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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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Forum Posts: 12
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2 July 2020
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2 July 2020 - 11:53 am
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Hi everyone, I’m Robyn and my almost 6 year old lurcher is Adam. He had what was suspected to be a foreleg sprain in May this year, which very quickly swelled and so he went for a bone biopsy and marrow for testing. The results came back negative for cancers which was delightful, so my vet started platelet therapy to try to regrow the inexplicably damaged bone. He hadn’t put any weight on the leg in a month so he ordered a retest of the marrow, in which it was confirmed to be osteosarcoma. Devastated by the enormous waste of time trying to fix the unfixable, we had the leg amputated on Monday of this week.

The whole bone was taken from the socket, not sawn off (not sure of pros and cons of both options tbh I just wanted the leg gone) and by the next day Adam was upright, going out for wees and poos and eating.

Day 3 now, and the swelling and bruising has started. He’s rubbish with pain at the best of times so he’s struggling with it, even with tramadol on a morning, 4 gabapentin through the day and metacam/antibiotics as well.

I’m basically here for reassurance that these things are normal and that he will heal enough to enjoy his (probably) last few months as much as he enjoyed life before all this ruined our lives. 

The Rainbow Bridge



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2 July 2020 - 12:46 pm
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Hi Robyn & Adam, welcome. Your future posts won’t need approval so post away. We are so glad you found us, and hope to make this transition easier for you both.

I’m sorry that he was diagnosed, it’s never easy to learn your dog has cancer, especially after what you’ve been through and thinking he didn’t have it in the first place. What a roller coaster!

Now that his leg is off, it really sounds like Adam is on the mend. Wees? Poos? Eating! YES! smiley_clappoopicon That’s terrific!

About his pain…he shouldn’t be struggling with pain right now. Yes, he will feel some discomfort but if he appears to be giving pain signals , it’s time to let your vet know. The combination he’s getting sounds about right but the dosage is what may need adjusting. Most Tripawds need their medication fine-tuned during that first week of recovery. Sometimes an additional medication is added, like Amantadine, but he may not need that yet, if ever. Once you and your vet have the formula down, he can recover more comfortably, and quicker. 

Yes, Adam can have a great life on three legs! Browse around here and you will see that yep, it’s totally possible no matter the age or size of a dog. Once recovery is over you will see his sparkle return, and his willingness to get on with life and continue doing what he loves best. He won’t be focused on a prognosis, so follow his lead. Because with or without cancer, we never know how long we have on this planet. Cancer sucks but it teaches us to make the most of every day if we allow it to. Adam will be a great teacher to show you how!

Let us know what the vet says and keep us posted. We are here for you.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 12
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3 July 2020 - 3:35 am
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Honestly this forum is a godsend for reassurance. 

I think it’s the timings of his drugs that is off a bit, his issues are mostly overnight (lucky me, I’ve been on the sofa for 2 months 😂) it’s hard to decipher side effects of opioids from pain I think! 

I’m collecting his meds this afternoon and the vet will discuss changing the routine of it.

He’s started today with saggy pockets of, I presume, seroma which look alarming! He’s still eating though, and toileting by himself so fingers crossed. 

Minneapolis, MN
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4 July 2020 - 9:32 am
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Hi, Robyn.  Fellow Lurcher person here.  Do you know, did they administer any aminocaproic acid (aka Amicar)? Can really help with some sighthound post op clotting/bleeding issues.  If Adam had a serious issue with this, you would know it.  I have often wondered if some the the seroma we see in sighthounds post op is the result of having so much less body fat – the fluids just pool more?  Anyhow, my Lurcher did not have a lot of bruising, but did have puffiness – he was a front leg amputee for a nerve sheath tumor and the surgery was a significant one.  He got puffy even in his face and jaw line for a little while and then everything reabsorbed.

Sending Adam a lot of love – I’m sure he is going to do fine.

Lisa 

Lisa, Minneapolis

On October 27, 2016, nearly 6 months after amputation, and 18 months since his cancer likely started, we lost Pofi to a recurrence of Soft Tissue Sarcoma in his spine quite suddenly.  His canine sister also succumbed to cancer on March 1, 2019 - we lavished her with our love in the interim, but life was never quite the same without her only real canine friend. Cliff kitty had to leave us, too, suddenly, in August 2019. Lucia kitty grieved all these losses, but helped us welcome two new Lurchers into our home and our lives, Shae and Barley.

Blog: Pofi, Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor Amputation

Virginia




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4 July 2020 - 5:07 pm
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You’ve gotten great input from Jerry and Lisa.  Lisa is very knowledgeable  about Lurchers so I’m glad she chimed in.

And yeah, frustrating  about the misdiagnosis  at first.  We do see that often here though.  You’re on the right path now though👍

Getting rid of that bum leg and moving thrpugh recovery, Adam will amaze you how quickly and beautifully  he gets  his sparkle back!

Just want to add that no dog has a timeframe stamped on his vutt.  Take a look at Adam’s butt (apologies  to Adam)….nope….no timeframe in sight!

The most important this is to make every moment count.  Don’t  waste one second worrying  about the tomorrows.  Adam sure isn’t.   He’s living in the NOW and enjoying  all the loving  and spoiling  he’s getting😎

Tweaking the meds a bit should help.  Right now all the hospital  meds are out of his system  so this is when the tweaking often starts.  

Stay connected  and let us know how he’s doing.

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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6 July 2020 - 7:11 am
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Thanks for the reassurance! Lisa, he wasnt given anything like that, although I feel like I was overreacting a little to the shock of the bruising, because we’re on day 7 now and he’s doing great. The re-jig of meds means he’s covered by pain relief at all times so he’s sleeping through the night now. The swelling has significantly reduced, as has the bruising which is now really only localised to the wound, and the wound itself is healing great!

He’s amazing, the fact that he’s getting around is incredible, when people would take weeks of physical therapy to learn to go about their day. We’ve had one or 2 falls when he forgets but since his leg has hurt him for so many weeks, he wasnt using it anyway so I guess he got some practice in before the big day? 

I’m coming to terms with things now, and rather than being sad I’m looking forward to getting his dachshund brother back from his nanna’s and resuming adventure life with my boys. 

The Rainbow Bridge



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6 July 2020 - 10:32 am
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Your attitude is SO PAWESOME! Maintaining that pawsitivity and upbeat outlook is so helpful for Adam, and you too. The progress is happening, keep on keepin’ on Adam!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

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Virginia




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6 July 2020 - 9:37 pm
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STANDING OVATATION TO BOTH OF YOU!👏👏👏

So happy to hear how well Adam is doing!  You stayed the course and guided Adam to getting top MBA Adam again, slowly but surely!!

And ditto Jerry, your attitude  is wonderful!

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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