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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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Strain on the remaining limbs
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Forum Posts: 12
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21 May 2020
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22 May 2020 - 9:42 am
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Hi All,

I’m a brand new tripawd mom. My sweet Bella came home from surgery yesterday afternoon (left fore leg, bone cancer) after an overnight stay at the vet (super long surgery, she’s apparently a bleeder). Very groggy at first but she perked up through the evening and after a failed bathroom attempt in which we laid down in a bush instead of peeing we made it out to one of her favorite pee spots and went. Overnight had some trouble settling but ate some food then went down for about 4 hours, then another 2-3 after pee break. This morning we made it out to pee and back no problem supporting her with a towel. Later in the morning we went out to lay in the driveway and enjoy the unseasonable weather but she was getting hot so I wanted to come back in. That’s when she refused to walk. Hunched her back legs and wouldn’t move even with towel assist. I carried her back in and we have been sleeping since. She stood up on her own and moved to a new spot. And just sat up on her front leg to bark at the mail man. I’m assuming I just over did it this morning. It is a bit of a distance to get outside from where her bed is (60ft maybe) because we have to go through the garage ( only way that doesn’t have tons of stairs). I am happy to carry her out but I wanted her to get used to using her other legs a bit as she heals, I guess I just don’t know how much is too much, if it is better to just carry her till she recovers more, and if there is risk of hurting her other legs during this transition.

She has been drinking plenty of water, eating food, taking meds. She doesn’t have any indicators that she is in pain besides the not walking. I know there isn’t a specific timeline to expect for recovery or milestones just wanted some input. Thanks for your insight and help. I’m a natural worry wart!

The Rainbow Bridge



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22 May 2020 - 10:44 am
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Hi Becky and Bella, welcome. Your future posts won’t need approval so post away.

It’s OK that you’re a worry wart, we understand completely. Right now, it’s fine to carry her if you are able, she could use a break. Sounds like she had a really hard surgery and she may be pretty groggy for a few more days at least. Sure, it’s good to “normalize” activity as soon as you can but right now giving her the royal treatment is totally fine. In a few days if not sooner, she will probably want to walk outside by herself. 

Can you just tell us though, what kind of pain medication is she on? The hunching of her back is a definite pain signal so besides the walking, I’m wondering if she is experiencing other pain that was exacerbated by going outside? Just a thought. We’re not vets but we just see a lot of recoveries here, and many times when a dog is having mobility issues after surgery it’s either because they’re not getting enough pain medication or too much. It’s a fine line for sure.

Your’e doing great though! Keep asking great questions, we are here for you!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 12
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22 May 2020 - 10:54 am
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She is on Gabapentin and Rimadyl. She had some sort of opiod when she was overnight after the surgery but she seems to have come down off of that. I’m going to wait to take her out to pee until after her next dose of pain meds and see if they help. She seems comfortable when in her bed (luckily I already had an ortho style bed) and has slept on and off most of the day.

Virginia




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22 May 2020 - 1:58 pm
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You are doing sich a good job and are assessing  her situation  really well. 

As usual, Jerry was spot on with everything.  Most likely dealing  with overdoing it, as well as seeing if her meds need to be tweaked.  For a vrankd new tripawd recovering  from MAJOR SURGERY….apparently  a looong surgery with some hurdles….a 60 ft walk can be exhausting  for now.  Sloooow and easy, lots of rest.

And YAY for eat, drinking,  peeing (even if it isn’t  the most graceful  pee stance)!

Oh, and try lots of gentle  massaging  all up and down her spine, her neck and shoulder area.  This really helps relaxed those newly used muscles.

It generallu….and just generallu….takes about ttwo weeks for the sparkle to start to come back one woof at a time.  The gait adjustment  usually takes about thirty days.  Bur considering  the extra hurdles in surgery,  your girl is doing really well!👍

Keep is posted!

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 May 2020 - 2:16 pm
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I’ve been massaging the spine since she got home, which puts her in doggy heaven. I ended up calling the vet and sending a picture because she had some swelling and blood pooling ( internally no dripping or anything) which all is apparently normal but the vet suggested icing and that did the trick. She stood up, carried her outside to pee and she started walking off when she was done! Carried her back inside and she did a lap around the room to find the comfiest thing to lay on! Yay! Now back to snoozing.smiley4

