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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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The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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26 May 2022 - 12:44 pm
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Awww what a handsome guy. Those eyes make my heart flip flop.

Allen and Luanne the senior cat are sharing the same ampuversary!

Any updates? We are sending TONS of pawsitivity your way! Keep us posted.sp_hearticon2

Raleigh, NC
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26 May 2022 - 1:52 pm
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He is out and in recovery for the last 90 minutes.  Had some greyhound complications but the vets were prepared and didn't lose him.  

Virginia




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22 February 2013
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26 May 2022 - 2:13 pm
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INGRID!!!   Sending  so much healing energy and pawsitive thoughts to surround Allen♥️♥️♥️♥️

I have to add that Elizabeth just asked about you last night and if I had heard from you!  I filled her in and was wondering  what was going on with Allen........and BAM here's  your update!!  

Sending love to you and Rich and hoping for the best for Allen♥️♥️

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!

Raleigh, NC
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26 May 2022 - 9:34 pm
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We are home but he won't get out of the car.  He just wanted to sleep in the back.  

Pain meds are wearing off.  He isn't drinking yet, still having issues with his tongue.  He is interested in peanut butter though.  

So if I cannot safely get his Amicar in him, we will drive up to the ER.  They already know he is having some issues.  We chose to bring him home because Allen is afraid of everyone he meets.  Rich was evil for a month after we brought him home.  His mother and the brother we adopted are the same way but their brother Riley has never met a stranger.  

Amicar is a man-made form of a protein that occurs naturally in the body and helps the blood to clot.  Used for people who have low platelets and in all greyhounds whenever they have surgery including tooth extractions.  Greyhound blood is not normal.  Low platelets, high red blood cell count.

He does have a lot of bruising.   Have not iced him yet.  I knew tonight would be rough but not completely prepared.  We do have a good team working with us though so I have confidence that we will be OK.  

Raleigh, NC
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26 May 2022 - 9:50 pm
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Hyperkalemia - high blood potassium.  Allen had hyperkalemia during his surgery.  This is very dangerous as it can cause the heart to stop in a way that it cannot be restarted..  It resolves after you stop anesthesia but you cannot do that while in the middle of an amputation like you can for a dental. 

The amicar can cause this as well as it just happens in some dogs but greyhounds more so.  More greyhound weirdness. 

The surgeon brought in another vet to handle Allen's blood work and keeping the potassium down.  She is married to a human cardiologist and she got him to read Allen's ekg too.  It was a little scary for them  but they got it down.  Our vets are just amazing people.  

The Rainbow Bridge


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26 May 2022 - 10:28 pm
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Oh my gosh Ingrid just saw your update. Wow what a calm tone you have, I think I'd be a mess. Did Allen ever get out of the car? I hope so! Smart to bring him home. Stress can delay recovery. He's better off with you, and having the experience with this situation is such a weird blessing.

Sounds like he really does have an excellent team who knows Greyhounds. Sooooo glad things went well, and am hoping you all get some rest tonight. Stay strong and if you need anything at all or just want to talk, call the Tripawds Helpline or post, whatever, we are here!

Virginia




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26 May 2022 - 10:42 pm
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I was holding my breath as I was reading this grandma hoping Allen could get stable and have all of this Greyhound weirdness go away. As always, you share so much information and insight that we wouldn't get anywhere else about greyhounds, about all dogs for that matter. Try and get some rest. I know that will be hard. You are doing everything possible for Allen and, as always go above and beyond when taking care of your pups.

I wish you and Rich we're not having to go through all these challenges yet again. As always, hoping for the best and sending support and love.

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!

Raleigh, NC
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27 May 2022 - 8:24 pm
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Quick update before I go eat some ice cream.   We have all been stress eating here. 

 Allen is stable but had some more complications. We wound up taking Allen to the emergency vet last night because his tongue was not working right and he was refusing to stand for us and would not get out of the car.  I would have spent the night in that car with him if everything else was normal.  Then we wondered if he was in shock because his limbs were ice cold. 

He did get up for the vet but then he started bleeding.  Exact words were gushing.  They got it stopped, he is taking his Amicar, and he has to stay for 24 hours without another bleed.  

The hard part of this is that Allen is a high anxiety dog and I am wondering now if I was cruel to do this to him.  

The vet is keeping him sedated to keep the anxiety at bay.  I know we question if we are doing the right thing every day until the stitches come out but it isn't helping this human tonight.  

I asked my friend Kris to bring me the biggest greyhound she could find.  She gave me two options, Typhoon and Allen.  I took Allen who is not a gentle giant (but he does allow Leo to beat him up, all 11 lbs of him) but a big liar.  He pretends to be brave but he will be shaking from fear from almost everything.  Rich was the scariest human ever for four weeks when I brought Allen home.  Rich couldn't even be in the same room with Allen.  

