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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' (2631)

…. This is perfect!! Exactly how I have done it

No stump banging Ziggy! But it sounds like he is getting around just wonderfully   I am glad the phantom limb pain, or whatever pain it was is gone. Hard to tell if it was ouchy from the infection or the phantom limb but it is gone! Is he still on

20 September 2020 7:26 am
Posts: 103
Views: 920

…alligator jaws" trying to clamp his mouth shut between syringes. 

One other interesting thing I've noticed - the episodes of what we thought were phantom limb pain have stopped entirely, or at least they have so far. By this point in his last recovery he'd already had several, that was one of the

20 September 2020 6:32 am
Posts: 103
Views: 920

…am more than willing to drive even longer, if I need to. Thanks so much for that piece of advice!

I worked in a hospital for years and know that phantom pain
is a real thing, so why wouldn't it be real for our pets also?? That one comment, more than anything, raised my hackles! LOL

18 September 2020 7:07 pm
Posts: 11
Views: 774

…mountains out of molehills here? Being too unrealistic?

No you are not. If a veterinarian won't have a conversation about the exact types of pain medications your dog will come home with, and believes that phantom pain
is not real, it's time to find another one. Trust your gut. Is this the…

…find one, I'm happy to help see what we can locate, message me your location details.

Check out our Dr. Downing videos about modern vet care and pain management, especially this one, about working with vets who are more current in their practices (and better at communicating with clients!).

18 September 2020 11:36 am
Posts: 11
Views: 774

…questions and now I am more disturbed!  Am I making mountains out of molehills here? Being too unrealistic?

They said Dogdog would be prescribed pain medications (wouldn't name them) and a short course of antibiotics.  Said he did not need any medications before surgery.  Said they do not use…

…drains because dogs cannot go home with drains.  Said they have had no dogs experience phantom pain
and would not be prescribing medication for it, unless it can be medically proved that Dogdog is experiencing so-called 'phantom pain



So, am I getting upset for no reason?  A little disturbed they don't seem to want to discuss medications, long term care and rejection of phantom pain
.  However, every vet I have been talking to says this is really the only place they recommend for this procedure. Getting so stressed over

18 September 2020 7:46 am
Posts: 11
Views: 774

…s Pet Pain Awareness Month, so let's take a look at the best (and worst) pet amputation pain drugs for dogs and cats.

All new amputee pets will probably feel some discomfort during recovery. Even with the best pet amputation pain drugs,…

… some soreness and inflammation can happen.  But how much discomfort a patient experiences depends on the pain control they received from your veterinarian. 

Our goal is to help your new Tripawd be as comfortable as possible during recovery. The…

…following article can help.

The Best (and Worst) Pet Amputation Pain Drugs for Dogs and Cats
"Pain Management Update PLUS: Natural Pain Relief for Dogs" is one of the most current and comprehensive looks at the best and worst pet amputation pain drugs for dogs. Published in The Dog…

…Blog and written by Dr. Demian Dressler, co-author of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide. The article examines the newest research on new and old pain drugs.

There is new information available that shows a whole bunch of drugs vets often use for pain do not work the way we thought they did.

Some don’t work well at all, and others do, but not the way we think they do. -- Dr. Demian Dressler

For cats, the article Pain Management in Cats by Wendy Baltzer, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVS, is a good read that explains what pain is, how cats perceive it and what drugs work…

…best in cats. 

Pet Pain Drugs for Dogs and Cats That Do NOT Work Well
Recent pet pain studies show that the following medications are less effective for pain than vets previously believed:

Tramadol, at least when used alone, is not…

…effective for surgical pain..
Tylenol® with codeine is also not effective.
Hydrocodone with acetaminophen doesn't work well either.
Buprenorphine, when used in a standard…

…form is ineffective for treating severe pain.
Fentanyl is falling out of favor because it works well for some patients and not others. Studies show its absorption rate in animals is unreliable…

…and sporadic.

Pet Pain Drugs for Cats and Dogs That DO Work Well
One or two drugs are not enough to control amputation pain in pets. A good pain management
protocol involves at least three medications. When multiple types of pain are addressed, it calms severed nerve pathways and decreases…

…the perception of pain for the patient. 

To ensure your pet will be as comfortable as possible during amputation recovery, talk to your vet about the following…

…amputation pain medications.

