TRIPAWDS: Home to 16391 Members and 1799 Blogs.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG

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.
JUMP TO FORUMS

Join The Tripawds Community

Learn how to help three legged dogs and cats in the forums below. Browse and search as a guest or register for free and get full member benefits:

  • Instant post approval.
  • Private messages to members.
  • Subscribe to favorite topics.
  • Live Chat and much more!

REGISTER   |   LOG IN

Be More DogNEW! Be More Dog – Learning to Live in The Now

Get the new book by the Tripawds founders for life lessons learned from their Chief Fun Officer Jerry G. Dawg! Download the e-book, and find fun Be More Dog apparel and gifts in the Be More Dog Bookstore.

Please consider registering
Guest
Search
Forum Scope




Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
Register Lost password?
sp_Feed sp_PrintTopic sp_TopicIcon-c
Cagie's first day after amputation
sp_NewTopic Add Topic
Forum Posts: 3
Member Since:
18 September 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
1
18 September 2012 - 4:14 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I have had Cage since he was 6 months old.  He is a pit bull and is now 9 years old and 85 pounds.  On September 11, 2012, he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma of his left shoulder due to a limp that started the beginning of August and recurred around September 8th.  Otherwise, he is in good health and very active, so I decided to alleviate his pain with an amputation and follow-up chemotherapy two weeks after to hopefully extend his life at least a year.  In addition, chest x-rays did not reveal metastasis.  The amputation was a really tough decision to proceed with, but there were so many encouraging comments that I decided I would do it. 

Unfortunately, it is tougher than I expected having him this first day after surgery.  He is so active that he wants to walk around everywhere.  On the way home from the surgeon’s office, I got him into the car and then he fell over and couldn’t get up and was whining and very scared.  Then, when I got him inside, I tried to get him to lay down and he tried to get up and couldn’t and was whining horribly and snapped at me (I was right by him trying to help, but I am new to this).  He is such a strong dog with a very muscular chest and body that I am sure it will be difficult for him to figure out how to get up on his own.  I now have him on pain meds and sedated, but am so worried about when he tries to get up again.  I am hoping he will learn quickly to adapt, but am worried because he is so anxious and high energy that he won’t lie still and allow for recovery.  Also, he is my little baby and gets scared easily.  I know I have to be strong for him and not enable him to do things on his own, but it is really hard.  Any encouraging advice would help!! Thank you. :)

Forum Posts: 24
Member Since:
11 September 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
2
19 September 2012 - 7:09 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I am very new at this so I don’t want to advise in case I am wrong but I can encourage as we are a few weeks ahead of you and your sweet Cage.  My 11 year old Golden, Finnegan lost one of his front limbs three weeks ago and the first week or so was really hard…sometimes I think harder on me then on him.  I had NO IDEA what I was doing and had a lot of regrets.  My regrets have passed and we are doing better every day!! I am finding that Finn is setting his own pace and finding it easiest to do most things with as little assistance as possible.  He makes little improvements every day but the first week he moved very little due, I guess, to a combo of pain and meds.  For the most part I am cheerleader encouraging him as much as I can.  In the beginning he went out to the bathroom ONLY when he couldn’t hold it anymore.  Now he goes out frequently just for the air.  Finn seems to be figuring it out little by little and I have been told by these same wonderful people here on this sight that every dog is different.  The few times that my boy showed his teeth to me were when I was trying to make him move when he wasn’t ready so I just let him be.  Now that his stitches are out I encourage him to move more and he is much more willing.  Its so scary to watch your baby struggle through this and I don’t know about Cage but I didn’t see Finn in his eyes for about 10 days and that was very very hard and frightening.  If you are experiencing that at all, know that he will return to you and when he begins to act more like himself the weight you are felling will begin to lift.  Keep us posted…I will keep looking for you.  Deep breath…faith and patience…it will get better!!!

Rock Hill, SC
Forum Posts: 875
Member Since:
28 November 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
3
19 September 2012 - 7:31 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Whew, first day home is still very very early and yes, Cage is probably scared, confused and hurting.  When I first joined this site several members referred to the first couple of weeks as ‘hell weeks’ and I have to say that was a pretty accurate description.  Even if the dog does well with recovery, we humans tend to panic at every movement! But, I promise you that it does get better.  Promise.

