Until not so long ago, finding a dog with one or more legs missing, either completely or partially, was not very common. When a doghad an accident or suffereda disease that resulted in the amputation of a leg, it was customary to put it down. There was not much information on the subject, nor many options for dogs suffering from this problem.

But fortunately for animals, this is no longer the case. Advances in both surgery and care for dogs that have suffered the loss of a leg mean that they are able to cope and fend for themselves. To the point of living a practically normal life. Of course, with some special care and attention.

Care of a dog that has had a leg amputation

Caring for a dog with a recently amputated leg

If the dog has recently lost a leg, it will require certaincare until it physically recovers. Unlike humans, who require several months to recover physically after an amputation, a dog recovers from this type of operation quite quickly. Indeed, in two or three days, a dog can be quite recoveredfrom the operation. And he will have regainedhis mobility, almost completely, in two to three weeks.

You may need a little help at first to get up, relieve yourself, or eat, for example. Especially if the amputation is of the foreleg. In these cases, the animal will recover somewhat more slowly than if the amputation is of the rear. This is because dogs carry more weight on their front legs than on their hind legs.

What we will have to worry about is the wound healing and its cures. It is important to make sure that the wound does not become infected and that it heals well. Generally, the veterinarian will be in charge of a careful follow-up of the wound, although it is also advisable to monitor it at home and report any anomaly to the veterinarian. If there is no problem, the staples that are usually used to close this type of wound will be removed in about 15 days.

On an emotional level, recovery will be another matter. An amputation can be somewhat complicated for a dog, so he may be sad or listless for a few days. It’s perfectly normal, but it won’t last long. Dogs, when they get used to their new situation, have no trauma. They can be perfectly happy even if they have three legs.

Precautions for dogs with amputated legs

As mentioned above, a dog with a missing leg will be able to recover in a short time. And live a practically normal life. For them it will be no problem to run or jump with only three legs. It seems amazing, but that’s how it is. However, there are some precautions to be taken with the health of this type of dog. Especially in terms of muscles and bones.

Dogs that have had a leg amputated will, thereafter,redistribute the weight of the body and remaining limbs differently. From one that, although comfortable for you, is not your natural one. Therefore, it is advisable to watch your bones and, above all, your spine, to avoid wear and tear. Periodic check-ups sincethe amputation will have to pay special attention to your muscles and bones to avoid problems.

Ortocanis editorial team.

Distemper in dogs is a serious viral disease. Although the symptoms are varied, one of the clearest signs is weakness in the hind legs. In case of contagion, we must act quickly, as it can be lethal. We tell you what your treatment is.

What is distemper in dogs and how is it spread?

The RNA virus, belonging to the Paramyxoviridae family, is the cause of one of the most contagious and dangerous diseases. Better known as distemper in dogs, it is contracted by direct contact with one that is infected. The symptoms do not appear immediately since there is an incubation period between 14 and 18 days beforehand.

Not all strains of distemper in dogs have the same virulence. Therefore, each clinical picture has its own severity and evolution. Replication occurs in the lymphoid tissue, thus causing immunosuppression in the animal. From there it progresses and infects the central nervous system. At this point is when we can observe the weakness in the hind legs.

Distemper in dogs mainly affects puppies between 3 and 6 months of age, as they have a weaker immune system. However, older dogs can also be infected.

Symptoms of distemper in dogs

The initial symptoms of distemper in dogs are very varied, and include rhinitis, mucopurulent discharge, cough, conjunctivitis, vomiting or diarrhea, fever, dehydration, anorexia or weight loss, and pneumonia (due to secondary bacterial infections), among others. others.

When the disease reaches the central nervous system, other types of symptoms appear. These are encephalitis, which is responsible for weakness in the legs, tremors and various paralyzes, as well as convulsions and blindness.

Encephalitis, when it affects adult dogs, can occur in two different ways. In the first place, as multifocal encephalitis, whose main characteristic is incoordination, tilted head, facial paralysis and tremors, as well as the aforementioned weakness in the hind legs. This type of distemper in dogs appears between the ages of 4 and 8, and evolves into paralysis , although they can recover.

Secondly, when it comes to older dogs, that is, older than 6, a visual deficit appears, as well as mental depression, personality changes, tournament and also inability to hold the head. Recovery is complex in these cases.

