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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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Got a Tripod from the shelter, need some more advice.
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Seattle
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6 January 2019 - 11:09 pm
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I went to the shelter today and instantly fell in love with a scruffy little terrier mix who had his back right leg amputated two days ago. They say he came to the shelter with it broken in several places and improperly healed, and due to the pain it was causing him, opted to have it amputated. He gets around fine, not surprising since they said the leg was basically useless when he was brought in.

Anyway, they made it out to sound like a simple thing, gave me a bottle of pills, and told me to follow up with my vet.  But I’m worried it might not be so simple. The pills are Quellin, which doesn’t seem to be anything more than a NSAID. I’m going to call my vet in the morning and make an appointment, but I found this site and figured it couldn’t hurt to ask some questions (and get some ideas on what to talk to my vet about).

Is this going to be enough medicine for the pain?  I know if I had my leg amputated (and my nuts cut off in the same day, like he did), I’d want a lot more than just some Advil. Do I need to be concerned with wound care? He’s all stitched up, no drainage tubes, but they said he may have a fluid pocket. What else should I talk to my vet about?

The Rainbow Bridge



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7 January 2019 - 7:11 am
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Hi and welcome! Your future posts won’t need moderation, sorry for the wait.

Your gut instinct is spot on, Quellin is another name for carprophen or Rimadyl here in the states. It is definitely not enough. pain management is a huge issue for new Tripawds so I hope that you can convince your vet to offer stronger meds (Amantadine, Gabapentin, Tramadol are just a few examples). If not, find a new vet who is practicing current protocols. 

Sounds like he may have a seroma , which usually isn’t a big deal. Just make sure the area isn’t warm to the touch or discharging smelly or green fluid (did the shelter give you antibiotics for him?).

Check out our What to Expect series for other ideas about what to expect as he heals. Jerry’s Required Reading List is another spot with our Best Of articles too. 

He’s a lucky dog to find you! Let us know what your vet says.

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Seattle
Forum Posts: 23
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7 January 2019 - 8:34 am
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Thanks. I’m in the States, I just couldn’t remember the name of the drug (and it’s not on the bottle) so I looked them up and found what matched the pill visually. I’m sure my vet will prescribe some pain meds. We had my last dog on Gabapentin and CBD oil in his last few weeks.

Antibiotics are another thing – he’s not on any, and that didn’t hit me until I got home (I was a little overwhelmed in the moment). It seems like that would be standard protocol for a surgery this serious.  I’ll ask my vet. I’m hoping they can get me in this morning.

Thanks for the links! I’m still navigating the site. There’s a ton of info on here and I’m glad I stumbled across it. This little dude has been through a lot, and he still doesn’t have a proper name. I will keep you updated.

Here and Now


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7 January 2019 - 9:06 am
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reverendbonobo said
Antibiotics are another thing – he’s not on any…It seems like that would be standard protocol for a surgery this serious.

Prescribing antibiotics after amputation surgery is certainly common practice among most veterinary surgeons.

Thanks for the links! I’m still navigating the site. There’s a ton of info on here…

If you ever need help navigating the blogs, start here for help finding all the helpful Tripawds resources and assistance programs or watch this quick tutorial video.

Seattle
Forum Posts: 23
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6 January 2019
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7 January 2019 - 9:55 am
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Now I’m really glad I got him. Who knows what might have happened if someone else had tried to do this on that limited support and information. Still waiting for my vet’s office to open in 15 minutes, they’re not even answering the phones yet.

Posting a picture here doesn’t seem to work. Is it the site, or is it TinyPic?

Here and Now


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7 January 2019 - 10:17 am
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reverendbonobo said
Posting a picture here doesn’t seem to work. Is it the site, or is it TinyPic?

Not this site, likely TinyPic. Many photo sharing sites do not allow third-party hosting.

Photo link URLs must be publicly viewable and and in a valid image file format (e.g.; .jpg, .png, .gif). Here are detailed instructions for adding photos to forum posts . If you don’t already share photos online somewhere, you can start a free Tripawds blog any time and upload them there. Need further help? Post in the Tech Support forum and we’ll be happy to help!

Seattle
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7 January 2019 - 10:39 am
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The problem is somewhere with my browser extensions. Even Imgur wouldn’t work until I shut them all off.  I’ll play with it later. This is my new dude, still has no name but I’m leaning toward Asher or Vinnie. We have an appointment with my vet at 10:30.

Image Enlarger

Livermore, CA




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7 January 2019 - 11:46 am
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Hello and welcome.  He is lucky to have found you, I’m glad you are heading to your vet with him. 

I can see why you fell in love, he is adorable!  Same way my current Tripawd Elly found me… I saw a picture of her and had to have her! Elly is a small Pug mix who was hit by a car at 7 months old and lost her right rear leg as a result.  I got her when she was 10 months old, she just turned 4. 

Let us know what your vet says.

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

Seattle
Forum Posts: 23
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7 January 2019 - 12:53 pm
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I was mistaken. He got a shot of a long-acting antibiotic at the shelter (Convenia), so he’s good there. I just overlooked that note in the pile of papers they gave me.

