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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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Appetite loss...Mom's at a loss!
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Member Since:
6 July 2015
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6 July 2015 - 6:41 am
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Reno, my 6 1/2 yo male GD had his left hind leg amputated 10 days ago and he still is not showing any real interest in food- human or otherwise?

While he was at Tufts for 3 days, he refused to urinate or eat at all. When we got him home and comfortable he managed the few stairs onto our deck...off the other side into the dog yard- had a good 3 gallon pee and hopped back into the house. I offered him some chicken jerky which he ate greedily!

It's been hit and miss though for the whole 10 days. Everyday is different...some times he won't eat at all, other times he will. And, his tastes keep changing! Boiled chicken one day, the next - womp, hamburger patty one meal...the next a "no-go"! He was prescribed tramadol (50mg (4/day)) and Deramaxx (75mg (1/day)) before amputation and we were instructed to continue. He came home wearing 2- 75mg Fentanyl patches which were removed after 3 days.

I'm wondering if either of the pain meds is causing stomach upset? We give him pepcid twice per day to try to offset this...As his appetite was somewhat off prior to the amputation.

Oh, and he also takes 100mg Levothyroxine twice per day...

Any helpful tips would be greatly appreciated! I am also aware that he knows better than I when he is ready to eat and that he may be fasting to heal himself.

 

Thanks in advance all!

missing my boys...Everyday
Orion- Black (9/4/02 Angel 8/9/08) DCM/CHF Dx (7/31/08)
Ares- Black (9/4/02 Angel 3/3/09) OSA Dx (12/10/08)
 

Chalia- Fawn (11/20/07~)                                                                                                                                       

"Reno"- Blue  (01/15/09~) Willowrun's North Wind Renato  OSA Dx 5/21/15 Amp 6/26/15                                

"Niko"- Black (08/25/11~) Willowrun's Aniketos

 

"You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us." - Robert Louis Stevenson 

 

On The Road


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6 July 2015 - 6:51 am
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Hi and welcome. Your future posts won't need approval so post away. Hope you dont' mind I moved your post here.

Sorry to hear about your Dane. Why did he lose a leg? 

Have you tried feeding anything other than his kibble? Sure sounds like he's after the good stuff! What about boiled chicken? Browned hamburger? Scrambled eggs? Stinky meats like liverwurst? Yes, pain meds do mess with appetite and usually after a dog is off of them they go back to eating and being hungry again. However many dogs, once they get a taste of 'real' food, will be reluctant to go back to kibble, so you have to reintroduce it slowly. Check out the Tripawds Nutrition blog for other tips, just search for "appetite' in the right sidebar search box. Worst case you can ask the vet for an appetite stimulant prescription, which should do the trick if he doesn't eat soon. 

Hope this helps. Stay tuned for more feedback from others.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Maryland
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6 July 2015 - 9:13 am
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I'm sorry you're going through this. I'm sure it is frustrating and worrying. We had very much the same experience w/ our Ellie after her amp, especially the bit about liking one thing one day and turning up her nose at it the next!

Is Reno showing any signs of nausea when he refuses food? For Ellie, this was primarily drooling. If so, you might find that Cerenia works really well. That is what we turned to in the end (after about 3 weeks of refusing most food). Also, if it is nausea, you might find bland and "not smelly" things work better. Ellie would eat saltine crackers and uncooked egg noodles even when she'd turn her head at chicken or hamburger.

Certainly the drugs too could be causing lack of appetite so as he gets weaned off the post-amp drugs things may turn around on their own. 

Denise, Bill and Ellie. 

Active 10+ Pyr mix suddenly came up lame with ACL tear in left rear leg. Scheduled for a TPLO but final pre-op x-rays indicated a small suspicious area, possibly OSA, which could have caused the ACL tear. Surgeon opened the knee for TPLO but found soft bone. Biopsy came back positive for OSA. Became a Tripawd 9/18/14. Carbo6 with Cerenia and Fluids. Pain free and living in the moment. Crossed the Bridge on 7/12/15 after probable spread of cancer to her cervical spine. A whole lifetime of memories squeezed into 10 months. Here's her story: Eloise

Virginia




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6 July 2015 - 9:40 am
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Reno's avatar picture is quite striking! Can't wait to see more pictures!

Why did Reno have his leg amputated?

I'm thinking along the same lines as Denise as far as looking for signs of nausea.....turning his head away, drooling, licking his lips, etc.

