TRIPAWDS: Home to 20809 Members and 2043 Blogs.
All sites currently ad-free!

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.

Join The Tripawds Community

Learn how to help three legged dogs and cats in the forums below. Browse and search as a guest or register for free and get full member benefits:

  • Instant post approval.
  • Private messages to members.
  • Subscribe to favorite topics.
  • Live Chat and much more!


Please consider registering
Forum Scope


Forum Options

Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
Register Lost password?
sp_Feed sp_PrintTopic sp_TopicIcon-c
Is this Phantom Pain?
sp_NewTopic Add Topic
Bellas mom
20 October 2017 - 7:35 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

My girl ,Bella is on day 6 post op, she had her front leg amputated . She was doing very good . Yesterday she gave a quick yelp when she was getting up . Today when she put her paw down to get up the same yelp a few times throughout the day when she would get up. She pants a bit but then stops . She is on pregabalin which is suppose to be better then gabapentin I sent pics of her incision to the vet and he said it looked great . He didnt suggest phantom leg pain but my friend is missing an arm and she warned me of it. I am not sure this is the same becuase it doesnt seem to make her jump up. It seems to happen when she is getting up

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
20 October 2017 - 11:10 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi Bella’s Mom, welcome. Hope you don’t mind I moved your post here but this will allow us to better assist you and Bella.

That’s terrific Bella is doing well overall. What is the reason for her amputation? What kind of breed type is she? 

Six days post op isn’t a whole lot of time for the body to get used to using all new muscles and hopping around with a different gait. What has Bella been doing during the daytime? Are there other dogs in the house that can be tiring her out a little too much? Is she being allowed to get too much activity? She still shouldn’t be doing much more than going on very short leashed potty walks and back into the house.

I mention all this because we often see muscle pulls shortly after surgery, when a dog is doing too much too soon. The symptoms you are describing sound a lot like that. I would definitely mention it to your vet just to get their input and advice. You may also want to consider a visit with a certified rehab vet. A consultation is so helpful, because this person can analyze Bella and let you know what kinds of physical activity and exercise she should and shouldn’t be getting. The best part is the Tripawds Foundation will even pay for your first rehab visit .

Your friend is definitely correct, dogs and cats can get phantom leg pain . Click on the link for more info about it, we have lots of articles in the Tripawds News blog about that topic, and it’s more common than most people think. If she’s already on Pregabalin that’s a good start but she may need additional help with acupuncture and massage, as well as a reduction on her activity level right now.

P.S. We hope you’ll consider registering as a member so your posts won’t need approval. 

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Member Since:
20 September 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
22 October 2017 - 6:51 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi Bella and Mom.  You commented on my recent blog post about my Great Dane Maddie who today is 5 days post op.  She did have one incident of what I believe was phantom pain .  She was sleeping soundly and I was sitting there with her watching TV.  All of a sudden she leapt up and screamed at the same time.  She was confused and dazed a bit looking at me like “what the heck??”.  I calmed her down but within one minute she was back to sleep.  Based on what I have read here on these forums, phantom pain is sudden and not necessarily precipitated by action.  Could she have hurt her leg or shoulder hopping?  Maddie is favoring one back leg but I’m pretty sure that’s because we were out to go potty yesterday and she tried to jump.  I think she has strained herself using muscles in a new way.  Good luck!!!  

Bobbi & Maddie a/k/a ManiacMads

Front leg amputation 10/17/17 due to Osteosarcoma

She's Madeline, She's Madeline

Member Since:
7 July 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
22 October 2017 - 8:25 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi Bella and Mum

sorry we have to meet like this but you have found the perfect place for advice and solace on Tripawds! Dear Bella, sorry you are in pain sweetheart…

i agree with Jerry’s Pack, it doesn’t sound like your typical phantom pain , like Maddies Mum described. My boy Stewie was on Gabapentin before, during and after his surgery and he didn’t show many signs of phantom pain then, I have actually seen more indications of that with Stewie now. (Stewie is 3 months post op.)

Stewie did have problems after his surgery and he would have issues moving around too. He developed fluids under the flap of his amputation site (a seroma ) and we had to take him in to have the site drained a few times. (typically fluids should drain by themselves. But as you will hear a million times around here, every dog is different in their recovery!) He was in a lot of pain and we had to watch carefully for infection… he would pant lots because of the pain. Lots of adjustments to Stewies drugs at that time!

As Jerry’s Pack suggests, talking to your vet about all of his symptoms is critical and don’t feel bad about bugging them, that’s what they get paid the big bucks for!winker

Please do sign on as a member, we can all jump in and respond quicker to help out. Believe me there are moments of madness we have that can’t be cured by anything other than a good chat on the forums and possibly get some comic relief!clown Plus Sally and her gang are always rooting for the pups… “More Treats!… More Treats!…”clap

Big hugs to Bella and hopefully she’ll feel better soon. 

All the best for now, Petra and her very hoppy Pack!heart

On July 10/17 I became a Super Tripawd! You can find out more about my Pawrents Allensong but first Check out my 🎗 journey Super Stu Remember...“live in the moment!“  

Forum Timezone: America/Denver
Most Users Ever Online: 946
Currently Online: tapatio, Meghan DelSole
Guest(s) 106
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1212
Members: 15720
Moderators: 2
Admins: 3
Forum Stats:
Groups: 4
Forums: 23
Topics: 17760
Posts: 246910
Administrators: admin, jerry, Tripawds
Moderators: betaman, krun15
Tripawds is brought to you by Tripawds.
All sites currently ad-free!