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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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The Rainbow Bridge



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18 January 2019 - 11:11 am
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I can only echo what others have said. Arthur got shortchanged on pain management , and that’s very likely why this is incredibly hard on you. I’m really sorry. If you are taking him back to your vet, please advocate for stronger medications, not just boarding. 

Hang in there. Call our Tripawds Helpline so you can chat with one of us. And don’t forget that Jerry’s Required Reading List and our Tripawds e-books go over many of the important aspects of an amputation recovery, which will help put your mind at ease.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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19 January 2019 - 6:39 am
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Just checking in, any word on Arthur? I hope things are going ok over there. 

Jackie and Huckheart

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Mitchell, Bo, Andy, Oscar,and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

https://paws120.....pawds.com/

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19 January 2019 - 7:54 am
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I rang the vet this morning and they say he’s doing great. 

I asked did they increase/change his pain relief (because I am sure he was in pain) – they said no because he doesn’t need it 

I asked had they noticed any further discharge/blood from his wound (as this was the case for around 14 hours before he went in) –  they said they haven’t noticed 

i asked had he been licking at the wound any more (because he was at home because his collar is too small) – they said no he hasn’t, he has the collar on and he’s fine (even though the vet himself said he needed the size up they just didn’t have any in stock at the minute 🙄 find an alternative???)

overall he’s doing great apparently (which I love to hear, obviously) 

it makes me think am I being over sensitive.

when we collected him the day after his surgery the vet who performed the surgery said he was ‘doing great’, another vet who then visited us at night the second night he was home also said he’s ‘doing really well’ and the vet I was speaking to today reiterated the same sentiments and I almost felt stupid for even having him in.

i KNOW it’s a huge operation and obviously appropriate recovery period is required but i just felt in my heart something wasn’t right, whether it was pain discomfort confusion i don’t know. And they don’t seem to see it, I’m not bashing the vets, we have used them for years they have always providing a top class service and always do what’s right by the pets. 

So to answer your question – Arthur is supposed to be doing amazingly!

i don’t know if I’m just over sensitive/paranoid or if these recovery traits in a dog are so common in their work they become complacent as they know it passes in a short time. It’s hard to know

I’m looking forward to taking him home on Monday or Tuesday and I’m so praying this time is a bit more successful. Armed with 2 days (albeit dreadful) experience and your guys knowledge and support I am sure I will be fine this time!!💪🏽

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19 January 2019 - 8:01 am
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I know when he’s not out and about being walked, or out being fed at the vets he’s in a cage/kennel. So unless he seems great because he is doing nothing really other than rest (which is great) and maybe at home he was exerting himself too much just from the walking around and because he wouldn’t lay down. In the 48 hours he was home he had about 10 hour of poor quality sleep, this wouldn’t have been enough for him even before this surgery – he loved his sleep and obviously it aids recovery too. So that’s my thought process, I’m hoping he too learns this now that he’s away, it it makes him feel better and since (hopefully) the anaesthesia will be fully worn of by then. 

In your guys experience, what were you baby’s like 6/7 days post op (which is what he will be on Monday/Tuesday when we get him home) – any tips, advice, points to note? 

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19 January 2019 - 9:27 am
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Hello, 

It sounds like you are having a ton of mixed emotions regarding what has happened over the course of the last week. Your best companion was involved in a horrible accident for which you feel guilty. Then, after the initial relief thinking he could retain the leg, you learned that he wouldn’t be able to recover without amputation. Amputation is a BIG thing to wrap our minds around, especially when the decision is usually made when we are already experiencing stress. 

Now, here’s the thing our vet told us as we were pondering amputation. We were worried about how our dog would “feel” about losing a leg. Our vet reminded us that dogs do not process losing a limb like a human would. There is no shame. There is no worrying about how they will look or how society will view them after the surgery. They just want to get back to their owners, running around, getting a good belly rub, and having some nice, tasty treats. 

When I first saw my dog after surgery, looking at the scar was so incredibly hard. I felt guilty, too. Even though she and I had been through two major surgeries before, I felt helpless. I didn’t know if this 24/7 care was our new normal. It was so scary, for both our dog and us. 

While your vet may not feel your boy needs pain management meds right now because of how he is presenting, perhaps think about expressing your concern that he is trying to do way too much at home post-amputation and doesn’t understand why he should not be running, up wandering all day, etc. and then ask if perhaps you could try something like gabapentin to help calm/slow your boy down to prevent post-surgical injury/complications and prevent phantom nerve pain long term. It’s extremely important to have a veterinarian that will partner with you in your dog’s recovery. Your dog has a right to quality care and as pain free recovery as possible. Remember that you are your dog’s best advocate. You are his guardian. It also helps to write down the behaviors you see in detail that are concerning day by day so you can give your vet facts about behaviors. 

