If your new Tripawd is having a tough recovery, you’re not alone. Other members have been through difficult recovery situations too. Your Tripawd’s tough amputation recovery can feel hopeless right now, but as Akeela and Finn show, better days may be just around the corner.
Tripawds Tough Amputation Recovery Stories Give Hope, Education
Agreeing to amputation for your dog or cat requires us to make huge leaps of faith. Videos and pictures of happy Tripawds give us courage to start the journey, and good news on recovery milestones help us believe that our pet will be fine too. We must have that kind of inspawration around here. But sometimes, recoveries aren’t as easy as we had hoped.
For example, Tuxedo the Tripawd Cat had a tough time but bounced back. So did Bender the Bulldog. Two other canine members recently did too. Finn the Dane and Akeela the Tripawd Wolf Dog went through it at about exactly the same time.
From Hard Days to Healing, Finn is Great Again!
In Finn’s blog, his mom shared her emotional rollercoaster during the first four weeks. Every day while he grew more uncomfortable and restless, she lost more sleep and felt uncertain about her decision to amputate.
Well, no one said it’d be easy, right? Always when I think we’re on the right path and take a step forward, we go right back downhill. The last few days have been back to pure discomfort for my poor boy. It is constant up and down and readjusting, never fully resting. And watching him so uncomfortable is killing me.
She knew Finn was showing classic phantom pain signs but his veterinary team brushed off the idea. Twenty-five days later, things still looked bad, until Casey found a veterinarian who was also experienced in veterinary acupuncture. ” I can’t begin to tell you how amazing our appointment was. He took a lot of time with us, he explained things thoroughly and he believed me,” she wrote.
Eleven days after she and the new vet agreed on a pain management plan for Finn, he turned a corner. Five weeks after his surgery, things are looking up for the gentle giant.
It has truly been night and day for Finn. We went from constant restlessness, readjusting, muscle spasms and whining, to zero of these symptoms in a week. I know it sounds really dramatic but it has been life-changing for him and for us. My stress and guilt levels have completely dropped knowing he will be OK and happy again.
Tripawd Akeela is Awesome Again
It’s scary when any dog undergoes amputation surgery, but especially when the patient is a senior dog and the recovery is hard. That’s exactly what happened to Akeela the 13-year old wolfdog. Her mom writes:
I’m really frustrated at this point, because the entire reason we moved forward with amputation was to keep her from being in pain. She is clearly in more pain and discomfort now than she ever was before the surgery. I want to do what’s best for her but it seems like I just don’t know what that is. I think I will forever be tormented by the sound of her yelps
After spending thousands of dollars on inconclusive tests to find out why Akeela was getting worse and more painful, things looked very, very dark. One vet thought she had spinal mets, even though a CT scan showed none. And another even suggested euthanasia if things didn’t improve.
Five weeks after her amputation surgery, Akeela’s mom was about to give up, when she happened to stop by the Tripawds Chat Room. Like most afternoons, we were there, ready to help answer questions or just, well, chat! And when we learned that Akeela lives an hour away from the world-famous veterinary pain management guru Dr. Robin Downing, we knew there was no better person to find out what was going on. Her mom agreed and made an appointment.
Nearly eight weeks later, things are much, much better. Between her primary care vet and Dr. Downing, Akeela’s pain issues are being addressed and slowly, her quality of life is improving. Is it a complete recovery? Nope, as her mom explains:
Although Akeela has to be medicated every 4 hours and likely will be for the rest of her life, I am lucky that she is still alive. I feel fortunate that she can go 90% of the time without being in pain. Akeela now only yelps once a day – maybe once every other day. She also stopped wetting the bed. Both major wins in my book.
Yes, she isn’t living the maximum quality of life that I was hoping for – or expecting, based on what the vets told me pre-surgery …. but she is alive, and her suffering is now at a minimum. Unless the Dog Gods throw us another unexpected curve ball, I finally feel like we have a shot at a successful recovery.
Not all Tripawd Recoveries are Smooth, But Don’t Give Up Hope!
Akeela’s mom also said something very important that we want to make sure all Tripawds members know before surgery day: sometimes, Tripawds recoveries are difficult.
Even to this day, it is discouraging to see the success stories of other dogs… the ones where dogs recover after 2 weeks. It was aggravating that every veterinary professional I spoke with assured me pre-surgery that she would have a seamless recovery. It was overwhelmingly frustrating when nobody could tell me why Akeela wasn’t recovering correctly – and was left in unbearable pain for 2 weeks straight.
You never really hear about the dogs who don’t recover, or who have a challenging time with it. And that’s why I started this blog. Our journey was completely different than what I ever imagined. I think it’s important for people to know that not all dogs recover the same way. And having an amputation done may cause unexpected complications on other parts of their body. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a solution. And it definitely doesn’t mean that your only option is euthanasia.
You Can Prepare Members for Amputation Recovery
Stories like Akeela’s and Finn’s are why this community exists, and why the Tripawds member blogs are so important. The information in our network bridges the gap between the busy veterinarian and the overwhelmed client.
We are here to ensure that a pet parent is well-prepared for all of the ups and downs that can happen after amputation surgery. And it’s because of members like Akeela and Finn that we can share this information with newcomers — and give them hope when they need it the most. We are furever grateful for their taking time to share details about their tough Tripawd amputation recovery stories.
Whether your Tripawd had a tough amputation recovery story you want to share, or you want to tell the world about a happy experience of life on three legs, we want to hear about it!
- Start a Tripawds blog to share your story.
- Honor Your Hero on the Tripawds Honor Roll
- Send us a Tripawd Tuesday story.
- Suggest an idea for Tripawd Talk Radio!
The Tripawds community is stronger and wiser because of the ups, downs, joys, and heartbreaks, hope and comfort shared by each and every one of us. Thank you for being a part of it.