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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21 May 2016
Sweet and dearest Tripawdian family,
It’s been eight months or so I haven’t published here, life got on the way and lots happened which sadly prevented me from being here and helping others who are starting their own journey and fighting the fight …
But despite of that I have a corner of my heart that is only yours, your true friendship, advice, love and support during my cancer journey with my beloved baby Eurydice is for ever engraved in my heart and nothing, nothing will ever change that.
I will be back here in the future maybe it will take a while but I’ll be back.
In the meantime I want to share something with you which hopefully will help the ones who are going through the initial stages of amputation with their babies.
For those of you who never met my girl, Eurydice was a huge 77kg Great Dane who lost her right front leg to osteosarcoma just before she turned 5.
Going back to now, I had major surgery last July, not amputation but major surgery nevetheless.
I remember vividly (when Eurydice came home from her surgery) the surgeon mentioning how important it was to keep the pain under control and strictly sticking to the correct schedule for pills.
Of course I did it, but at the same time I had my personal worries concerning side effects etc and as it happens, I am generally against pumping chemicals into anybody’s body.
So much so when Eurydice started acting crazy, spaced out, whining, jumping up all of a sudden, not recognising me at times I got seriously disturbed and as the surgeon told me these were side effects from the medicine.
That made me seriously consider reducing or stopping some of her pills, especially gabapentin.
Gladly, I held off and as expected she eventually recovered and got her happy, well humoured, goofy self back.
But the doubt always stayed in the back of my mind. Was it really necessary to pump her with so many pills ? Was it really necessary to keep them for so long?
Well, I suppose Angel Eurydice proved to me this IS what needs to be done.
Just before my own surgery I was given a super powerful anaesthesia and nerve blocker on my neck which numbed my entire arm for a period of time.
As I am a real chicken for anything involving needles I declined and declined but the surgeon refused to perform surgery unless I had it done because “I wouldn’t be able to deal with the pain” otherwise.
When I woke up I felt great, honestly!
What is this “painful recovery” about ? I feel like I can dance all over the place!
Well … it became a different story when the effect wore out 12 h later …
The pain was absolutely terrible and painkillers were not 100%…
I then remembered Eurydice’s surgeon mentioning amputation was the only solution to eliminate 100% of the pain, no other alternative would do.
And we’re not talking about bone cancer in my case so I cannot even begin to imagine how painful THAT would be…
So, there I was, relying on painkillers to fight the pain and, of course, being stubborn I thought I could start reducing those after the first couple of days.
The pain started escalating and it took longer for it to be back under control.
Which reminded me again of Eurydice’s surgeon advice “give her her pills right on time so the pain doesn’t get out of control”!
I am now on the mend doing rehab for the next six months and feeling fine.
But the point to the story is I now KNOW what it means to have proper pain control and pain control on time!
So, if your vets tell you your babies don’t need pain medicine (as some idiotic vets still advise) or if your vets are reluctant to give strong pain killers or not enough of them please ask them to call me I can brief them straight away!
Don’t be fooled by vets CV’s, experience etc advocate for your babies and get the medicine at hand and on time.
Recovery doesn’t last forever, you’ve got lots and lots and lots of time to enjoy life with your babies once recovery is over so just make sure they are not in pain during the first couple of weeks (sometimes more, sometimes less) after surgery.
I wish you ALL the very best and will be in touch again in the future.
Teresa, Angel Eurydice and baby Paloma
ps Angel Eurydice has some surprises lined up. She, Pedro, Woody, me and Paloma have been busy working with her
Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-)
22 February 2013
You never left Teresa! You and Eurydice are ALWAYS present here with us, okay? And we always have a a ile kn our hearts when we think of you and when we share all of Eurydice ‘s Goodwill Tripawd Ambassador adventures!😁😊❤
I know you’ve had ,some pretty big hurdles recently. I also know nothing can stop that indomitable attitude of yours and you are plowing through each. challenge!
I’m so glad you decided to share your personal experience with pain meds. You gave voice to all our dogs snd cats and gave us insight into what they may be experiencing. I had to chuckle at the way you tried to sorta’ talk the Doctors out of giving you all those pain meds, etc. But they knew what was best! Guess it’s sort of like when our dogs try to spit out their pain meds, but we know what’s best!😎
Tha knyoj qgain fot taking ti e tk share this valuable feedback! And we cannot wait for the SPECTACULAR update from Eurydice, Pedro, Qopdy and Baby Paloma!!!😎❤
Lots of love always!
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!
25 April 2007
Teresa it is sooo good to hear from you. I’m glad you are mended up and feeling well enough to share such great insight and advice. This is super helpful to the community and so important for folks to know.
Lots of us were reluctant to keep our pets on such heavy painkillers after surgery, until we knew better. So it’s great that you shared your own experience because as we all know now, animals feel pain similarly to humans and they need it as much as we do.
Can’t wait to hear what Eurydice has been up to 🙂
1 October 2017
Fallon 8/28/06--9/6/18. My Heart.
Fallon's left front leg was amputated due to osteosarcoma on 10/11/17.
Nothing But Love in Her Heart - dawn3g.tripawds.com
27 July 2014
Hey Teresa, great advice!! I really like that your surgeon wouldn’t do the surgery if you refused the anesthesia. Haha, what a great move – he was firing you! This smart surgeon wanted to do what was best for you in order to do the surgery. I’m so glad you got the surgery done and took the pain meds as needed.
There is nothing wrong with taking pain medication under doctors care. It helps take the edge off to let the body relax somewhat and start healing. You gave our sweet Eurydice everything you could to help her and make her comfortable. Please take the time and do it for yourself. The right physical therapy will do wonders for your recovery IF you follow their advice and don’t overdo it.
I thought Mona’s pain meds made her a bit crazy but as I learned more I think I didn’t have them properly managed and her craziness must have been the pain starting up again.
I really like the advice Dr. Downing and her Golden Retriever Assistant said on pain management : “If you have an animal that needs to have a body alteration by losing a limb and becoming a Tripawd and you have a veterinarian who is not trying to stay ahead of the pain curve or a veterinarian who is not actively educating about how we need to adapt activity or how we need to adapt a home environment, it’s time to fire that veterinarian and get yourself a different one because those days are gone.”
So, we can fire the vet or have them call Teresa who will set them straight!
Huge hugs to you and your support team Paloma, Pedro and Woody. I think of Angel Eurydice often and know she is looking out for you.
Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona
16 October 2012
Teresa thank you for sharing all of this. I know what you are talking about staying on top of the pain. My mom fell and broke her hip and I was trying but it’s really hard to keep on top of pain for someone else when they refuse to take pain pills or quit taking them too early. But it all worked out 🙂
I am glad you are on the mend and can’t wait to hear about your adventures again.
Michelle & Angels Sassy & Bosch
Sassy is a proud member of the Winter Warriors. Live long, & strong Winter Warriors.
07/26/2006 - Sassy earned her wings 08/20/2013
05/04/2006 - Bosch, Sassy's pal, earned his wings 03/29/19 fought cancer for 4 months.
"You aren't doing it TO her, you are doing it FOR her. Give her a chance at life."
1 October 2017
So good to hear from you, I am glad you are recovering ok. Can’t wait to read your new adventures
Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Angel Mitchell, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry