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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is your home 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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The Rainbow Bridge



Member Since:
25 April 2007
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12 December 2023 - 8:26 pm
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I'm glad your rehab vet also reiterated about progress not being a linear event. It's not, and you're right, she is massively ahead of where she was a month ago.

We are so glad Holly is here to guide you with the litterbox choices! Thanks, Holly!

Michigan


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13 December 2023 - 5:14 am
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We had one similar for Purrkins in recovery, and we had to cut the front where it flares out a little bit. He was faceplanting, and ours was a lot smaller. We did not have a lot of choices back then; thankfully, thats changed, and we do have options.

Im delighted it is working for Petunia. The cats love the giant boxes. If you try your brothers, don't be surprised if it is the go-to box. It just takes a little planning on placement, and I am unsure if you have room in the hallway; if so YES!!!! Have you gone back thru your posts? That should help you SEE how far Petunia and you both have come;)

Hugs

💝💝💝

Illinois
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13 December 2023 - 9:30 am
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Tuni gets in/out pretty well, except the times when she’s already walking low to the ground, whether because she’s feeling weak or loopy from the gaba. But I think it’s good practice for her to be aware of where her back leg is to properly get a good little hop in. I could cut the part that comes out a little, and maybe I will one day (I’m sure my other bro has some tool to do that). I haven’t been too concern about the height. I love that it worked out for Purrkins! I can kinda see the face planting as he had a forelimb amputated. You did a great job at cutting it cause I looks professional! 🙂

Yeah, looking back at the posts would be good … I can’t believe there are almost 300 already! 😂 But I am soooo happy I kept posting cause I can look back! 

Michigan


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13 December 2023 - 10:21 am
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Hehe, thanks. It's definitely not professional, but yeah, I worked on it for a while. The cutting is easy with the dremel. I took the most time smoothing it out afterward. We did this every year when we replaced the boxes so practice. I love we have more litter box options for seniors and tripawds now. Long overdue.

Yes, it is different for rear and front leggers. You do need power tools to cut that thick plastic. The lip is where Purrkins got hung up on, and like I said, ours was a lot smaller, so we were all happy to move back to the old litter box style and tweak it.

It is good to look back and SEE how far Petunia has come! Are we done with rehab or continuing? Just curious.

I know almost 300 and now 19 pages 😁 cause I was searching thru knowing we talked about you going out of town and dang did I have a time finding that. 😂
Hugs

💝💝💝

Illinois
Member Since:
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13 December 2023 - 5:46 pm
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Oh my goodness, that probably did take a while!! 😂 So she has her re-check appt (with laser) tomorrow. I’m hoping we can just go into maintenance mode from here on out. I’m almost at my credit limit on my card, so I would like to take a break and just see how she does. I’ve gone twice a week for 4 weeks, and it will be once this week. 

Virginia







Member Since:
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13 December 2023 - 6:52 pm
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You deserve a break, and Petunia  would probably enjoy it too.  Remember, you are in charge and if  you'd   likr to just  do maintenance now, especially  during the holidays, then so be it👍

I'm sure your credit cards would apprec a break too!😉

Petunia really has come a long way.  The important thing is ahe's comfortable,  can get where she wants to go and enjoys her cuddle time with you.  Which a beautiful  bond the two of you have💖

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!

Michigan


Member Since:
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14 December 2023 - 7:19 am
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You do what you can do $$$. Agree with Sally 100 % you are in charge and give the 💳 and Petunia a break.

Our tune-up or maintenance is every six weeks, which varies per Purrkins I'm sure it varies for all animals and issues! 

The main thing is you have a contact and can get in IF you NEED them, which is a huge blessing you are not scrambling and waiting weeks to get in somewhere if Petunia tweaks something. We have had to do that ONCE in our 7-plus years, and they got us in that day.

Purrkins loves his sessions. It is the only vet he sees where he is not poked and prodded but has a spa visit 😉

Hugs

💝💝💝

Illinois
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14 December 2023 - 5:06 pm
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Tuni had her recheck today. I will get a report soon. One thing that the rehab specialist brought up was her ability to stand in one spot (or lack of really). You guys, I didn’t even think about that! (And, note, I don’t feel bad that I haven’t). I obviously was solely focused on just her being able to walk and be independent that her ability to stand in one spot didn’t even come across my mind. It makes sense that the first 4 weeks was to focus on alleviating pain and discomfort, with some strength exercises, to get her to walk more. And I think it was successful cause I remember during the consult I mentioned that she was not walking AT ALL! Now she has no problem ditching me when she is supposed to cuddle with me at night. Haha!  Tuni was introduced to some new therapeutic exercises that should help her ability to stand. Lots of hip work and flexing and extension. She really worked hard today cause it was just meows all appt, but I can tell she needed it. The specialist would go back and forth between exercises and laser therapy. And although I said I hope to take a break … well, she’s going once a week for the next 4 weeks. 😂 But this will strictly be exercise/laser therapy appts.

