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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Amputation Decision
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Forum Posts: 41
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25 November 2021
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4 December 2021 - 9:18 am
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katiemutt said
There is a change today, and not a good one.  She is being extremely vocal about her pain.  I got the approval yesterday to increase the Gabapentin so she had 400 mg yesterday and the two days prior she had 300 mg.  When I increased it to 300 mg I felt like overall she was a little more comfortable, but also noticed some confusion and behavioral changes.  Like suddenly she didn’t want to be inside whereas before she wanted to be inside most of the time.  Possibly she is feeling too hot inside now (even though I have lowered the temp and am wearing a fleece jacket inside).  Like climbing into a dog house that she gave up on using over a year ago because it is hard for her to get in and out.  These changes may not be related to the Gabapentin, but it does seem so.

First thing this morning I didn’t notice any difference in her, but then after she had been outside for about an hour she started this constant half whine half howl.  I made her come inside and she laid down and continued that for 20 minutes or so, with my attempts to comfort her not helping at all, then insisted on going outside again.  Once out there and on a bed, she seemed more comfortable and hasn’t started making that noise again, probably because the morning meds are kicking in.

So I don’t know if she was actually in more pain this morning or if the Gabapentin is making her feel like expressing it more.  Have you heard of others reporting this kind of behavior on Gabapentin?

  

The ER vet that saw my dog (and diagnosed the Osteosarcoma) said that a dog will take a few days to adjust to a higher level of Gabapentin and that they may seem "gorked out" the first few days.  It has applied with my dog.  He seemed really unsteady the first couple of days when we increased his Gabapentin from 300 to 600mg and had to use a towel to support him in and out of the house.   Now, he feels well enough to go on two decently long walks every day (1.5 to 2 miles each time) with barely a limp.  We've used the CBD oil with this dog and the one that just passed 3 months ago but I cannot tell you if it made much of a difference because they are/were both on so many other medications.  When my old guy that just passed wasn't eating well, we used Entyce and Mirtazapine to stimulate his appetite.   They both worked but the Entyce makes the dog slobber a lot and the timing for feeding is very important.  The Pepcid definitely helped.   

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4 December 2021 - 11:26 am
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Thank you for posting again mcma.  I sure hope it is Gabapentin making her more vocal about the pain and not that her pain has become more excruciating.  I have been unable to talk to my vet, but have talked to a tech who I guess consulted with another vet at the clinic and now I can increase the Gabapentin to 200 mg every 8 hrs.  I keep asking if I should drop the Tramadol and the answer is “no” but probably because they don’t want to stop something my vet started.  I’m really wanting to stop it because I think it is the pill that tastes the nastiest, and if it’s not doing any good . . .  But, I hate to take a chance that she will be even worse without it.

It is getting very challenging to get the meds down her now but the semi-melted cheese trick is helping.  She doesn’t take it willingly, but if I can get it in her mouth she usually swallows it.

When I called my vet’s office today they offered to change the surgery to another vet at the clinic who can do it on Wed. so I went with that.  Gives me a little hope that we can get through the next few days.

Thank you for those recommendations of Entyce and Mirtazapine.  I will try to get some.

When is your dog going in for surgery?

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4 December 2021 - 11:29 am
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Hi Sally.  You asked what meds Katie is on now.

Carprofen 50 mg 2x

Tramadol 50 mg 2x

Gabapentin 200 mg 3x (that is the latest increase today)

Virginia




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4 December 2021 - 9:06 pm
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It must be so hard watching  your sweet girl having pain and just not being herself.  Really hoping the Gaba increase will make a difference.

The news that you can get the surgery done Wednesday  is wonderful!!!  Good for you for advocating  to get this done sooner than later.

Wish I could offer more help in the pain.  Even with the increase, there still a little room for more increase, especially if the Tramadol is eliminated.   Of course, all this  has to be at uour Vet  direction

Can maybe ask about adding Amantitine  (sp) also.  

Hard  to hold on til Wednesday, but much better than waiting  additional  time for the other Vet

((((((((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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5 December 2021 - 11:14 am
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Thanks Sally.  I'm meeting with the vet who will do the surgery on Tues so may find out then if he has a different approach to pain management than my vet.  That boost in Gabapentin is making her extremely sleepy and out of it.  But she hasn't had another one of those long whine/howl incidents yet today, so I'm hoping she will be a little more comfortable now until the surgery, and praying that her post-surgery pain isn't a lot worse than what she is already going through.  This is so hard . . .

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10 December 2021 - 11:02 am
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Well Katie had the surgery and is home recovering.  It is hard seeing her struggle to figure out how to get around now, but I do think her pain level is already better than before the surgery.

My big stressor now is getting her to the next vet visit on Monday to have the drain removed.