Distemper

Treatment of distemper in dogs

There is currently no specific treatment for distemper in dogs. Although there is a way to prevent contagion and that is through vaccination. In the event of contagion, isolation is essential to avoid spreading the disease.

For secondary infections, antibiotics will be administered, and for the specific symptoms of distemper in dogs, anti-inflammatories and antipyretics. There are also medications for seizures. In addition to all this, we will make sure that the animal eats and drinks so as not to become dehydrated.

Regarding the quality of life of the animal, we can help with mobility using specific harnesses , as well as wheelchairs if necessary. If you need advice to choose the right ones, you can contact us.

There are several factors why a dog may have trouble walking. When evaluating a pathology, we must take into account, among other things, the age of the animal, since on some occasions, such as in elderly dogs, the main reason may be age itself. But what other causes can there be?

Causes of walking problems

Depending on the rhythm of life that our dog leads, it is possible that he will experience localized pain for a few days. Just as it happens to us, excessive exercise can cause tiredness and weakness. This will cause us to have trouble walking.

However, when the pain lasts for more than a couple of days, we should go to the vet. There they will make an assessment and proceed with the diagnosis. Some of the most common causes of walking problems are the following.

Razones por las que un perro tiene problemas para caminar

injuries

In addition to an unseen fracture or torn tendon, walking problems can also be caused by a back or spinal cord injury. This usually appears due to trauma, a stroke or damage to the discs.

When a dog’s spinal cord or spine is inflamed or injured, the hind legs may show signs of weakness or instability. This will inevitably cause problems walking. If our dog has not suffered an accident but is in this situation, we must go to the vet as soon as possible.

degenerative myelopathy

This disease is another reason why a dog may have trouble walking. Especially in adult dogs , the fibers that send signals to the brain for leg movement are gradually being destroyed. The cause is the deterioration of the spinal cord itself.

Dogs with myelopathy do not experience pain, but the disease directly affects mobility. The legs lose strength and the animal is not able to walk normally or stand for long. Currently there is no cure for this disease, but physiotherapy and holistic medicine can relieve symptoms.

Diabetes

Females are more prone to diabetes, which can also cause walking problems. Although some breeds such as Goldens, German Shepherds or Schnauzers are more prone, it can affect anyone.

To avoid diabetes, it is advisable not to give dogs foods rich in sugar. Since they are capable of eating anything, it is very common for many owners to share their food. But we must not forget that some apparently harmless foods that they also like are toxic to them. To determine if diabetes is the cause of walking problems, an analysis is enough.

osteoarthritis

Arthritis and osteoarthritis are other reasons why dogs can have trouble walking. Adult dogs and large breeds are usually the ones who suffer the most from this disease. It usually affects the hip and knee joints, deteriorating cushioning and causing pain.

Some medications in addition to physical therapy can relieve symptoms. Thus, our friend will be able to maintain an optimal quality of life and reduce his problems walking.

The causes of walking problems are wide and varied. In any case, if we observe that our dog spends more than two days without being able to move normally, it is best to go to the vet. The sooner we detect the problem, the sooner we can fix it.

Ortocanis: Ayudas para perros con movilidad reducida

Paralysis in dogs

, which makes the animal unable to move its hind legs, front legs, or four legs, has various origins. It can be caused by trauma, but also by illness. It can also be gradual or sudden, be irreversible, or offer possibilities for improvement or healing.

Silla de ruedas para perro Ortocanis

Wheelchair for Ortocanis dog

In any case, it will be necessary to provide the animal with all the necessary care to facilitate its recovery. For this, it is essential to know the cause of paralysis to apply the most appropriate treatment. We could not only alleviate your symptoms, but reverse them in certain cases, and if not possible, provide you with the highest possible quality of life .

Main causes of paralysis in dogs

Fundamentally, paralysis in dogs is caused by either trauma or disease. This can be congenital or infectious. Among the congenital diseases that cause paralysis in dogs, especially in the hind limbs, is a degenerative pathology of the intervertebral discs. Dogs that suffer from it, usually due to age, lose mobility, since the membrane that surrounds their spinal cord progressively decomposes.

As for infectious diseases that cause paralysis , there are two that are particularly dangerous. They are rabies and distemper. On the other hand, the animal experiencing paralysis may have a tumor somewhere on its body that affects its mobility. For example, if you have one in your spine, it can affect your limbs.

In addition, the dog may suffer paralysis from an injury to the neck or spinal cord. Generally, these types of injuries are the result of a hard blow or an accident. In these cases, the paralysis is usually permanent.

On many occasions the dog does not want to move because it has pain. It is common to find cases of ligament injuries or osteoarthritis where the dog avoids using the affected limb. We would not talk about a paralysis itself but we must know these cases since they are more frequent. Normally we will see that the animal complains if we manipulate the affected area. In these cases the veterinarian could recommend the use of an
orthosis
.

In another order of things, paralysis in dogs can also be psychological, as a result of shock. In these cases, since there are no spinal cord injuries, the paralysis will be temporary. It can also cause the intake of spoiled food, contaminated with botulinum toxin. It can even be caused by the bite of an insect, since there are animals that with a bite can cause paralysis in dogs. This is the case of some families of ticks.

Symptoms and treatment of paralysis in dogs

In addition to being unable to walk, paralysis in dogs can have other symptoms. For example, difficulties getting up. It can also be an indicator that the animal cannot urinate, or that it has trouble controlling urine. In the latter case, it will drip constantly. This can also happen to the animal when defecating. In addition, you may also walk in pain or as if you are dizzy.

In these cases, it is best to take the animal to the veterinarian to examine it and decide the best way to help it. In case you suffer from incontinence apart from paralysis, it will be necessary to keep it as clean as possible. This will prevent the animal from having infections (and undesirable odors). In these cases you can use special
diapers
for dogs and protective coats.

On the other hand, we must ensure that he rests in the most comfortable way possible. For this it is advisable to use an orthopedic bed for dogs. In addition to providing them with better rest, these beds are designed to distribute the weight of the animal, avoid pressure points and ulcers on the skin due to prolonged use.

In any case, having a paralysis is not currently an obstacle for dogs to continue moving and enjoying. There are wheelchairs adapted to them, with which, if they have mobility in the front legs, they can continue walking and moving as if all four legs worked well.

Ortocanis Writing Team

Myositis in dogs is one of the canine diseases that most affects their quality of life. Not only because it can affect your ability to move and perform your usual daily activity. Also because it is a very painful pathology that limits them a lot. It is an inflammation of one or more muscles that can affect different parts of the body. Its origin can be multiple, and can be due to wounds and muscle breaks as well as overexertion. But also to the effects of age.

It mainly affects short-haired pets, such as various breeds of dog. It can occur at any age, although it appears more frequently in adult and older dogs. There are three types: eosinophilic, rheumatic and purulent.

Miositis en perros: principales causas, síntomas y tratamiento

Causes and symptoms of myositis in dogs

Myositis in dogs can be due to several reasons. Among them, a muscle tear or a hematoma, both the product of a blow or a fall and excessive physical activity or a jump from a high height. But it can also appear after bearing an excessive load without the animal being prepared for it.

Sometimes it also occurs as a result of hypothermia that a dog can suffer when it is in an environment in which it is excessively cold and without being prepared for it. Then, the muscles have trouble moving, since the cold paralyzes them, and inflammation appears.

When it appears in an older dog, it is simply about the effects of age, which produce various pains and ailments. Or by parasites that nest in the muscles and other mobile areas of the animal’s organism, and cause displacements and erosions.

Obviously, one of the main symptoms that a dog has myositis, in addition to the difficulty of displacement if it affects the legs or the area of the joints and spine, is pain. Affected dogs will have so much pain that they usually won’t want to move (or won’t be able to), and they will moan in pain. They will also refuse to touch the affected area, and even caresses, even if they are soft.

The dog may feel better first thing in the morning after sleeping, but he will already appear tired. And the pain will increase as the day goes by. It is especially indicative of the presence of myositis pain in the area of the pelvis or shoulder, two of the points in which this ailment first manifests.

In addition, myositis presents other additional symptoms. Among them, the difficulties to pose one leg or several, the curved position of the dog’s back , etc. All together with an evident tension in the neck area, product of pain and difficulties in moving, and swelling of the affected area. It can also increase body temperature, and blood appears in the urine. And as a consequence of all this, come decay and loss of appetite.