It certainly can be related to the pain meds, although he doesn't really seem to be on a very big dose. Which brings me to...does Reno seem to be showing signs of pain? That can interfere with his appetite. And yes, he may be conserving his energy for healing rather than digesting food, but it sounds like the "good stuff" is working, at least some of the time!

For now, feed him anything he will eat! He's a big boy! Another little "trick"...have someone else he likes bring him food. Really! Crazy as it sounds, sometimes when a different person acts all excited snd brings them food they'll woof it down! If he doesn't mind car rides, try taking him through a drive-thru for a big cheesburger...bun and all! Sometimes that works too.

Stay connected and keep us posted. We look forward to hearing more about Reno.

Sending healing wishes and hugs!

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle 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!

Norene, TN
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6 July 2015 - 1:40 pm
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Harmony did the same thing. One day she would eat, the next - nope not having any of that! I think much of hers had to do with the meds. Plus, she hated Tramadol and I think she started to relate the bad taste to me feeding her.

Good luck, he sure is a beauty.

Harmony became a Tripawd on 10/21/14 (MCT). She left us way too soon on 11/1/14.

"We miss you so much; our love, our heart, our Harmony."

- Pam, Ron and Melody, Meesha, Doublestuff and Mariah Carey

Orrtanna Pa.
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6 July 2015 - 6:57 pm
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The Deramax can cause this.  How is his activity level? Any vomiting, runny stool? Maybe you could ask your vet if it could be stopped. If not a Pepcid an hour before can help protect the stomach. As mentioned above, Cerinia is good for nausea. Ty could not take Deramax. He just layed around and would not eat or drink. He wound up taking Rimadyl after a wash out period. My quad paw Chandler gets runny poop with Rimadyl, so I guess different NSAIDS work better for different pups. If all else fails,  scrambled eggs were usually a go, even at 3 AM. I also got a canned food from my vet, I think it was Hills( I know) recovery diet. He ate that pretty well. The other thing I used was Goats milk or the puppy milk replacer, it comes premixed in a can at Tractor Supply. He lapped that right up and I would pour it on top of the canned stuff. Hope this helps, Lori, Ty & Gang

TY GUY, Best Black Lab ever! Diagnosed  and had amp in January, 2014. Kicked MRSA's butt. Earned his angel wings on April 16, 2014. Run Free my boy and don't forget a shoe. Ty is a proud member of the " April Angels". Ty sent us Daryl, a Tripawd rescue in Sept. of 2016. Daryl is 5 +or -. We are also Pawrents to Chandler, a Border Collie mix who is 15 and 1/2, Lucy, a Corgi who is 7, 2 minis, 2 horses, and a feisty cat named Zoe. Zoe had a non skeletal Osteosarcoma removed in July 2015. No Chemo, she was at least 16. She is going strong although she is now completely blind. She is now close to 20 and her hobbies are eating and sleeping in front of her personal heater. 

Orrtanna Pa.
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6 July 2015 - 7:00 pm
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Oops, sorry, I just reread your post and saw you are already giving Pepcid. 

TY GUY, Best Black Lab ever! Diagnosed  and had amp in January, 2014. Kicked MRSA's butt. Earned his angel wings on April 16, 2014. Run Free my boy and don't forget a shoe. Ty is a proud member of the " April Angels". Ty sent us Daryl, a Tripawd rescue in Sept. of 2016. Daryl is 5 +or -. We are also Pawrents to Chandler, a Border Collie mix who is 15 and 1/2, Lucy, a Corgi who is 7, 2 minis, 2 horses, and a feisty cat named Zoe. Zoe had a non skeletal Osteosarcoma removed in July 2015. No Chemo, she was at least 16. She is going strong although she is now completely blind. She is now close to 20 and her hobbies are eating and sleeping in front of her personal heater. 

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7 July 2015 - 8:32 am
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Sorry taking so long to get back to you all...I have been looking at the pages on my phone and couldn't find the "reply"!! LOL

I talked to the surgeon yesterday regarding Reno's histopathology report (definitive for OSA) and we discussed his appetite issues.

Part of the problem may be that (as many Dane owner's know) he is too smart and intuitive for his own good! We are keeping him somewhat separated from my other two danes because my youngest is a 218# tank and doesn't realize he's like a tornado in the house.

