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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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Pre surgery question re: medication
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Forum Posts: 34
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30 September 2019 - 7:03 pm
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Hi Everyone, I have a quick question, but first some background. My 7 year old very large (115lbs) male doberman “Ziggy” was just diagnosed with osteosarcoma on his front left leg. I finally got the call late this afternoon that they will get him in for amputation at 7am tomorrow morning. They told me not to feed him after 10pm, but should I still continue to give him pain meds on schedule? (gabapentin and tramadol)

With that out of the way, I just want to say I am very grateful to find this group. It has been an overwhelming whirlwind for the last few days. Seeing him hobbling and in pain is crushing and anxiety inducing. Today was super tough as Ziggy seems to really be suffering. Rather than be hesitant to having him lose a limb we are all thankful and can’t wait to get that stupid cancer cut out, limb and all. We are dealing with the knowledge that most likely our time is very limited with him, but hopeful this will ease his suffering for the time being.

Thanks all!

SS

Green Bay, WI


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30 September 2019 - 7:32 pm
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Hi Ziggy’s Dad, just chatted with you; did your vet say to give the meds? I think i would/did. Good luck tomorrow, paws crossed for an uneventful surgery. Feel free to PM me, I’d be happy to help.

Paula and Warrior Angel Nitro

Nitro 11 1/2  yr old Doberman; right front amp June 2014. Had 6 doses carboplatin, followed by metronomic therapy. Rocked it on 3 legs for over 3 years! My Warrior beat cancer, but couldn't beat old age. He crossed the Bridge peacefully on July 25, 2017, with dignity and on his terms.  Follow his blog entitled "Doberman's journey"

http://nitro.tripawds.com

"Be good, mama loves you".....run free my beautiful Warrior

Virginia




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30 September 2019 - 9:27 pm
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Hi Ziggy and his devoted humams!  Right off the bat, have to say you have a grear attitude about getting that bum leg gone!!!  Certainly  not a decision  to be taken lightly, but when you KNOW it’s the best way to give Ziggy a quality  pain free life full of loving and spoiling and tummy rubs, that makes proceeding easier.

So glad you spoke with Paula in the chat room .  I’m  sure she told you about her Dobie Warrior Nitro.  He kicked butt for three years and lived life to the fullest and basically passed due to old age.  No dog has a timeframe stamped  on their butt around here!!  Nope, statistics  don’t  mean squat around here.

Paula  gave me a heads up that you might be posting. because I live just West of Richmond in Powhatan. Where are you having the surgery?  What’s the Surgeon’s name?  There are only a couple of places in the area who specialize  in this. 

Pretty sure I kept my Hapoy Hannah on her med schedule  the night before, but can’t remember   for sure.  Guessing it was before midnight.  Obviously, we aren’t Vets and only your Vet can answer that.

We’ll all be sending pawsitive thoughts.  Ziggy sounds like a great dog full of spunk and determination.   Can’t  wait to see pictures and hear more about him.

Look forward to updates

Hugs to  all

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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30 September 2019 - 10:04 pm
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Thanks Benny55. Surgery is at Helping Hands, critical care at VVC on Cary. Got the call right at 5pm tonight to schedule for the morning, so they were closed by the time I thought of the question. Keeping him on meds as his pain has gotten severe over the last 24 hours. Lots of tears in our household tonight but so glad surgery is tomorrow instead of 2-3 days from now. I have day full of nail biting and coffee drinking ahead tomorrow. Thankful to find this group. Will post some updates when I can. 

I don’t know how to post pics on here, or if that is allowed on here. I’ll try to figure it out tomorrow.

Scott

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1 October 2019 - 12:38 am
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Good luck tomorrow Ziggy & family. Chomp and I will be sending all our good vibes your way! sp_hearticon2

The Rainbow Bridge



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1 October 2019 - 9:57 am
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Scott, I am so glad to see that you connected with everyone here. And what a relief that Zig is in surgery today! Please keep us posted in Treatment and Recovery and let us know how we can help answer any questions.

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
  3. Return to your Tripawds Forum post and paste the image (or the image URL if pasting the image itself doesn’t work) in your post. It should automatically appear.

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



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1 October 2019 - 10:02 am
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By the way, is the Helping Hands Clinic you are referring to, with Dr. Pasternak? She is wonderful! We know her personally, Zig is in great hands.

https://tripawd…..uthanasia/ 

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




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1 October 2019 - 8:34 pm
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Just checking in on Zig……….

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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1 October 2019 - 10:03 pm
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I was just wondering the same thing, thanks Sally!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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2 October 2019 - 12:51 pm
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benny55 said
Just checking in on Zig……….

  

Thanks, sorry it’s been a crazy few days. Ziggy did well in surgery and post op care. I picked him up this morning. It’s been difficult because he is such a big boy, 100+ lbs. I’ve gotten him out to pee twice with some effort and a towel sling. He’s drinking well too. I’m keep reminding myself it is just day 1, because I get the feeling sometimes I made the wrong choice. I know I didn’t, he just needs time to recover, but it’s hard seeing him like this right now. 

Virginia




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2 October 2019 - 1:56 pm
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WHEW!!   A GREAT VIG SIGH OF RELIEF  JUST WENT THROUGH YOUR TRIPAWD FAMILY!!!  

