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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Annabelle - New Tripawd
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Member Since:
6 January 2024
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10 January 2024 - 12:55 am
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On January 4, 2024, Annabelle’s front right leg was amputated to give her the best chance at a longer, comfortable life after being diagnosed with a grade 1 soft-tissue Sarcoma.  Although we were very worried about how she’d do being an almost 12-year old Siberian Husky, this site has provided lots of hope.

Annabelle is the most loving dog I’ve ever known; she makes everyone feel like they’re the most important person in the world.  She is literally pure joy.

We got through day 5 post-op today and although we knew days 3-5 would be rough, thanks to this site, it was still incredibly difficult to see and hear her struggle.  She cries out (more of a wail) often when she gets up and if we try to get her to do something she doesn’t want to like get back inside when it’s pouring rain.  It’s difficult to tell if she wails because she’s in pain, uncomfortable or both.  It seems like most of it is frustration getting used to this new way of getting around.  She’s been getting gabapentin (300 mg) 3X/day.  I’ve spoken with her vet & he thinks she has good pain management throughout the day & although she wails sometimes, she’s doing well.  It’s great to hear this from the vet, but hearing her wail just breaks my heart.  Is it common for dogs to still cry if their pain management is good?  She is doing a little better every day, so hopefully she’s just still trying to adapt.

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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10 January 2024 - 9:17 am
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Welcome to Annabelle and her family. By the way, her Avatar picture is just as pretty as can be.

It does sound like Annabelle is still dealing with some pain issues. Have a couple of questions, okay?

What has her activity been like? She needs only to be up for short least potty breaks and right back inside. The first two weeks it's all about rest for healing and no extra movement more than potty breaks.

How much does Annabelle weigh? How is she doing otherwise as far as eating, drinking, pooping and peeing?

Will look for your answers and then maybe we can offer some more suggestions, especially on the pain management . This is still very, very early in recovery and she just had major surgery. We know it's hard to see our dogs in pain right now. Hopefully with some pain management adjustments she can get over this hurdle. Remember, recovery 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!

Member Since:
6 January 2024
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10 January 2024 - 1:51 pm
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Hello Benny55 & thank you so much! 

Annabelle has mostly only been up to go potty & we were keeping it real short until yesterday when she started showing desire to walk a little more; it’s still a very short time walking outside & sometimes we have to force her to come back in by guiding her with her harness.  She is not fond of this & will wail at us sometimes; we are starting to notice that most of the wailing is her being frustrated, so we’re trying to give her a little more independence that’s still very controlled.  She also sometimes just wants to roam the house a little, so we let her while supporting her; also, very short.  She’s never been good at being confined; typical husky haha.

She has been peeing outside since day 3 & pooped for the first time the day before yesterday.  She seems pretty stable, but we have been supporting her with her harness.  Today, we gave her more independence & she squatted to pee with no issues, got up fine & walked a bit more around the yard.

She’s about 55 pounds.  She’s eating & drinking great and has been since coming home from surgery.

It snowed last night & she was so happy to see & feel the snow.  It was very hard to get her back in, so we let her lay in a snowy spot she wanted for a little bit.  She would always do this every time it snowed.  She got up without any wailing 🙂

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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10 January 2024 - 3:00 pm
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Actually everything you described about Annabelle's behavior and "routine" sounds pretty darn normal this early on....maybe even a little "above the curve".

Earing, drinking, pooping and peeing AND being mobile....GREAT UPDATE!!

I can relate to a dog who doesn't  like being "confined" and balks at any kind of assistance, all while vocalizing  any displeasures.  Yes, typical Husky!!  That kind of determination will help her adapt to being a tripawd as she moves further away from recovery. 

It does sound like her pain is being managed,  but you do have a little wiggle room with the Gabapentin if needed and with Vet approval  of course.

Love that she got to enjoy laying in the snow.  She sounds like such a delightful and fun  gal.

You are doing an excellent  job of monitoring  her while understanding  her "quirks" (like not wanting assistance), and let her feel like she's being independent, all while under your watchful eye.

Stay connected and update when uou can, okay? Again, Annabelle's  recovery  seems to be going extremely well.  Hard to be patient, we get it.  

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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10 January 2024 - 7:14 pm
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Hey there, welcome! Just had a chance to catch up on Annabelle's story.

Huskies are vocal as it is, so if she was already a bit talky before, her new singing could be related to just being annoyed that she's a little less free right now. Is she on anything else besides the Gabapentin?

Sounds like you and your vet are giving her really great care. I love that you are in communication with her care team. Good job!

I'm sorry you had to join our club! But super glad you found us and decided to post. 

Member Since:
6 January 2024
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11 January 2024 - 12:33 pm
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Hi Jerry!

She’s on Trazodone (150 mg every 8-12 hrs) and Carprofen (50 mg every 12 hrs).  We were giving her the Trazodone every 8 hrs unless she was still pretty relaxed and extended it to 9 hrs or longer on day 5.

Annabelle has always whined a bit when home from dentals, biopsies and other short sedations, so we think part of the reason she wails is she doesn’t like the way she feels on Trazodone.  I’m sure it must be frustrating for her to get up while on it, but we’re also worried about her being too active & potentially hurting herself.  Once she’s free from her confined area, she usually stops.  She’s been doing so well getting around that we’ve been following beside her when going out to potty instead of holding her harness & walking with her; she hasn’t needed help going potty & will wail if I hold the harness.  She makes it very clear she doesn’t want my help haha.

