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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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Booey’s Journey
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Forum Posts: 12
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21 August 2021
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21 August 2021 - 6:29 pm
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Hi, 
I’m new on this site, my 10-year old mixed breed had her left hind leg amputated due to osteosarcoma two days ago. She had a pathological fracture in the same leg which made amputation a fairly easy decision for us. She was able to come home the next day and so far her recovery is going smoothly. She has developed a fairly large seroma around her incision but the surgeon assured us this is common and will most likely heal itself over the next few weeks. We’re treating it with warm compresses several times a day. Other than that her mobility is already good, she’s hobbling along quite well on three legs. Eating, drinking and going to the bathroom normally. I’m looking forward to sharing her story as we move forward and meeting all of you and your amazing companions. Any advice on the seroma or anything else is welcome!

Angela Griffith

The Rainbow Bridge



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21 August 2021 - 8:13 pm
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Hi Angela and Booey, welcome! We are sorry you had to join our club but glad you found us so we can follow along with Booey's rock star recovery! 

It's great she's doing so well already. It's not unusual for a dog to slow down after a few days and appear to be having a post-amputation "crash," so don't be alarmed if she does get a bit pokey. Usually it's just the body catching up with the brain, dogs just want to get on livin' life but usually they need more time. If that happens let your vet know of course, sometimes their pain control needs adjusting. And speaking of, how is her pain management ? Sounds like she's on some good medication?

My best advice is to keep up your great attitude. It means so much to Booey to know that you are being pawsitive, and will help her recovery go even smoother than it already is. 

Also, that link to seroma goes to helpful tips about doing exactly what you are doing to shrink it, so good job there! Be sure to check out Jerry's Required Reading List and the Tripawds e-books library if you haven't already. Our What to Expect articles can also help, and oh the Tripawds Recovery Shopping List is full of helpful tips for post-op life. That's it for now, I don't want to overwhelm you. 

It's great to have you here, let us know how things are going OK? We are here to help!

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




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21 August 2021 - 10:31 pm
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Love Booey's avatar  picture.  She's so cute!

Ditto everything  Jerry said and yes, you do have a good attitude!  Sou ds like you've  done some homework. 

To be doing so well in all categories  right now is quite amazing!  As Jerry said though, there may be a bit of a crash once all the good hospital  meds wear off.  pain management   becomes even more crucial at that time.  Rest, rest, rest, short leashed potty breaks and back in for more rest.

Recovery  is no picnic for about two weeks vut her sparkle will come back bigger and brighter  than ever.  We are here  to answer any questions and support you in anyway, okay?

And here's a link for adding pictures of Booey adding images .

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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22 August 2021 - 12:27 pm
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Thanks! Today is day 3 and she does seem a little more lethargic. As for pain management she is taking 100mg of carprofen and 100mg of gabapentin twice a day. From what I’ve been reading on here that doesn’t seem like much? But I also can’t say she seems to be in too much pain. The last two nights,  however, have been tough. She hasn’t seemed to be able to get herself comfortable for longer than a half hour or so before she wakes up. Last night she was panting heavily on and off. So not much sleep in our house since she’s been home. I’m considering calling the doctors to see if there’s anything extra we can do to make her more comfortable over night.  

The Rainbow Bridge



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22 August 2021 - 1:09 pm
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You are so welcome!

What you are describing sound like common pain signals . 100 Mg is not a lot at all, depending on the dosage. We tend to see Gabapentin dosages for dog amputees in the 300mg range, 3x daily depending on their weight. Definitely let your vet know she's uncomfortable. While there is never zero pain with amputation surgery, she should be able to get comfy and sleep through the night when properly medicated. It can be a real balancing act but you'll get there!

Let us know what the vet says.

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




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22 August 2021 - 3:06 pm
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As Jerry noted, Booey is displaying pain signals and pain med adjustments  should help.  Once the pain gets a head start, it's harder  to get back under comtrol.

How much does Booey weigh?

