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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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Search results for 'phantom pain' (2610)

…. Sorry you had to join our club, what was the reason for the amputation?

Hopefully the Gabapentin will kick in soon. It does sound like he has phantom pain
going on, and if that's the case, then the Gaba should help. What you are describing is pretty common, and most dogs will start feeling better…


For more peace of mind, you may want to consider having him evaluated by a canine rehabilitation therapist. These pros are great at pinpointing pain signals
and resolving them. The best part is the Tripawds Foundation
may even pay for Sheldon't first rehab visit
so please check it out.


11 July 2020 7:42 pm
Posts: 15
Views: 175

…. Almost every time he walks, he does a little dance and starts freaking out looking behind him to the amputation spot. We’re not sure if he has phantom limb pains, his hind leg is cramping, or he has anxiety over walking. 

He also won’t eat his dog food for us. The vet recommended baby food or

11 July 2020 5:10 pm
Posts: 15
Views: 175

…the same issues. Every vet I spoke to was unable to give a clear answer. After months of Lego having these episodes, they just stopped.  I tried pain medication, neurological meds, psychiatry meds, massage, etc. and nothing helped. It's so heart breaking and they are so intense. I spoke to a…

…friend of mine who had his own leg amputated to gain some insight.  He said that yes phantom limb pain is real and can be intermittent but it seems to decrease as time goes on. He said in the first few months, they're were "weird" sensations.  They

2 July 2020 4:06 pm
Posts: 13
Views: 211

…you discuss these pain episodes with the vet yesterday? Perhaps the gabapentin dosage needs to be adjusted.

It takes a lot of time to research your specific concern on…

…not everyone continues on this site. They might not say how it was resolved.

I think its really important to find a vet who knows how to manage pain. It might be worth discussing with the oncologist tomorrow. Acupuncture might help.

2 July 2020 2:58 pm
Posts: 13
Views: 211

…. I am not seeing much lit on this.... 


@mnash I'm sorry to hear about this, and hope she starts feeling better soon. This sounds like phantom pain
. Gabapentin should help but if not, I would speak with your vet to look at other pain management
options. Please check the links and start

…  and that will be a good thing.  When he comes home,  there should be gabapentin,  a pain med possibly for after the hospital med wears off,  and maybe antibiotic depending on what they give him at the hospital. I say possibly and maybe…

…because there are long acting injectable antibiotics,  and long acting pain meds which will wear off in a number of days depending on the choice of meds. You may not need more antibiotics but you'll most likely need more pain meds. 

You can probably add that to the list of 200 questions.  Please make sure he has enough meds to last about 2 weeks.  Gabapentin works…

…well and it helps to control phantom limb pain.  You may or may not need that much for pain meds,  and you may need more.  This is where it becomes very individualized but it sounds like your vet has good protocol for pain management

Throw rugs or yoga mats are great in areas for slick flooring so he has traction

Stock pile some favorite foods because the pain meds can mess with the appetite.  Table food... scrambled eggs,  ground beef,  rotisserie chicken might be good to have on hand. Low sodium

27 June 2020 7:57 pm
Posts: 152
Views: 1416

…6 year old female domestic short hair cat Harley is currently experiencing what appears to be  post surgery pain. Harley had a rear right leg amputation from a cancerous tumor and is flipping out (growing, howling, flipping, backing up, rolling over) with…

…episodes of  pain that appear out of nowhere for no reason, out of a dead sleep or not and while she’s on her medication (Gabepentin, Onsior & Buprenex). We…

…continue. Will these episodes continue or go away? Is this common with this type of surgery for cats? How long will they continue? Is this nerve pain, muscle spasm, phantom leg pain
or medication side affects? Should we not let her out of he cage during the day fearing she is over doing it?

26 June 2020 4:12 pm
Posts: 13
Views: 211

…. We are sorry you had to join our club but glad you found us now. YAY for good healing! That's terrific. 

What you are describing could be phantom pain
(see link) or it could be a residual suture is bugging him. Most times, it's phantom pain
and it usually resolves itself but Gabapentin can…

…. Gabapentin keeps the nerves calm and prevents this communication. Acupuncture can also help. You can tell I'm not a vet right?! Here's a pain expert who can explain it better than me:

If you suspect your dog is experiencing it, get on the phone with your vet asap and let them know,…

…if Lincoln hasn't has rehabilitation therapy, you should consider it. Getting a Tripawd into rehab is sooo helpful and can also pinpoint sudden pain onsets like this. The best part is the Tripawds Foundation
may pay for your first rehab visit
so please check it out OK?