Simbadol™ is a highly concentrated injectable version of buprenorphine, used in cats. One injection lasts 24 hours and must not be…

…dispensed to a pet owner.
Nocita™,  is another injectable post-op pain medication used in dogs (and off-label for cats), that lasts approximately three days.
Trazodone and Zonisamide work well to ease anxiety and…

…allow your pet to relax.  
Carprophen (Rimadyl), Meloxicam (Metacam), Deracoxib are Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Pain Drugs (NSAIDs) that decrease inflammation in the body, allowing it to heal. For dogs who are sensitive to NSAIDs, Galliprant® (grapiprant) is a…

…in veterinary medicine, and a 2014 Tapentadol study showed it can be as effective than morphine, and much more helpful than Tramadol at controlling pain in dogs.
Gabapentin reduces nerve pain and helps prevent phantom pain in cats and dogs.
Amitriptyline is another drug for both species that…

…can help reduce phantom limb pain, as well as anxiety.
Amantadine is also shown to be an effective pain reducer.


Cats like Leo deserve quality pain control

Dog and Cat Amputation Pain Relief is a Team Effort
Pets experience pain the same…

…way that people do. Some drugs work better than others, some patients need more, some need less. But all animals deserve the most modern pain management
available to vets where you live.

Amputation pain management
is a delicate balance that takes a team approach between the pet parent…

…. For the easiest recovery possible, talk to your vet before surgery to find out what your pet will come home with after amputation and how pain will be addressed.

Recommended Reading
All Tripawds News articles about pet pain management. 

16 September 2020 3:30 am
Posts: 5
Views: 61

…with me. 

Last night was difficult she began to wake up go to move and whine and freeze. She has done this a few times today. (Vet said not Phantom limb pain, just simply she’s woken up from a deep sleep and forgot her limb isn’t there). 

So today; she’s hardly moved and went outside for a…

…not wanting to move at all, and refusing to stand. Is this normal? 

Bells will not Go to her water bowl, and will pant incessantly. Might be pain, might be thirsty. I move the water Howell to her and she drinks. 

We didn’t have much time to prepare for this big change. She fractured her

11 September 2020 6:04 pm
Posts: 33
Views: 299

…bone so he would be at high risk of pressure sores.

Incidentally I think that may also be what's causing a lot of those fits that we assumed were phantom limb pain. We kind of suspect that there are times when he's playing and lands wrong, or his brother kicks or bites him or he hops down from a low…

…that so he's basically landing on the end of his femur and that must hurt him, poor baby. So I think maybe he's just having a little fit until the pain passes, and that right there is enough to make me agree to the surgery option instead. He's been through enough already, you know?

11 September 2020 2:44 pm
Posts: 103
Views: 920

…. Yeah that doesn't sound like phantom pain
to me, more like some kind of background behavioral issue that maybe became exacerbated after the emotional trauma he experienced during the…

…thought of something!!! A couple of years ago a dog study came out, which found that dogs who act skittish after a sudden noise, are generally in pain. Here is the study info:

Dogs with noise sensitivity should be routinely assessed for pain by vets

March 20, 2018

Source: University of…



Dogs which show fear or anxiety when faced with loud or sudden noises should be routinely assessed for pain by veterinarians, according to new research. Researchers believe that pain, which could be undiagnosed, could be exacerbated when a noise makes the…

Soooo, even though the study is about dogs, it would make sense that the same theory could be applied to felines. Maybe you want to have a deeper pain assessment done on Ziggy? Remember that the Tripawds Foundation
can pay for your first rehab visit
, so I would take advantage of the program to…

…see if there is some undiagnosed pain happening.

11 September 2020 12:06 pm
Posts: 5
Views: 73

…noticed a difference. She was in my face and anxious throughout the night but then perfectly fine once it was daylight. 

Her vet discussed both phantom limb pain and also a possibility of some sundowners going on. Lana would get up and walk around some at night in our bedroom before all of this but

… for her. They're such a nice way to get out and have a change of scenery. 

As for the odd jumping up and pacing, it could be some kind of phantom pain
. I x2 Sally's suggestions and just want to add that when you call your vet, it would help your vet to know more details like, when exactly

7 September 2020 12:28 pm
Posts: 7
Views: 97

…happy to hear how well sweet Abiie is doing!😊  And yes, to not want to go for a walk....she's definitely  one of a kind!

