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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Hi, I'm in the same exact spot now with my hound blend, Evie. I was going to ask this question and so relieved that someone else is experiencing this as well. Evie was diagnosed with Sarcoma with a tumor located on lower shoulder down through the upper part of her leg two years ago by an oncologist. She said amputation wouldn't be good for Evie because of her weight and she didn't feel her back legs where she was weak, would support amputation. During a physical in December, Evie's veternarian said she thought Evie could manage it. I decided with her doctor to amputate. She is nine and has gained 15 pounds over the last few years since my husband's death. She weighs 109 lbs. I am 69-years-old and live alone. I have no one to help me with her care. It took three vet techs to get her in the car after her surgery. I have five senior dogs who were all fosters with rescues and adoptions that fell through. I once had ten, but old age, heart disease and cancer have taken these Angels.
She urinated two days after her surgery on Sunday, 1/9/22. Today is Thursday, 1/14/22 and she has not urinated since 1/9/22 and she has not passed any poo...period. She loves to eat and drink water. When I put a towel under her belly and pull her up, she will not use her front leg. I have been able to get her to stand for a few seconds maybe four times. She pancakes a lot. Her incision then drains fluid. I haven't seen any loss of stitches but the beginning of the sutures and the end of the sutures look different from the other sutures, as in there seems to be closure of dead space with these along the length of the suture. The end and beginning look like "nipples." There is no infection I can see.
I'm not sure where to go from here... if i help her up, she resists and goes down on the end of the sutures which then generates leaking of fluid. My greatest fear is that she will not be able to stand and or walk. I'm stressed to the point that my own body is aching along with my heart.
This post / discussion with Pamela has been moved here to a new topic:
22 February 2013
First of all, soooo reliefed you checked back in!!! I saw Jerry's response and then, when didn't hear back, was quite worried.
Don't worry about where you ppst for now, Jerry can help you woth that later. The important thing right now is thst you ATAY CONNECTED!!!
YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!! We can hopefully help you navigate through this rough recovery and onto better days ahead!!!
I'm so sorry you have had to deal with all these hurdles. It does sound like the original incision and the follow up you got (before the ER visit), could have been better and more thorough and I'll leave it at that. Although the surgery was done by an Orthopedic Surgeon, more attention needed to be paid to the drainage, the opening and the infection! Geez! No wonder you were worried and exhausted and overwhelmed. And to do it by yourself while caring for other seniors....you clearly are stronger than you realize!!!
So your Surgeon needs to follow up with you. He needs to give you an explanation why he has taken so long to urinate. Were all the preliminary work ups clear showing no issues?
Did the Surgeon send you home with antibiotics?? And pain meds???
Usually dogs come home with Gabapentin, an a antibiotic and an a inflammatory like Rimadyl. What you are seeing as "depression" quite often is a pain sog al. So when you can, please update us on her pain management , okay??
Di you pup spend at least one night at the Vet? Most don't send them home at least until they urinate and stand assisted.
Not now, but maybe you can discuss with the Surgeon you would like a possible refund of at least a big discount, on the second suturing.
Is Evie drinking and eating on her own? Pooping may be I freq for now, but, as you know, the urination is important.
What did the Surgeon say reason for not urinating and did he say bring her back after "X" number of hours if she didn't urinate? It's not easy trying to express a bladder and van actually cause harm if not done right.
Important ...did the Surgeon do a culture of the infection and send it off? That can best determine the antibiotic needed, as well as eliminate MRSA . So have them give you an answer on that, okay??
Don't mean to ask so many questions, but your answers can help us help ypu!
You DO have some things to cele that ARE victories and ARE improvements!!!
You DO have Even if it was on her side, it counts as a victory!!!! YAY FOR
And Evie IS standing and IS taking a few steps! HUGE VICTORY!!
I know to be dealing with snow on top of everything else is making everything so difficult!
Do you have a friend who could bring some puppy pads and who could maybe help you take her outaide?? She may piop and pee in her bed for now, but that's okay.
If you are having to use a sling to try and take her outside she may just freeze and refuse to try and potty. Many dogs will do that with a sling?
Do not hesitate to email the Surgeon or call! You would like an answer on the urination situation.
Evie, and you, have both been through a lot!! This is MAJOR surgery....then infection... then another surgery..and probably not proper pain management .....so recovery will take longer.
You are doing an exce job! Stay the course and, again, STAY CONNECTED !!! You can never give is too many updates at this point, okay???
You need to take care of you too, okay??? You have to be exhausted emotionally and physically, as well as sleep deprived and full 0f so much worry.
You ARE on the right path now, okay? Fet some sleep!! Eat and you need to stay hydrated too, okay??? This kind of stress can take a toll×
We'll look for more updates and answers to the questions
Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!
And you do jave scatter rugs for traction ???
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!
24 November 2021
I guess it's time for another update!
It is with a heavy heart that I have to share that we had to say goodbye to Buster on May 28, 2022. He passed away peacefully in my arms and with the care of the incredible staff of the pet clinic we had been going to, and he will be forever missed!
After Buster had seemingly been responding well to the chemotherapy treatment he had been receiving since the leg amputation it was on his very last chemo appointment when they ran another scan, and the doctor came back to me to tell me that he is recommending not to do the treatment, because the scans showed that the chemo had not been successful in slowing the cancer down, and it had spread throughout his lungs and other organs all over his body. That was in March.
After exhausting all our options we came to the conclusion that all we could do at this point was to make sure Buster would live out the remainder of his life as happy and pain free as possible, and when he eventually started showing issues of getting weaker and not being able to live well anymore we knew it was time to say farewell.
We had a final day at the dog park just a week before his passing, and he was so weak at that point that I had to carry him back to the car and he didn't even try to fight me when lifting him up (which he never liked even when I did it). The vet assured us that we were doing the right thing letting him go when we did, but that still didn't make it any easier. I didn't want my kids to watch him die so I went by myself, had a nice little cry at the park outside the clinic, and then drove back home alone for the last time.
Thanks for all the support from everybody, it's been a tough last year but Buster was a great dog who will be missed for a very long time. We are not planning on getting another dog anytime soon, but my sister-in-law just got a new puppy so I'm getting my cuddles from there
25 April 2007
Ohhhh I'm really sorry to learn this sad news. Thank you for sharing it with us, I know it couldn't have been easy to write down. His decline happened so fast! My condolences to you and the family.
You gave that sweet boy such a great life, right up until his last day at the dog park. No dog could ever ask for more in their life. What a send-off, it was the best way to honor him and give him that peaceful transition he deserved. Being by his side until his last breath was courageous, and so compassionate. I don't know how old/young your kids are but I would have done the same thing. As for making that call to set him free, I always feel that it's better to set a beloved pet free when it still feels a little too early, rather than wait until you know it's been too long. I talk to a lot of folks who have regrets about waiting way past the time they knew they should have done it. We are given this responsibility and our pets look to us to live up to it. Not easy at all. We learn as we go.
Buster was so loved and treasured, I know it must be so hard to not have him around you. I hope you can take comfort in picturing his mighty Husky spirit surrounding the family with love, for all time.
If you'd like to share photos, let me know, I'm happy to help if you don't know how adding images works.