I ordered a Flagline harness and am contemplating some boots, although I’m really skeptical that she will adapt to boots.  The boots would be only for occasions like going to the vet.  I see from the gear reviews here that the Ruffwear boots are highly thought of for tripawds, but I’m a little concerned that they are going to be pretty heavy and will freak her out.  They seem to be a pretty rugged boot made for outdoor use.  I was wondering if I would be better off with a more lightweight boot, but am concerned those probably won’t fit as well as the Ruffwears and then that would be a problem.  Any thoughts?

Also, are you familiar with the ToeGrips product?  They appear to be little rubbery cylinders that go over the nails, and presumably are glued on.  Have there been any good, or bad, reports about them?

The Rainbow Bridge



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10 December 2021 - 11:36 am
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YAY! Surgery is OVER! That's really super cool. And she's home too? YAY YAY YAY!

Regarding boots: over the years we've come to the conclusion that they can be great for short term use outdoors, for dogs who are already adapted to boots. Today we recommend carpet runners first, then Toe Grips over boots. And not the knock-offs either, only the originals were designed by a vet. Toe Grips are more practical since they can be left on until the next nail trim. If Katie is OK with having her paws handled, they're relatively easy to put on. If not, it might be something your vet or groomer can more easily handle. 

Here's our info about Toe Grips:

Tripawd Traction Tip 101: Get Dr. Buzby’s Toe Grips

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




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10 December 2021 - 11:40 am
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WELCOME HOME KATIE!!!   Surgery is done and recovery  has started!  Yeah, it's hard going through the first part of recovery,  but it does get better!

I know the toegrips seem to be the go to solution over boots, etc.  Jwrry just wrote on another post that the boots sort of prevent the dog from "feeling the ground" like their bare pads do.  The toegrips still allow them to feel the ground and grasp the ground with their toenails.

FWIW, It may be that, for now, you hold off on introducing  anything "new" on his feet and give him a chance to adjust to his new gait without javngg to adjust to any other new "change".  If you have hardwoods or vinyls  you can put down nonslip scatter rugs for traction

I k ow when it's just yourself, getting dogs in and out of cars, transporting  them safely, etc, Hopef you can find a friend to help. 

Let us know how recovery  is going. We are here to help in any way we can.   Sounds like the pain management   plan is working well so far, yes?  Try and get some rest yourself when you can, okay?

Hugs

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

PS. Dr Busby toegrips

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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10 December 2021 - 12:12 pm
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Thanks you guys.  At this point the traction control for her paws would be only for trips to the vet, as I have put down rugs and mats in my house.  I did order some non-skid socks from Chewy.  Thought it wouldn't hurt to try them.

Do you think the ToeGrips would stay on long enough for a vet visit if they were not glued on?  I would put them on before going and take them off when I get home.  Then if she seems to accept them I might consider gluing them on.  I would be nervous about gluing them right away in case she hates them. 

I realize that I need to try to sleep when Katie does, so it looks like now is time for a nap.

The Rainbow Bridge



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10 December 2021 - 12:55 pm
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Oh you are so prepared! Great job!

I can't say for sure about the Grips staying on without glue (you do excellent research!). You can always try. Most dogs don't even notice the Grips after a minute or two but yeah it can't hurt to give them a go without glue.

Hope you had a sweet nap with Katie!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Livermore, CA




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10 December 2021 - 10:56 pm
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If you want something just for a short time like vet visits then Pawz Booties might be a good choice.

Neither of my rear amp Tripawds have needed them but I had a quad-Pug who had mobility issues caused by arthritis and a brain injury.  As she got older she couldn't keep her feet under her on slippery floors like at the vet.  I first tried non-skid socks but they didn't work for her- they tended to rotate on her feet so that the grippy part wasn't on the floor, it was like I put ice skates on her!

PAWZ worked great for my girl Tani.  They come in lots of sizes and are relatively cheap.  If Katie doesn't like them you haven't invested too much.  You really can't leave them on long term though, they don't breathe so the paws will get sweaty.

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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16 December 2021 - 2:22 pm
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Thank you krun15 for suggesting those boots.  I will give them a try. 

Just so you know, the Amazon link from your gear page doesn't work.  It took me to Amazon but didn't pull up that item.  But when I search for it in Amazon there are several choices for that brand.

The Rainbow Bridge



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16 December 2021 - 9:35 pm
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katiemutt said
Just so you know, the Amazon link from your gear page doesn't work.  It took me to Amazon but didn't pull up that item.  But when I search for it in Amazon there are several choices for that brand.  

THANK YOU! We always appreciate it when people tell us about broken links. It's fixed! Here's a direct link to the PawZ Dog Boots Amazon store.

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