Keep us posted!

17 June 2020 2:52 pm
Posts: 2
Views: 74

…with his surgery, Izzy would most likely not be with us now. But he is. 

There are days when he seems 'down'. Makes me wonder about the level of phantom pain
our furry amputees feel. Usually though, a few yummy treats or time spent watching his favorite mouse/bird/squirrel videos on Mom's computer

17 June 2020 11:09 am
Posts: 33
Views: 448

…poor Bonnie. I say ditto to the great advice Karen gave you. This does sound like phantom pain
(click on the link for all of our articles about it). Please get the Gabapentin now, don't wait for things to get worse and don't take no for an…

…answer from your vet, or it will take twice as long to get the pain under control. You may also want to consider a Farabloc pain blanket, which many people and pets find helpful.

If your vet doesn't want to prescribe Gabapentin (and especially if Bonnie never received it in…

…the first place), I recommend taking the advice of vet pain management
expert Dr. Downing:

If you...have a veterinarian who is not trying to stay ahead of the pain’s time to fire that…

…veterinarian and get yourself a different one because those days are gone. -- (See all our interviews about pain management
with Dr. Robin Downing)

And also please consider making an appointment with a canine rehab therapist. The Tripawds Foundation

…even pay for your first rehab visit
! All Tripawds can benefit and especially those who have a sudden onset of post-op pain like this. If you'd like help finding a practitioner please let us know.

Let us know how she is doing OK? 

10 June 2020 11:29 am
Posts: 4
Views: 60

…but remained heavy panting for about 10 mins and the stump continued to quiver. The anal glands looked normal so that's when I suspected the phantom pain
.  She hopped to the door so we took her out for her nightly pit stop and she slept the night.

She continues to have brief episodes which she

10 June 2020 6:54 am
Posts: 4
Views: 60

…m sorry Bonnie is having such a hard time.

I went back and read your other you are about 4 weeks from surgery now? 

Most of the phantom pain
I've seen here comes closer to surgery but it's not unheard of to come a few weeks later. 

A couple questions:

When you say 'major…

…episode' and you describe a bit more? Often we see phantom pain
be a short yelp with a rather quick recovery. What is her activity level like? When she has the episodes can you feel any muscle spasms around the…

…amp site? Is she on any meds at all now?

You should ask the vet for Gabapentin- it has been shown to be very effective for phantom pain

You might also consider having her evaluated by a certified rehab vet- they may be able to help identify where the pain is coming from if it's…

…not phantom pain

One other thing to consider- you should check the incision area for a suture that got left behind and you might discuss with the vet they type…

…. Every now and then we see a pup with an external suture not removed or an internal suture that didn't dissolve which causes episodes similar to phantom pain

I hope Bonnie gets relief soon!

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

10 June 2020 12:03 am
Posts: 4
Views: 60

…due to mast cell tumor was going too well and we kept waiting for the shoe to fall. happened!!  She began on Sunday evening with phantom pain
.  She had only one episode around 9:39pm and it was terrifying listening to the yelping.  We were able to calm her down and all was well. …

… Went to the vet on Monday for check on anal glands and reported to the doctor, who was reluctant to prescribe any pain meds for after only one episode.  Last night was hell!!!  She had 3 major episodes at 11:30pm, 2am and 5am.  We went out for a walk around noon…

…and she had two episodes while out.  Has had a few more this evening. 

Aside from more pain meds, does anyone have any hints on how to help with the phantom pain
?  Bonnie appears to be so depressed.  It's like having a newborn all over

9 June 2020 7:22 pm
Posts: 4
Views: 60

….  Recently he has experienced random episodes again, accompanied by a short yelp at times.  This happens once every few days.  He is not in any pain and it is not a regular occurrence, so if it is phantom pain
, it is not something that really concerns me at this point.  It sounds like Odin is

8 June 2020 6:06 pm
Posts: 4
Views: 118

…in the house to make things a bit easier for him.  Five minutes after the installers leave he was flying up and down them.