He's 10+ days post op and the doc thinks we should be able to take him off both the pain meds...so maybe in a few days he'll be feeling more like himself. I saw a bit of the boy I remember yesterday! I tried to feed him down in the family room where the kennels are last night...leashed him up and we went outside to avoid the set of wooden stairs. He actually went into the crate without much coaxing and ate some of his dinner...so I call that a small win.

I am unfamiliar with the "Cerinia" Denise? Anti nausal? Will put a call into our regular Vet though. The few stools he's had have been dark and somewhat slimy...no fiber diet maybe? Or meds?

 

I will keep you all posted...and thanks so much for the feedback!

missing my boys...Everyday
Orion- Black (9/4/02 Angel 8/9/08) DCM/CHF Dx (7/31/08)
Ares- Black (9/4/02 Angel 3/3/09) OSA Dx (12/10/08)
 

Chalia- Fawn (11/20/07~)                                                                                                                                       

"Reno"- Blue  (01/15/09~) Willowrun's North Wind Renato  OSA Dx 5/21/15 Amp 6/26/15                                

"Niko"- Black (08/25/11~) Willowrun's Aniketos

 

"You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us." - Robert Louis Stevenson 

 

Maryland
Member Since:
28 March 2015
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7 July 2015 - 8:44 am
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Yes, Cerenia is an anti-nausea drug (also used for car sickness). I think it works on the brain, not the stomach so it really is different from things like Pepcid. 

Glad to hear he ate a little! I will say that one reason we got "behind the eight ball" with Ellie's non-eating is we kept thinking that once we got off the drugs (or tapered) then she'd feel more like eating. In Ellie's case that didn't happen, it just kept going and going. Who knows why? But I wish we had caught on sooner that something wasn't right---the signs of nausea were there we just didn't pick up on them soon enough. We didn't even really mention it to the surgeon, since we thought it was kinda "normal". So you're doing great getting some feedback right away. 

Denise, Bill and Ellie. 

Active 10+ Pyr mix suddenly came up lame with ACL tear in left rear leg. Scheduled for a TPLO but final pre-op x-rays indicated a small suspicious area, possibly OSA, which could have caused the ACL tear. Surgeon opened the knee for TPLO but found soft bone. Biopsy came back positive for OSA. Became a Tripawd 9/18/14. Carbo6 with Cerenia and Fluids. Pain free and living in the moment. Crossed the Bridge on 7/12/15 after probable spread of cancer to her cervical spine. A whole lifetime of memories squeezed into 10 months. Here's her story: Eloise

Martinsburg, WV
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3 June 2014
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7 July 2015 - 4:10 pm
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The dark slimy poop is probably due to the Deramax as that was a symptom our Leland ' s vet had us keep an eye out for when he was on Rimadyl.  These anti inflamatories can really mess with their digestive system.  

I also wanted to suggest baby food as a way to coax Reno into eating. We had to use that with our Leland.  I'd get beef, turkey, ham, and chicken.  Of course the strictly meat flavors come in the smallest jars..whatever

Hope Reno gets his appetite back soon. .He's one big boy!

Sahana and her Angel Leland and Lucian too

Leland

November 17, 2009 - June 30, 2014

May you finally be healthy and running free at the Rainbow Bridge. Until we meet again my sweet boy!

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9 July 2015 - 8:31 am
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Good morning all!

Denise and others using the Cerenia...How long did it take to really start to see a difference in the appetite? We got some from our vet Tuesday afternoon. I wracked my brain for foods that have worked with my kids in the past- we had a CDM (cardiomyopathy) dane several years ago who wouldn't eat...egg noodles cooked in low sodium broth with added chicken/ground beef? Yep! Even before getting the drug he made a willing attempt at eating. He has eaten some small meals...is currently loving beef hotdogs, but even with trying to make the household routine more "normal" he doesn't want a full meal. I hope this changes soon, the Dr. gave us just a 4 day pack and said that if that didn't do the trick we could try mirtazapine to stimulate his appetite some more. So, all he gets for meds are the Cerenia at night and his Levo morning and evening- no Nsaids or pain meds at all. We have our first chemo treatment next Tuesday...really need for him to be eating well before we get the yuk from that!

