Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat
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Calamity is my 7 yo retired greyhound. She is going to have a front leg amputation tomorrow due to a tramatic fracture last Thanksgiving.
This poor girl has had 5 surgeries on this leg to try to fix it! She had almost a constant infection in the bone despite antibiotics for almost a year.
She rebroke the leg Tuesday night while playing in the yard.
I have spent the day discussing options, treatments and everything else with doctors I know and the ones caring for her now. No matter what option we would take, if it didn’t work, the end result is amputation.
There is a small piece of bone that looks lytic, it is more than likely infected bone but there is always the chance that is is osteo – I hate that monster. We’ll have that sent off after they take off her leg.
I’ve been through many things with my greyhounds over the 15 years I have had this breed, but have never done an amputation. Not really sure what to expect.
I’m glad I found this forum that deals with tripods. I’m sure I will have a TON of questions as we heal & learn to live with 3 legs!
Janie McBride & Calamity
And her brother/littermate Morgan and housemates, Trigger, Munchkin & Kade (all greyhounds)
25 April 2008
That’s alot of surgeries to go through in one year. It sounds painful too, . There are some other greys on here . Check out the info and welcome. Like Jerry says " it’s better to hop on three then limp on four".. Best wishes
Kim & Angel Buster
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
Awww thanks! 5 is pretty easy really, we have a system. We have had up to 6!
Calamity will be having her surgery after Dr. Desch finishes his 2 appointments this morning, around 10:30 or so. They say it’ll take about 1.5 hrs, a big difference from the 4 hour surgery to initially repair her leg! I’ll go see her this evening and they say she should be able to come home tomorrow.
Has any one dealt with a tripod & multiple dogs? How long did you keep them apart after surgery & how did you do it? We have a couple plans, but we also live in a small home.
How much pain was your tripod in when he/she came home? What meds were given?
28 May 2008
Hi Janie…we’re saying some pawprayers for your girl…I’m sure she’ll do fine 🙂
I have 2 golden retrievers and when I brought Zeus home from surgery, I had my sister take my other (Buddy) for a few days while we both got acclimated to our new life. The first night was really "ruff" and neither Zeus nor I got any sleep. If you plan on sleeping on the floor with her, make sure you set up the area before you bring her home with an air matress or matress or cushions. I didn’t plan it that well and bringing Zeus home was so emotional for me that I just laid a sleeping bag down on the hard floor and didn’t get any sleep. He hogged most of it and when I tried to get on the couch to sleep he woke up and just stay there panting and looking at me until I came back down on the floor….LOL. I did a better job the following night of setting up the living room with an air matress for the next couple weeks.
I realize that you may not have the option of sending the 4 others away for a few days…so I guess I would suggest making a special area for calamity to rest up as she will need it especially the first couple days…maybe baby gate it off? But depending on how your dogs interact with one another, it may be pawsitive for her to have them all around. I guess the long and short of it is to see how she responds when you bring her home.
Zeus was on tremadol for 2 weeks for pain and he panted a lot on the medicine, but he needed it for the pain – obviously. Once we took him off it after 2 weeks and got the stitches out and his bandage off, he was back to his ol’ self. You will amazed how quickly they adjust to this…but it does take a few weeks, so be patient.
Check in and let us know how she’s doing and any other questions that you may have as they arise. We’re here for you and your girl.
Heather and Zeus
Heather and Spirit Zeus - Our life changing journey…from the earth to the heavens…one day at a time…always together
Welcome kcgrey and Calamity,
Sounds like it’s been a rough year. But guess what? After the amputation (and healing from surgery) Calamity will be out of pain. And she will "run" again. I have 6 borzoi and Radar (front leg amputation early August) keeps up with the gang and runs around the yard. Sometimes he scares me with the speeds he goes. She won’t know that she is handicapped – just that she needs to do some things a bit differently.
Well be keeping our paws crossed for a quick and easy surgery. Let us know how Calamity does.
Connie & Radar
I got word that she is out of surgery & resting now after a bit of crying. They told me to come on up to see her at dinnertime. My best friend (who is a vet) and I will go together as she is my support.
My husband & I moved things around in the "dog room" to make a larger space for her when she comes home. We can babygate that room off from the rest of the pack. I have a futoon mattress we’ll throw on the floor for either of us to lay on. Calamity does not like to sleep with anyone, so I will just try to sleep close to her.
I have tramadol here, as well as metacam, rimadyl & many antibiotics. I’ll be good to go on whatever they want her on at home. They did say she will still have her patch on.