 

I need to see if my bro can come over at least once a week to help me with these exercises at home cause it’ll be hard to do them on my own. I want to get her off gaba, but I’ve noticed the last few days is she won’t eat much food … at least not until I give her the gaba. I think maybe she does feel pain, not sure. She was given a B12 injection through two acupuncture needles, and I was told that can help with her appetite. She refused her dinner today, so I decided to give her a gaba cause she did so a lot of work today (it was an hr appt). We will see how tomorrow goes once she gets some much needed rest. 

I am excited for these exercises cause they do seem like they can really help her! 

Virginia







Member Since:
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14 December 2023 - 9:14 pm
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Petunia really did a lot today.  I would think that she's pretty tired, maybe even a little sore. 

Don't  focus too much on getting jer off the Gaba.  it's a necessary  item in your tool box right now to help her be pain free.  Many dogs, and cats too, stay on a low dose of Gaba or some comparable consistently  as part of their long term program.   

Put thos in the FWIW column and maybe Holly and Jerry can give you their erspective.   I've been owned by three Tripawds and "standing still" was not something  they did without at least a little hop or two ,  a little side step.....a sit.....some type of movement.   So I don't  know if the Rehab was saying Petunia should be able to stand still for a minute or two without any movement,  readjusting for  balance, etc.  Maaube or depends  on if a front legger or rear legger.  Dunno.  Interested  to see what others say and what the Rehab's expectation  is as far as "standing still".

 

Thanks for the update and taking time to share the appointment  with us.  We all learn from each other.

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!

Illinois
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11 September 2023
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14 December 2023 - 9:39 pm
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Well what I have noticed when I do give Tuni gaba is her walking is very disoriented. Very low to the ground. I started to give her it only in the evening, unless she made any kind of sound when she would readjust herself.

I am kinda curious what Jerry and Holly has to say about standing up passively. In the last two months it never really was a goal of mine for her, as what was important was her just having her freedom to roam around and be independent. 

Her freedom and independence is the absolute most important to me. So now you having me question is being able to stand still for a moment or two is what’s important? I get why it could be important to work towards that, and in my mind, it’s not to exactly to have the ability to stand passively, but have those muscles needed to get stronger in general. 

Michigan


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15 December 2023 - 4:40 am
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I have more questions than insights 😉

Is this the standing in one spot - a new goal to work on or merely observation? So do they mean stand still for some time or what? Purrkins stands still, but not for long without an adjustment. I can only guess this is about core strength, but yes, hopefully, Jerry has further insight.

Does Petunia have any trouble eating and drinking from her bowls? Does she stand or sit to eat/drink? We have raised food and water bowls. Purrkins will stand to eat drink and then sit .

Did you discuss the gaba with rehab or the vet? I see you are tortured on what to do with the gaba again. 🥺 I wish we could turn that switch off for you and Petunia. Please discuss with rehab; that is what they specialize in and your guide.Tell them your concerns and what your observations are while on the gaba.  She will be sore, no doubt, after all the movements. Plus, she has arthritis. Petunia is almost 17, and she will have aches and pains even with no amp. I know you did the Solensia, but If she needs the Gaba, she needs the Gaba. It is no big deal and a small dosage. 

Did you give the gaba last night, and did she eat for you?

I asked this a while back, but you never confirmed a yes or no. Has Petunia's thyroid been checked since she started the methimazole? I ask because a cat can go hypothyroid on meds and make them lethargic and appetite off. We must look at the entire picture. We have more variables than just the amputation and recovery. If we know the thyroid is in a good place with lab results, we can say that appetite being off is more pain-related. 

What IF she needs something for the rest of her life? It is a possibility. Im not being a party pooper. She MAY or MAY not need something. Many tripawds do, and many seniors do.

I know I already pmed you this, but I'll put it here, too, just in case it helps another. Our kitty vet learned at a feline conference that cats

with hyperthyroidism have low b12 levels. She has us supplementing the b-12 with this. NUTRAMAX Cobalequin Chewable Tablets B12 Supplement for Cats & Small Dogs, 45 count - Chewy.com, so I am delighted they gave B-12 today.

I'm super happy to hear you have work to do at home and doing the laser. Did Tuni like the laser and how did she do last night? 

