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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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Dog not walking 9 days after surgery
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Forum Posts: 6
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1 November 2019 - 9:44 am
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Apologies for posting this question twice.  I am a new user and have not figured out how to get back to my original question to see if there are any answers.

My dog, Ranger, had his front left leg amputated 9 days ago.  He will walk about 30 feet 2 or 3 times a day, but no amount of coaxing will get him to walk further.  By nature, he is very shy and does not handle anything out of his comfort zone too well.  He is also 11 years old, and prior to surgery was able to use the limb because we had him on gabapentin.  Any suggestions welcome.

The Rainbow Bridge



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1 November 2019 - 1:28 pm
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Hi Ranger and family, welcome. I’m not seeing where you previously posted but am glad you did again. Your future posts won’t need approval so post away.

One thing to keep in mind is that nine days is not a long time after surgery, especially for a senior dog. Tell us more about him: what’s his breed-type? Is he overweight? Did he have other pain signals and mobility issues before surgery? And what kind of pain management did he have after surgery? 

Many times a dog won’t walk that soon after surgery because they pulled a muscle. It’s easy to do, and is usually just because they are trying to get used to moving their body in a new way. This can be easily fixed with gentle exercise and guidance from a rehabilitation therapist. If you haven’t been referred to one, we highly recommend it. A rehab therapist can help you help Ranger get strong and build stamina, as well as address any pain issues he is having. The best part is that the Tripawds Foundation may pay for your first rehab visit

Have you talked to your vet about his reluctance to walk?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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1 November 2019 - 1:29 pm
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ranger11 said
I am a new user and have not figured out how to get back to my original question to see if there are any answers.

I forgot to say that all you need to do is click the “Subscribe” button at the bottom of your topic here (see below) to get notified of new responses. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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1 November 2019 - 10:22 pm
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Hello to Ranger ….yeah, ditto Jerry on pain management , possibly  tweaking a muscle, etc

What pain meds is he on now? The dose amounts, frequency, etc.  How much does he weigh?

Massage up and down his spine, his neck, shoulders, etc.  Does he show any signs of tenseness?  You can also try massaging  in before each of his little walks and afterwards.  

The way you descri Ranger’s personality  indic6 he doesn’t  like change.  Well. goodness knows, going through major surgery  and recovery,  all while trying to adjust to three legs cha definitely  take Ranger out of hos comfort zone!

One of our members says that it took jer srubborn Pug Maggie six weeks before she fully adjisted yo sll rhe changes she encountered  as a tripawd.  She hated change!

Is Ranger eating, drin, potting o,at? Are you getting tail wags yet?  Does he seem engaged and alert?  Any pain signs at all, no matter  how subtle?

Unless there is  some underlying issue a Bet visit uncovers, it sounds like recovery is doing fairly  well this early on for a “mature” dog who doesn’t  like change or being pushed out of his comfort zone. Keep in  mind, it does take a lot of energy and effort when a dog is first adjusting to three legs.  Rule of thumb is short leashed loth breaks the first two weeks and then rest, rest and more rest.

We’ll watch for your update.  In the meantime, give Ranger a smooch for us.  We would love to see pictures.  Here’s  a link to help.adding images .

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie 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!

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2 November 2019 - 9:22 am
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Ranger is a lab mix.  He is not overweight.  He was on gabapentin for about a month prior to surgery to manage his pain.  During that time, he used that leg with minimal issues.  I am aware that this could add to the time needed to walk after surgery.

I am in constant contact with the vet about his walking issues.  Yesterday, we reduced the amount of pain meds (he was on gabapentin & tramadol), and there seem to be no issues related to that.  We got him up with the harness (he is 72 pounds of pure love), and that is seeming to help him regain some strength.

All else with him is normal as far as eating.  As far as eliminating, he won’t get up, but he won’t go in the house, either.  I consider this a good sign.

I got my first tail wag this morning – so thrilled to see that!

Thanks so much for the responses.  I feel much better that you all don’t necessarily feel it’s taking him too long.  Will post pictures later today.

Ranger’s Mom (Cindy)

Virginia




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2 November 2019 - 11:24 am
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ranger11 said

All else with him is normal as far as eating.  As far as eliminating, he won’t get up, but he won’t go in the house, either.  I consider this a good sign.

I got my first tail wag this morning – so thrilled to see that!

Thanks so much for the responses.  I feel much better that you all don’t necessarily feel it’s taking him too long.  

Ranger’s Mom (Cindy)

  

YAAAAAAY FOR A TAIL WAG!!!!! 😀   THAT IS A GREAT SIGN!! 😎  Every seemingly “”little” improvement  is a HUGE VICTORY  during recovery!!

And eating, pottying… all great news!  And YOU are doing an excellent  job of caring for Ranger and overseeing his recovery!  And no, he is not taking “too long” at all as far as mobility.   He,ping with the harness also helps him gain confidence and is a great tool.

EVERY recovery is different snd EVERY dog is different.  Each dog meets every milestone in recovery on his own timeframe and at a pace that works for him.  Generally, not always, but it takes a good two weeks to rec6 fro. the surgery itself and a good no th yo adjust to the new mobility as far as balance, a steady gait, building  muscles,  etc.  

Stay connected  and keep us updated. But yeah, Ranger is doing just fine .  I know it’s  hard to be patien,  but his sparkle will continue  to come back and the tail wags will continue  to be more frequent. 

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie 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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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2 November 2019 - 1:31 pm
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Sounds like you are on top of things, great job! I’m happy that he gave you a sign that he’s doing better icon_lol Here’s to more healing!

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5 November 2019 - 6:54 pm
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I have a senior lab. To tell you the truth I think 30 feet after 9 days is pretty Good! It took Brownie about three weeks before he wanted to go out and play and explore. I have read they should not have a lot of activity until the stiches come out, about two weeks. The best advise I got was be patient. Ranger will come around too!

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5 November 2019 - 7:02 pm
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Just wanted to add Brownie was about 10 days before his 12th birthday at time of amputation.   Nov 26 wlil be 9 months from being diagnosed and 8 months of being a tripawd.

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6 November 2019 - 2:01 pm
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Thanks for the info on Brownie.  It really does make me feel so much better.

Ranger is walking more this week.  We’ve had him in the yard for 2 or 3 hours in a stretch, and although he doesn’t move around much, he did get up to peer through the fence at the neighbor’s dogs, and he barked at a cat.  He has rested on the “stitch side” a couple of times, and I am hoping that once the stitches come out (tomorrow), that is more comfortable for him.  He did try to lick the stitches once, but I put a t-shirt on him and he hasn’t tried since.  Thank goodness because I sure did not want to have to put the cone on, poor fella.  He’s been off pain meds since Saturday.  

Thanks for everyone who has answered this blog, I feel like we’re in a good place.

The Rainbow Bridge



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6 November 2019 - 4:52 pm
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Oh what a GOOD BOY! Ranger, you are doing terrific. You’re getting there and you will feel soooo much better when those stitches are out. Make sure your people take you for a hamburger OK?

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9 November 2019 - 1:44 pm
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So happy to know Ranger is doing better! He will get there. I have total faith in our senior fur babies!

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9 November 2019 - 3:32 pm
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Ranger got his stitches out on Thursday and the surgeon is impressed with how good the incision is healing.  I should hear from the oncologist next week.

I have another problem that has popped up.  Sometimes at night, he starts whining.  I’ll get on the floor with him and give him some love, which usually curtails the whining.  However, last night he just could not be placated.  Since he’s been off pain meds for almost a week, I really don’t think he’s in pain.  Could it be anxiety of some sort?  Or has anyone else seen this?

The Rainbow Bridge



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9 November 2019 - 3:38 pm
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It could still be pain. Remember, it is a lot of work for a dog or cat to move around on three legs, they’re moving in ways they never did before. We see this quite a bit with new members, and it happened with our own pup Jerry also. My theory is that all of the activity of the day has caught up to them, and they are feeling it at night. 

Tell us more about what his days are like. How much walking is he getting? Exercise? Is he giving any of these pain signals when the whining starts?

Oftentimes new Tripawds are so gung ho to get on with life that we too get excited and forget that they need to take things slowly. With Ranger being so new at the Tripawd life, this could be the case. I would consider making an appointment with a rehabilitation therapist. They can evaluate him for strengths and weaknesses, and help you find the safest ways to build up his strength and stamina so that he doesn’t overdo things. The best part is that the Tripawds Foundation may pay for your first rehab visit . We hope you and Ranger will take advantage of it. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

The Rainbow Bridge



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9 November 2019 - 3:38 pm
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And by the way, congrats on getting stitches out! That is a BIG milestone! smiley_clap Glad to hear the incision healed well. Whew!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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