What pain meds is Cage on?  They are tricky to get the dosage correct.  It could be that he is whining and showing some aggression because needs more or it could be that the dose is fine and he’s just reacting to the loopy feeling they cause.

It will likely take him a few tries to figure out the best way to lay down and stand up, but he will eventually get it.  Keep in mind that the grogginess from the pain meds can also make them a little off-balance so he is also compensating for that drunk feeling he has.

Good luck and keep us posted when you can.

Lisa

Zeus was a Husky mix diagnosed with Osteosarcoma at age 11.  A visible lung met and suspicious spot on his liver meant a poor prognosis-six weeks was our vet's best guess. We decided to fight for our boy and his right front leg was amputated on 12/1/11. We did six rounds of chemo, changed his diet and spoiled him completely rotten. We were blessed with 10 great months after diagnosis. Against the odds, the lung met remained a single met and grew very little over those months. A wonderful furbaby with the most gentle spirit, he fought with a strength that we never imagined he possessed. We have no regrets...
http://zeuspod......pawds.com/

Forum Posts: 11
Member Since:
19 August 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
4
19 September 2012 - 8:19 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

oh Cagie, i will get better.  I promise. 

When Fenway came home, we put carpets down everywhere, so he could get traction .  Also, we kept his “rescue sling” on him, just in case he needs a little assistance.  Then we just let him figure it out.  Its hard to let go, and let him figure it out, but for us, I realized we were hindering his movements, because we were too close and making him nervous. 
I can say Fen never seemed to be in pain…So I am wondering if it isnt the pain meds, or lack there of.   Perhaps a call to the vet necessary.

Best of luck to you.   xoxoxo

Hugs and sloppy golden kisses.

Fenway and Mama Sue

Forum Posts: 61
Member Since:
29 November 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
5
19 September 2012 - 8:28 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Kind of like Peggy, we’re only a couple of weeks ahead of you with our German Shepherd girl Sasha and I can completely sympathize with your concern sad I can promise you though that it does get better and almost 3 weeks out from Sasha’s amp the life is back in her eyes and she is nearly back to her normal, naughty self. But man, those first couple of days were very tough… Stay strong for Cage and be confident as you help him through this tough time. They really do feed off of our emotions so the more calm we can be, the better they’ll do smiley Worry here, not to Cage! 

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 28365
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
6
19 September 2012 - 9:55 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi Cagie and Family, welcome. We are sorry you found yourself in the club that nobody wants to join, but we’ll try to make this transition as easy as possible.

It’s so hard not to worry about every little sound or movement during the recovery period. But as others have said here, it does get better. Have you seen our Required Reading List or our ebook, “Three Legs & a Spare“? Both have great ideas about how to make life easier for you and Cage. 

The first two weeks are tough but you’ll both get through this. Remember, be a strong pack leader and show Cage that you believe he will be fine. If you believe it, he will too.

Dont’ worry about his size: when it comes to Tripawds, Pitties are one of the smaller breeds! We’ve had many Pitties who have gone on to do GREAT on three legs, including one of our biggest legends here, Trouble. I hope this makes you smile!

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

San Diego, CA
Forum Posts: 2503
Member Since:
29 October 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
7
19 September 2012 - 1:52 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Sorry you and your pup had to find your way here.

The first few days/week are so hard. It’s quite common to feel overwhelmed and depressed and maybe feel some twinges of regret. But hang in there! In all the time I’ve been on here, I only remember one person who said they ultimately wished they hadn’t done the surgery. 99.9% of the folks realize, once their pup has gotten through the recover, that it was the right thing to do as it gets rid of the awful pain from the bone cancer.

As others asked, what meds is he on? Hopefully he can get some rest. Do you have a sling to help him get up until he learns to manage on his own?

Hang in there. It will get better!

Jackie, Angel Abby’s mom

Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
Forum Posts: 3754
Member Since:
28 November 2008
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
8
19 September 2012 - 3:25 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hello Cagie and Cage, it’s the famed Trouble’s mom here to welcome you and hopefully bring you a glimmer of hope for better days to come. I can certainly understand you being apprehensive.  Those first few days are spent establishing a routine that works for everyone.  Trouble had surgery the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and we brought her home on Friday, so they had her up and mobile before she came home.

