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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is your home 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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Phantom limb syndrome?
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Member Since:
30 March 2024
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1
30 March 2024 - 2:37 pm
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Hello,

This is my first post and I'm so grateful I bumped into this site and then had an immensely helpful conversation with Renee.  We are still struggling with making a final decision about amputation for our 10 year old German Shepherd mix, Kamille, with Osteosarcoma.  Reading this site, I can see we are not alone in this tortuous decision.  

We have a surgery date scheduled for either April 16 or 18 depending on which Vet we have do it.

Friends have asked me about treating Kamille's phantom limb syndrome.  First of all... how would I know if she has it?  Is she going to fall towards the left where her rear left leg used to be?  She's already accommodated herself on three legs rather well. In fact she goes up and down stairs faster than I want her to and has been chasing birds.  These lively acts help me to feel that amputation is the right way to go because there is so much pizzazz left in her.

I'd love to read other people's thoughts on making this tough decision, and experiences with phantom limb syndrome.

Stephanie

The Rainbow Bridge



Member Since:
25 April 2007
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30 March 2024 - 2:49 pm
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Hi Stephanie, I'm so glad you decided to post here. Your future posts won't need approval so post away!

Did your husband get a chance to look at our information? Are you guys on the same page about whether or not to do surgery? Be sure to check out our What to Expect articles for some additional info that may put your mind at ease.

It's smart to ask about treating phantom leg pain ahead of the surgery date. If you click on the link you'll find several articles that tell more about it. As we talked about on the Helpline, if you have good pain management from the get-go, even before surgery, the odds of phantom pain go way down. If it does happen, it's generally easier and faster to resolve with additional pain control like Amandatine and acupuncture. You really want your Kamille to be on Gabapentin before surgery, if she isn't already, so that the nerves will be less "angry" once they are severed in the procedure. 

Our recent tripawd talk with Dr. Tamara Grubb is super helpful to listen to before surgery so take some time to check it out.

Stay tuned for more feedback from others!


Member Since:
30 March 2024
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2 April 2024 - 11:57 am
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Thank you!  I've made a list of all of the resources yoou provided and will be busy reading.  We have decided to do the amputation and it will be on April 18th.  Kamille is on (since a couple weeks now) Gabapentin and we will work closely with our Vets on pain management post surgery. 

My husband has been traveling since before I contacted you but I'll have him reading your resources once he's back tonight.  

This harness/lift was recommended to us, especially for assistance in and out of the car:  https://helpemu.....EALw_wcB 

Thanks for your help!

Livermore, CA




Member Since:
18 October 2009
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2 April 2024 - 1:48 pm
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Hi and welcome.

So sorry you had to join us here but glad you found us and the vast resources here have helped.

I just wanted to caution you on the Help'em Up Harness.  Kamille is losing a back leg, correct?  In the past people with rear amp pups have found that the rear lift portion of the harness does not fit right or stay in place because it needs both back legs to fit properly.

Does Kamille have any other issues that would make it hard for her on 3?  Many pups here use either the RuffWear Webmaster or Flagline harness to help their pups get around. 

Here is some information on choosing a harness. 

My dogs are small but I've had two rear amp Tripawds as well as a quad Pug with mobility problems and another Pug who had both knees repaired.  I used the Webmaster with all of them when they needed assistance.  My current rear amp Elly never leaves the house without her harness- I use it to get her in and out of my truck and her stroller as well as on rough terrain.  A couple years ago she hurt her one hip and had limited movement for a couple weeks- the harness was invaluable.  In theory I could carry my small dogs but only one of the last 5 dogs liked to be picked up or carried, and the harness allows me to help them with one hand.

 

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls and Boy

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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