YAAAY FOR ZIGGY!! PEEING AND DRINKING AND MOBILE WITH A LITTLE HELP ALREADY????SPECTACULAR  UPDATE!!!😁😁

You are seeing a drugged  up Ziggy shaking off anesthesia  and strong hospital meds right after MAJOR surgery while trying to adjust to three.  So,,of course at this point you are looking at him saying “What have I done TO my dog?”  Yeah, we get it!  Remember, humans would still be in the hospital on a morphine drip!

But as recovery  continues, you will soon be saying, “Thank goodness I did this FOR my dog?” Okay, I have to admit, it took me three weeks before I could finally  say I did this FOR my Happy Hannah! Some dogs recovery slower than others,  some faster.  Each dog is different.

What pain meds did Zig come home with?  Most dogs here have Gabapentin,  Tramadol,  Rimadyl and an antibiotic.   As the hospital meds  get out of his system  in the next couple of days. pain management   may take some tweaking bas3d o how Ziggy is doing.

For now, rest, rest, rest, short potty breaks, drinking  are all important.  Appetite may be off a bit and pooping  may take a few days.

If you have hardwood floors, uou’ll want non slip scatter rugs for traction .   Raised water/food bowls help eliminate  strain.

TRY and get some quick naps as you can.  My Happy Hannah  spent  the. first night at a 24/7 clinic,  but neither she nor I got any sleep the first seceral nights.  Lots of restlessness and whining.  Some dogs are zonked out, some not.

Thanks for the update.  We know you have your hands full. Let us know if we can help you navigate  through  recovery.   It’s  no picnic the first couple of weeks, but it doesn’t  last forever!

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!

Here and Now


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2 October 2019 - 3:32 pm
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Thanks for the update! Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

new hampshire
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2 October 2019 - 7:09 pm
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Hi ziggy and dad. Just catching up.

It sounds like ziggy is doing well. Moving around, deinking and peeing are all huge steps in the right direction.

The first days can be crazy. I think its hard on us humans because we see them struggling and second guess. It will get better. When the surgery meds are out of his system and hes moving around better the sparkle will come back ❤ right now lots of love and rest.

We used a canvas grocery bag sling to help roane move around for the first couple of weeks. She was a big girl too (130 lbs)  the handles helped alot especially on the stairs. 

Big hugs,

Bev & Moe cat

         Hugs ❤ Bev, nurse Moe cat, Autumn's Angel Roane & Angel dog Gypsy 🐾

My sweet soulmate Roane was diagnosed with osteo in June of 2019. Had a rear leg amp on July 2nd & crossed the rainbow bridge to be with her sister Gypsy on the first day of Autumn Sept 23 2019.

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3 October 2019 - 1:24 pm
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Thanks Sally & Bev, yeah yesterday was ruff for both of us. However, Zig started perking up as the evening went along. He already started standing without assistance last night, and we went on 3 long walks, though not by my choice, Ziggy wanted to sport his new style around the neighbors a bit. It is hard to navigate a big dog on three legs when holding a towel sling! Trying to keep it short so as not to over do it.

Today he is about 90% on his own. He likes to run! It seems to be easier than walking. I went into my home office and he got up and followed me in just like the pre-surgery days. I was amazed! Very encouraged, but I know he has a long way to go in dealing with the pain post op. 

To answer a few questions from above, yes he came home on gaba, tramadol, carprofen and cephalexin. I had great non slip pads I have put on my hardwood floors, they work great, they are about 3×4′ and padded too. You can get them at home depot for about $15.

I tried buying Zig a harness but can’t find one big enough. He is so barrel chested that a L/XL doesn’t come close. I don’t understand why these companies don’t just provide longer straps that can just be cut to fit. I will need something for stairs and to get in the car for vet appointments and trips out. 

Facebook memories popped up today showing me that it was 4 years ago when Ziggy and I flew to the U.S. from where we were living in Port au Prince, Haiti. He was too big for any of the airlines and too hot in the Caribbean for them to keep him any length of time by airline regulations. We hitched a ride on a WWII era cargo plane and flew into Florida, haha. I think he still misses chasing chickens and goats and all the mangoes he could eat that fell from our trees. Though, squirrels have made a nice substitute here!

Green Bay, WI


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3 October 2019 - 3:45 pm
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Glad to hear he’s doing well….and doing it HIS way!  As for a harness that’s big enough, have you liked at Ruffwear, webmaster? I know of Great Danes who use them, and they’re pretty deep chested too. Also tripawds has posted about a new harness they trialed that’s supposed to be good. Hopefully Ziggy doesn’t over do things, you dont want a set back. I know its hair to reign them in sometimes, but for the first couple of weeks, that is best. Good luck, keep us posted.

Paula and Warrior Angel Nitro 

Nitro 11 1/2  yr old Doberman; right front amp June 2014. Had 6 doses carboplatin, followed by metronomic therapy. Rocked it on 3 legs for over 3 years! My Warrior beat cancer, but couldn't beat old age. He crossed the Bridge peacefully on July 25, 2017, with dignity and on his terms.  Follow his blog entitled "Doberman's journey"

http://nitro.tripawds.com

"Be good, mama loves you".....run free my beautiful Warrior

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