Are you facing amputation for your dog or cat? Curious about what Tripawd healing looks like? You’ve come to the right place.
Last month during our Tripawds Hoppy Hour gathering, we were joined by Banksy’s mom, Mary Yuter, RN, of Heart to Soul Cardiac Wellness. She offered a ton of great input to everyone. Mary kindly offered to write this guest blog post based on Banksy’s amputation experience. We know you’ll learn as much from her as we did!
Banksy’s Tactical Tripawd Healing Strategy Post Amputation
Hello, Tripawd families!
We were lost and without guidance after our new rescue puppy had to have his front leg amputated after being hit by a car. From our trauma and struggle, and using my knowledge as a cardiac ICU nurse who believes in holistic healing and homeopathy, I wanted to share our tactical recovery strategy for our dog Banksy’s amputation, in the hope that it will help to support other Tripawd families.
Ambulation after Amputation
Banksy had to have his front leg amputated. As an interim to help him walk and toilet post op, we used a towel as a sling, which worked just fine. It is important to get them up and ambulating as they can and within comfort, to prevent clots. After that, let them have lots of rest and plenty of hydration. We put the radio on soft classical music and that has served as a catalyst for his naps now.
Banksy’s Pain Control for Amputation
He had a lot of pain, and we found post amputation pain goes largely unaddressed. One surgeon wanted to prescribe an antianxiety medication, which first, was not addressing the pain, and secondly, was addictive and would have to be tapered before discontinuing. We declined that and started researching.
We discovered the wonderfully supportive Tripawds site, and in one of the pain management articles, “Prevent, Avoid and Treat Pain in Tripawd Dogs and Cats,” found out about a medication called Amantadine.
Amantadine is a med used for Parkinson’s patients and helps to disconnect errant brain to peripheral nerve messages. After the first pill, he was a new guy. This, combined with Gabapentin to stop the nerve root pain, worked very well for pain management.
Gabapentin makes them drowsy, (side effect) so take care in ambulating them if they have had Gabapentin, and ensure they are supported. Carry your Tripawd up and down steps, if you can.
After his dressing removal, we noticed a lot of seizure-like activity or large twinges at his amputation site, and that is when he would howl in pain. When he had those episodes he was still on Amantadine, we would give him one Gabapentin 100 mg, and that did the trick during his weaning. It was on an “as needed basis” instead of every x hours as prescribed to wean.
We weaned off the Amantadine first, then slowly off the Gabapentin, (from two pills to one every x hours) and occasionally needed a Gabapentin for yelps of pain. We started by decreasing his Gabapentin in the daytime, but kept his evening dose, so he could be pain free and comfortable through the night.
Banksy’s Tripawd Nutrition and Gut Health
Because our new amputees have been on antibiotics for infection prevention, or for infection, their gut flora may be compromised. It is important to have good nutrition (good protein sources) for their tissue repair and healing, and gut support. This is the base of immunity.
In addition to his kibble, I added fish oil (1/2 tsp) for anti-inflammatory benefits.
Wounds are inflamed after injury. I scrambled an egg for his breakfast, with turmeric and a little black pepper (which makes turmeric bioavailable for the body). For additional anti-inflammatory support.
To help his gut flora, I added a heaping tablespoon of coconut yogurt to his meal for probiotics. This was to seed and populate the gut with good bacteria (which are killed off by antibiotics). Then I chopped half a date, which serves as a prebiotic to feed those good bacteria. Dates are antimicrobial, antifungal, antiparasitic, and provide fiber to help with bowel movements.
Constipation can be a side effect from anesthesia and pain medications. The fiber was important and we had no problems.
I also gave him coconut water, ½ cup in the morning after breakfast for electrolytes. (Note: all of these tips are great to keep Tripawd parents healthy, too!)
Using BEMER PEMF Medical Therapy After Amputation Surgery
Just prior to his accident, I had been introduced to a pulsed electromagnetic field (Pemf) Class II medical device called BEMER.
BEMER helps the smooth microvasculature lining our arteries and veins to open. It increases blood flow, taking away cellular waste and toxins and increasing oxygenation. This helps our white blood cells move to injured sites such as a surgical wound for infection prevention. By creating an oxygenated environment clearing toxins, it creates an inhospitable place for microorganisms to thrive).
The BEMER is for humans, and they also have an equine model for horse recovery. BEMER is used by Navy Seals for recovery, pro sports teams and Olympic athletes. It is a medical device, and requires screening for contraindications and training upon receipt. This is only sold through distributors. It helped me so much, I became a distributor, because it helps my clients in my cardiac wellness program.
I used the BEMER on my dog OFF LABEL.
Of course, the greatest healer is love!
Best wishes on your very special Tripawd journey!
Mary Yuter, RN