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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Phantom Pain vs. Injury/Both
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Forum Posts: 66
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3 August 2019
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20 October 2019 - 4:47 pm
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The past couple days for me and Fuzz have been rough.. He has had a marvelous and superb recovery up until Thursday night when I am blaming myself for this possible set back/issue.  I stepped on his “good paw” because he is constantly under foot when I was bringing groceries in and he went “nuts”  one of those only a split second but it seemed like time slowed down and it was 5 minutes that I could not register lifting my foot off his.. he then ran away hissing and growling down to the basement.. the Friday presented another long day for me away from house due to work and when I was around him before leaving if/when I even approached him he hissed growled spit and lashed out after hunkering down then ran away…that night he did this all the time and even then hid for hours from me despite looking for a long period of time on all levels.. he was out Saturday night at 3 am sleeping on his mat in greatroom but when I went down he hissed and ran off.. then came back and jumped up and slept on me on couch purring for an hour.. then went upstairs to eat.  Fast forward to Saturday morning/afternoon.. same hissing/startle/lashing out any time me or dog would walk in close proximity to him.. came and jumped in lap purring during morning breakfast coffee.. then started yowling and growling while purring.. at first didnt think much but as day went on and I was watching tv he was laying in my lap and began somewhat a stretch and yowling hissing and growling.. I watched and did not see anythign and then rubbed him down where he did not hiss/growl or yowl.. nothing feels broken or touchy when I rub him over..  same hissing and growling and spitting if/when walk close and lashes out with good paw which if not paying attention causes you to freak thinking you stepped on him again.  Today he was jumping up on tables, ate food good, jumped up on cat tree, went up an down stairs often.. I started him back on .5 gabapentin 2x day yesterday..continuing today.. early this afternoon he was in my lap purring and then sat up and I noticed what actually then looked like a muscle spasm that when I noticed twitching in shoulder and good leg he began the yowling growling.. but let me pet/rub him and purring at same time.. this happened a coulple times today.. along with any movement as making him posture,lash out and his/growl and then run away…  He is still eating good and moving around with no problems that I can tell.. soooo here is my questions..  what are the odds that I caused this by stepping on him and him pulling thrashing in the split second that occurred vs. is it just a fluke that within hours of the stepping on him he began the phantom pain /spasms if that is what is going on with the laying content and then hissing/growling and yowling and moving around like stretching or a spasm?  I am beating myself up because back track to Thursday morning there was literally none of this until the infamous under foot step on Thursday night..then we went to hell so to speak.  I am going to call the clinic and run all this by them in morning and see what they say..  as I type Fuzz is currently in his hiding spot because after going and drinking out of dogs water bowl my father walked near him an dhe freaked out and ran down the basement…as noted that when he is acting “normal” when I rub and run hands all over him, nowhere seems tender or hurts… my heart hurts because I don’t know what truly happened to cause this and I feel so bad that I might have caused it by stepping on him…

The Rainbow Bridge

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20 October 2019 - 6:37 pm
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Aww don’t beat yourself up, things happen and odds are that whatever is causing his behavior was there before your accident.

So now that he’s back on the Gabapentin how is he?

I would let your vet know, but it sounds like he could have pulled a muscle and the thrashing during your accident made it worse. My guess is that like most times when we pull a muscle, it will work itself out. See if you can help move things along with gentle massage in his shoulder area, which is where we tend to see a lot of muscle spasms happen in Tripawds.

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Forum Posts: 66
Member Since:
3 August 2019
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20 October 2019 - 6:59 pm
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jerry said
So now that he’s back on the Gabapentin how is he?


He has actually never been off the gabapentin since the intial oncology consultation in August… we started at that time with .5-1 ml daily and then at surgery time it went to .5 3 x per day for a week along with his fentynal patch a week after surgery and 2 anti inflammatory pils over 2 days post surgery.. I then went .5 2x per day of the gaba  for a week and have now for about a week had him at .5 daily.. Friday I bumped him back to .5 2x per day thinking I hurt him… and actually I gave him a bit more for a total of 1.25 total yesterday… I do plan on calling my vet to run everything by them first thing in morning.. I notice he will even cry out when he is just laying sleeping on dining room chair like he did just a bit ago.. I do know that I had major back surgery in 2003 and for many many months I had horrendous muscle cramps and spasms in my legs.. I was on gabapentin at the time myself and I feel so bad if that is what he is experiencing.. I have a very high pain tolerance and those were the most excruciating pain I have ever felt (the pressure and pain felt like bones were going to snap) so I can only imagine the nerve damage pain from cutting an entire leg and shoulder off… I am so sad for him now…


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20 October 2019 - 7:12 pm
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In the fir whatecer it’s worth category… is possible a rogue stitch  (or staple) has been left in??  We have seen that happen on ocass6 and it can certainly  cause a severe  stick or pinch that causes  a sudden hurt.

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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20 October 2019 - 7:59 pm
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I’m sure the vet will help you to determine the problem. I agree with the others to go easy on yourself. Fuzz could have been having these reactions when you were out. It’s obvious you are doing everything you can.

Here are a couple of possibilities (some repeats from Jerry and Sally):

  • phantom limb pain. Nerves were cut. I witnessed a couple of strange growls and hisses from Mona. My other cat Eli even thought it was weird because he ran to me (for protection). I also saw waves roll down her body but that didn’t seem to bother her and maybe she was readjusting her alignment. Mona was not on gabapentin and it resolved in a couple of weeks.
  • a pinching stitch left behind
  • some pets, I seem to recall dogs, had to get some additional surgery on the nerves due to reoccurring pain
  • Jerry and Sally may remember Hattie whose cat was 14 years old and the incision would not heal. I think it was different than what you are describing but Hattie kept taking the cat back to the vet. After getting no solutions she went to a holistic vet and it turned out the cat had an infection. She recovered nicely.

I hope you find your answer tomorrow.

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

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21 October 2019 - 2:19 pm
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Update:  He apparently had a pretty good day today… slept with his buddy the lab last night too.. still a bit skittish.. Spoke with vet office today and ran down entire scenario… they said not likely injury or connected to me stepping on Fuzz’s good paw, but instead the nerves and muscle memory in the missing limb/shoulder that healing and could be spasming and healing.  Surgeon’s assistant went on to say that it will hopefully resolve itself soon ( no definitive time frames for actual healing could be give, however) and suggested the bump in gabapentin to the .5 3x day for awhile and see how he does. That was dose he was on immediately following surgery.  No long term negative issues with using the gabapentin either as I inquired about that.  The only thing that was a bit concerning was when I mentioned phantom pain I was told that there is no supporting evidence that they experience this.. I disagree… and suggested same.. animals feel pain, period… a human often experiences this and there is nothting that would tell me that a cat or dog would not just because they are not “human”.  Anyway, Fuzz gobbled some food, jumped from table to ground after taking his 2nd dose of meds today and is now running around the house.. he helped me eat some of the grilled chicken breast I just made for dinner too..Paws and fingers crossed the gabapentin takes the edge off his spasms and discomfort at times and heres really hoping his mindset forgets the infamous paw squish the other night and he stops flinching and lashing out when you walk near him..

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