Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat
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My dog had his amputation surgery almost 3 weeks ago. It has been pretty bumpy but he has recovered pretty well. He still needs help walking but he is a bigger guy, around 100 lbs so this does not surprise me. What is distressing is the excessive whining at night. He does whine a bit during the day but he will whine all night long. We can sometimes get him to stop somewhat if either my wife or I lay next to him and pet him. This obviously is not great for getting anything remotely close to a good nights rest. As far as pain meds, he is currently on Gabopentin 100 mg 3 times per day. I don’t really know if this is pain, discomfort or something psychological. Regardless we need to figure something out because the lack of sleep this is causing is not good at all.
Ask your vet first but there is a lot of room to up the gabapentin dose. I would have him on 300 mg three times daily. Is he still on an NSAID such as Deramaxx? Some dogs need that longer. If he is still on Tramadol then it is possible that he is vocalizing because of that (narcotics often cause this side effect).
He might not have pain at all but might have anxiety. Does he cry when you touch him?
Actually I was wrong about the Gabopentin. Each pill is 300 mg.
He has been taking Meloxocam for an NSAID.
He has been off of Tramadol for almost a week, so I don’t think that one is a factor any longer.
I agree it may be anxiety, which of course I would expect actually. What sorts of drugs can I ask my vet about in regards to that? I want to stay away from drugs that will make him off balance so as not to affect his ability to relearn balance again.
22 January 2013
There is still plenty of room to go up in the gabapentin. As was mentioned to me, you might also ask about amantadine. Cora has had similar issues to your pup. She has a lot of other issues too, so she’s sort of a special case. With our latest ordeal I’ve learned just how critical good pain management is. You might ask your vet about hyperalgesia. My simple explanation of that is the nervous system gets over stimulated by prolonged pain and starts interpreting everything as pain.
You say it’s mostly hitting at night? Can you say more about when the whining happens? Is he waking up whining? Is it when it’s time to go to bed?
2 April 2013
When you say “3 times a day,” what are the times? What I mean is, are you spacing the doses of the Gabapentin out every 8 hours, or are you giving it at breakfast, lunch & dinner? Every 8 hours would be best, especially giving one before bed. Alternate with the Meloxicam – so that he has something every few hours. A consistent pain management program will help him to be a bit more relaxed at night.
Donna, Glenn & Murphy
Murphy had his right front leg amputated due to histiocytic sarcoma at 7 years old. He survived 4 years, 2 months & 1 week, only to be taken by hemangiosarcoma at 11 1/2 years 6/12/17
Read about Murphy's Life on Three Legs
Meloxicam is a once daily drug but I agree that there is room to up the gabapentin but I am not sure if this dog is truly painful. If he cries only at night and not when you touch or move him then he might be frustrated or anxious. Ask your vet about trazadone. At low doses it can help dogs with anxiety and help them sleep but it is safer and more predictable than alprazolam. You could also consider CBD oil which would help pain as well as anxiety.
The gabopentin is spaced every 8 hours.
As far as when the whining at night basically we will be in the bedroom and he is on the floor nearby. He is sleeping. Then we turn out the lights and go to bed. The whining starts.
He does sometime whine during the day, but to the degree he does at night.
Our Oncologist mentioned Trasadone which we plan on asking our vet about on Monday because we need to do something.
Update: So we used the Trasadone last night. He appeared to get somewhat sleepy, but like clockwork when we went to bed the barking and whining started up again. So then out of the blue my wife had an epiphany. She got a water bottle and every time he would whine or bark she would squirt it at him. It stopped him in his tracks each time. Then after a few times the intensity dropped and eventually the frequency dropped. We actually got somewhat of a decent amount of sleep. I’m hoping that if we do this for a few nights it will completely train this behavior out of him.