Treatment of myositis in dogs

When myositis is detected early, and it is a mild form, it will be enough to take the animal to the veterinarian to put an appropriate treatment after finding the cause of the disease. It will usually be fully restored within a couple of weeks. But when it comes to severe myositis or its treatment is postponed, it may take longer to heal, and you may have sequelae.

Among these sequelae are the shortening of the affected muscles, muscle atrophy and the paralysis of one or more limbs. In these cases, in addition to a treatment to eliminate the pain and try to repair as much as possible the damage, the dog may need rehabilitation and various supports to be able to move. These range from a protector for the affected limbs to a wheelchair adapted for more severe cases involving paralysis of the hind legs.

Dogs that undergo an operation have to go through a period of rest and care to return to their normal lives. Therefore, the recovery of dogs requires special care that in many cases depends on the type of operation they have undergone.

Regardless of this, a series of guidelines to follow will have to be taken into account when the animal leaves the veterinarian and arrives home. This way you will be more comfortable and your recovery will be more bearable

Rodillera para perro

What to do to help dogs recover after an operation

While the dog is still in the veterinary clinic, it is advisable to accommodate its rest area according to its condition. It is convenient to keep it especially clean and ventilated. And as quiet as possible so that the animal can be relaxed and smooth.

During the first days, and depending on the severity of the operation, it is convenient that you do not do much exercise. You just have to go out to relieve yourself. And in these cases, you don’t have to let him walk away.

You also have to be very careful of your wound, and prevent it from licking it. Although in many cases, a dog licks a wound is good, if it has stitches it is not advisable. He could remove them ahead of time, and the wound would open. So, if the animal begins to lick the wound of the operation, everything possible must be done to avoid it.

The simplest way is to place a necklace around his head, shaped like an open bell. This collar, made of transparent plastic, prevents him from doing so, and is annoying for the dog. However, it is the best way to avoid problems with wounds.

You also have to remember to give him the medication that has been prescribed. And make him drink plenty of fluids. Above all, in the hours after the operation, so that it expels the anesthesia.

Wound cleaning

In addition to certain medication, the veterinarian will recommend to the owner of the operated dogs how to take care of the wound. Above all, how you have to clean it to avoid infections.

In general, an antiseptic solution should be used for this purpose two or three times a day. And carefully monitor the wound so that there are no problems. Of course, before any alteration that presents, you have to go to the veterinarian to rule out problems.

External aids in limb operations

Operations on the limbs are some of the most annoying for dogs. Not a few, in addition, take a long time to heal. And some even require specific rehabilitation so that the animal can regain mobility in it. As long as, of course, the wound is already completely closed and healed.

In these cases, the dog may need some kind of support or protector not only to avoid harming himself. Also to be able to have more firmness in the use of the affected leg. For example, in the case of bone fractures, it may be advisableto put a splint on it. Or simply, a protector or a support, which can be knee, carpal, tarsus, hip, etc. With them, the dog will feel safer when moving.

Although it may not seem like it, dogs suffer from many of the ailments that humans experience. From a simple cold to osteoarthritis, through hernias. As in humans, those suffered by dogs can have varying severity. In addition, hernias in dogs can be of four types: inguinal, diaphragm, umbilical and disc.

In any of the four cases, it is very important to diagnose them correctly as soon as possible. In this way, the appropriate treatment can be applied to the animal to relieve its discomfort. To do this, the main thing is to understand what a hernia is, what it implies and the main types of hernias in dogs.

Hernia in dogs: main types

The hernias of dogs, like those of humans, are lumps and bumps product of the exit of tissue from some organ of its usual position. They are quite painful, and are usually noticeable because the animal has a lump where it should not. A lump that is painful to the touch on many occasions.

As we have mentioned, the main types of hernias in dogs are four. Of these, the two most common are umbilical and disc herniations . The first usually occur when the animal is very young, shortly after birth. They usually start when the mother of a puppy incorrectly cuts the umbilical cord that joins him to him. When this happens they do not have a navel left as it happens with humans. But it is noticeable in an area that there has been a union with the mother.

