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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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Member Since:
22 April 2022
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6 May 2022 - 11:39 am
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Hi,

My dog Sadie had amputation surgery this past Tuesday.  She had a soft tissue sarcoma on the left front of her chest near the shoulder of her left leg.  I have sent pictures and am wondering if the lump of tissue he left on her upper side is normal.  I spoke to the vet and he said that it "should" get a little smaller and flatten out a bit.  I know that he had to stretch the skin because of the amount of tissue that had to be removed around the tumor but I don't understand why he left it like that??  He said she would always have a bump there!!  Also, because he stretched the skin so tight to sew her skin back together she now has this skin hanging under her neck and it feels like fluid is pooling in there.  I don't care how she looks but it just seems like this could have been done better.  It looks like he was in a hurry to close her up!  I would like a second opinion about this.  Thank you![Image Can Not Be Found]

I have been trying to attach pictures but I don't understand how to do so.

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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6 May 2022 - 12:54 pm
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Sadie's peeps, this is a great question for Dr. Pam. We'd love to see the pics.

I'm in the Tripawds Chat right now if you want me to walk you through adding images in the Forums.

This is how adding images to the Forums works.

  • Upload pics to a photo sharing site like imgur.com or your own Tripawds blog (https://tripawd...../supporter). Pictures and video have to be hosted (live) somewhere other than in the forums.
  • Once the photo is uploaded somewhere, right click and copy the Image URL or just copy the image if you’re on a phone
  • Return to your Tripawds Forum post and paste the image URL (or the image itself) in your post. It should automatically appear. 

If you’d like help figuring out the process let me know.


Member Since:
22 August 2008
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7 May 2022 - 7:25 am
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I really need to see the photo but it is not unusual to have some fluid build up after a front leg amputation. I often will do a front body wrap for a few days to gently compress the tissue and protect the incision.

Pam

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7 May 2022 - 8:02 am
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Image Enlarger

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7 May 2022 - 8:07 am
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Here are a few pictures so that you can understand my question.  

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7 May 2022 - 8:25 am
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one more picture

Image Enlarger

The Rainbow Bridge


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25 April 2007
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7 May 2022 - 12:10 pm
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I'm so glad you got the photos uploaded. Curious to see what Dr. Pam thinks.

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7 May 2022 - 1:30 pm
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Yes!  I am as well.  Thank you for the help with the pictures!


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8 May 2022 - 8:30 am
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The bruising and fluid are typical after a front leg amputation. The bump of tissue is a little odd but it is likely where the surgeon had to tie off the SQ tissue and muscle. There is no bony tissue that should be present in that location. I agree in most cases the body will smooth everything out. I typically do more of a "Y" shaped incision then bring everything together in a point in the middle but perhaps due to the location of your dog's tumor that was not possible. The most important thing is to get all of the tissue!

Pam

The Rainbow Bridge


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8 May 2022 - 12:25 pm
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WHEW! Thanks for that bit of info Dr. Pam, what a relief! I had never seen an incision look like that so I'm grateful for your insight.

So it sounds like in no time at all the area will look relatively normal again. Yay!

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8 May 2022 - 3:12 pm
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It is definitely the most important thing to get all of the tumor I agree! But the location and the size and the way he left it we're having issues with it tearing and bleeding. It's on her back so when she lies down it pushes against it and then it hurts her! I feel like the Y incision you are talking about would have been a much better choice! I guess it's really too late now to do anything about it other than put her through more surgery which I do not want to do ! Just really upset because there was blood all over the bed this morning from that area And I know it has to be painful as well.

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8 May 2022 - 5:41 pm
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It also "bounces" as she walks (hops) which is also making it tear.  

The Rainbow Bridge


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9 May 2022 - 11:51 am
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So when you say it's tearing, have you talked to your vet about it? I would let them know your concerns now, especially if it's still draining and appears to be hurting her. Let us know what they say OK? 

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10 May 2022 - 9:11 am
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Yes I have spoken to them and sent pictures.  They told be that she is being too active...but that is not why it is happening but when she walks/hops it does bounce up and down.  For the life of me I don't know why the surgeon left it that way!  I understand what a skin flap is but I feel like it should have been sewn up differently.  I am not a surgeon but have been researching a lot and have not seen another anything like hers!!  The issue is that when Sadie sleeps she likes to sleep on the surgery side and when she does is pushes on that skin flap so much so that is causes it to seep blood. (It is not seeping any other time.)  It also causes her pain when she tries to get up from that position.  This is not anything I can control because she does it when I am asleep as well.  For some reason she likes laying on that side, I think maybe her other side/leg/shoulder is getting sore from overuse.  I know that the incision will heal eventually but she will always have large bump there.  It interferes with the lift harness we bought as well as any other harness!!  

The bad part is that the only way to fix it will probably be another surgery!!! I don't want to put her through that.   It is very upsetting.

The Rainbow Bridge


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10 May 2022 - 11:36 am
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Aww I hear the frustration in your voice, I'm so sorry. I would probably be feeling the same way.

Hmm, so if it's draining it sounds like a seroma . Have you tried using a warm compress to help the fluid drain out? Forgive me if you already mentioned that. But if you haven't tried a compress, here's some tips:

https://tripawd.....roma-care/

The good news is that fluid should eventually drain out completely. You can also ask your vet to do it in the office in one quick visit, it's not surgery and they just use a syringe to get it out (we had to do that with our Jerry) about 10 days after surgery.

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