- Have battled some phantom nerve pain issues and are now back on a mild dose of Gabapentin that seems to be keeping them at bay while not doping him up.

- Weekly bloodwork

…Julie, welcome. Your future posts won’t require moderation so post away.

What you are describing sounds like phantom pain
, not uncommon But it is also mostly preventable when the right post op pain management
is given. And yes Gabapentin works great for this type of pain. Smart of you to call the vet before giving it to him though. Call them again if you don’t hear back. 

Click on the phantom pain
link for info

3 June 2020 10:46 pm
Posts: 2
Views: 101

…s awesome!!!

I really like that your vet is being cautious about pulling the Gabapentin too soon. Too many vets take the opposite approach, cut pain meds too early and members end up with dogs whose pain gets out of control again. Also, Gabapentin should not be withdrawn suddenly, but gradually…

…over time since otherwise it can cause rebound pain that's worse than the original. What is the dosage she is on? Did you let your vet know about the sleepiness? 

Unlike Tramadol, which has been…

…shown to have minimal effect on acute pain, Gabapentin is a far more helpful nerve calming drug, which means that it's helping Tabitha's severed nerves to be in a calmer, happier state. This…

…lowers the risk of phantom pain
happening (which can occur even months after amputation, especially if a Tripawd didn't get good pain control to begin with). Gaba is also not hard on the body the way that other drugs can be, and other than sleepiness most dogs do really well on it…

…surgery, and sleep is good medicine.

So I personally agree with your vet's approach, based on what I've seen here and learned from talking to pain experts like Dr. Robin Downing, who shares this info about Gabapentin:

3 June 2020 12:38 pm
Posts: 2
Views: 56

…does I can see why but I would let them know your concerns. NSAID drugs reduce inflammation and are very helpful for new amputees. If she is having phantom pain
, the Gabapentin and NSAID work nicely together.

Speaking of Gabapentin, that can also make many animals sleepy. Let your vet know about

28 May 2020 10:50 am
Posts: 14
Views: 212

… but we discontinued it this past weekend out of concern for kidney damage.  She's getting Gabapentin twice a day.  She doesn't seem necessarily painful, although we wonder about nerve or phantom limb pain when she gets spooked for no apparent reason.  Her attitude doesn't really seem depressed

28 May 2020 10:33 am
Posts: 14
Views: 212

I'm glad you found us, lots of information, experience and support here to share.

First off- in my non-vet opinion, metacam alone is not enough pain meds.  It is a anti-inflammatory which helps a little but this is a big surgery.  Most here come home with gabapentin, tramadol or another opioid,…

… and something like metacam.  Gabapentin helps with phantom pain
- which may be what she experienced last night when she shot up and was screaming.  Let your vet know what you are seeing and advocate for Xena if…

…you think she is in pain.

Here is a Blog Post on Learning Pain Signs in Pets

Here is a Blog Post on Managing Pain after Amputation

As far as what to expect with amputation and recovery:

Required Reading List

Good job on getting the rugs out for Xena! …

…she was the same obstinate, happy and mischievous girl.

The next couple weeks may have ups and downs, don't get discouraged! Rest and good pain management
are key for a good recovery. Celebrate every little victory and soon they will add up to her sparkle coming back.

Karen and the

24 May 2020 1:28 pm
Posts: 8
Views: 97

…odd, maybe there was some miscommunication. Give them a call to find out before you do anything. Gabapentin is one of the go-to drugs to prevent phantom pain
and is extremely helpful when used alongside a non-steroidal and opioid medication. Our pain management
articles have lots of helpful tips…

…about recognizing pain signals
and treatment.

I hope this helps. Keep us posted on how she is doing and stay tuned for feedback from others. Hang in there, you are

24 May 2020 1:03 pm
Posts: 8
Views: 97

…of thoughts.  How much did she do yesterday with her visitors?  How much walking?  No jumping or running, right?

She definitely  is giving pain signals
.  All the hospital meds are out of her sys now so  this is when tweaking the meds gets tricky.  A little trial and error.  We often see …

…"crashes" around this time in recovery.

Generally, laying on the amp side means the incision  itself isn't too painful.   Clearly though, she is having pain from the surgery overall.  The stitches/staples could be pulling or poking too.

How much does she weigh…

…and what is the dose amount, the frequency?

Also, check out phantom limb pain.  I think you'll find her behavior similar.   It comes on quickly and the dog will yelp and try to move away from the pain.  It usually lasts at…

…most a couple of minutes.  But it does shake them up for a bit.  It's a horrible shooting nerve pain.

GABAPENTIN  works wonders with phantom  pain.

GABAPENTIN , in conjunction  WITH Tramadol work well together.  You can stagger the doses a bit so there is a consistent  pain control going on…


Recent studies have shown Tramadol by itself  is not as effective  by itself for pain management

AND, in some dogs, not all, Tramadol  can make them anxious and restless.

So I would definitely  tell your Vet you want to try…


Not Vets and not giving  Vet advice.  Consult  with your Vet about adding Gabapentin. 

We know it is soooo hard seeing our pups in pain.  We feel so helpless.  But once you get the pain meds tweaked, it will make all the difference.   And even if the meds make her a little…

…lethargic right now, that's okay.  It's better than being  in pain.


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

17 May 2020 10:43 am
Posts: 43
Views: 514

…tremendous anxiety around new situations and people. I am her one and only...and I feel so overwhelemed with that love...

I have read about phantom limb and the trauma in adjustment itself. 

she is full cognitive capacity and emotions. Her paw has grown and hurts her to put down. I know she…

…will struglle with amputation mentally in tremendous ways. She has an artist soul. She used to watch my mother paint and analyze painting for hours. She goes down stairs just so I xan get her so she can watch the shadows kn the wall as we walk up. She looks for me the minute she…

…. She was withdrawn and depressed amd taking everything into.account, I thought maybe amputation would lead to her last time to be that of only pain amd adjustment..... now I dont know

but is this choice bad also? what is the right thing

15 May 2020 7:24 pm
Topic: need help
Posts: 6
Views: 92

…s human!  Griffin has been off all meds since 7 days post-op and we are 5+ weeks post-op at this time.  Thankfully, he doesn't seem to be in any pain when these episodes occur - just startled and then able to settle quickly.  I reached out to his surgeon who said it doesn't sound like phantom

…limb pain, but it is hard to tell since our pups can't speak to us.  I am trying to track the episodes now to see if I can pinpoint a particular time of day

10 May 2020 12:30 pm
Posts: 378
Views: 3947

…amp site. 

You might try a little massage around his neck and shoulders when it happens.

I read somewhere (although I can't find it now) that phantom limb pain can happen for years although that might be in people- so I've always wondered if Elly still gets jabs of pain now and then.  It could

9 May 2020 2:32 pm
Posts: 378
Views: 3947

…will jump up suddenly to a standing position from a sleeping/resting state as though startled.  He doesn't make any noise and does not appear in pain.  He settles back down quickly, sometimes seeking reassurance and sometimes not.  This is a recent development and was not a behavior he has…

…exhibited previously.  I thought perhaps this could be phantom limb pain, but again, he doesn't appear to be in any pain, doesn't make noise, and isn't showing any other symptoms, such as licking or muscle spasms.  Any thoughts on what is going on?  Thanks!

9 May 2020 10:44 am
Posts: 378
Views: 3947

…job of identifying  the phantom pain
, and, clearly, that's  what was going on.  

Thrilled to hear well she is doing and, yes, it still gets netter!!!😁👍👏

Onward and upward sweet

…& Jerry, I can't thank you guys enough. Genie had some issues with phantom limb pain. She would suddenly wake up from rest and run with her tail inwards like she is terrified of something. She would lick her suture area on and off

…is a long time post-op for routine phantom pain
. More likely she might have a neuroma or bunch of nerves that flare up from time to time.  I would ask your vet about gabapentin.  If the leg was

25 April 2020 7:39 am
Forum: Ask A Vet!
Posts: 4
Views: 88

…and how long do they last each time?

I'll let our Fairy Vet Mother share her expertise but for now I'm curious, do you know if she had any kind pain management
after her amputation surgery? Specifically, Gabapentin, a nerve calming drug that minimizes the risk of phantom pain
after amputation.…


Phantom pain does happen to some Tripawds but this far out of surgery I'm wondering if it could be something else. Dr. Pam will have some insight. In the

24 April 2020 11:09 am
Forum: Ask A Vet!
Posts: 4
Views: 88
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