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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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Impending Amputation
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Forum Posts: 37
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18 April 2021 - 9:33 am
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Jerry, thank you for your quick response.  The thing that I am worried about is that he is ABSOLUTELY terrified of trying to get out of the vehicle.

He cowers as far back and away as he can (this is all PRE surgery) and shakes with wild, wide eyes and panting.  The only way we were able to get him out of the vehicle (while he had the brace on, pre amputation) was to edge him out backwards.  At the time he had his Ruffwear vest on but when he comes home we will only be able to use a sling. 

I did look up the grocery bag sling and that is amazing!  I made one right away from a nice large canvas shopping bag. It should give great support.  I knew I would get some wonderful ideas from this fantastic site!  

Waiting for the overnight doctor to call to let us know how he did during the night and this morning.  We will find out if he will be discharged or kept as a rehab boarding patient (cheaper than a surgical patient) for another day. 

The Rainbow Bridge



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18 April 2021 - 4:06 pm
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Awww poor guy! What event caused him to react like that about getting out of the car? I feel for you, that's a tough one.

He may be so wonky that he won't fight it. If you have the most outrageously tasty treats to bribe him with, that might help. Something new that he hasn't ever tasted before that would drive him bonkers, like maybe a freshly cooked piece of salmon or filet mignon? 

Good job making the sling! Sorry I didn't get to put a link in there last night but so glad you found the instructions.

I hope he got to come home today. Drop us a line when you're able.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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18 April 2021 - 10:01 pm
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Oh there was no specific event that caused him to fear getting out of the vehicle - it was PAIN from the fractured wrist.  He knew if he moved it the wrong way or put weight on it that it would HURT.  

No, no tasty treats will work, he will refuse.  When he is this painful and distracted he will not have any interest in food what-so-ever on a better note, we were actually able to visit him today (I think the dr bent the rules a bit and we spent nearly 2 hours with him.  I will attempt to attach a couple of pictures from the hospital visit.  Dr. said that once we came in and loved on him he was a totally different dog.  They had a tag above his little 'nook' in the treatment room that read:  "Bites/Screams"  He was SOOOOOO afraid and painful that he actually tried to tell them to LEAVE ME ALONE, I AM IN PAIN!!!!!   We were able to love on him, gave him massage and we walked him outside (but he didn't potty) and he was amazing.  One of the photos shows him walk up to the dr and let him scratch his ears and love on him.  It was an apology from Ryder for his previous actions.

I need to tell you that I brought the grocery bag sling and the dr was amazed at how nicely it worked.  We left it there for them to use when they get him up to take potty breaks.  He will spend the night tonight and go back to rehab for treatment tomorrow (Monday) morning and then be reassessed for discharge.

Fingers crossed that our dear sweet boy will be home tomorrow and recover in leaps and bounds once he is home.

1st picture is Dr. Kalb and Ryder (saying, 'I didn't mean to snarl at you, I forgive you.') and Daddy Patrick at hospital during visit today.

2nd picture is Ryder actually got up willingly and smiled.  Dr. and tech's said he was a totally different dog after we were able to visit him!

3rd picture is before surgery, Ryder with his brace on the osteosarcoma leg with the wrist fracture.  'Baby' Grace (9 mo old) watching her big brother.

Sorry the photos are out of order.

Dr. Kalb called this evening with a recap on how Ryder is doing and said that he continues to show a will to move on and no longer trying to bite or scream at them when they get him up to walk.  He KNOWS that we are still with him and love him.  Hopefully we will take him home on Monday to fully recover.  They are weaning him off narcotic pain meds today and moving to oral meds.  He just needs to figure out how to get around on 3 legs.  He did fall twice, but not too traumatic and we didn't make a fuss so he figured it was OK.

Ryder with Dr. KalbImage Enlarger

Ryder with Dad (Patrick) and Dr. KalbImage Enlarger

Ryder before surgery with Baby GraceImage Enlarger

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19 April 2021 - 9:32 am
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Yay Ryder and hello Georgiana,

So glad the anticipation of the surgery is over and a new chapter begins.

For Koda Bear, the surgeon injected a 3 day cocktail for pain purposes. Days 4-10 are going to be the hardest because the cocktail will wear off so the pain management is critical.  Do not be surprised if Ryder chooses not to eat, or picks at this food. To entice Koda Bear we got some canned dog food and even canned cat food sometimes mixing it in with his normal food.  There were plenty of times we hand fed Koda Bear, something about the smell of the food and our hands helped a lot for him.  We also had to make him go potty simply because he did not feel well as we would after a major surgery. All he wanted to do was sleep. 

When he ate his food he was in his bed laying down so, put an old sheet on the bed with me holding his bowl in such a way making it easy for him to eat, typically holding the bowl at an angle. The same goes for drinking water. Just work with Ryder and hopefully he will let you know.