So we got some liquid Gabapentin, a proper e-collar (he could actually reach around that floppy thing they gave me), and a lepto vaccine since the shelter didn’t give him one of those. He’s good to go, clean bill of health apart from the missing leg. Hopefully we won’t need to go back until it’s time to get the sutures removed.

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8 January 2019 - 4:17 am
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Hi and welcome!

Your new furbaby is adorable, and so very lucky! You may want to speak with your vet about another stronger pain medication as whatever anesthesia and pain meds he may have been given at the time of surgery will be out of his system soon. Gabapentin is a great drug for phantom limb pain and it is definitely a great medication to have along with the NSAID, but he might need something stronger as well for a couple of weeks. 

If you are able to, try to keep him quiet at least until the sutures come out. Eat, sleep, meds, short leashed potty breaks, repeat. 

Good luck with your new adoption and congratulations! Rescue pups are just the best heart

Jackie and Huckleberry heart

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Angel Mitchell, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

Huckleberry's Blog

Seattle
Forum Posts: 23
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8 January 2019 - 4:29 am
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krun15 said
Hello and welcome.  He is lucky to have found you, I’m glad you are heading to your vet with him. 

I can see why you fell in love, he is adorable!  Same way my current Tripawd Elly found me… I saw a picture of her and had to have her! Elly is a small Pug mix who was hit by a car at 7 months old and lost her right rear leg as a result.  I got her when she was 10 months old, she just turned 4. 

Let us know what your vet says.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

  

Thanks! He is a cutie, isn’t he?

I think Asher chose me as much as I chose him, and I know that sounds like a corny old cliche.  I didn’t even see his picture – I was just doing my morning browse of the shelter listings and saw a new dog at one of them. No picture, no description beyond “Terrier Mix” and his shelter name, Eugene. I called and all they told me was that he was black and white, and about ten pounds. So I figured I’d go have a look.

It was only when I got there that they told me he was missing a leg – and that the amputation had happened only two days ago. That sounded like more than I was prepared to deal with, but I’d driven all that way so I may as well meet him, right? I saw his cute scruffy little face first, then I saw his deep red amputation site with its long row of Frankenstein stitches. But he was running around, dancing, and spinning in circles – all on three legs.

And when the shelter worker left the room and it was just me and him, he jumped in my lap, licked my hands and face, and let me pet him, and I was sold. We just continued like that until the worker came back, me playing with my puppy. I told her I’d take him, paid my fees, got his license and adoption packet and a small bottle of meds, and took him home.

They also threw in a leash and a collar, a small crate, a big bag of food, his floppy cone e-collar, a small Kong toy, and a squeaky toy. Now that I think about it, they were very eager to give me extra stuff. I wonder if they were expecting to have a hard time finding him a home.

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8 January 2019 - 5:44 am
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Oh my, what a story!! That was meant to be ❤️ .Yes, I have no doubt they were fearful of not finding a home plus trying to take care of a post op pup in a shelter is not easy. 

I’m so happy for you, just a beautiful story. It’s amazing how sometimes things are just meant to be 😊😊

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Angel Mitchell, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

Huckleberry's Blog

Seattle
Forum Posts: 23
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6 January 2019
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8 January 2019 - 12:29 pm
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Last night, just as I was drifting off to sleep, I heard him shifting around in his crate, followed by a loud squeal, just like the one he made when he fell over and landed on his wound. I guess he hit his wound, because there was a tiny bit of blood. I spent an hour with him in my bed, comforting him until he fell asleep. I almost let him sleep with me, but I was worried he’d get bored and jump off the bed. This morning when I let him out of his crate, his cone fell off. His wound site looked okay, so I think it stayed on during the night.

I didn’t want to do it this soon, but I’m taking him to work with me today. I hope it’s not too stressful for him, but I need to keep him under observation.  I gave my vet a call to see how concerned I should be about that little bit of blood, and to see if I can get something stronger for the pain, hopefully something a little sedating. Still waiting to hear back. He’s acting calmer right now, so I think I managed to get all of the Gabapentin in his mouth this morning.

He’s due to get his sutures taken out on the 14th. Only six more days of this worry and paranoia. Hopefully.

Livermore, CA




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8 January 2019 - 1:25 pm
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I think Asher chose me as much as I chose him, and I know that sounds like a corny old cliche.

Not at all! Somehow the right animals find us- that’s what I think.

It must be really hard for a shelter to take care of a pup who just had major surgery- and not everyone will adopt a ‘broken’ animal so they must have been thrilled to meet you!  I think Elly had been up on PetFinder for a couple months before I inquired about her, so her foster mom seemed pretty excited for us to meet.

I had the advantage of having a Tripawd before so I didn’t look at Elly as special needs (how she was listed on PF), good for you for opening your heart and home to Asher!

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

Forum Posts: 2633
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8 January 2019 - 2:27 pm
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Awwww i feel bad for both of you! Good to check with the vet, might just be seepage from a seroma but those things can go weird quickly so checking with vet is the best. Damp compresses might give some relief.

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Angel Mitchell, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

Huckleberry's Blog

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