As for what to expect day 6 and 7- Every dog’s recovery is different, so I can’t speak to that, but I will say that it’s important to forgive yourself. You and your dog need each other right now. To connect with your dog, try giving him a good, light massage. If you get frustrated with him, pull back from the situation, and find some way to vent. Yell into a pillow, go for a run, use a punching bag, write things down in a journal, whatever it takes to get those negative emotions out. It’s going to take a few weeks for you to see him back to normal. You can do this. 

I hope that is helpful to you. Please update us on progress! 

Jena 

Virginia




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19 January 2019 - 11:00 am
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You’ve  gotten good input from Jenna💕

You are NOT being too “sensitive ” or overreacting.   We ALL conveyed to you your dog was NOT given proper pajn management and was DEFINITELY  showing  signs of pain and discomfort, as well as .nausea. Surgeons only observe dogs right after surgery and while confined.

And the fact that Arthur is confined at the Vet now and certainly  not being observed as much as you did when he was home, it’s  no wonder that, to them he seems “fine”.    I certainly hope they never have major surgery  and have to recover with no pain meds!  Their Physicians would be sued for malpractice!!   

Hard ro say what his recovery will look like around day six.  Again, we see almost all dogs still on painkillers meds at that point, and into their second week, sometimes  longer. 

Do you have a connection  with any other Vet who would prescribe Tramdadol an,d Gabapen for him for the next week or so when you get him home?  Generally, pain meds ,help them sleep better too.

Hang in there.  I’m  so sorry you are having  to deal with all this.  And to not have a Vet respond  to your request for PROPER pajn management  is all the more upsetting.

Extra higs

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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21 January 2019 - 8:06 am
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BEYOND delighted to report Arthur came home today and is like a completely different dog!!! 

He does not appear to be in any pain (but still on medication, obviously) and he’s so much happier, content, brighter!! He is able to sit and lay as he pleases with confidence! This may not sound like much but it is a far cry from the boy we sent away on Friday, I am amazed – time truly is a healer!

today we are 6 days post op. Although Arthur seems to be 100% back to himself, I am going to endeavour to be so strict and not let him jump on the sofa or my bed. So far I have managed to keep him contained in the kitchen, he’s so full of energy I don’t think his walks outside to relieve himself are going to make him tired enough to sleep tonight let alone through the night, and I want to get him into a routine straight off the bat! Do any of you have any advice or recommendations as to how to entertain them, preferably in one room as my living room has quite a slippy surface floor, and I’m anxious if I bring him into my room he’ll pounce straight on the bed.

its Monday afternoon and we are getting his stitches out first thing on Friday morning, 4 short sleeps until I can be slacker with the restrictions and begin to adjust to our new normal properly – I can do this! ☺️☺️

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21 January 2019 - 10:36 am
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Wow this is HUGE progress, really! Celebrate this victory, Arthur has made major progress! clap

Quickly, just wanted to add that I love the insight Jena shared with you, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Regarding entertainment. You bet we have ideas! Check out these posts for some:

https://gear.tr…..nteractive

https://amazon……-training/

This is a time to re-learn what you and Arthur have always known as “fun time.” It’s a different kind of new normal but one that will be so beneficial to him now and in the long run. Switching your play time from ball throwing and long walks to more interactive brain games is something that all dogs really need as they age, and especially our three-legged kind. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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21 January 2019 - 10:42 am
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I agree with you, I appreciate every single word of support and advice from each of you but particularly Jenna’s message the other day came at a time when I really needed to hear it ❤️ 

Virginia




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21 January 2019 - 8:14 pm
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So glad Arthur appears to be over the roughest part of recovery!!  Confinement  seemed to be what he needed!  And some good sleep probably  did you a lot of good too!!

You can look into non slip scatter rugs, or cheap yoga mats  for traction if you want to give him “free range” in the living room.

I’m just so glad you have Arthur home and he is doing well…..as are you!!!  Yoj and Arthir are going to have the best life evvvver rogether! He picked you and you picked him…sweeeet!!!

Can’t  wait to follow Arthur on all his adventures!!! Give him a big smooch for us…..and give yourself a big hug from us!!!🤗🤗🤗

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!

Livermore, CA




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21 January 2019 - 10:20 pm
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What a great update!

There are lots of great food puzzles and games you can play with Arthur, especially after the sutures come out.  I play games with Elly almost every day, sometimes obedience or trick training, sometimes a puzzle and often Nose Work.  The important thing is that they are all fun for Elly so she is motivated to play.  Of course all the treats help big-blink (I do account for the extra calories she gets playing games).