New York, NY
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22 May 2020 - 3:20 pm
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Hi Becky!  Welcome to the Tripawd community!  I’m Stacy, Griffin’s mama.  You are doing a great job staying on top of Bella’s pain management and it is awesome that you have a really responsive vet on your team.  Bella sounds like she is recovering really well and hitting critical milestones like eating, drinking, peeing, etc.  Griffin’s right forelimb was amputated, so massaging the neck and shoulder area is also really important, along with the spine – and he also goes to doggy heaven when is it massage time!  You’ve come to the right place for lots of advice and help, so keep connected as Bella continues on her recovery path, and when you have time, please post some photos of your adorable girl.  ~ Stacy (Griffin’s Journey)

Here and Now


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22 May 2020 - 4:40 pm
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Stacy said
~ Stacy (Griffin’s Journey)

Stacy, when adding Griffin’s blog link, be sure to include the ” https:// ” in the URL. If you only enter “griffin.tripawds.com” as you’ve been doing, that will be appended to the forum topic URL, causing the link to break.

We’ve corrected the link in your post above, but left it as it was in this quoted reply so you can see what happens when your link was clicked.

PS: It’s tripawds.com, not tripawd.com, which will also result in a broken link. smiley16

New York, NY
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22 May 2020 - 5:40 pm
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Thanks, Admin!

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23 May 2020 - 7:34 am
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The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 27271
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23 May 2020 - 12:15 pm
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Hmmm. Can’t see the photo.

We have these instructions for adding images to the Forums. If you’d like help figuring out the process let me know. It’s pretty easy: 

  1. Upload pics to a photo sharing site like imgur.com or your own Tripawds blog
  2. Right click and copy the Image URL
  3. Return to your Tripawds Forum post and paste the image URL (or the image itself if possible) in your post. It should automatically appear.

Otherwise how is she doing today?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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23 May 2020 - 6:20 pm
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followed all the instructions but used Google photo as I don’t have any other streaming photo source online. 

She is doing great today. Getting up and moving around on her own for a few steps (5-10 at most) ate and drank standing up for the first time, she seems to have so much more stability. And handled some visitors like a champ ( I had to watch my nephew because of a serious family issue). Still hasn’t pooped but I hear that takes longer. She is still eating fine so I will just let her take her time on that. Feeling good about everything at the moment!smiley4

Virginia




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23 May 2020 - 6:35 pm
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Really pleased with how well she is doing.  Yeah,l poooing may take several more days.  Eating,  drink, peeing….great news!

A techie  (which I am not) will come along and help with the photo.  Can’t wait to see the pics!

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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23 May 2020 - 7:38 pm
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Oh that is a GREAT pupdate! Sounds like the R&R is exactly what she needed. Yes, pooping takes longer.

I hope your family issue emergency is better, I’m so sorry you’re dealing with that too.

For the photos…did you try right clicking and copying the image, then pasting it into your Forum post?

I am also happy to help, just email me a photo.

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Posts: 12
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26 May 2020 - 6:58 pm
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Well We had been doing great. Getting around on her own, pooping normally, etc. Then last night she had a seizure. It was Memorial Day and so the vet was closed and didn’t seem like an emergency, over after about 2 minutes and then she slept for 4 straight hours (common side effect of seizure apparently) followed by several hours of pacing and smacking lips (also common side effect, it was a long night). Called the vet first thing and she said to drop the Gabapentin. I though Gabapentin was and ANTI seizure med. Well anyway she had already had her dose in the morning because the vet was a little slow to call me back and I was worried about pain. But she has been fine all day, more sleepy than the day before (but she was up all night so…) and no Gabapentin this evening, so fingers crossed. Apparently there is a chance that it is due to cancer spreading to her brain but I am being optimistic at this point.

Anyone else have experience with this?

Livermore, CA




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26 May 2020 - 7:29 pm
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That’s scary!

Be sure you keep an eye on her- if you drop gaba then she doesn’t have pain meds on board.  Keep an eye out for pain signs and keep talking with your vet.

Gaba is used to treat seizures although I think the dose is different, I can’t remember if it’s higher or lower.  I’ve not heard of gaba causing seizures while on it but I there are warnings about stopping it too quickly,  I suppose a drug that acts as an anti-convulsant could cause seizures. 

My Pug Tani was on gaba for a couple of years to help with her arthritis, she also had a seizure disorder so was on phenobarb most of her life.  No issues for her with gaba.

When Tani had a seizure she almost always lost her bladder, when she ‘came out of it’ she would go out and poop.  Then she was very tired for a day or two.  I didn’t observe pacing or lip smacking with her but seizures have different affects on different dogs.

I really hope this is a one off occurrence.  Is it possible she ate anything weird?  I also wonder if the blood loss in surgery could have caused it, I know anemia can cause seizures.  It’s been a few days since surgery though…

Keep us posted on how she is doing.

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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