Okay, let us know if the Vet suggests  doses  3 x a day, or at least stronger does of sticking  to 2 x a day.  The Carprofen  is a needed  anti-inflammatory,  but not much on MAJOR surgery pain.

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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22 August 2021 - 5:13 pm
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She weighs 52 lbs. I did leave a message for our surgeon so hopefully we’ll get her meds adjusted tomorrow to make her more comfortable. 

Virginia




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22 August 2021 - 5:24 pm
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Good job advocating  for Booey!  At that weight she has wiggle room to up the dose and/or frequency (with Vet approval  of course). Bummer you can't  get approval before tommorrow. Hope you both can get a better sleep tonight 

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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23 August 2021 - 3:58 pm
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After talking with our surgeon we’re going to start giving her 200 mg of the gabapentin twice a day. He had me gently press on her sutures while he was on the phone with me to see if she reacted, which she didn’t. So he thinks her panting and restlessness might be more anxiety-related than pain. Hopefully the extra meds will help. We scheduled her for follow up and suture removal next Monday. 

Also, she received a surprise BarkBox in the mail today from some friends. Nothing like a new squeaky toy to perk you up for a few minutes! 🙂

Virginia




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23 August 2021 - 9:16 pm
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Glad you are able to increase the Gaba. Good job!!!    Make a note if the pain signals break through before the twelve hour mark.  That would be a good indication that she needs the doses closer together.  FWIW, based on what weve seen around here this early on the panting, etc most likely ARE pain signals with such a low dose of pain meds.   Regardless, hopefully the increased amount will help

I love that she got a Bark Box!  She certainly is a well loved girl by many-  Add us to her Fan Club!!  I got my Happy Hannah some Bark Box several times.  She enjoyed  opening  up the box and ripping it up  as much as she enjoyed  what was inside.  😎

Hope you can get some vetter sleep tonight. 💤💤

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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24 August 2021 - 9:17 am
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Awww love those Bark Box parties! I hope she's having fun with the goodies.

Glad that the meds are being boosted, and hope they help. If not, consider asking your vet about Amantadine. It's good for anxiety as well as addressing different pain pathways, and can be used with Gabapentin in most cases (at least that's what worked for our Wyatt Ray ). Let us know how the dosage works!

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

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24 August 2021 - 3:52 pm
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Thanks for the suggestions. It does seem like her pain signals start up again around 8-9 hours so we’ll be adjusting the timing accordingly. On the positive side, her seroma seems to be shrinking slightly (or at least it’s stopped growing) and her bruising is subsiding. 

The Rainbow Bridge



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24 August 2021 - 4:11 pm
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Well that's great news about the fluid decreasing and less bruising, that's awesome! In this journey full of ups and downs, don't forget to take time to celebrate all the "little" things! 🙂

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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30 August 2021 - 3:24 pm
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Update: Booey got her sutures out today and the surgeon said her incision site looks great, no concerns. Her seroma is gone, but she does have a pad of fat that dropped after her surgery. It’s not harmful at all, it basically just looks like her tummy is saggy. He said it actually might help cushion her stump when she lays on that side where her leg was amputated. Her biopsy did confirm osteosarcoma but the lymph node in that leg was clear, so that’s a bit of good news. October 5th we meet with an oncologist to discuss our options as far as whether or not we’ll do any chemo for her. We’re not sure what to think about the chemo… we’ll weigh the positives and negatives and see what the doctor says. 

The Rainbow Bridge



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30 August 2021 - 9:18 pm
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That's awesome news that stitches are out and all is well! Yeah, some dogs to have a saggy area after surgery, no big deal at all.  How is her pain management ? What helped her? Is she feeling better and less anxious? 

It's good your talking to an oncologist. Even if you opt out at least you'll know you made an educated decision. October 5 is a long way off, they must be really booked?  In the meantime don't forget the Tripawds Foundation can pay for your first rehab visit so do consider having her evaluated, it's so educational for pet parents and helpful for the Tripawd.

Cheers to more progress and healing! smiley_clap

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

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