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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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Forum Posts: 13
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14 December 2018
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16 December 2018 - 7:28 pm
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My 4 year old pit/boxer mix was hit by a car on Tuesday. She and my other dog got out of our backyard and were hit in my neighborhood. He didn’t make it but Dottie survived with a severely fractured leg that lacerated her femoral artery. We proceeded with amputation and she came home on Friday. It has been a very rough weekend. She’s on tramadol and came home with a fentanyl patch. She’s very weak and needs assistance to stand. She has been periodically eating a little. We keep tempting her with different foods. She doesn’t refuse water or broth and has been relieving herself mostly on potty pads o her bed. 

Yesterday seemed to be a better day than today. She walked a bit outside and ate a little more. She had a restless night last night and then pooped this morning. She’s been basically sleeping comfortably since. We went to try to take her out again and noticed some drops of blood coming down from the bandage over the incision. We called the vet who said to keep an eye on it (she might’ve bumped it a bit and opened a scab). 

I’m mostly concerned. I know she’s been through a lot but she seems so great yesterday. 

Reading these forums has helped me gain some perspective about the various cases. Any tips or words of wisdom would be appreciated from this worried and heartbroken dog lover. I want to have hope my Dottie is going to bounce back soon. 

Thank you, 

Tara 

Livermore, CA




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16 December 2018 - 11:45 pm
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Hello Tara and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

I hope you don’t mind that I moved your post here since you are not dealing with cancer.

First- I’m very sorry to hear about the accident and condolences on the loss of your other dog.  So much to deal with!

Actually- it sounds like things are going pretty well for Dottie.  She has been through a lot and is probably more sore due to the accident than a new Tripawd dealing with the amp surgery.  It is also not uncommon for a bit of a crash a few days after surgery.  The good hospital meds have worn off now, and depending on when the patch was put on that may be wearing off as well.

Does she have any meds besides the tramadol (and fentanyl)?  Many now come home with tramadol, gabapentin and a NSAID like rimadyl.  She may need additional pain meds or a tweak to the dosing schedule.  Let your vet know what you are seeing and ask for more meds if you think she is in pain.

As far as the dripping- is it clear-ish or pink-ish in color and free of odor? If so it is probably OK, if it is more bloody or has any odor have her looked at by the vet. 

Dottie has been through a lot (as have you!), on top of the surgery and accident she may be missing her dog friend.  It’s good for her to spend most of her time resting.  And keep tempting her with whatever she will eat.  She is very early in recovery from a MAJOR surgery.  Most pups take 2 to 3 weeks to get back their sparkle, and more time than that to gain strength and endurance.

My current Tripawd is a little Pug mix named Elly who lost her right back leg after being hit by a car at 7 months old.  She is just about 4 now and can do just about anything a dog her size and age can do.  Her name when I adopted her at 10 months old was Dottie!  I had to change it as I had a good friend named Dottie.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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17 December 2018 - 12:29 am
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Hi Karen, 

Thank you for your response. I think we are going to go into the vet first thing in the morning for the incision. It seems do have stopped but when we went out to potty and she sat I saw some more droplets. Her bandage is dark and crusty so I think they should take a look at her.

She seems to be resting comfortably now. She ate some dinner and took her meds. She is also on an antibiotic and the vet gave us trazodone (prn) for anxiety.

I’ll follow up on our tending to this incision. It doesn’t smell and isn’t hot so that is good news. 

Thanks again, I’m tearful and grateful there is a place for resources and support. Reassuring to hear the story of your Elly too! 

I am going to try to rest too. Sleep will do my nerves some good.

Tara and Dottie

Virginia




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17 December 2018 - 9:27 am
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I’m  so sorry to hear your other pup didnt make it.  Such a tragedy.  When you can, we would love to hear  more about your precious dog. okay?

I’m glad Karen was here to give you some reassurance  and words of wisdom.  Can only ditto everything she said.

As she said, on top of everything else, Dotties’s muscles  are realy, really sore from tensing  during the accident, as well as starting to adjust to three legs instantly. 

Is she on a  antibiotic?  As Karen mentioned  the Gabapentin, Rimadyl and Tramadol work well together.   You’ll  need to keep the pain meds consistent  so the pain doesn’t  get ahead start.  Tje Trazedone can definitely  make a dog very, very sleepy, very lethargic, so use only as your Vet suggests.  

Let us know how your Vet  visit went.  You and Dottie have both been through a lot and we are really, really sorry.  STAY CONNECTED  TO US.  YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!   

Hugs

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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17 December 2018 - 11:34 am
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Tara and Dottie, welcome. I am soooo sorry about the horrible accident, and my sympathies for your loss of your other dog. Going through amputation is hard enough but when you’re hit with a situation like this, it’s got to be unbelievably emotional and stressful.

Dottie does sound like she’s doing well overall. Yeah, dogs who lost a leg after a car accident tend to take longer to recover if the accident was bad, so patience is a must. You sound like you’re holding your own in that department, good job 🙂

Let us know how the vet visit went today OK? 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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17 December 2018 - 1:07 pm
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Hi all, 

Thank you so much for your messages! We have been in touch with Dottie’s surgeon and vet and she asked us to send her pictures of Dottie’s incision before we decide if she needs to go in for a visit. She is also ordering her an appetite stimulant and telling us to back off her tramadol for now to try to wake her up a bit. 

