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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Bury the Boxer- 1 week Update
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Member Since:
15 July 2023
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29 July 2023 - 1:07 pm
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I adopted Bury almost 11 years ago and though these 11 years have had many ups and downs, the moments shared with him have been nothing short of perfection. He has been my caregiver, friend and protector. We've explored beaches, woods, cities, parks, gone to work together, gone on dates together. Everything. 

He had his back left leg amputated exactly 1 week and 1 day ago. At first he had significant energy, wanted to go on walks (was upset when he wasn't allowed). Over the past week I have noticed a decline in motivation for movement (understandably so) and infrequent pooping. This is starting to hurt his belly I think. He's eating more than normal because he has to take his meds, but not pooping. He is taking 2 tabs of Gabapentin every 8hrs. Perhaps the Gabapentin is causing this? Any suggestions?

 

I'd also love to share some photos of my cutie, how do I do that?!

Pola & Bury 

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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29 July 2023 - 9:33 pm
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    infrequent pooping

So is he going every other day, every two days, etc?  A lot of times, especially at first, it may take a dog as much as four or five days before they poop.  It's a combination of the meds, figuring out the poop squat, etc.

You.might try a teaspoon or two of natural pumpkin.  Not the Pie filler kind with sugar, but natural puree.  Maybe  steamed squash. 

You've probably  mentioned before, but what milligram   of the Gaba is he taking every eight hours.  And again, I know you've mentioned it before. but how much does he weigh? 

If I recall he felt pretty peppy at first because  of the strong hospital meds and he definitely  overdid it during the first four or five days, right?  So not wanting to move arou d a lot is actually how he heals.  You can conti ie to massage him up and down his spine, his neck, shoulders,  etc.  Does he show tension in any areas?

Also, are you getting tail wags, alertness, good attitude etc?  

Still early in recoveey and it doesn't sound like things are "out of the ordinary " for recovery at this point..

Cant wait to see pictures.  Here's a link adding images .

The fastest way until you figure out would be to send me some and I'll be more than Happy to post the,  I'll PM you my email so be on the look out.

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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29 July 2023 - 9:40 pm
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We definitely did over do it the first 2-3 days (him leading it) but I have transitioned to quite a strict restful routine that he has since embraced.

He is on 300mg-600mg Gabapentin 3x daily as well as Metacam 1x daily. He weighs 55-60ish lbs roughly. He does not cry, he often lays on his incision side which indicates to me he's likely not in a ton of pain. His thigh is however tensed a lot of the time. This may be a pain signal or just simply a side effect of amputation. 

Pola & Bury 

Virginia







Member Since:
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29 July 2023 - 10:03 pm
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Obviously not a Vet and not giving Vet advice. 

Laying on the incision  aide is a good indicator  that here isn't  any bad surg pain.  It took my Hapoy Hannah several weeks before she laid on her incision.   

IF....IF...IF  you think the "lack of motivation" is because he's a bit "overly medicated" you can try a reduction  WITH Vet approval.

You might try gently massaging  his thigh to help release the tightness.

Keep us updated.  Biry is mighty lucky to jave you as his hooman.

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!

Virginia







Member Since:
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30 July 2023 - 6:03 pm
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Not sure whether to Gove CITENESS aler. or SMOOCHABLE alert or STUNNINGLY HANDSOME alert.   Let's go with all three!!!

The pic with Biry in fro t of the waterfall is definitely  book cover material 👍

Introducing Bury!!!

      Screenshot_20230730-114829_Gmail.jpgImage Enlarger

  Screenshot_20230730-114844_Gmail.jpgImage Enlarger

  Screenshot_20230730-114818_Gmail.jpgImage Enlarger

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!

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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30 July 2023 - 6:06 pm
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Bury enjoying being Bury1♥️

    Screenshot_20230730-114812_Gmail.jpgImage Enlarger

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 July 2023 - 7:19 pm
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My boy is a CUTIE! Thanks for posting these 😁 Hope everyone enjoys!

Pola & Bury 

The Rainbow Bridge



Member Since:
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30 July 2023 - 8:56 pm
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Wow! I'm in love!! Thanks for sharing these.

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1 August 2023 - 7:50 pm
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We are almost at the 2 week mark and I am happy to announce that Bury has started to feel much better, is acting like himself again, wanting to go on walks and adventures (even though he's not allowed), I had to settle him down because he got hyper the yesterday, his ears seem more perked and happy and overall I feel more at ease. He has a check up in 2 days and potentially getting stitches out! 

The biggest lesson I have learned over these past (almost) 2 weeks is patience, patience, patience. There was a very long period of ups and downs... I often felt like he may be getting worse. But suddenly on day 14 post surgery he seemed to be pain free, high spirits and himself again. I would not have been able to get through these past 2 weeks without consciously practicing patience... And of course this group. 

I am aware that this is not the end of the road, there is still healing to be done, changes to be made, inevitable setbacks but the lessons I've learned over these 2 weeks will carry over into my regular life and will continue to help me cope with all of this. Patience. A miracle worker. 

Pola & Bury 

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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1 August 2023 - 8:29 pm
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This update made me soooo happy!  

You have a wonderful teacher in Bury-  of course, you are an excellent student!

    the lessons I've learned over these 2 weeks will carry over into my regular life and will continue to help me cope with all of this. Patience. A miracle worker

What's' the saying?  "Lord give me patience!  Hurry up!  I need it now!"

Good job of getting the lesson.👍

Thrilled to know Bury is acting more like himself....and it still gets better and better!