 

Benny55 if I can figure out how to add photos I will grab some!

missing my boys...Everyday
Orion- Black (9/4/02 Angel 8/9/08) DCM/CHF Dx (7/31/08)
Ares- Black (9/4/02 Angel 3/3/09) OSA Dx (12/10/08)
 

Chalia- Fawn (11/20/07~)                                                                                                                                       

"Reno"- Blue  (01/15/09~) Willowrun's North Wind Renato  OSA Dx 5/21/15 Amp 6/26/15                                

"Niko"- Black (08/25/11~) Willowrun's Aniketos

 

"You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us." - Robert Louis Stevenson 

 

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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9 July 2015 - 8:57 am
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RENO!! Stop being picky!!! Big pups need their nourishment!!

My Happy Hannah was a foodaholic so I dont have much insight beyond what others have said. I do think the Cerenia should kick in by the second day though.

Although my Happy Hannah ate okay, I delayed her first checmo u til three weeks after amputation as she was havi g such a rough recovery. I certainly jnderstand wanting to get hjs appetite back first. So even if you have to delay the chemo a few days it's not a biggie.

A d Reno is showing no signs of pain, right ? My Happy Hannah had to stay on a reduced dose of pain meds for three weeks. Big dogs so etimes nave differe t requirements (chunky Bull Mastiff).

And everything else seems "normal"...at least as far as this early in recovery and adjusting to three legs after major surgery?!

Perhaps taking Reno in for a dose of fluids may help stimulate him. That has been done in the past and has worked wonders to get them eati g again. I would talk your vet and see if you can't get that done quickly.

Se ding lots of hugs!

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle 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!

Maryland
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28 March 2015
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9 July 2015 - 9:36 am
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We also delayed chemo because Ellie was having such a rough recovery----the problems eating and just overall weakness. She got down to about 80 lbs, so she had lost 20 lbs from her pre-amp weight (about 10 of that was the leg itself). So when we went in to have our first consult, the Onc said she wasn't really comfortable giving her chemo because she wasn't yet eating. 

Instead, she suggested fluids (just like Sally says, it often really perks them up, even if they seem to be drinking OK) + an injection of Cerenia, followed up by 4 days at home w/ the tablets of Cerenia. I don't think there was anything special about starting first w/ the injection, it was just easy to give it that way along w/ the fluids. In the end, we started chemo 4 weeks post amp. And each time we had chemo, we gave her fluids+Cerenia followed w/ 4 days of Cerenia at home. It might have been overkill, but we just didn't want to take the risk.

For Ellie, the Cerenia seemed to be magic and her appetite picked up right away, probably w/ 36 hours I would guess?

Denise, Bill and Ellie. 

Active 10+ Pyr mix suddenly came up lame with ACL tear in left rear leg. Scheduled for a TPLO but final pre-op x-rays indicated a small suspicious area, possibly OSA, which could have caused the ACL tear. Surgeon opened the knee for TPLO but found soft bone. Biopsy came back positive for OSA. Became a Tripawd 9/18/14. Carbo6 with Cerenia and Fluids. Pain free and living in the moment. Crossed the Bridge on 7/12/15 after probable spread of cancer to her cervical spine. A whole lifetime of memories squeezed into 10 months. Here's her story: Eloise

On The Road


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9 July 2015 - 10:12 am
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danemom3 said
...if I can figure out how to add photos I will grab some!

Here are detailed steps for adding photos to forum posts . If you don't already share photos online somewhere, you can start a free Tripawds blog and upload them to your Media Library.

If you need more help, post in the Tech Support forum or send a PM and we can schedule a time to meet in the chat room .

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Member Since:
6 July 2015
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13 July 2015 - 1:16 pm
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So, we did the 4 day pack of the Cerenia...no real difference. 🙁

Has anyone tried a raw diet to spark the appetite? We have our first chemo (fingers crossed) tomorrow and will definitely ask for more of that and perhaps some mirtazapine to boot? He never had an extra pound to spare, he's very lean and muscular and I trust he is self regulating until he feels better...

missing my boys...Everyday
Orion- Black (9/4/02 Angel 8/9/08) DCM/CHF Dx (7/31/08)
Ares- Black (9/4/02 Angel 3/3/09) OSA Dx (12/10/08)
 

Chalia- Fawn (11/20/07~)                                                                                                                                       

"Reno"- Blue  (01/15/09~) Willowrun's North Wind Renato  OSA Dx 5/21/15 Amp 6/26/15                                

"Niko"- Black (08/25/11~) Willowrun's Aniketos

 

"You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us." - Robert Louis Stevenson 

 

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