We go back & forth often on if we should give her the Trazodone less frequently.  I should really give her team a call.

So grateful for all the discussions & tips; it’s incredibly helpful 🙂

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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11 January 2024 - 12:42 pm
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Yeah, the Trazodone  can definitely  sedate and make them feel woozy sometimes. Unless Annabelle  is showing signs of wanto g to be extremely  active and anxiety driven, you can cut it back or  eliminate it altogether.   It does nothing  for pain.  Of course, not a Vet and not giving Vet advice.  

Uou are monitoring  her closely so I dont think she'll be overly active and trying to run a marathon at this point😉

Higs

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



Member Since:
25 April 2007
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11 January 2024 - 6:14 pm
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Ahhh. Yeah I would ask your vet for some guidance on the Traz. It's helpful for over-active dogs but some dogs would so much rather be 100% alert and aware than feel wonky and out of it on Traz. Our Wyatt Ray was like that. Check with your vet on the best way to handle it so she is more comfortable and confident.

I agree you are doing a great job managing her activity. 

Member Since:
6 January 2024
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14 January 2024 - 7:10 pm
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Day 10 Post-Op Update

Annabelle’s not wailing as much today and seems more relaxed; she’s been napping in longer stretches. 

I contacted her team on the 11th to discuss the Trazodone and they said we could reduce it or eliminate it all together depending on how she does, so we only gave it to her before bed.  There wasn’t much of a difference in her frustration getting up, so we skipped it on the night of the 13th; she was pretty restless.  I also started noting each time she pees as I’m concerned she may have a UTI with how frequently she’s going, her licking herself and each time seems like it’s urgent with her wailing to hurry outside.  I spoke with her team again yesterday regarding a possible UTI and we’ll need to get her in for a urinalysis to confirm, but they said it sounds like it may be and recommended giving her Trazodone again before bed as it may not make her urge to pee so urgent. She’s had UTIs in the past and never showed any signs of discomfort; I only suspected it because of her frequent need to pee & her licking herself.  

She wasn’t up as often to go potty last night, so we will continue giving her Trazodone only before bed.  We will be taking her in for a urinalysis once the weather permits; we got a lot of snow yesterday, which Annabelle is loving.  She has no problem scooping up & eating the snow while walking around and has been enjoying getting to lay in it for short periods.  It’s nice seeing her enjoy the snow 🙂

The Rainbow Bridge



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15 January 2024 - 11:00 am
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Hey thanks for the update!

That does sound like a UTI, poor thing. At least she has the snow to take her mind off of it.

Traz can cause incontinence in some post-op dogs because they're too out of it to get up, so if that starts happening don't panic. Between that and the UTI it sounds like it could happen. Might want to keep towels on her bed.

Hope she feels better soon! Keep us posted.

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5 February 2024 - 6:56 pm
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1 Month Post-Op Update:

Annabelle is pretty much back to her old self.  She has been going for walks every day since getting most of her staples out last week. 

She still has 4 staples.  She initially went in to get all staples removed on January 18th; however, during removal, an infection was found.  No sign of an infection was visible on the surface. She was prescribed antibiotics & had to wait another 2 weeks to cure the infection & allow more healing.  She also had a urinalysis & culture performed, which was all negative; her frequent need to pee must’ve been related to the meds or something with the surgery.  On January 29th, she went in to get all the staples removed, but she wasn’t quite healed enough at the lower portion of her incision, so the vet put 4 staples back in.  We had a scare when we got home as she seemed to be bleeding more than described by the vet; we called them & they had us monitor it to ensure the bleeding stopped & it did shortly after.

Still some recovering to do, but almost there.  Her incision looks like it’s healing well, but we’ll find out for sure next week when she gets the 4 staples out 🙂

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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5 February 2024 - 7:36 pm
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Dang about the infection and extra staples, but YAAAAAY for doing well overall!👏👏

Hopefully smooth sailing from here on out, especially  after the incision  heals free from infection.

HAPPY ONE MO TH AMPUTATION  Annabelle!  Extra treats for you....or maybe even a scoop of ice cream🍨🍧

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



Member Since:
25 April 2007
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6 February 2024 - 10:02 am
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Awww sweet Annabelle! YAY for making it through the hardest part of recovery without any major issues. You had some bumps for sure but handled them like the champ husky you are!

Patricia that's really great your vet found the infection and was on it quickly. WHEW! Good luck next week. Keep us posted and give your rock star senior gal a big smooch from us. sp_hearticon2

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27 February 2024 - 8:36 pm
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Annabelle got the rest of her staples out on February 15th and has been doing great!  She turned 12 on the 16th.  We’ve been gradually increasing the distance on her walks & taking her with us to the playground with the kids on the weekends; still pulls like her old self & hard to slow her down haha.  She started going through the doggy-door again a few days ago; really surprised us as we thought she wouldn’t be able to do that again.  We are very happy to have our girl completely healed.  Thank you so much to this community for being an amazing reference & great place for support & encouragement; we are so grateful!

The Rainbow Bridge



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28 February 2024 - 12:19 pm
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AWWWRRRROOOOOO!! Annabelle is unstoppable! 

Thank you for sharing this great news about how she's doing. It really helps for others to see that senior dogs can make it through recovery and do so well once it's over. Give her extra love from us!

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