Stitch day out requires drove thru cheesevurger on the way home.!

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:
15 July 2023
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8 August 2023 - 7:41 pm
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Just needing to vent. 

We are approaching Bury's 3 week mark post surgery and I am feeling beyond overwhelmed. He's had majority of his stitches taken out, some are still healing. He's walking just fine, zero concerns. He has developed blood in his stool and is extremely anxious. Per vets suggestion we have stopped his (new) antibiotic and stopped his Metacam about 2 days ago. He seems less anxious but it's still consuming a lot of his day. He's walking just fine, even running to the door when I come home, but doesn't seem to want to go on walks. 

I miss him so much. I miss his silly personality, I miss him rolling on his back, begging for pets, I miss him letting me know it's 5pm so he can get his afternoon walk, I miss him having 4 legs, I miss him running through forest trails, chasing deer and never catching up, I miss the confidence that he is happy and feeling ok. I miss him so much and I feel so guilty for it because I have him here with me and so many others don't have that opportunity. 

I'm reaching a point of uncontrollable overwhelm. Reaching a point of regret. He wasn't this anxious, or sick-presenting before surgery. What have I done to him?

I do want to point out I have been in contact with the vet for a few days now. They will follow up again tomorrow and if the blood in stool persists we will be bringing him in.

This is an hard. This is really really really hard.

Pola & Bury 

New England
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9 August 2023 - 5:25 am
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I'm sorry you're struggling.  Does your vet have any thoughts about the anxiety?  Could it be a side effect of any of the meds he's been on?  Is the anxiety general or do certain things trigger it?  

My tripawd, Loki, is an anxious dog.  I adopted her shortly after her amputation.  I've tried many OTC supplements with varying degrees of success, but ultimately ended up putting her on Prozac daily.  It's not a magic cure-all, but it's made a big difference.  We work on training for things that I know trigger her, like shiny floors.  

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9 August 2023 - 8:18 am
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Hi Paula, I am sorry you are having a difficult time, 3 weeks is still very soon after a major op, I can completely empathise with your feelings that you have somehow lost your dog, we felt exactly the same about our Kaya ( 6.5 year old rottie with osteosarcoma and front leg amputation 12 April), in the weeks following the surgery she was very quiet, not interested in playing with her toys and we could see she was struggling to get comfortable in the positions she used to, she really wanted to lie on her missing leg side and could not work out how to do that which was difficult to watch but fast forward a couple of months and she is back, playing with her toys, loving her walks and lying down in the same ways she did before.

Bury will adapt, he just needs to heal and rest, we were so excited when Kaya first went to fetch one of her toys to play with and when she rolled onto her back to sleep and I am sure the same will happen for you, yes it is not the same, we also miss not being able to take Kaya out on long walks but she amazes us with how well she has adapted, she loves running on the beach and swimming and is even able to scramble over rocks and go fishing with my husband, none of know how much time we have with our pups with this horrible disease but remember you have done this for him and not 2 him as many say on this forum, it will get better and your boy will get back to himself once he heals.

The Rainbow Bridge



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9 August 2023 - 9:16 am
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I wish I could give you a giant hug! I'd say most people here felt that way at first, it's a difficult change for us and to some extent our dog. I too missed doing things with our Jerry, and eventually he showed me that life could still be fun but in new ways. Rethink what fun can look like, explore other activities to do that he can enjoy right now, like interactive brain games including nosework. Life to a dog is so much more than running to chase critters and catching balls. They use their nose to see the world more than their bodies, so use that brain and senses to help him feel happier. 

Remember this is very early, most humans wouldn't be doing so well and still in bed. It sounds like the current issue isn't directly related to the surgery which is good. He will heal and get in with life, help show him the way. You can do it!

Pennsylvania


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4 July 2023
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9 August 2023 - 10:11 am
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I echo everything said above - it really does take them a while to come around. Juno is now 6 weeks post op and really starting to act herself, though we're taking it slow and are now up to 12 min walks and some gentle daily rehab. We do training in the morning and evening to wear her out in less strenuous ways, and she's loving it (so I second jerry's suggestion of brain games).

It's also worth saying that uncharacteristic anxiety can be a pain signal. Even if Bury is walking well, it is possible there's still some internal post-op healing happening and that might still be sore or painful. We kept Juno on the post-op pain meds (gabapentin and carprofen) for three weeks after the surgery (some here have done so longer) out of an abundance of caution and especially as she hadn't yet started laying on her stump side and we weren't sure if that was pain related.

Another thing to mention is that like you, I had a run in with some uncharacteristic anxiety at the three week mark and after some sleuthing found a really surprising source. Unlike Bury, Juno is a bit more anxious generally, but she became uncharacteristically anxious three weeks out and I called the vet but we came to no definitive conclusions. It was only after watching the patterns in her anxiety that I realized it was related to an "ozone-safe" (which I took to mean ozone-free - not true) air purifier that I'd purchased around the time of Juno's amputation because we here in the Northeast US were experiencing record-high air pollution because of the Canadian wildfires. Once I turned it off, she was fine. I won't go into further detail here, but all that to say, it's worth being aware of other lifestyle changes that could be affecting him.

Finally, if your vet approves, you might try giving him Purina Fortiflora to calm down his GI after the antibiotic and metacam. I had a previous vet who was in the habit of giving Fortiflora after antibiotics just to help the dog's gut recover, and we've kept the habit ever since. It really does seem to help.

Take care -

Natalie & Juno (aka June)

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