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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is the place to learn how to care for a three legged dog or cat, with answers about dog leg amputation, and cat amputation recovery from many years of member experiences.
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Day 2 post operation Kaju low body temperature, sedation or pain?
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Forum Posts: 27
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2 October 2020 - 9:22 am
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So first the good news: both the lipoma and ossifying sarcoma were benign.

The wound has healed some more in one area and the vet took stitches out from that area. However the not dry, not healed area is definitely infected. Vet says it’s localised infection. And in one place the skin has a large gap instead of healing and closing. The vet is saying daily dressing should help with the wound healing on another 7 days. And he’s asking me to continue with the same antibiotic for now. The bacterial culture results aren’t back yet. The vet also asked to stop meloxicam and gabapentin from today (10th day) as his mobility etc are okay. 

So far I’m not seeing any improvement in appetite. The good thing is that he’s peeing and pooping every day. I’ve been giving him sub cutaneous saline on alternate days and syringe feeding him 2-3 times everyday. He’s also getting probiotics and today I gave him a supplement with vitamins and milk thistle which he hated! He’s only eating bits of dry food by himself but almost is never having water. I wonder why. He will ocassionally lick off tuna juice but not always.

I’m scared the wound won’t heal and lead to complications and even more worriee that he might develop food aversion. As I had said early on, he’s been having treatment on and off for 3 months before the surgery. I just want him to heal and be happy. 

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2 October 2020 - 10:22 am
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First things first – thank heavens it’s benign! That’s one big hurdle down.

You might ask the vet if he will consider putting in stitches or staples on the section that opened up. We had that with Ziggy and the staples really helped things – he had a revision to his first incision and it was Y shaped, and opened up at the joining of the legs of the incision. We had the infection issue too – is he still on an antibiotic for that?

The food thing is tougher. He may not be drinking because of the subcutaneous fluids? That would be my guess. If this is his first day off the gabapentin, maybe his appetite will start to improve. My thing was always offering the stinkiest food possible or different things. Bits of unseasoned scrambled eggs, treats, cheese, whatever would get him interested. 

It’s worth remembering that those deep wounds heal from the bottom up in some cases. Ziggy’s was filling in slowly with fibrin when we finally took him back because it was freaking us out, but it did heal up! While we were waiting I had that same fear, that he was always going to have some open gaping wound. It’s normal to be worried!

Virginia




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2 October 2020 - 11:15 am
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Ditto everything ZIGGY said!! 

 Especially a huge sigh of relief for B-9!!  GREAT NEWS!!!👏😎👍

Yeah, I also would think the fluids are keeping  him hydrated and not making him feel thirstyl.

One other thought, maybe some baby food?  Something  he can lick easily?  Maybe eliminate the thistle, vitamins for a few days jist to see of he feels more like eating… maybe?? 

I know it’s hard not to worry and not to jump ahead to  negative  thoughts.  Instead  though,  jump ahead to pawsitive thoughts!   Overall, he’s doing very well.  The incision  WILL heal, it just takes time.  As Ziggy said, it’s   likely healing  from the inside, and that takes time to make things look better on the outside.

Hang in there!  Do your best to pit forth a calm and confident energy for your sweet boy.  

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

The Rainbow Bridge



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2 October 2020 - 6:48 pm
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YAY for B9! That’s the best news in a situation like this, I’m so happy for you and Kaju.

x3 on the water and thirst opinions. Have you tried spiking his fresh water with tuna water to see what happens?

You’re doing everything right to handle the incision situation. Hang in there, healing happens!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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2 October 2020 - 11:28 pm
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I took him for his daily dressing to a vet who’s walking distance from my home. And this vet said that some of the tissue in the bit that’s not healing and opening up is necrotic because it’s yellowish in colour. What does this mean? Will he need another surgery to remove this tissue?

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3 October 2020 - 5:20 am
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Probably yes, and it’s really not as bad as it sounds, I promise. Ziggy had the EXACT same  thing happen – I have some kinda gross pictures if you’d like to see them, I have no idea if you’re squeamish or if that would help you to see another cat with it!