Hugs

💝💝💝

The Rainbow Bridge



Member Since:
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15 December 2023 - 11:26 am
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Hey just had a chance to hop on over here. Some thoughts for ya

One thing that the rehab specialist brought up was her ability to stand in one spot (or lack of really). 

Well, as humans we stand before we walk, right? And we learn to do it on all our limbs. So after losing one of them, we start that balance work all over again. It takes practice. Try it! See how long you can stand on one leg. It's the equivalent of Tuni losing one of hers. I have been doing yoga for several years, and I still put that other leg down much faster than I'd like. We need good balance before we can walk, and definitely before we can run. So standing in one spot for Tuni is something to work on, is that what the therapist was saying? 

As for the Gabapentin, I 1000% agree with what Holly says:

Petunia is almost 17, and she will have aches and pains even with no amp. I know you did the Solensia, but If she needs the Gaba, she needs the Gaba. It is no big deal and a small dosage. 

Many Tripawds are on it indefinitely, just like they are on NSAIDs, and just like we humans have our own long-term medications. Our Nellie is on 3x daily Gabapentin and probably will be the rest of her life (she's only 7). It helps her and I wouldn't have it any other way.

So don't get hung up on the fact that it's a pain reliever. It's not a narcotic, and it is very gentle on the body. If it's helping her, let it be part of her daily routine and don't put a timeline on removing it until your vet team recommends one. Don't feel guilty or like she's failing if she shows pain signals when it's been cut back. Pain relief is never a one and done thing, multiple methods are needed, especially for major pain like amputation side effects. You are seeing it work, let it continue so Tuni can keep feeling great and make more physical progress with balance and movement. She is doing it already! 

Illinois
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11 September 2023
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15 December 2023 - 5:52 pm
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Holly,

I did just schedule for P&P to get their thyroid re-checked tomorrow. Although I don’t think the thyroid has anything to do with her eating, the fact that they only tested her 6 days after she started and said I can wait 6 months, it just didn’t feel right. And Possum was long over due for her 6 month appt. 

I actually feed Tuni her food on the pillow she always lays on the couch. Because Possum and Petunia have different thyroid med qty, and I give Petunia Miralax, I want to make sure she eats that up. And, as I mentioned before, she will lay on that pillow all day if she wants to, so I wouldn’t want Possum to eat her food if I left it by hers. She won’t eat it all in one sitting (unless it’s Fancy Feast Gravy lovers 😂), so time-to-time, I will bring the bowl to her. But when I go to sleep, I will put her bowl by Possums if she does wanna get up and eat. But this past week, she hasn’t been eating all her food. I have a feeling that maybe it’s because I’ve gone down to gaba once a day.

 

Jerry, the main reason I wanted to ween her off of it is because her walking while on gaba is pretty bad. Walks are very low to the ground and it almost looks like she’s dragging her butt. When she isn’t on it, she does walk much better and more inclined to walk father. Just this morning, she was roaming the house quite a bit, more than normal. At the time, it would be 12 hrs since her last gaba. It’s just so hard to tell. The rehab specialist did say that I should try to stop and see how she responds. I actually just gave her one just now cause she did seem a bit uncomfortable. And she didn’t eat her food when I first made it an hour ago. Can I ask why Nellie needs to be on it 3x a day? I don’t worry about it being bad to be on it for life, but it’s just soooooo expensive. I don’t know if the price is the same across the country, but I’m paying $100 for a months supply if I have it to her 2x a day. That on top of the Solensia monthly … it’s just a lot. Of course I would move forward getting it if she really needed it, but I’m just trying to figure out if it is necessary. Or give it to her as an as-needed basis. It just affects her ability to walk “easily.” Also, I wasn’t aware that a lot of tripawd cats are on it for life. That definitely changes my perspective on it. 

Michigan


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15 December 2023 - 6:22 pm
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I have no idea why they would check t4 six days on meds. There is no way to get accurate readings in 6 days. It's standard to check one month after starting meds, and until you get the thyroid under control or any change of meds. Once it is a good number for senior cats, recheck in 4 months.

I'm glad you're getting a recheck on both; this will be an accurate reading.

We never paid 100 for gabapentin, even before insurance. Have you checked good RX to help find the best price? Our cardiologist sent us there to find the best prices on medication, and it was a considerable saving.

https://www.goo.....gabapentin.

We always got 100 mg gabapentin, and I would remember a $100 bill! We have had many, but Gaba was not one. Hopefully this helps out considerably on cost! 
Hugs

Michigan


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15 December 2023 - 6:38 pm
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I just checked I have a receipt in Purrkins file 29.44 for 100 mg CVS that was in 2020. And when you punch in good rx you will see better prices. 

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