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Phantom Limb Pain in Tripawd Dogs

A few of my tripawd friends’ parents have written to me, asking me if I’ve ever acted like my missing leg was still there.

Calpurnia Working Sled Dog with Harness After Leg Amputation

For an updated version of this topic, please see:
Best Pain Relief Tips for Tripawd Dogs and Cats

They call this “Phantom Limb Pain” in humans. For dogs, this means that a dog may start licking their missing leg area like crazy, or maybe have lots of muscle twitching.

Calpurnia, my new tripod friend, has a great human named TC, who has written a wonderful paper about Phantom Limb Pain. TC writes about the way she has treated Calpurnia’s pain, and also sent in news about a new harness that was made just for this beautiful snow bunny (uh, I mean dog).

Dowload PDF: Phantom Limb Pain in Dogs Post Amputation

45 Responses to “Phantom Limb Pain in Tripawd Dogs”

  1. Hi there,
    I have a 6 year old Pomeranian that I rescued a year ago in February of 2015. He needed to have his back left limb amputated, which we had done a week after I adopted him (figured he would be happier to recover at my puppy free house rather than the foster home he was currently staying, where there was ton of pups). He did very well after surgery, except for when I walked him outside, he was not happy with me; I think it was because he still had his stiches. Anyways, it’s over a year later after his surgery and every once in a while he does what I can only describe as, “pterodactyl calls” for a cry…if I would habe to guess I think it’s due to phamtom pain syndrome. Since it is his back leg that was amputated I think it would be difficult for me to find cloths to wrap around him, but when he’s hanging out I wrap him up in his warm blankets and always rub his stump. Are there any specific message techniques that you could recommend I should use while he is having one of his episodes?
    Thank you,

  2. My 10 month old pup had an amputation 12 days ago. She was doing great the first 4 days. Then she started hiding in the closets. It’s progressed to shrill screams and cries. I’ve taken her to the vet twice since her surgery. She was on Onsior and tramadol. The Onsior is now changed to Robaxin. She isn’t esting much but drinking suffiently.
    I called the vet emergency services just now and she’s increased her tramadol to 3 times a day. She wants to admit her tomorrow to get her ?pain under control if she doesn’t improve. I’m at 4500.00 vet bill. In addition to 168.00 from two days ago. Any advice ?

  3. Hi. I just adopted a 1.5 year old German Shepherd mix that had a fractured scapula. Intra-op, the nerves were too damaged so they amputated the limb. She did great for the first three days but after that, she is intermittently yelping and whining. It has now been two weeks since her surgery but the episodes have not resolved. She has been on Gabapentin for about a week now. It seems to help but she is still in pain. I am going to try and start exercising her now that her incision has healed, I would also like to try the wrap. Does anyone have any experience with trying Acupuncture for this situation?

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