Like (I think) most amputations, Ziggy initially had one straight incision along where his back leg used to be. He had an area on the “outside” of the incision as well as a fairly large patch on the “inside” of it go necrotic. We didn’t even know this was possible until I was gently wiping him trying to clean up some of the crust, and the thin, dead skin covering the inside portion wiped away and revealed a big icky pocket of dead tissue and pus underneath. We FREAKED OUT, of course, and rushed him to the vet. She said sometimes this happens and there’s no way to know initially if it will. Sometimes the body just decides it doesn’t need an area of skin, or it doesn’t quite get enough blood or it’s a little pinched by the sutures and it dies off. It doesn’t happen in every case but she also told us it wasn’t exactly uncommon and certainly didn’t concern her in the sense of it being a huge weird deal, you know? 

What she ended up doing was what she called a “revision” to the incision. Instead of the straight line, it ended up Y shaped, with the top arms of the Y pointed towards his butt. Since it was a rear amputation, she gave him a little bit of a tummy tuck, pulling his belly skin up to make the new incision once she’d cut away the dead tissue and cleaned things up. Lots of stitches and staples to keep everything closed up and he went back on the oncior for a while – I can’t remember if we were out of buprenorphine by that time. For us, the toughest part was having to put him back in a cone – without making this any longer than it already is, Ziggy had a very particular talent for escaping the cone. Unfortunately it basically reset the counter on the timer for the stitch and staple removal, so we ended up with those for a month rather than two weeks.

He did MUCH better once all of that was gone! It also seemed a lot better the second time, I think, because there wasn’t so much trauma-related swelling after the surgery. Instead of being deep in the muscle and everything it was kind of a cosmetic issue, if that makes sense? Just at the surface of the skin instead of having to get down into muscle and tendons and all. Like I said, I have a TON of progress pictures and a couple from when his necrotic tissue was going if you want to compare it to Kaju.

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3 October 2020 - 11:10 am
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Hey Ziggy’s parent! It would be really helpful to see some photos. Could you DM me? Or emial me

Kaju doesn’t have pus yet in his wound. And the incision is already Y shaped. It’s the junction of the Y that is turning yellow instead of healthy pink and opening up despite the stitches. The vet had warned me that this area was prone to ruptured as he didn’t have much skin and it had a lot of tension when stitched. He said that in a few days we can try a haemoglobin spray to oxygenate the area. Might ask him to do that already tomorrow and ask if it might be better to leave the area open instead of bandaged up. Thanks a lot guys for all your advice and calming words here. I’m really freaking put and upset that Kaju isn’t having a smooth healing journey. Hopefully the bacterial culture results will also be back by tomorrow or Monday.

Virginia




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3 October 2020 - 11:34 am
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Hmmmm….’smooth recovery”?   Sometimes yes, sometimes no.  That’s  why we call the first couple of weeks a roller coaster,  up and down ride!  

I know this is frustrating, but you will get past this!!  

Glad Ziggy has chimed in.  And yes, do ask a out leaving  it unbandaged.

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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3 October 2020 - 12:23 pm
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Just sent you an email… sorry about the insane length of it, I was never good at being concise!

The Rainbow Bridge



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3 October 2020 - 2:01 pm
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madhura8788 said
Hey Ziggy’s parent! It would be really helpful to see some photos. Could you DM me? Or emial me

I know it’s so hard not to panic, but rest assured as Ziggy showed, this kind of thing does happen and it’s very treatable. What did your local vet say about the necrotic tissue? Did their opinion differ from your surgeons?

Oh, just wanted to let you know I hid your email address. The evil bots who like to spam people are always scanning the internet for exposed email addresses in places like Discussion Forums. That’s why we have the Private Messaging for members if you’d like to take advantage of it.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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4 October 2020 - 12:44 pm
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madhura8788 said

so first the good news: both the lipoma and ossifying sarcoma were benign.

This is the most excellent news and what we all hope for. YAAAY, you will have a near-normal life once Kaju heals! No rechecking for C!

We understand there is still concern about incision healing, and it’s hard not to worry. 

Are you not feeling confident in the two vet’s opinions? Are they on the same page on what is next? 

I can only add big dittos to all the excellent advice & thoughts you have received already. Ditto on drinking and the fluids you are providing! Kaju won’t be looking to drink on his own. The interest in tuna water is typical; the fresh stink grabs the attention. Ditto on the supplements! I would not add anything back in but the probiotics until Kaju is 100%. Hopefully, appetite is coming back but it likely won’t be 100% while Kaju is still on antibiotics. 

We did not have any problems with the incision healing, and another ditto happy Ziggy’s peeps can share their experience & Ziggy is doing well! 

Hopefully, tomorrow will give more insight.