My biggest hope & prayer is that the histopathology comes back negative for osteo. I would have never put her through this if I knew it was osteo. I have lost 2 greyhounds in the past year to broken bones from cancer, one was hemangio that metted to the leg & the other was "the monster". I hate the monster.
I’ll come back & report how she is later tonight. Thanks for the companionship & support.
Hi Janie, thanks so much for joining the Tripawds community here. As you can tell, everyone has such incredible advice and insight to offer. You’re also so fortunate to have a best friend who’s a vet! Sounds like you’ve been through the hardest times of all, I think that it can only get better from here.
I was an only dog when I had my amp done, but my pawrents just talked to Rocco’s pawrents about his amputation, and asked them what was it like to have multiple dogs in the house when they brought him home. Rocco has two brothers. His pawrents said that the other dogs sniffed at him a little, but really just gave him his space, like they knew he needed time to heal. There wasn’t any real horseplay or anything that put him at risk for injury.
We hope that the histopathology report comes back negative too. But please know that even if it is positive for osteo, there is always hope that Calamity can live a good, extended life on three legs, much longer than she would’ve if she had just been kept on pain meds.The pain of osteo is so intense without an amp, it’s just terrible. Your time with her would’ve been so much more limited without the amp. Whether you get one month or two years like I got, each extra day is such a blessing.
Please let us know how your visit goes, and let us know if you need anything at all.
Spirit Dog Jerry
Calamity came home last night & never missed a beat. She got up & down 3 times on the ride home & never cried a bit. She wanted on the sofa & tried to get up by putting her leg up. She was lifted so she could lay whith her hed on my lap – her favorite position – and stayed ther for about an hour. She rested pretty good throughout the night, only getting up to go out to potty once.
Today she is very restless and will not lay for more than a few minutes. I imagine she is having some pain. She still has her patch on and had a dose od deramaxx before she left the hospital. She’s on cephalaxin (antibiotic) too.
Should the restelssness/pain be something for me to be concerned about or is it something we need to ride out?
We’re managing to keep the others out of her way. The young ones – 2 year olds – are the real pains, but those of you who know greyhounds know they don’t GET a brain untill the reach 2! LOL!!
All in all, I thing the first 12 hours home have been ok 🙂
Today she is very restless and will not lay for more than a few minutes. I imagine she is having some pain.
More likely, she is tripping out on the medication’s side effects. I only had Tramadol after my surgery and never whined or paced like we hear is the case with dogs on heavy duty stuff like that Fentynyl patch and Deramax.
If she was truly in pain, she wouldn’t be getting up. What she needs most right now is time, and rest. Remain calm and she’ll follow your lead. Ween her off the meds as soon as possible, but do follow doctor’s orders. Ride it out indeed …
Thanks! I did give her a tramadol and that has helped her to rest some. The Deramaxx had caused some gastric bleeding, so we have her off that and will get her back on the metacam she has tolerated well the past 11 months. Got a ‘script for carafate to calm her gut too.
The past few hours have been so much better than the morning.
The young ones – 2 year olds – are the real pains, but those of you who know greyhounds know they don’t GET a brain untill the reach 2! LOL!!
Wow – 2 years? you are lucky, borzoi are dufusses, goof butts and circus dogs until they are 3
All in all it sounds like Calamity’s on track. We have heard of others having issues with the heavier pain meds. Radar was also very hyper the day after he came home and then went to ground, not eating much and not wanting to get up much for a few days after that. There will be ups and downs as she adjusts to, then gets off of the pain meds, then again as she tries to get the hang of things.
We too had to keep the other kids separate at first. When in the house I baby gated the entrance to my office and Radar stayed in there with me and the other kids stayed on the other side of the gate but could still be obnoxious enough to get my attention when they needed LOL. When the time came I introduced my oldest and mellowest kids to Radar first. That went well and then when we got to the 2 year olds at first we only let them with Radar inside as you know how the young ones can be racing around outside. I actually gave Radar almost 3 weeks before letting him out with the young ones and then I watched closely.
Hugs and big arroooos from us.
Connie & Radar
We have baby gate that we use to corral the youngsters too and a squirt bottle that they obey 😉 Her brother & out other older one have caused to trouble at all.
I have noticed some blood/fluid pooling at her chest area, which I’m sure is normal and some fluid in a "bubble" in her lower neck area. Did any of you see this & if so, did you do anything? I have some heat against her chest right now.
She’s resting better with the tramadol and metacam onboard. I had a little melt-down tonight…LOL!!