How a Dog Compensates After a Front Leg Amputation
In a previous hub, I discussed what to expect after your dog has a front leg amputated. (You can visit the hub here: http://hubpages.com/hub/What-to-expect-after-your-dog-has-a-front-leg-amputated.) When a dog first has a front leg amputated, she needs to learn how to adapt and find her new center of balance. She not only needs to learn how to best move her legs when walking and running but also how to best sit and be down in the alert position.
Notice how my pup in the picture above has her front leg positioned more in the center. But, in the picture to the right, her front legs are positioned out to the sides more. After her amputation, it took her a few weeks before she was able to figure out the best way to position herself when relaxing. Side note: Yes...that is the same dog! She looks so much different when she's shaved! I should also note that my dog still has her right shoulder after the amputation.
Long, fuzzy fur or short?
Which fur do you prefer on her? Long and fuzzy or short?
When sitting, my pup will noticeably position her one leg closer to the center. This was the first adaptation that we noticed in her. The most interesting thing to watch is how she now positions her front leg when walking and running. Check out the video below; notice how she pulls her paw in. She can run just as fast as she ran with four legs, although the video doesn't show her sprinting. She seems to use her tail to balance. The first couple weeks after her amputation, she kept her tail still and low; then, when she started feeling more comfortable, her tail started going crazy again!