After a year he decided that the newspaper delivery lady was a good person and climbs up her window to get cookies from her.   Taking him to a walking trail or an actual hike is the worst thing I could ever do.  He loves to go for rides in the car but he wants the destination to be our home.  He hates meeting people. Stranger danger. 

We thought bringing his littermate Walton home  would help out by being a battle buddy but instead I have created the brothers Nope.  We ask them to do something and they discuss it amongst themselves before they tell us "Nope."

They have started to get lessons from Leo on how to swear like a sailor.  Leo was my parents dog and my step-mom could not complete a sentence without the f-bomb. Leo and I come by our potty mouth naturally. 

The Rainbow Bridge


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27 May 2022 - 8:35 pm
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Ingrid, you are so strong! Even in the middle of such a stressful and scary time you still have a way with words that make us all smile. 

No, you were not cruel to decide to move forward. You made the most loving, kind decision with all the thought and consideration for his needs wrapped around it. Sometimes these hiccups happen, you know that, I don't need to tell you. Amputation is never an easy situation and for some dogs it's tougher than the usual recovery. But you know that you will have your sweet boy back soon. He will not hate you, or be more traumatized. In fact this could even make him more comfortable around his vets now that he is getting to know them better by staying a bit longer. I'm going to bet those sedation meds they have him on are making him feel really good, and he will associate that with the clinic now! OK maybe a stretch, I just know how worried you are and I can't blame you.

Allen's situation is under control. The healing has begun. It's a long road so far but it will get shorter.

Enjoy the ice cream! I would be eating everything in sight about now.

Keep us posted.

xoxoxo

Raleigh, NC
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28 May 2022 - 3:14 pm
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We are being transferred to his oncologists er right now.  Allen is bleeding internally and they don't know why.   This is the longest 45 minute drive of my life.   Prayers please.   This isn't looking good. 

Raleigh, NC
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28 May 2022 - 7:31 pm
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First, Allen is stable.  He is having internal bleeding.  The oncologist's office has a critical care vet with him to keep him stable.  He has lost a lot of blood very quickly but he's holding his own.  They don't know why he started to bleed like this but they are giving him Amicar on an IV drip.  We had no idea this was an option and we've had greyhounds since 1999.  They've started the drip.  He is anemic now but they aren't going to give him any blood just yet.  I know there are risks when getting a transfusion so they want to see how he's doing first.  

We did sign a DNR.  At this point he's gone through so much, I'm not going to sign off on extreme measures.

There have been so many tears.  Lots of Oreo's for me and lick and crunch for Walton and Leo.  Walton DID get to interact with his brother.  He appears to understand that he's sick.  We didn't get rid of him.  We came home to Walton trying to cuddle with Leo.  Leo was being a bed hog so it wasn't working out.  I'm going to go write a post about Leo in the alumni sections so y'all get get an Idea about this little creature.

This day started with the vet calling saying he hadn't had a bleed in 24 hours and to bring him home.  Allen was happy to get in the car but screamed when he stood up to get out.  Within about 10 minutes, bruising was spreading.  He snapped at me when I touched his hip so we didn't even get to mark it with a sharpie so they could know how quickly it was spreading.  We couldn't get him into the car by ourselves so we had to call our neighbor who also has a tripawd but do to an accident.  They found him missing a leg I believe.  Jenny got here, jumped right in, and we got him in the car quickly.  I'm so grateful for living in a neighborhood where everyone (but us) is related.  Jenny's family has been here since 1750.  If they knew that this house was for sale, another family member would have bought it but so far, the like us.

Rich got home at 2.  We were back on the road at 2:44 and had him at the vet by 3:05.  At that time, his penis sheath had gone from red to deep purple/black and was 3x the size it should be.  You could see blood pooling in his abdomen, and bruising was above his sternum.  We got him to the Oncologists at 5:36 and by then, he was having some trouble breathing and the bruising was above his sternum.  His platelets are half of what they were this morning, his PCV/HCT droped from 60 to 43.  For a normal dog, 43 is great.  For a greyhound he is anemic.  He can live at 43 but it is a concern for sure. 

I know the first 10 days can be hellish and you do question your decision daily, but my Allen is NOT a diva.  Nixon or Kitty would have already had 3 more pillows and blankets in the kennel with them and Nixon for sure would have convinced a vet tech that she HAD to sit in the kennel with him and tell him how handsome his eyes are.  Where my diva greyhounds have never met a stranger and had some of the best jedi mind tricks you've ever seen, Allen is entertained by potty humor.  Allen loves to goose people, sneak a lick across the palm of your hand right after you've washed them, and he is a crotch sniffer who then provides commentary about what he just smelled.  He doesn't think he's socially awkward but...honey....you're socially awkward.  And I love him dearly.

Virginia




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22 February 2013
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28 May 2022 - 8:23 pm
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Oh Ingrid Ingrid, Ingrid. To have all this happen to  you and Rich, to Allen......just speechless.  