In that area, if a hernia has formed, there will be a lump. Do not try to push it into the animal, because it can be painful. The solution to this hernia, and in general to all, is a surgical intervention to eliminate it.

The second most common type of hernia in dogs is herniated disc. Generally, it has its origin in a fall or a blow, which cause a rupture or inflammation of the intervertebral discs of the dog’s spine . However, in older dogs it may simply be due to the deterioration of the discs.

This hernia, in addition to being very painful, can generate mobility problems for dogs. These will be greater the more advanced and severe the hernia. In many cases, the solution will be surgery, but since it involves certain risks, it is the veterinarian who will have to assess if it is worth it. Meanwhile, you can relieve their pain with painkillers and anti-inflammatories. And in case the hernia is very serious and mobility is impaired, you can help him recover it with an adaptable dog wheelchair .

Inguinal and abdominal hernias in dogs

The other two types of hernia in dogs are less common. But equally painful for the animal. They are inguinal hernias and diaphragm hernias. The first are formed in the inguinal canal, a duct located between the muscles of the abdomen.

These types of hernias, which have the appearance of a mass of tissues, can become quite large. Therefore, as soon as they are detected, it is advisable to eliminate them by surgery, and this will probably be indicated by the veterinarian.

As for hernias of the diaphragm, they can cause serious health problems to the affected dog. This hernia, which is usually internal, often develops into the dog’s body. This is dangerous, as it can displace your organs. And it makes that many times, its symptoms are completely different from those of the rest of hernias.

Among them, the dog may have shortness of breath and irregularity in the heartbeat. Also vomiting or diarrhea if it affects the stomach or intestine. In addition, you may notice strange movements in the dog’s abdomen. This type of hernia is quite serious, and must be intervened as soon as possible to correct it.

Ayudas ortopedicas para perros

New technical and orthopedic aids for dogs are used in a wide variety of cases. These increase the mobility of dogs by providing the necessary support to maintain daily activity. Dogs need to exercise to maintain their physical and emotional well-being. If a dog is unable to exercise, it can develop problems such as heart disease, obesity, bone alterations, muscle atrophy, and emotional problems such as aggression or anxiety.

Applicable cases

Technical aids can be used for sprains, muscle weakness, arthritis, hip dysplasia, post-operative rehabilitation, lameness, weakness or pain in the joints that end up generating a mobility problem. The technical aids should allow the dog to perform its daily activities, but they should also be comfortable and offer protection against irritations and ulcers on the dog’s skin so it is important that they are performed by specialists. We list the most frequent:

Knee

Protector de rodilla canina

Knee protectors are typically used after surgery for rehabilitation of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), patella dislocation, medial collateral ligament (MCL), lateral collateral ligament (LCL), or posterior cruciate ligaments (PCL). Knee pads provide support and stability, prevent muscle loss during the recovery period, and reduce the risk of further injury. Knee protectors are also often used in cases where surgery is not performed.

Tarsus and Carpus

Protector de tarsoSoporte para carpo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tarsal protectors are indicated in cases of osteoarthritis but also for post-surgical rehabilitation or injury to the Achilles tendon, nerve damage to the hind limb or foot and rehabilitation of the hock joint. They can also be used as long-term support in non-surgical conditions. A tarsus or hock protector stabilizes the bone of the back leg, as well as the muscles and tendons of the limb and knee. It works similarly to a knee brace in humans, allowing the dog to move without straining the joint. It also prevents the dog from re-injuring the affected joint or ligaments.

Elbows

Protector de codo canino

An elbow protector is used to support the elbow joint after surgery or to reduce pain from arthritis, degenerative joint diseases, or other similar conditions. It provides control in lateral movement while allowing for normal extension and flexion while treating and protecting hygromas and calluses.

 

Soporte de cadera caninoHip

A hip support holds and increases the temperature of the dog’s lower back and hip. Made of special neoprene, it surrounds the lower back, hip and upper leg and is fastened thanks to a Roman-type harness. Hip supports are commonly used for dogs with mild to moderate hip dysplasia and localized osteoarthritis.

Shoulders

Ortesis de codo canina

Medial shoulder instability (MSI) is one of the causes of lameness in the front legs. A special support would allow the shoulder to be supported, which would limit the extension, flexion and abduction, allowing the dog to support its weight. These aids can be used after surgery or as a non-surgical treatment but also preventively.