Cold and hot compresses as per your surgeon’s instructions are fabulous for Ryder combined with gentle messaging of the area. This does a couple of things; first and foremost it feels wonderful in many ways to Ryder and second the most important is keeping the scarring tissue from forming inside. Take note of any new behaviors or movements from Ryder and certainly talk with the surgical team. We had complete access to our team and here as well.

Cannibus or Rescue Remedy does wonders for the anxiety.  I did not like what the Tram did to Koda Bear so I switched with the surgeon stating it was fine.

As far as the car is concerned, try using Ryder’s leash and wrap it around the read car seat head rest. Shorten it just enough to allow him to comfortably lay down. Need to make sure he cannot pull it once you open the door. From there it is a matter of collecting him and lift him out. The techs can certainly help you as well.

The Therapy will not happen until the stitches are out. The removal may take longer than the typical 10-14 days because of how deep the incision is.  For us, the therapist gave us some take home exercises because of all the work we did with Koda Bear prior to his therapy appointment there was no need. The phantom pain is another story with acupuncture being a viable option as well including Cold Laser treatment ONLY if it is a Class 2. This information comes from my former homeopathic vet.

I hope I was able to provide some helpful information for you. Remember, Days 4-10 are going to be the hardest for everyone.

Hug Koda Bear Hugs,

Koda Bear and Catherine

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19 April 2021 - 10:16 am
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Hi Catherine and Koda Bear (love that name!),

Still waiting to hear from the doctor this morning. They are going to transfer him from surgery to rehab this morning.  Once they feel he is ambulatory enough they will discharge him.  He will be getting Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) and laser therapy plus massage this morning.  I gave him a good full body massage yesterday when we visited him and he actually fell asleep with his head on my lap for awhile.  That is a great tip about the massage helping to keep the scarring tissue from forming inside.  I am sure his whole body aches from all the tension as well.

Unfortunately Rescue Remedy has never helped him with anxiety.  I have no idea where to get the cannibus.  I believe there are studies that show Tramadol to not be as effective as previously thought.  They were weaning him off IV meds yesterday and he will be on oral meds from now on, Gabapentin for pain.

The issue with the car is that he is deathly afraid of getting OUT of it.  He knows that he only has the stability of one front limb and anticipates the unsteadiness and pain.  The only way we could get him out when we dropped him off, wearing the brace on his leg, was to slowly slip him out backwards (back feet first) while supporting his torso.  Neither my husband nor I are strong enough to lift him as he weighs 81 lbs.  I'm thinking the grocery bag trick (thanks Tripawds!) will be the best sling for us because it is supports a larger area of his tummy.  Our kind neighbor (a fire fighter) has offered to help us get him lifted out of the car (Subaru Forrester) this afternoon when he gets home from work, around 4 PM.  So we will pick him up after my chiropractic appointment at 2:30.  The hospital is about 40 minutes away from our house.

Surgery was Friday evening around 5:30 PM so that makes today the 3rd day post op.  I REALLY appreciate all of your timely advice and support!  I think I will try to nap when he does so that I can keep up with both him and the puppy!

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19 April 2021 - 10:59 am
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WOW for the therapy already! EXCELLENT!!! What awonderful bonding moment with him falling asleep in your lap!  Koda Bear is a strict guarding dog who always knew better than I, just ask him and he will tell you. It was not until after this major event in our lives to he fully appreciate the fact we are a team.

As for the Gaba, we also combined with aspirin. Not a fan of the Codeine however, we did have to use it as times in the beginning. 

Depending on your State you may be able to get the cannibus from a homeopathic vet. We are fortunate here in WA we can buy it in the stores both people kind and critter kind. Koda Bear hated the smell but it really helped him. 

Sounds like you have a smooth operation going on for Ryder. It will take time but I know he will learn that he no longer hurts.

So glad you have a neighbor to help in getting him out of the car at home.

This is amazing group here where you can vent, ask questions and just simply be reminded how you are not alone in this.  We are quite the amazing group here with lots of information.  Ask you vet if they every heard of Tripawds. If not, they can include this site in the literature for their clients.

Hug Koda Bear Hugs!

The Rainbow Bridge



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19 April 2021 - 11:01 am
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He's such a sensitive pup! Getting him into the rehab side right away should definitely help him become less averse to painful situations. Most dogs know right away that when that bad leg is gone, they feel better so hopefully with the TENS and laser therapy treatments, it will give him the extra nudge he needs to know that when he moves he won't hurt nearly as much as before. 

You are correct about Tramadol being ineffective for acute pain.  "Worthless" is how the leading pain management expert Dr. Downing described it to us.

As for cannabis, that's such a huge topic. We've done a number of posts about it, here's the most recent Tripawd Talk Radio podcast about cannabis and CBD for pets if you feel like learning so you can talk about it with your vet.

That's pretty cool the vet loved the grocery bag sling! It surprises me how many still tell clients to use a beach towel, which never works in our experience.

Sorry your picture didn't show up. This is how adding images to the Forums works.

  • Upload pics to a photo sharing site like imgur.com or your own Tripawds blog. Pictures and video have to be hosted (live) somewhere other than in the forums.
  • Once the photo is uploaded somewhere, right click and copy the Image URL or just copy the image if you’re on a phone
  • Return to your Tripawds Forum post and paste the image URL (or the image itself) in your post. It should automatically appear. 

If you’d like help figuring out the process let me know, just message me.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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19 April 2021 - 1:46 pm
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Yeah, I agree about the beach towel thing.  If you think about it, that is really a hard thing to use, trying to grip the ends of the towel and support the animal...the handles on the bag are amazing.

I will as our regular vet, he practices Integrative Medicine so he may be able to get the cannibus.  I do have him on CBD Oil from Dogs Naturally but they aren't giving him any supplements while in hospital.  We are in the San Diego area.

He is most likely coming home today so keep sending positive vibes our way!  I'm going to put the yoga mats out on the floor before we leave to pick him up.

Regarding the pictures.  We opened them in Google Photos, right clicked and copied image address.  We used the Insert/edit image icon, pasted the image URL.  The images display in the post when we look at it.  Would appreciate your feedback on this.  In the meantime, I will look into opening a blog.

Thanks again for your kind support.

The Rainbow Bridge



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19 April 2021 - 3:05 pm
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OH yes that's right, your own integrative vet will know which cannabis product(s) can help!

Hmm. As for the photos, try just copying the image and pasting into the Forum post, and see what happens. Or message me the image URL and I can try playing around with them.

Paws and fingers crossed that he gets to come home today.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
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Virginia




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19 April 2021 - 3:05 pm
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So happy to hear this great update and how you got to spend  time with your sweet boy!!   That was the vest therapy  for him....and you!!

Clearly Ryder has touched their hearts as you definitely had special privileges to get to go and spend time with him like that.❤

So glad others chimed in with such great support and advice that helped you.   Pretty impressive  that  your Vet liked the shopping bag idea.😎

Do try and get some good rest tonight 

Hugs 

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too  !

PS.  Just  ignore my.comments about rehab starting so soon tomorrow and twice weekly.. I thought it wouldnt start til after stitch removal.  Learn something new everyday around here!!  

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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21 April 2021 - 2:25 pm
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Ryder on 4/18/21 with husband Patrick and Dr. Kalb during visit at hospital

0wxhn-qcgAlRr2Lpgjz2XDA70cmZ6ZFYiJji-r8ichxtEgOrOgwGi3YcdUB6skgMsMcPacDb_ELkbV0tnbegIVR9mde1XW5jas4wIVN3qH4nBoCV8DyRBR0i2mk4yOIrEnpHFjftaWOPtOOsbxgGECdVuTpEKqTklF7DaoFhOg3X45TzOZhVY2-YremRDn4mo7zUFSDe33qj_5LW18ESVhIjy9cXi2-9IlX-UgFaQfwwQqtLNf35s-eVpBkW-FAjZHADJ9kSYir2zPIxhOR9yPgc86tP2x7iPh17QKoTcy6TJD7AdnvJtvaPJomu2lDVMkOr3vRVDBjK8G-_MIgGcNB74X-F_PHbHD8oMy-gBvJ5fkR8T0eG2VpysXNKyR-HLviatDceG_ip7hJJn5FWcHQBDEUCr72Gw8N5Gu8beU4kSXw5Jv0qo7fhiOJeQBbKOyt-chi8dI14tHSMqgeDN_th-4ZaQoAaRfl6NW9VRynGALIP5DeZ3yjJxBA7JyPFMjlu0K2tU6Vy0VD7Y1-yq7ZNncrSvoougA3EskNpXDUqBwP0ozwBdqfpqTmvkYvFrINes_s-sK70errkLWgMZZisSHy1jmueC9PGo9ViW-XeOEHcZ5zcAm_oHi6SDHbfDbsAL-2nSM4i2oaz35nMd4yY-dk5Sp4laaAxuajD8QgHzWT8_Bf9QBJINsRFWTN6LDXJnvx1ADn96CvWFj098lKN6g=w797-h1062-no?authuser=0Image Enlarger

The Rainbow Bridge



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21 April 2021 - 3:09 pm
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Drats! Wish I could see the photo. Can anyone else?

Georgiana go ahead and email it to me if you'd like. How's Ryder today?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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21 April 2021 - 3:48 pm
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OK, I have emailed 3 photos.  One with Grace and Ryder wearing the splint, at the hospital w/husband and Dr. Kalb, and one eating breakfast this morning.  Hopefully you will be able to insert them!  Thanks

The Rainbow Bridge



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21 April 2021 - 6:43 pm
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Yep got 'em! Here they are. He looks great!

Ryder1.jpgImage Enlarger

Ryder2.jpgImage Enlarger

Ryder3.jpgImage Enlarger

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




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21 April 2021 - 8:41 pm
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Looking good RockStar Ryder!!!   So far so good!  And eating a yummy breakfast is always a good sign.👍

And love the tee shirt of hubby's😎  And Grace looks like she'll make a great  Nurse.😎

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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