Healing vibes are still coming! Big Hugs & scratches to Kaju

Holly & Purrkins💝

Madhura
57
7 October 2020 - 7:20 am
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Hi All,

Sorry for late reply. I’ve been rather despondent and that’s affected the pace of updates.

Went to hospital today. And had a joint consultation with the surgeon and cat specialist. They took off the last remaining stitches so now a 1.5 inch gap. The doctors feel that kaju can go off antibiotics in 2 days. And we’ll continue local dressing with cleaning with saline water amd swabs then put antiobiotic ointment and then a haemoglobin spray (granulox) which will oxygenate the wound and promote faster healing. After another week of this a decision will be taken whether further stitches or not because stitching now might mean surface superficial infection will fester. 

He’s still not drinking on his own.i stoped saline and his urination reduced. I also have stopped force feeding because i feel he’s developing food aversion. Good news is he’s ocassionally eating but only this horrific cheap supermarket kibbles (whiskas).well i guess it’s like kids only eating junk! I have an appointment with a dentist next Wednesday. But i also noticed that he’s having swallowing difficulty and the vet agrees that it might mean some residual pain or discomfort from intubation. We’ll wait and see if post antobiotics his appetite picks up.

I’m really scared because I need to go back to India to renew my visa mid-end November and given the covid situation I might have to be away for 1 month or more as there are no regular flights plus compulsory quarantine. The vets feel that he will fully heal by end November-ish. They don’t want to rush it because the skin in the area that hasn’t healed there’s more tension so the skin isn’t joining together and the rest of his wound where there isnt tension has completely healed. I know I should be patient but I am scared about how he will be and how we’ll cope when I have to leave him with pet sitters for long periods. Please send him healing vibes. 

The Rainbow Bridge



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7 October 2020 - 10:09 am
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Hello Madhura. I see you posted as a guest, please let us know if we can help you with any log-in difficulties. 

You sound so worried, and I can’t blame you, I would probably be the same way. It’s really good though that the vets are confident Kaju will be healed before you go overseas! Mid-November is still a long way off so that’s loads of time for him to complete the healing process. In the meantime, you and the vets are doing everything possible to ensure that happens. Great job! smiley_clapAnd yep, whatever he will eat at this point, is a great sign! Feed him the McDonalds of cat food if that’s what he wants, whatever works.

We are sending lots and lots of pawsitivity to you two. Keep us posted!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Michigan


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7 October 2020 - 1:26 pm
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Madhura said

But i also noticed that he’s having swallowing difficulty and the vet agrees that it might mean some residual pain or discomfort from intubation.

  

I have seen the same with Purrkins after intubation from a dental cleaning, where they swallow harder more pronounced. If that is what you are seeing. Purrkins did go away and resolve in a week. If it continues, you already have an appt scheduled for an oral exam.

Hey, whatever food Kaju wants to eat is fine. We throw out all our beliefs in recovery and work our way back to a compromise when they are 100% and try some “cheap, horrific”:)  wet food; he may devour it. You won’t have to worry about drinking; he will get his moisture from the wet food.

You have all the vets on board and off to see another to ensure nothing more is going on in; you are doing everything you can do. We are hopeful Kaju will be healed 100%, and you will have fewer worries by the time you have to renew your visa.

Try taking one tick at a time.

We will keep sending healing pawsitive vibes your way.
Scratches to the kitties, please.

Holly & Purrkins💝

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7 October 2020 - 1:43 pm
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Thanks again for all the encouraging and kind words.

Has anyone used granulox haemoglobin spray here? Or any haemoglobin spray? Most doctors even in Thailand haven’t heard of it and all the literature I’m getting is on treatment of chronic wounds in diabetic humans. I was contemplating buying it but it would be nice to know it has broader application in animals. It’s also 200 usd for a 12 ml spray bottle which is, yes, very expensive. It would be nice to have a second opinion before I invest in it though.

Kaju has been grooming himself, btw. He really hates the cones (he has three kinds: a plastic cone, and two fabric one that are more like cat sized human neck pillows and a soft fabric cone which is more malleable than the plastic one) so I’m making him wear a little, erm, dress I got from the vet which prevents them from licking the gauze etc off the wound. But he’s grooming his ‘dress’ undeterred. And he just had some water too! I am trying to celebrate the little things instead of being all doom and gloom and thank you dear tripawds Community for helping me do just that.  sp_hearticon2sp_hearticon2sp_hearticon2

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