Phantom  pain comes out of the blue.  The dog usually  jumps up and yelps and tries to run away from the "cause" of the pain.  It rarely lasts more than a minute…

…If it persists  and is intense, just check with the Vet about introducing  Gabapentin  back.  Could be as simple as a leg cramp, or, as you said the phantom

Keep us updated.  And tha ks aign for sharing how happy she is....and it still gets better!


Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and

6 September 2020 6:00 pm
Posts: 7
Views: 97

…change of scenery.

Abbie is off of all meds except for carprophen which she takes once a day. Occasionally she pops up and paces. Could this be phantom pain
? What if anything can we be doing for her?


6 September 2020 4:14 pm
Posts: 7
Views: 97

…it through recovery!

About that stump/leg licking: if he did it obsessively, like every day, for a long time each episode, I would think it was pain. But one time, without any vocalizations, might not be phantom pain
. See if he does it again.

Now about that skittishness of his: does it

27 August 2020 8:56 pm
Posts: 5
Views: 73

…) and the vet is thrilled with how well it healed up in the end!

He's also off the gabapentin and did have a brief instance of what I assume was phantom leg pain
last evening, I think when he tried to wash his amputated leg, but it only lasted about 10 seconds and he was back to normal. 

What I

27 August 2020 8:27 pm
Posts: 5
Views: 73

…that ruptured in the car, then the necrotic tissue that had to be surgically removed, then a lot more leaking, then what we thought were some phantom limb attacks, then the incision opening up slightly at the juncture, and the fibrin which necessitated more staples all while he was escaping every…

…of his healing process.

The happy news? Ziggy is adjusting absolutely beautifully. He's had a couple more episodes of what we guessed might be phantom limb pain and oddly he's a lot more prone to growling when he gets scared, but we figure that's because he knows he's not 100% and also possibly due

22 August 2020 8:11 am
Posts: 103
Views: 920

… it is really hard to tell if it is phantom limb, or breakthrough pain. These next couple of days are going to be critical to watch her and see how she does without hospital meds. 

If she is in the middle of doing…

… ok?

Not trying to be difficult but the signs can be similar yet different. Vocalization, hiding, lack of eating/drinking can just be signals of pain without phantom limb. 

If we had a video of her in the middle of it, would be so much more helpful.

18 August 2020 4:55 pm
Posts: 296
Views: 1719

…may be phantom limb pain.  Keep an eye and if it continues call her doc. She may need medication adjustment,  ok?

Everything else still good?

18 August 2020 4:14 pm
Posts: 296
Views: 1719

…here! I agree, talk to the oncologist about her Gabapentin dosage. Oftentimes it's way too low. What you are describing sounds like some type of pain, most likely phantom based on what you're describing. It's not unusual and sometimes it doesn't show up for a while. 

What's her activity level…

…chance she is doing too much too soon?

Also, have you considered getting her to see a canine rehabilitation therapist? If she is experiencing any pain, they can find it and help get rid of it. And don't forget the Tripawds Foundation
can pay for your first rehab visit
so please check it out. 

15 August 2020 6:37 pm
Posts: 34
Views: 406

…us, this journey was new to all of us at some point. By the way- hello and a very late welcome .

It sounds to me like Keira is showing some pain signs, and the yelping sounds like phantom limb pain.  At 5 weeks out the pain from surgery is usually gone, including phantom pain
, but we do see…

…here in older pups that they need pain management
longer. And she has some arthritis challenges too, right?  Is she on any pain meds or supplements for her arthritis? 

If she isn't taking gabapentin right now it might be helpful, it works on nerve pain which is what causes phantom limb pain.  You can discuss with your vet. 

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

15 August 2020 10:21 am
Posts: 34
Views: 406

…reach through this monitor and give you a bear hug! Seriously, my heart goes out to you. So the limb goes, and the Gabapentin is to help them with phantom limb pain. It is usually temporary and the gaba helps a great deal. Some deal more than others, its a crap shot as to if this will be an issue but…

…was like an old married couple that just needed to follow her over the Bridge. 

Please ask about medications, and try to make sure you have enough pain meds for 2-3 weeks. One of the biggest challenges I have ever had, seen, and seen others go through here is a doctor giving 3 days of medicine and

12 August 2020 4:00 pm
Posts: 296
Views: 1719

…. 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: 204

…. 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: 204

…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: 256

…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: 256

…. 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: 159
Views: 1766

…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: 256

…. 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: 94

…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: 499
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