We have been doing official Nose Work for almost two years now, but even before that we played a game where she had to sit and wait in one room while I hid some treats in another room.  Then I release her and she searches happily until I tell her she has found them all.  Even though we have been doing this for a while I am still amazed at how tiring a search game can be- when they use their noses constantly they get tired!  And it is a good challenge for her brain too without being taxing on her joints.

We also do balance exercises a few times a week to help keep her core strong and work on her balance.  Again, I make sure it is fun and challenging for her so she is really engaged.

Start the count down until stitches come out!

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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22 January 2019 - 1:36 am
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Thank you for all the advice ❤️❤️

Another issue 🤣 originally I was given 1 weeks worth of antibiotics, they’ve made the decision to extend one course until Friday (the day his stitches come out) and one course until next Tuesday (2 weeks post op) this is obviously fine I don’t mind, however I noticed this morning when I was administering his meds they didn’t prescribe any further pain relief. There is enough for one more dose tomorrow 

when we picked him up yesterday the vet did say he’s not in pain anymore, and I do have to say I have not noticed ANY signs of pain or even discomfort but I gave him a dose this morning anyway. Should I give him his last dose tomorrow and be done with it or should I request more? I’m just conscious that he will be going cold turkey after only 8 days?!?! Everything is going so well I don’t want to hinder his progress, even a smaller dose to wean him off? In your experiences how long was your dogs on pain relief? 

I didnt sleep last night because I was just watching him sleep,so content and snoring away not a care in the world. I am so beyond relieved the living nightmare that we endured last week is behind us. They’re such beautiful resilient creatures, we are all so so lucky to have our best friends ❤️

Virginia




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22 January 2019 - 2:04 pm
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Yes indeedy, we can “hear” your big sigh of relief!!  And what a great sound it is!!

So Arthur does have a pain med??  What is it??  

Anyway, I would go on and complete  the dose as prescribed AND ask for a few more to have on hand in case needed over the next week or so.

So happy to hear how well things are going!!!

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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22 January 2019 - 9:06 pm
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It’s still loxicom, it must be different between the UK and US because I’ve asked for a few different second opinions and have been reassured by everyone that loxicom is a super effective pain reliever for us! I’m confident he’s not in pain so I’m happy for him to remain on this as opposed to a controlled drug that would knock him out. Though I’m so aware it’s only 8 days post op and I’m nervous if I take him off it completely he will feel pain and I’m not willing to take any unnecessary steps backwards at this early stage! 

Yes, I’m keen to keep some form of pain relief for him in the house at all times for the weeks/months ahead in case we experience phantom pain (please god we won’t) or just perhaps achy pains in his other limbs if we happen to overdo it when we’re back to fighting fit. None of my animals have ever had any health issues before so I’m not sure if vets just provide medication to have ‘just in case’ or if it has to be treated at the time. I’m ringing today to see, so hopefully they will allow it.

my thoughts are now really geared towards Friday and getting his stitches out and collar off. I’m planning to take him a small secluded area of the beach we can drive onto and let him run around for a bit, he loves the beach! 

Before his accident he was walked 3 times a day, most days I would say we covered 4-6 miles daily between all walks. Once or twice a week we would venture a longer distance and would cover 10+ miles in a day. Obviously I’m COMPLETELY aware it will be a while (if ever) before this level of activity can resume. I will speak to the vet on Friday for advice but in your experience (generally speaking) without overdoing it, on the first few days/weeks of freedom post op how active/how far distance-wise would be recommendable?

thanks again guys 

Virginia




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23 January 2019 - 9:41 am
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Generally, it takes approximately two plus weeks to recover from the surgery itself, and approximately one month for a tripawd ro adjust to their  new gait.  At that point, muscles that are now being used in a different way aren’t  as sore or as strained  as they were in the beginning.  So this may give you a guideline  of where he is now in his recovery.

It’s suggested that a tripawd take several  ahorter walks a day of 10 to 15 minutes  rather  than one long walk.  Dogs really do enjoy  just taking time to stop and smell all the different  scents as they meander around on their walls.  They teach us a lot about “stopping and smelling  the roses”.

When you do start taking you start taking him on .longer walks, be aware that it should include lots of “rest stops”.   If a dog sits down before you give him a rest, he’s already overdone  it.  It takes a lot of effort to hop on three and can be quite tiring.  And always remember,  however far you go, you have to turn around a come back!

The beach trip sounds fun!   Cant wait to see pictures!!!  And he can get in the car to be chauffeured  home after his little jaunt.  Not sure if the beach has soft sand, but obviously  it is  more tiring  for a tripawd ro run in soft sand.  

So happy everything  is on the upswing  now.  Your little fella’ is quite lucky to have you as his hooman!!!

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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