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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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8 yr old Gabbar suspected of Osteogenic Sarcoma. Biopsy pending.
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Virginia




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22 October 2016 - 9:36 am
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For whatever it’s worth, some say the biopsy can be more painful than the surgery! So not sure if it’s stretche it a bit to say at least the surgery won’t hurt as mich!! Okay, maybe that’s trying to be a little too optimistic, but that painful leg will be gone!!

You are a fighter! Gabbar is a fighter! That’s a plus that so called “statistics” don’t factor in!

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!

Schofield, WI
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22 October 2016 - 9:43 am
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While we were waiting for amputation the vet at UW of Madison gave our Max some Tylenol with codeine for his pain and that really helped with the pain.  Dogs can be very stoic and if you’re seeing his pain it must be quite significant.  I would think if you asked your vet could give you something in conjunction with the gabapentin for pain relief.  No need for him to be in such pain for 7 to 8 more days yet.  Just let him or her know you feel he needs more help for pain relief.  Never be afraid to ask for what you believe you need.  We have to be their best advocates.   Lean on us we’ll all help you in this journey.  We all started in those same shoes you now find yourself wearing.  Hugs!

Livermore, CA




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22 October 2016 - 10:00 am
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Not the news you were hoping for, I’m sorry. At least now you know what you are up against.

Maybe ask the vet if you could add or change pain meds to something like Tramadol.  Gabapentin is great for nerve pain but I’m not sure how effective it is alone against bone pain.

You have time now to prepare your house for a new Tripawd.  Traction is really important so make sure any slippery floors are covered with rugs.  I found yoga mats very useful for traction when my little quad-pug Tani was having trouble navigating our tile floors.  You also want to have a small area in the house where Gabbar can recover from surgery- a place without stairs (to the extent possible) and without furniture he can get on- no jumping up and down until the stitches come out.

You might also want to look at some post op pictures so you know how Gabbar will look after surgery.  It is very startling, especially with front amps.  There are some post op pictures in the Gallery,  scroll down to the Surgery and Treatment pics.

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 October 2016 - 10:17 am
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Thank you. Yeah, stairs are not a problem as we live in an apartment. We have a mattress for him to sleep on. Getting on the bed and couch is something we have to take care of. Working on getting yoga mats and maybe traction shoes.

Read about Gabbar's journey from diagnosis to amputation at

http://gabbar.t.....eosarcoma/

London, UK


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22 October 2016 - 10:34 am
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BTW, I just watched your video. Gabbar is a beautiful dog. Is the other one a litter mate? They look a similar age.

Anyway, just to say re traction . I would get that sorted asap. Don’t wait for the op. Yoga mats sound ideal. Given that he’s already walking on three, the mats will make it easier to move around on the tiled floor (it looks tiled?), and stop him straining muscles and tendons. He looks a bit tentative in the video, and I think that might really help.

All best,

Meg, Clare and Elsie Pie

Meg, Mutt, aged around 12, adopted 31/12/2009. Sudden explosive right elbow fracture 06/12 (caused by IOHC), diagnosed with End Stage Arthritis 03/15, Total Elbow Replacement 08/15, problems with healing leading to skin graft & skin flap surgery, Chronic Infection leading to implant breakdown. Became a Tripawd 9th March 2016. 
Lives with Mum, Clare, watched over by Angel Pie and Angel Billie
My life as a MEG-A-STAR 


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22 October 2016 - 10:42 am
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megstamum said
BTW, I just watched your video. Gabbar is a beautiful dog. Is the other one a litter mate? They look a similar age.

Anyway, just to say re traction . I would get that sorted asap. Don’t wait for the op. Yoga mats sound ideal. Given that he’s already walking on three, the mats will make it easier to move around on the tiled floor (it looks tiled?), and stop him straining muscles and tendons. He looks a bit tentative in the video, and I think that might really help.

All best,

Meg, Clare and Elsie Pie  

We’re going to pick up yoga mats in the morning. I’ve placed some fabric mats around for now but I’ll replace em tomorrow. It is a tiled floor.

Yes, the other one is Suzy, his protective (sometimes bullying) big sister from the same litter, half an hour older than him. A friend of a friend’s dog had a litter of puppies. Out of 8, 6 survived. 4 found homes. Suzy & Gabbar were the only ones that nobody wanted. Gabbar because he was too thin and didn’t look like a Labrador retriever and Suzy, because she developed hip & joint displaysia almost a month and a half after birth. And they were both really attached to each other. So we took em both home.

Read about Gabbar's journey from diagnosis to amputation at

http://gabbar.t.....eosarcoma/

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22 October 2016 - 10:56 am
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So sorry it has been confirmed as osteo, but congrats on clear lungs.  Although amputation is major surgery and carries risks, most dogs do just great.  The first two weeks of recovery are hard, but you have a head start in being alert to his pain signals now.  And many dogs really perk up once the staples come out.  My Otis was back up on the sofa in week 3.  Once he fully recovered, he could chase cats and squirrels, play with his sister Tess, steal food off the counters and do all his normal doggie stuff – just much shorter walks. 

Otis - 106 pound lab/Dane mix, lost his right front leg to osteosarcoma on Febuary 9, 2016.  Four rounds of carboplatin completed in April, 2016.  Lung mets August 25, 2016.  Said goodbye too soon on September 4, 2016.   Lost his adopted sister, Tess, suddenly on October 9, 2016. likely due to hemangiosarcoma.  

Wherever they are, they are together.

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22 October 2016 - 12:48 pm
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Sorry to hear about the diagnosis, but at least the chest x-rays are clear. And I just wanna saw how awesome your story is. You did an amazing thing by giving two unwanted pups a home!

