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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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Post sugical wound discharge
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Member Since:
29 July 2022
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3 August 2022 - 10:05 am
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Hi,  my 10 month old rescue Bernese mix just had his front leg amputated on Friday today one spot has some discharge, best description would be clear but cloudy and thick.  Skin around it looks good.  Should I be worried?

The Rainbow Bridge


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25 April 2007
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3 August 2022 - 5:25 pm
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Hi Jen, welcome. Your future posts won't need to wait for approval so post away.

What's your pup's name? Why the amputation? 

What you are describing could be a seroma , but this type of fluid discharge (which is normal for post-amputation) is normally more liquid, pale pink, and not thick.

Does the discharge smell? And how often is it draining? 

I'll let our Fairy Vetmother give her input on this now. Stay tuned.


Member Since:
22 August 2008
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4 August 2022 - 7:24 am
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If the fluid is cloudy I would check with your vet since that can be a sign of infection. Seromas are very common but then the fluid is mainly clear and sometimes pink.

Pam

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29 July 2022
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8 August 2022 - 11:53 am
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Sorry for the delayed response.  It's been a week!!  This is a long reply.  I will start from the beginning.  We adopted Bronx on July 21st and by July 22nd I was messaging the rescue concerned about how fast he was breathing and that he was in pain.  When we rescued him they told us they had had his leg vet checked and that he had only carpal flexural deformity,(this was a lie as we found out no xray had been done like they said) and that there was no pain with it and all was good.  I was still concerned about his breathing so took him to the emergency vet who said they thought the breathing was due to pain, and started him on an anti inflammatory pain killer.  I again contacted the rescue to let them know.  I then called my vet and got an appointment set up for another opinion on his leg.  Sadly we never made that appointment as on July 27 he tripped over his bad leg while walking!! and broke it.  Back to the emergency we went.  Upon arrival and before any xrays the vet immediately knew more was wrong, as he shouldn't have broke his leg that easily. Xrays confirmed a break but also severe elbow dysplasia, arthritis, carpal flexural deformity as well as u shaped brittle bones in that leg, as well as old poorly healed breaks.   He was clearly very abused and neglected.  He had also lost all muscle mass in his leg and shoulder from not using the leg.  She recommended amputation (she said even without the break she would recommend amputation. She also didnt think pinning the break would work, given how thin and brittle his bones were and the shape the rest of the leg was in) she sent a consult off to be sure it was the right decision and that his remaining legs were healthy and could support him.   The surgery went great!! and the incision is looking great now.  We did however end up back at the vet last night as his breathing was still very concerning.  I was worried he may need better pain meds.  Turns out he doesn't have much pain as there was zero reaction to the vet pushing on the incision.  She did a cbc, heartworm snap test, temperature and listened to his heart and lungs.  All that checked out great, but....his chest xray shows lung patterns that she thinks may be blasto.  We are doing the blasto test on Friday.  My new question is now is it okay to wait until Friday to test for blasto if his breathing is already fast?  We also found out last night that the rescue knew his breathing was too fast before we brought him home but did nothing.  Our vet and I are currently talking with the rescue about how they need to pay for all these issues as they were known and lied about, (they don't seem to care) especiallysince the issues were very obvious from day one.  My vet is amazing and we have agreed that he will get all necessary treatments he needs and we will figure the financials somehow after.  He is the sweetest dog ever.  He loves everyone and everything he meets.  At only 10 months old he has had a very unfair start to life and definitely deserves so much better.  He was failed by so many people already, hopefully this is the start of healing and a better life for him.  He is amazing given everything he has been through.  He is so calm and docile, he is definitely a gentle giant.  

New England
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11 January 2022
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8 August 2022 - 12:54 pm
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I have no advice for your situation, Jenny, but I am simultaneously so sad that for your dog and happy that he found you.  It's clear you want the best for him and it sounds like you have a great vet helping you out.  I hope Bronx is able to be pain free and happy soon.


Member Since:
22 August 2008
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8 August 2022 - 2:22 pm
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Where do you live?  Blastomycosis is mainly seen in the Midwest. I lived in Wisconsin and practiced there for over 11 yrs and you do not want to wait around if the dog has Blasto. Did he have a fever? Very elevated WBC (white cell count)?  Blasto can also go into the bones but more commonly affects the lungs/skin/eyes.  The radiographic pattern looks like lots of cotton balls in all lung fields.  The treatment is typically an oral antifungal such as itraconazole although there are some injectables as well. Blasto is diagnosed with a fungal titer or more accurately by visualizing the organism which may be hard to obtain via a fine needle aspirate of the lung.

Pam

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29 July 2022
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8 August 2022 - 4:05 pm
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We live in Southwest Manitoba.  They said his cbc was good so I assume his count wasn't high.  No fever, unfortunately I didn't see the xrays.  I just text my vet, she wants a urine sample in the morning.  Is it common to diagnose through urine??  Thanks for your response.


Member Since:
22 August 2008
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9 August 2022 - 7:22 am
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The hallmark of fungal disease is typically a high fever that does not respond to antibiotics. As far as I know the best way to diagnose is through a blood test or looking for the organism but maybe she wants a urine to check for something else or there might be a new test I am not aware of.

Did they by chance send the leg for a biopsy?  Are his other legs normal?  Typically with nutritional deficiencies you should have abnormalities in more than one bone. It would be very rare to see cancer in such a young dog even a Berner but it does occur. If the Blasto test comes back negative it might be helpful to have a radiologist review all of the xrays.

Pam

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9 August 2022 - 4:16 pm
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Update!!

Blasto hasnt come back yet, but after multiple different vets at the clinic reviewed the original xray they are thinking Blasto would be a stretch but was still worth doing the test as we don't have his history.  They say no concern about cancer, so not sure what they originally saw on the chest xray, to think possible blasto but definitely not cancer??  I will request those get forwarded as well for a specialists opinion though. 

His remaining legs were okayed by the ortho specialist before amputation as they wanted to be sure all legs were good and able to support him.  His amputated leg was suppose to be sent in for testing.   

I am not sure what the full story is on how his poor leg got so messed up as every other day the rescue has a different story.  Yesterday's was he was likely hit by a car.  Before that was rickets.  I dont think we will ever truly know, other than there was old fractures from some kind of trauma, then all the other findings, elbow dysplasia, arthritis, carpal flexural deformity, the fresh break.

More xrays were taken today of his back legs, back and pelvis as he was very stiff and reluctant to move.  She said she thinks everything looks fine thankfully.  She did send them on to the ortho specialist just to be sure she wasn't missing anything though, so waiting to hear back.  She added a new pain med as she now thinks she can safely say pain is the issue causing his rapid breathing.  After 1 dose of tramadol his respiratory rate has already gone back to normal, for the 1st time since we got him!! ( the lowest he has ever been is 50, but often hit 90-120 a minute. 

Since about an hour and a half after his tramadol 5 hours ago he has stayed between 22 and 31 breaths a minute) He is moving and so much happier already!!  I am so hopeful this is the start of him finally catching a break and better health for him.  My pictures of him before and after won't post for some reason.  

The Rainbow Bridge


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25 April 2007
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9 August 2022 - 4:35 pm
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YAY! smiley_clapGlad you got some answers, that's terrific. Even better that he is doing well. YAY! 

Sorry your picture didn't show up. Please start a new topic elsewhere in the Forums now that things are looking better. That way we can help you better and follow his adventures. 

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 new 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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9 August 2022 - 11:01 pm
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That is good news; hopefully this big guy can get some relief soon!  Hopefully the biopsy of the leg will come back clean.

Pam

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