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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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10+ months after amp; could use some good ju-ju
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Member Since:
31 March 2015
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23 April 2015 - 8:43 pm
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I'm too tired, too stressed, and too worried to write a long-winded post about what's been going on with our pup Charlie. We have an appointment tomorrow morning with the surgeon who did the amp and who has been amazing to figure out what to do next and until then I thought I'd just post what's been happening and see if anyone can relate.


The back story on Chuck can be found here: http://tripawds.....t-charlie/

Short version, front leg was amputated last June for a bone tumor. Suspected osteocarsanoma turned out to be fibrocarsanoma after review by two pathologists (our surgeon seriously was amazing and wouldn't stop until we had answers).

Charlie has arthritis in his hind hips that was probably there before the surgery and quickly it festered after. We responded really, really well to Rimydal but what was supposed to be a "as needed" medication has turned into a maintenance med. (this next part is still hard for me to talk about without getting sick to my stomach).

Because Rimydal is pretty expensive through the vet we got a RX for Novox and ordered online. By this time Charlie was having a hard time getting around, during the day I'm a stay-at-home dad to our toddler son and at night I do contract work so I was tired. Really, really tired. There's no easy way to say it but I screwed Charlies dosage up for the Novox even though it was right there on the bottle. For three days he received double the dose he should have. At first things were great, then we started seeing troublesome signs, took him for a checkup and that's when I learned what I had done. Thankfully after a full blood workup there doesn't appear to be any liver or kidney damage...phew. Ok. 

It's been over two weeks since then and his appetite hasn't come back. The vet put him on pepcid, a pill for the stomach lining, anti biotic (he had a slight temp), tramadol, and when his appetite returned we were to continue novox. we had stopped the novox immediately when we learned about my error which caused him to go from feeling great in the hips, to reality, to pain.

He's barely using his left hind leg and is almost bipedal at this point. He has to compensate by turning his one front shoulder outward but leaned's not good. This isn't Charlie. It's incredibly hard to get him to move around. And then, he has moments where he goes out into the front yard, picks up a big rotted log and tows it into the backyard like he was fine. I'm hand feeding him though to get something in him. Yeah, yeah, behaviorally this isn't good for him but I don't care if he's being lazy as long as he eats at this point. I need to get him back to what ever his new normal means then I'll fix any issues I'm causing by hand feeding him, laying next to him in the middle of the night with the heating pad and bringing him his water. 

We hide his ball and he'll get up to go find it once, then back to his chair. I just don't know what I'm doing anymore. After screwing up his meds I feel like everything I'm doing isn't working. My wife and I both are at a loss and we're not looking to tomorrow's appointment for any answers other than maybe this will pass...

At this point we're asking ourselves what quality of life means for Charlie. Having him since he was 5 1/2 weeks old and my wife being with him the last 6 years, we know that right now, this isn't a good quality of life. He's not the type of dog to hang out in one spot. His lungs sound clear from the last vet appointment a week ago. Blood work is spot-on, gums are good, stool is consistent with what was his normal waste, he's drinking water, no weird smell on his breath, no abdominal tenderness, no attitude change..just doesn't seem to want to move much and uses a leg more has a balance tool than a leg most of the time. 

I guess I'm not really looking for anyone who can relate, we all have been down similar roads and this seemed to have turned into more of a vent than anything. So if you made it this far, thanks! big-grin Hopefully tomorrow doesn't go how I fear it may.


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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23 April 2015 - 9:34 pm
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I know this was hard to write and I know you are exhausted and frustrated, scared, second guessing evdrything, sad, impatient and let's not forget guilt ridden! Does that pretty well cover it! Yeah, we get it all too well!!

I'm real k y glad you came here tonight. We've been wondering how Charlie is doing. And, other than this hurdle, and that's all it is is a temporary hurdle,he has been doing very well!

I love the visual of him prancing around with his log! Sounds like Charlie still has quality, even during this yucky time.

The fact that all his blood work, etc. all good...that's HUGE!!! It seems that you are witnessing the side effects of pain and achiness from arthritis. And it sounds like once you get him back on Novax, he should feel better soon.

And heck yeah, spoil the heck out of that boy..hand feed him steak and ice cream...whatevdr it takes to get him to eat!! Will he eat any "good stuff"...chicken, hamburger, strak, etc.?

ALso some gentle massage before he gets up may help. Would he tolerate a sling or harness to help with his mobility?

Ask the vet about Adequan shots for arthritis. .aybe he can come up with an alternative until his appetite picks up.

Feeling guilty is a waste of your energy. Charlie must knows he is loved and spoiled a d would NOT want you to waste time beating yourself up. He wants you to be fully lresent and focused on being with him and feeling good a d positive and happy! These kinds of med mix up happen. Don't let that interfere with your time together with Charlie, okay???

I don t know how much the vet wa ts to see him eating before he can get back on his meds, but I wouldn't think it would be a huge amount. Also search links here for natural or holostic arthritic treatme t.

Also lerhaps a rehab specialist or phusical therapist maybe able to help...lerhaps acupuncture? And one more thought, he could have strained some muscles or pinched a. nerve with his convoluted way he's walking now.

Take some deep breaths...B R E A T H E...... please update us as ,soon as you get back from the vet, okay?

Hang in there!! Charlie is a tough fella! Hopefully he will get the go ahead to get back on his meds. Oh..and try stinky loverwurst...dgs love that!

Sending big hugs to all!!

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!

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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24 April 2015 - 8:34 am
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Ohhh my gosh. I'm so very, very sorry and feel so badly for all of you, this is such a stressful situation. Please though, don't let it get you down. Charlie still has a lot of living to do and I'm not a vet, and I haven't seen him, but based on what you've described it sounds like pain and he could use a consult with a certified rehab vet.

Large dogs and especially front-leg Tripawds can experience muscle strain during the first few weeks, it happens often and it can be managed and made better. Please ask your vet for a referral, and get him over to therapy asap if they can't find anything medically/internally wrong. Don't give up. Many people have been through this and found pawesome help and relief with qualified rehab therapy, it's amazing what it can do. I know it's one more thing for you on top of everything else, but you can do it.

I hope that today goes well with the vet. By the way, did you see Charlie's Tripawd Tuesday feature? I hope it cheers you up!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Martinsburg, WV
Member Since:
3 June 2014
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24 April 2015 - 11:34 am
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I'm so sorry that Charlie and your family has been having a rough time.  Please don't beat yourself up (I know easier said than done) over the Novocox.  Sometimes mistakes happen (we're human of course) but you caught it in time and per his blood work things are ok internally.  And don't you or your wife feel bad about hand feeding Charlie.  We did that for our Leland and brought his water bowl to him.  You're right that Charlie needs to get food in him and if this gets him to eat so be it.  So many medications need to be taken with food and you will never hear anyone here criticize you for feeding Charlie by hand.

You and your wife hang in there!!  I don't think Charlie is ready to throw in the towel just yet.  Like Jerry mentioned perhaps some rehab therapy would work for Charlie.

Hugs to you all!

Sahana and her Angel 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!

Member Since:
31 March 2015
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25 April 2015 - 11:26 am
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Thanks everyone. I wrote an update on the original post telling his story. I'll link to it here. I'm sorry I just don't have it in me to write it all out again.



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