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22 October 2016 - 3:27 pm
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Oops! Sorry dog dad! That’s what I get for posting while tired. Gabbar will feel so much better after the amputation and the initial recovery phase. I think everyone here had at least one moment when they thought they’d made a huge mistake, so don’t be surprised if that happens. Good luck!

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22 October 2016 - 7:46 pm
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Gabbar’s affected leg seems to have a pronounced swelling, mainly above the paw. The rest of the leg too, from shoulder down is showing some swelling. He is in tremendous pain and squeals if I even lightly touch the shoulder area. We are now about 40 hours post the needle biopsy. Is this common? I have messaged the vet about this and sent him pictures as well. Quite early in the morning here, and it’s Sunday so I’m wondering if this is something I need to rush him in for. We’re amputating on Thursday.

I spoke to the vet about Tramadol yesterday, and he has asked me to add 100mg Tramadol along with the 300mg Gabapin twice a day.

Pictures of swollen leg:

https://drive.g…..p=drivesdk

https://drive.g…..p=drivesdk

Thank you.

Read about Gabbar's journey from diagnosis to amputation at

http://gabbar.t.....eosarcoma/

Virginia




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22 October 2016 - 8:00 pm
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Others with direct experience will jzve to chime in. I can only say that, from what I’ve read vrom those on the site who have had to do thst, say that it is very, very painful.

Wondering if an anti inflammatory would help from the Vet? Icir would probably help, but it sounds to painful to even touch.

I’m so sorry. I know this is hard seeing him hurt so badly. I hope the Vet will respond soon, as well as others with first hand eexperience.

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!

London, UK


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23 October 2016 - 1:36 am
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Hi Vijay,

I am sorry Gabbar’s in so much pain. To be clear, I do not have experience of this (or of Osteosarcoma), so please take my opinion for what it’s worth (i.e. probably not very much…) I just wanted to respond because with the time zones it may be a while before US members respond. So, if this is a change with Gabbar, and the leg wasn’t swollen in this way before, or if it is rapidly getting worse in terms of the swelling and the pain, then if it were me I would take him in to see the emergency vet (if your own vet hasn’t responded). It sounds as though he needs more pain relief, but also i think you need to be sure what is going on, just in case an infection’s got in there. (Is the leg warm to touch? I realise he doesn’t like you touching it. From the pictures you posted, an infection would be my principal concern, but, as I say, I do not know what a leg normally looks like post biopsy) Seeing a vet would also help put your mind at rest. Hope that helps and very much hope that Gabbar is feeling better soon (roll on Thursday!). Please let us know how you and Gabbar are doing.

All best,

Meg and Clare (and Elsie Pie) xxx

Meg, Mutt, aged around 12, adopted 31/12/2009. Sudden explosive right elbow fracture 06/12 (caused by IOHC), diagnosed with End Stage Arthritis 03/15, Total Elbow Replacement 08/15, problems with healing leading to skin graft & skin flap surgery, Chronic Infection leading to implant breakdown. Became a Tripawd 9th March 2016. 
Lives with Mum, Clare, watched over by Angel Pie and Angel Billie
My life as a MEG-A-STAR 


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23 October 2016 - 2:20 am
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I’ve spoken to the vet. He has added a 7.5mg dose of Meloxicam to his pain relief course, which I have given him. He seemed to get some relief and in half an hour, sat up. I was just about to put an ice pack on the swollen leg, when he decided to lie back down on the swollen leg. But I guess because he had some pain relief, as he tends to do, he kind of let himself fall on it, albeit on the mattress. And that HURT! He let out a loud, prolonged squeal, and it just killed me.

Being Sunday, the emergency vets are in emergency surgeries. And it’s probably not wise to move him and have to go to the clinic and wait indefinitely.

I’ve fixed an appointment with a pain management specialist tomorrow, who plans to give him an injection for more aggressive pain management . He will also check him for infection and see if any further antibiotics need to be administered. He’s also trying to organize for Opioid patches that we can slap on, kind of like a nicotine patch, to keep him comfortable till Thursday. I’ve also spoken to the surgeon about moving the surgery up if possible. Unfortunately he’s got other major surgeries scheduled for the next 3 days so it looks like we’ll have to wait our turn till Thursday.

Read about Gabbar's journey from diagnosis to amputation at

http://gabbar.t.....eosarcoma/

London, UK


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23 October 2016 - 4:08 am
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Oh that sounds excellent, Vijay. Gabbar is certainly lucky to have such a thorough and committed advocate. I’m so pleased you manage to speak to the vet and that you’ll be seeing the pain management specialist tomorrow. A Fentanyl patch (or similar) should help Gabbar greatly. I hope that you feel a little easier now, knowing you have these plans in place.

All best to you and you family,

Meg, Clare and Elsie Pie xxx

Meg, Mutt, aged around 12, adopted 31/12/2009. Sudden explosive right elbow fracture 06/12 (caused by IOHC), diagnosed with End Stage Arthritis 03/15, Total Elbow Replacement 08/15, problems with healing leading to skin graft & skin flap surgery, Chronic Infection leading to implant breakdown. Became a Tripawd 9th March 2016. 
Lives with Mum, Clare, watched over by Angel Pie and Angel Billie
My life as a MEG-A-STAR 




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23 October 2016 - 4:30 am
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Poor Gabar … but at least he will get rid of that painful leg on Thursday and will feel so, so, so much better ! 

Sending you lots of pawsitive energy and cuddles to your gorgeous boy 💕💕💕🐾😘

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

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