Blind people use a cane to orient themselves in space and know where there are obstacles. Other animals naturally use sound, whiskers or other warning devices.

Perro ciego

A blind dog also needs something to tell it when it is approaching an obstacle. Dennis Hacker, a veterinarian from California, told us how to manually make a “cane” for a blind dog.

Using an aluminum strip, which allows to give it the desired shape while providing a solid barrier for the dog, we make a ring that fits the harness, with a prudent angle so that it can turn its head and have mobility in it.

Medidas de bastón para perro ciego

To manufacture it, we need to take 3 measures:

A – From the front leg to the neck.
B – From the neck to the tip of the nose.
C – The diameter of the chest just behind the front legs.

 

 

Necessary material:

A – An aluminum strip of the correct size, these are the measures A + B multiplied by 3.
B – Leather harness, to fit on the chest. Remember that blind dogs tend to gain weight.
C – A riveting machine.
D – Rivets of 5 mm and 3-6 mm of reach.
E – Electric drill.
F – 5 mm helical drill bit.
G – Sandpaper.

The process for manufacturing is as follows:

Sand the edges of the aluminum so that they are round.

lija1 lija2

Ortocanis.comAttach the harness to the blind dog and adjust it to make it comfortable. It measures the distance between the centers of the vertical bands. This is where the ring-shaped aluminum bar is going to be put.

Medir distancia de las bandas del arnés para el perro ciego arnes3

Drill four holes into the aluminum strip. A hole at each end and then another pair of holes at the distance between the two harness fasteners (as indicated in the photograph above left).

Medidas para la barra de aluminio del arnés

Pierce the harness at the bottom of the vertical strips of the neck where we measure. This is where the aluminum band is attached to warn the dog that it is about to hit itself.

taladro

Bend the distance to the ends of the aluminum bar with an angle of 45 degrees. Then, bend gently and in the opposite direction to give shape of circumference to the central area.

aluminio aluminio3

Rivet the aluminum ring to the harness on the vertical leather straps closest to the dog’s head.

Arnés perro ciego

Now, with the harness on the dog, level the hoop at eye and nose level. Mark the measurement and rivet the ring on the back of the harness.

Arnés para perro ciego

We already have our cane ready for blind dogs!

Arnés para perros invidentes

The result is phascinating, a solution that will improve the lives of dogs with vision problems.
At first they feel confused and need to adapt, as soon as they understand the operation and see the improvement they quickly dodge the obstacles.

In case you are not one of those who have a lot of patience, the new harness for blind dogs is now available for sale.

Arnés para perro discapacitado

 

The most common cause of femur fracture is a blow to the thigh bone area. Unless you have witnessed the accident firsthand, the first symptom or suspicion that the dog has broken its femur may be lameness. If the femur fracture is not repaired, the dog can have serious complications. Let’s explain how recognize and treat femur fracture in dogs.Femur y Tibia perro

  1. Dogs that suffer this injury may experience lameness in the injured paw or may become immobile because of the pain they are suffering.
  2. Take the dog to the vet and try to let them know of your arrival. Ask someone to help you get the dog into the car. This will prevent your dog from walking on the injured paw.
  3. The veterinarian will need to take x-rays to confirm if there is a fractured femur. It will also determine if you can give your pet painkillers to relieve the pains.
  4. He or she will likely recommend surgery to repair your femur fracture. Unlike other fractures, the femur stabilizes more successfully after surgery. This lesion cannot be stabilized with a splint or cast, so surgery should be seriously considered.
  5. Once back home the activity should be very limited. Reduce the walk when you take it out to relieve itself. Keep the area warm and prevent it from resting on hard or cold surfaces. This will aid in healing and prevent further damage.
  6. Colchón para perros en rehabilitaciónChoose a quiet place for the recupyour dog’s eration. Dogs in rehabilitation need a quiet place to heal. Let him rest in a good bed and hold his favorite toys. Encourage your pet to rest and remind visitors that the dog needs to rest.

 

Don’t try to stabilize the fractured femur at home. Some dog owners try to splint or plaster the limb at home. Always check with your veterinarian about the options available.

Arneses para perros con movilidad reducida