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Please help - need urgent advice re: greyhound and poss amputation

(39 Posts)
Callisto Thu 31-Jan-13 11:57:26

Hi All,

my greyhound broke her leg this morning and I've just heard back from the vets. Our options are:
1. a vastly long, complicated and expensive operation that she may or may not come out of and may or may not work.
2. amputation
3. euthanasia.

I've never been one for long, distressing operations/treatment when it comes to animals so I'm realistically looking at options 2 or 3.

So my question is do any of you have any experience of greyhounds with only three legs, bearing in mind that she will lose a front leg? I just can't see it working as she is a big, lanky dog. I'm also worried about quality of life - she loves to run, in some ways it is her reason for living.

Any advice will be very gratefully received.

CMOTDibbler Thu 31-Jan-13 12:01:17

You could contact someone like Evesham Greyhound/lurcher rescue, as they'll have lots of experience in dogs with amputations - they have a vvv cute lurcher with a rear one in atm who isn't letting it impede her. But dogs cope really well generally losing a leg - they justbounce along somehow!

Scuttlebutter Thu 31-Jan-13 12:12:41

Dibbler - you and I are both glued to Fairy's story then.

Callisto, so sorry to hear this. I'd go for amputation without a second's hesitation. I have had the privilege of knowing quite a few amps (both greys and lurchers). Generally they do brilliantly and can still run, steal things and have a wonderful quality of life. One of the greys I know with three legs ran off with a full chip pan of oil that he managed to steal from a supposedly safe place on top of the stove. grin

Scuttlebutter Thu 31-Jan-13 12:14:32

There's a huge amount of info about grey amps on Greytalk (the online board/forum for greyhound owners). Depending on what rescue your hound came from, they may be also familiar, and can advise further.

Just wanted to wish you all the best. smile

Callisto Thu 31-Jan-13 12:17:02

Thanks MOT and Scuttle.

Scuttle - are they front leg amputees? A back leg wouldn't bother me at all, but I am so worried that she just won't cope with losing a front leg.

lougle Thu 31-Jan-13 12:17:17

Sorry to hear your news sad

I have to say that my dog (who is only part sighthound...we think) regularly only uses his back legs to move around if the motivation is sufficient wink Front legs are over-rated!

Scuttlebutter Thu 31-Jan-13 12:18:11

Callisto, as usual the internet is a treasure trove of info. i just found - a dedicated resource site for three legged woofs and owners. Worth a look.

Scuttlebutter Thu 31-Jan-13 12:21:35

I know both. Met a fabulous lurcher at the Evesham GLR Christmas fair who had lost a front leg in a road accident - gorgeous dog and great quality of life. Obviously it's a huge decision, but if it was one of mine and they were otherwise in good health and a reasonable age, I'd go for it. The only time I wouldn't - would be for bone cancer. What does your vet advise?

CMOTDibbler Thu 31-Jan-13 12:22:28

Scuttle - yes, she is gorgeous, but soooooo norty!

Scuttlebutter Thu 31-Jan-13 12:24:08

Dibbler, I do transport runs for EGLR and am on their homecheck list. Superb rescue and a fabulous team.

mistlethrush Thu 31-Jan-13 12:25:45

Callisto - yes, I met someone from LL who has a grey with a front leg amputation - he gets on OK. He's lost his later in life so its more difficult to adapt, but he's clearly still fine and doesn't let it stop him getting around. Particularly if she's a lighter grey, she will probably adapt fine.

Callisto Thu 31-Jan-13 12:26:02

She says the ball is in our court. sad

CMOTDibbler Thu 31-Jan-13 12:29:55

Well, if you go for the amputation, then if she really can't cope you have the option to PTS, but you'll have given her the chance

Scuttlebutter Thu 31-Jan-13 12:33:36

Aargh, Callisto, that's not very helpful is it? OK, thinking systematically then, do you live somewhere like the side of a steep hill with masses and masses of steps where an amp would struggle or do you have a flatter more amp friendly home? Are you willing to do the intensive nursing when she comes out of vet and help with wound management? Would you be willing to take her to hydrotherapy to help her regain strength/balance? Are you willing to have an "odd" or disabled dog? Not everyone is. Is your grey healthy and fit at the moment? PTS could still be an option furhter down the line - you are not ruling that out if you decide QOL is not good enough. Are there other questions we can ask that would help?

mistlethrush Thu 31-Jan-13 12:37:59

This is one of the LL dogs:
Tip I've been on a walk with him and he was so happy to be out you wouldn't notice that he didn't have the leg. He was let off the lead though because it was more easy to unbalance him.

Goldrill Thu 31-Jan-13 12:38:54

My mum and dad's dog is a lurcher with three legs after a front amputation about 5 years ago.

She recovered very quickly indeed and the scar has never seemed to trouble her.
Her body reshaped itself over the years and she is now tripod shaped.
She is AS FAST and AS MANOUVERABLE as my four legged lurcher, and if you put the two of them together her enthusiasm for life would make you think mine was the one who had been horribly abused and lost a limb.

You could also look at lurcherlink's forum - a lot of tripods on there and a lot of positive stories. It's a heartbreaking hting to have to do and I really sympathise, but please don't worry - outcomes are generally very good. Lucy has no idea at all that she is anything other than perfect and lives the absolute life of riley.

Goldrill Thu 31-Jan-13 12:41:56

sorry - crossposted with scuttle and mistle.
Meant to add: we live in Cumbria with a lot of hilly walks, up a lot of steps. The only thing that caused a problem was laminate flooring, but a lot of lurchers struggle with that. Luccy would laugh in your face at the idea she's disabled!

Scuttlebutter Thu 31-Jan-13 12:41:58

Mistle, that's a fab thread, and what a gorgeous dog Tip is. So nice to see lots of positive stories from other tripod owners on there.

Floralnomad Thu 31-Jan-13 12:45:08

I remember a vet on TV once saying that cats and dogs are really 3 legged animals with one spare ! There is a labradoodle near us who had a front leg amputated and he is fine on his 3 . Good luck .

Floralnomad Thu 31-Jan-13 12:47:08

Forgot to say that the dog I know had had numerous ops to try and save the leg first , which its owner says in hindsight she wouldn't have bothered with ( and not because of the cost) .

Callisto Thu 31-Jan-13 13:21:11

Thanks so much for all of your feedback.

My husband and I have made the decision to have my greyhound put down. It is possibly the most difficult decision I have had to make and we based it on her quality of life post op.

needastrongone Thu 31-Jan-13 14:25:46

Ah Callisto a tough tough decision for you to have to make, I am sorry. Be kind to yourself.

mistlethrush Thu 31-Jan-13 14:29:32

Calisto - I'm sorry for your loss, its a horrible decision to have had to make.

Colliewollydoodle Thu 31-Jan-13 14:34:48

I used to walk with a woman who had 4 greyhounds, one of which had had its front leg amputated. It was absolutely fine joined in just the same as the other three, very nifty too.

Colliewollydoodle Thu 31-Jan-13 14:43:55

Oh sorry sorry sorry. Just realised how inappropriate my last post was. Thinking of you.

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