Through all this, to see your unwaivering commitment  to do everything possible for Allen,  to understand  everything possible avout what's going on and to always keep his best interest in mind....you are truly a Saint to him, to ALL the dogs who are lucky  enough mto be loved by you.

What saves us from going off the deep end when reading  all the hard times Allen is going  through  is your humor!!  It is brilliant and it certainly  helps to release the stress.  It's a powerful coping mechanism.

Prayers, paws crossed,   anything and everything that will help your boy fet over this hurdle.

Sending  lots of love.....

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

PS.  I absolutely  love learning more and more about who Allen is and all the wonderful  aspects of his personality. 

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


Member Since:
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29 May 2022 - 11:41 am
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Ingrid & Rich, I hope with all my sp_hearticon2that Allen is pulling through. Any news today? It's got to be maddening having him at the clinic on a long holiday weekend with short staff I imagine. 

I just got caught up, and am just stunned at how quickly things keep going back and forth. You all must be so exhausted! I knew that Greyhound recoveries can be tricky, but I don't believe we've ever seen anything as critical as this before (Bocce the Greyhound came close to this, but different reasons for the serious nature of his recovery). I soooo feel for all that you guys are going through, this is ruff. Please know we are keeping you in our hearts and sending tons of pawsitivity and healing vibes to your sweet socially awkward boy.

Raleigh, NC
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29 May 2022 - 1:01 pm
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Thank you for sharing that!  Hugs to everyone this morning.   Allen is having that bleeding problem even though we started Amicar 3 days before the surgery and stopped all fish oils he was on the week before.

Dr. Suzanne Stack wrote a booklet for greyhound owners to carry with them called "Stack the Deck for Greyt Health" with a brief summary of greyhound weirdness.   Dr. Couto came up with the Greyhound Wallet Card so owners can give it to emergency vets if needed.   More and more vets are learning about this but not all know it.  The vet at BluePearl is quite familiar with it which is awesome.

Greyhounds have very strange blood - what human athletes who dope are trying to achieve.  The local greyhound group we've been a member of for 2 decades just had 3 dogs get neutered in West VA, NEAR Wheeling (the racetrack) by a young vet who didn't know about Amicar.  All 3 had to be hospitalized and 1 of the dogs didn't make it.  They went to the sister hospital of where Allen was at Friday/Saturday because BluePearl was full.  NC State was full.   All of the places that could have done IV Amicar were full.  The medication has to be compounded because it is no longer being made and because of rules, the medication cannot be sold or even donated by the hospitals that keep it on hand to save a dogs life.  It really sucks.  

BluePearl is possibly full but because Allen is an active oncology patient, he was let in.  He is still stable, alert, but stressed out by being there.  Because he is looking so pathetic right now, everyone wants to go love on him because they expect him to be like every other greyhound they've met and my poor boy doesn't know how to handle all this extra love.  I'm hoping he starts to realize love is a good thing.

Dr. Couto checked in with me an hour ago.  I'm trying to get a copy of Allen's current chart to him since I'm not a peer and I'm sure it can be frustrating getting a status in layman's terms when a dog isn't doing well.   The oncologists were happy to share but I'm not sure about the Critical Care vet because I was a crazy greyhound lady to her yesterday.  I have no tact so I offend people easily being very forward.  I'm not second guessing you're work but when you have one of the vets  who discovered using Amicar to save greyhound lives offereing to review the chart of a dog who is one off even for a greyhound, I want to say yes.  Most likely Dr. Couto is going to say yes, this is exactly what I would do but what does it hurt to let him look?  

The Rainbow Bridge


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29 May 2022 - 2:55 pm
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ohmynixon said
Dr. Suzanne Stack wrote a booklet for greyhound owners to carry with them called "Stack the Deck for Greyt Health" with a brief summary of greyhound weirdness.   Dr. Couto came up with the Greyhound Wallet Card so owners can give it to emergency vets if needed.   More and more vets are learning about this but not all know it.  The vet at BluePearl is quite familiar with it which is awesome.  

Hey there, hugs back at ya! 

Thank you for sharing this! We will help spread the word with a Tripawds News blog post about these tools. What a sad story about the Greys that got so critically ill and the one that passed is just tragic. It's incredible that the needs of Greyhounds aren't taught to more vets either in school or afterward.

I'm just really relieved that Allen is stable right now and getting the care he needs. Yes it is a very tough time to get into any clinic. Soooo fortunate that you got him into Blue Pearl. 

All that love he is surrounded by is great medicine, only he doesn't quite know it yet. But he'll figure it out and maybe he is starting to already. I think when we can't be near our fur kids we think of all sorts of worst case scenarios.

And you are not very forward, you are a fantastic advocate who knows her stuff. I have no doubt that you tactfully practice assertiveness and kindness when your dog's health is concerned. I hope you can get Allen's chart to Dr. Cuoto. 

P.S. Did you know that Cuoto's daughter is now practicing oncology out west in Oregon? She is the first boarded onco vet in the city of Bend, and everyone is thrilled to have her out here!

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