It looks and sounds like we aren’t the first to try this balance between pain management and improving appetite and activity/wakefulness. 

She is also on claravox antibiotic, some eyedrops for a scratch in her eye and an antacid for her tummy. I think I remember them telling me they didn’t start her on Rimadyl because of her anemia from blood loss. 

She took her last dose of Tramdol at 7:30 this morning so we will have a little while before we know how she responds. 

Another thing that is somewhat amusing: Dottie had at least one litter of pups before we met her. We adopted her from a foster on Sept 1 of this year.  When we removed the bandage off her incision site, I was at first panicked by this thing sticking out and then remembered the surgeon told us one of her nipples pulled that way. She now has a nipple right beside her incision. 😂 Poor girl. 

Thanks again, we are trying to be really positive for our girl but are also very sad about the loss of our Boxer boy, Clyde. Dottie came into our house after I lost my 13 yo Pit/Husky mix from cancer in February of this year. We’ve dealt with a lot of loss this year and want to make the right choices for our sweet girl. It breaks my heart to not get a tailwag out of her. She is still giving kisses and enjoys being petted and loved on. 

I will keep you all posted. 

Tara

Virginia




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17 December 2018 - 3:20 pm
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Thanks for updating Tara!  It sounds like things are going well!  I can “hear” it in your voice that you feel relieved!!

Tail wags will come.  Promise!!!  ,Kisses are a good sign in the interim.😘😘

Dealing with the loss of Clyde at the same time is just devastating.   I know your Angel Husky was there ro greet Clyde at the Bridge.   I know they are voth watching over you and Dottie now..❤

Hugs

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!

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17 December 2018 - 7:59 pm
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The doc gave us Entyce to stimulate appetite and it worked instantly! Dottie ate a big lunch and is really resting well right now. I’m watching her as we get further and further away from her last dose of pain meds. 

The biggest bummer today is the weather. I live in sunny SoCal so we’ve been spoiled and today it is damp and chilly. She has not been amused about sitting in the drizzle. But we had poopicon_png#2 today and she sighed with relief. 

When we came inside she got on her bed by herself and selected her own position. She’s laying on her incision site but curled in her normal Dottie position and sleeping comfortably. Should I have any worries about her laying on her incision? 

Overall we are so relieved! I think we’ve turned a corner. heart

Tara & Dottie

The Rainbow Bridge



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17 December 2018 - 8:09 pm
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Wow this is GREAT news! I keep hearing more and more good things about Entyce, happy to hear it worked for Dottie too.

YAY FOR POOP!

Where in SoCal are you (if you don’t mind me asking)? We are near Indio currently and it was also gray and icky here, but no rain. Waaah! We are definitely spoiled.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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17 December 2018 - 9:20 pm
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Hi Jerry,

We are in Thousand Oaks (NW of LA). It has been drizzling here all day. I want it to rain more but don’t want my community to deal with more mudslides/debris flow. Luckily we are in a safe spot. Dottie is doing better but I wouldn’t want to be in a situation where we had to evacuate. Yikes! 

Speaking of Dottie, she ate more this evening and is resting much more comfortably.  So far just a couple quick episodes of panting but one timetime to tell us she needed to potty. We didn’t make it outside but she tried! 

I’ll try to figure out how to post more pictures of sweet Dots soon. big-grin

Have a great night,

Tara

The Rainbow Bridge



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18 December 2018 - 12:20 am
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Oh OK you’re on the other side of the world from us (practically!). Yeah I hope you get just the right amount of rain.

YAY Dottie! She is such a rock star, I’m so happy to hear she wanted food and got some rest. She’s one strong girl.

We can’t wait to see photos. Here’s a post about adding images to the Forums, let us know if you’d like help.

Keep us posted!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

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18 December 2018 - 10:14 am
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One week following Dottie’s accident, 6 days post amputation, 4th day at home….we have tail wags!!!

Getting Dottie off the tramadol and giving her an appetite stimulant was a game changer. She is bright eyed, asking to go out for potty breaks and trying to get up on her own. 

I’m so relieved and thankful. I have a feeling my next set of worries will be keeping her safe as she’s learning to navigate with 3 paws!

Our goals for today are to eat as much as she wants, rest and post some pictures of this sweet girl. big-grin

Hugs and Thanks,

Tara and Dottie 

Virginia




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18 December 2018 - 7:28 pm
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Chow down sweet Dottie!!🍨🍧🎂🍳🥘🍔🍟🍕

So glad you gave your Mom some tail wags today😁😀   It did you both good!!

Thanks for the update!  Made my day!!

Hugs

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!

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18 December 2018 - 10:18 pm
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Thanks, Sally! I went out to dinner with a few friends tonight. They gave me the sweetest canvas printed photo of our sweet Clyde. I also stopped by the animal hospital and they gave me some Metacam for Dottie. She started panting a bit this afternoon so we wanted to have something to take the edge off her discomfort. She was wagging again when I walked in the door! ❤️

Have a good night!

Tara and Dottie

Photo tribute to Clyde

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