us as their family. I have twin 6 yr old girls also,
so we're a little busy =)
The only outward sign of injury was his right front leg which was simply destroyed,
no skin, showing the broken bones, tendons, ligaments, well...you get the picture.
My husband and I took the dog to the Animal ER where the first question,
even before looking at the dog, was "will you be fully financially responsible
for this animal?" I pointed out that it wasn't my dog but a stray but since my husband
hit it, we'd agree to pay for x-rays and anything that would make the dog more
comfortable, he was in shock, malnourished and dehydrated.
There were no other injuries found other than the right front leg.
The vet was very young and took digital pics and emailed them to her boss
for an opinion on the possibility of saving the leg.
Her boss stated that unless we were rich, and we're not, the only option was to
put the dog down or amputate. After calling the local lab rescue group I work with
and UT's vet school asking for any help I could get we were left with the decision to make.
My mother-in-law is as crazy about animals as I so she agreed to pay the cost
and we'd settle up latter. The amputation was going to cost $1400!!!!
I kinda went off about being at their mercy and "they", being the vets, knowing it.
I pointed out that we were trying to do the right thing but do not have nowhere near
that kinda money. The poor young vet called her boss again then presented the option
of us letting her do the operation, since she's never done one before,
under the supervision of another experienced vet and she wouldn't charge for the surgery
but I'd have to sign a waiver, not holding her responsible if she screwed up.
I still had to pay the $500 for the overnight stay but felt this was the best I could do
and still help the dog. My husband picked the dog up Tuesday morning and took it home.
My husband named him "Duke" since he felt he was so tough, kinda like John Wayne,
"The Duke". He had to go to work so I didn't see Duke until that evening.
I wasn't prepared for the sight of him, partially shaved, big V incision with
a drain in place, lying on the pet bed shaking and moaning. I got so upset,
wondering "how could I have done this to this poor animal? I'm so sorry"
I said over and over as I tried to comfort him. He flipped and flopped and I
tried to help him but simply didn't know how. I called my mother in law who
came over and we tried to place a towel under him for support but his legs
wouldn't hold him so we decided to leave him be for now. After soccer, we
came home to Duke standing behind the baby gate, a little unsteady, but
standing, wagging his tail at us!!!
He's between 1 and a half and 2 years old. He kept me up all night moaning,
whimpering, and howling out the way coon hounds do.
He's a mix of Black Lab and Coon Hound. He's very noisy, all the time.
He whimpers non-stop wanting attention, I initially thought he was hurting
but the vet explained that the pain patch and pain meds are covering that
and that we have a big 66 pound puppy on our hands.
He's beautiful even if his appearance at first is shocking.
He's such an attention hog, wanting to be where we are instead of staying
in the laundry room where the pet bed and papers are.
He has peed and pooped all over my house and between not getting sleep last night,
working today and cleaning up pee and poo all evening, I'm really very tired,
but with one look at those big brown eyes, I know in my heart that we did the right thing.
I couldn't have lived with any other decision and will manage like always to take care
of everyone who lives here in our house/ animal shelter.
My lab and Chihuahua and cat are indoors and the rest are outdoors.
Duke will be in until he is healed and has grown back his hair so he can stay warm.
Any feedback, suggestions or input on how to care for Duke and still get sleep
would be appreciated. I'll forward pics shortly. Thank you for this website,
I had no idea that there would be others out there caring for these very special animals.
It gives me confidence that I have others I can call on for help and support.
Jody (Keeper of animals who's sleep deprived)
Wednesday October 25, 2006
Here's Duke's pics. He doesn't like to have his pic taken as is pretty obvious.
Share any you like but the one with the clear recent surgery site might be more
than some want to see. Hope Duke's story and pics can help someone not feel as alone
as I did the first day home after the surgery. Sometimes knowing what to expect
can provide security and reassurance. Thanks for the wonderfully positive email.
It's nice to hear the recognition because while none of us big hearted saps need it,
it is sometimes good to hear. Thanks for the website, it gave me hope and confirmation
that we did the right thing. It's remarkable what Duke can do when determined and since no one
has told him he can't do something, he tries really hard at everything,
now if only humans could learn that concept.
Love to all the three legged dog owners out there!!!
Thursday October 26, 2006