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We have a decision to make about our 4 year old lab. After being involved in a car accident he broke his front leg badly. Now that it has not healed we are thinking of going down the line of amputation. It is a front left leg.

My question is what kind of quality of life can a lab have with a front leg gone. Do any of you have any experience of this and if so how did your dogs get on.

Thanks in advance.
 

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No experience but just wanted to say sorry to hear about your lab's accident, it must've been very frightening for you all.

Hopefully someone will be able to answer your questions about amputation.
 

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oh goodness poor lad.
Luckily i have no experience of amputation but I have seen dogs manage perfectly well on 3 legs. There was new member a few weeks ago who has a lab with 3 legs .
I'll have a look and see if i can find the thread for you

oh and welcome to LF
 

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I`m sorry to hear Elliots leg hasn`t healed well, never come across a laqb with 3 legs but have seen other breeds and they do very well, the dog doesn`t look at it the same way we would if we lost a limb, once he`s got used to readjusting his balance he should be fine I`d think :)
 

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If he's struggling with the damaged limb and it's causing him pain and/or a reduced quality of life and your vet believes amputation is the best option, then I'd say go for it. Dogs do adapt amazingly well to life on three legs :)
 

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Not sure about how labs cope with 3 legs...is he a heavy set lab?

We had a border collie who got cancer in his front leg. After a lot a thought, we decided on an amputation. He got on just fine. Went to pick him up a few days later from vets (he went to Animal Health Trust in Newmarket) and he dragged the nurse through the doors to us....TBH we could not believe how well he'd adapted in such a short amount of time. Tip used to go out for a run with my dad (Admittedly only a short run compared to the half marathons he used to do!) but still loved his walking and swimming!!! I thought he might swim in a circle (lol) but he didn't!!!!!

Another thing to consider if you do go ahead is whether to take the top of the humerus and shoulder blade too. I saw a dog the other day at Burghley Horse Trials who didn't have the "stump" removed. It does look "neater" and less awkward when it is removed.

Hope this helps and Elliott feels better soon.

Vix
 

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Friends of mine had the same thing happen to their lab bitch. She had the whole joint removed so the remaining leg became more central so more like a tripod. i can honestly say you would never have known seeing her in the distance - it didnt slow her down at all.
The only thing is if they become arthritic with age but she did go on to be an old dog, just as she would have anyway
Best of luck
 
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Not a Lab I know...in fact not even a dog....but I had a cat who had to have a back leg amputated. I ummed and ahhed over it, because he was such an Outie, independent soul. I needn't have worried though because within two weeks he was back to scaling 6 ft fences, climbing trees and hunting. He went on for another 6 years as a Tripod (as he was affectionately called) and you would never have realised he had anything missing when he was running about.

Are your girls other legs ok....no Arthritis, Dysplasia, etc, as if they are fine, then I personally would at least try. After all she could have another good few years left in her yet and having a leg missing may not slow her down at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
OK Folks,

Just been to the vet to see Elliott and he is in good spirits bouncing around on three. The bone has not healed and we have decided to go with the amputation tomorrow. Both we and the vet believe that he will be able to handle it. So fingers crossed.

Thanks for all you advice and replies, especially the link to Ben and Lotty, I guess Elliott will be joining the tri-paw club!

Fingers crossed all goes well tomorrow and will let you all know how he gets on.

Thanks Again.
 
A

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Poor Elliot. Hope his operation goes ok tomorrow and is back home with you soon.

I'm sure he'll cope just fine with the three legs!
 

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Wishing Elliott the best for tomorrow and thinking of you all , I think he will be fine too, he sounds like he has an indomitable spirit :)
 

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I hope Elliots op goes well and he make a speedy recovery, I sure he will be just fine with 3 legs. Will be thinking of you all tomorrow x x
 

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Hope all goes well tomorrow for Elliott. It sounds like he's already been practising tripaw-dom so will adjust quickly and soon be back to bouncing around.

x
 

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One of the craziest dogs in our rec' is a large cross breed with a hind leg amputated after an accident and he is well in the thick of it at playtime so we wish you all the best for tomorrow.
I am sure once he finds his feet you will be worrying more than he does unless he is a drama queen like one of my mums dogs was after EVERY operation...
he will probably be the centre of attention before long....
 
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