I’m with the others on the medication. It could be he isn’t getting enough, or he may just be reacting badly to it.  Some of them don’t do well on certain pain killers.  If he continues to struggle you may ask the vet to change meds.

We also put down carpet runners so she could get traction on the tile floors. I tried different items for a sling – large bath towel, which was good for her but killed my back, a canvas shopping bag split it worked ok, but not wonderfully for us, and finally I settled on a long sleeve mens shirt folded and tacked (or taped, I don’t remember) where I could use the sleeves for lifts.  We only needed the assistance for 5-6 days and she was good to go on her own.

Trouble had to lose weight after her surgery.  She was 69 pounds and chunky.  By the time her chemo was completed in March she was down to 54 pounds.  She maintained it for about a year, and then we had to put her on a reducing diet to keep her down to a good weight.

Hopefully in just a day or so you will see a new and happily adjusted Cage.  Sending good thoughts as you embark on the journey none of us wants to take.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

Forum Posts: 3
Member Since:
18 September 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
9
19 September 2012 - 4:57 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Thanks for all of the info!  When I first brought Cage home he hadn’t received any pain medication that morning, so I agree that probably contributed to his reactions.  In hindsight, it would have been a good idea to give Cage the meds while we were still in the surgeon’s office prior to him coming home.  They gave me Rimadyl 75mg 1 tablet every 12 hours for pain and inflammation, Tramadol 50 mg 2-3 tablets every 8 hours for additional pain relief and Acepromazine 25 mg every 12 hours for sedation.  Also, I don’t think he reacts that well to pain meds in general.  Yesterday, I was giving all of the meds and the sedation really knocked him out.  He was very restless throughout the night, but then today was sleeping until about 2pm.  I was a little worried about him not wanting to get up today and not going to the bathroom, but I called my vet and he said not to give the sedation anymore and to increase the Tramadol because he was also shaking a little. 

Peggy, I appreciate your comments about regrets and doubt; as it has definitely been more difficult than I even imagined.  I agree with those that described the initial time as “hell weeks”!  Fortunately, I do have a sling and did place lot of runners throughout the house, so that is helping.  Also, I ordered the Ruff Wear harness and think that will help in the future. Reading all of the items in the required reading list mentioned also helped.

Thanks again for all of the encouraging comments. Hoping to get through the rough patch soon!!! :)

Rock Hill, SC
Forum Posts: 875
Member Since:
28 November 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10
19 September 2012 - 6:42 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

cagie said
They gave me Rimadyl 75mg 1 tablet every 12 hours for pain and inflammation, Tramadol 50 mg 2-3 tablets every 8 hours for additional pain relief and Acepromazine 25 mg every 12 hours for sedation …..  but I called my vet and he said not to give the sedation anymore…

Oh, Lord, that stuff (acepromazine) is the devil itself.  Our Angel Merlin was on that years ago after TPLO surgery and it was terrible.  It made him like a complete different dog – wide eyes, dilated pupils, totally uncoordinated he just stumbled around trying to go to the bathroom.  I learned (in hindsight, of course) that it is actually not a sedative it is a tranquilizer.  There is some debate about giving it to dogs after surgery because it does not do anything to calm them or help with the pain, they are still aware and it just makes them unable to react.  See:

http://fearfuld…..promazine/

Additionally, almost every single article on the web states that aggression is a side effect.  The vet that gave it to Merlin was a very well respected and very expensive specialist, so I never questioned him until we had such problems.  Since that time I have had two vets tell me that they would never ever use it for a dog after surgery.  Hopefully it is the Ace that your vet said to stop giving and maybe it will make a difference with Cage.

Zeus was a Husky mix diagnosed with Osteosarcoma at age 11.  A visible lung met and suspicious spot on his liver meant a poor prognosis-six weeks was our vet's best guess. We decided to fight for our boy and his right front leg was amputated on 12/1/11. We did six rounds of chemo, changed his diet and spoiled him completely rotten. We were blessed with 10 great months after diagnosis. Against the odds, the lung met remained a single met and grew very little over those months. A wonderful furbaby with the most gentle spirit, he fought with a strength that we never imagined he possessed. We have no regrets...
http://zeuspod......pawds.com/

Caledonia MI
Forum Posts: 151
Member Since:
13 October 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
11
19 September 2012 - 7:12 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I had lots of doubts the first 16 days afterward…but all of a sudden Levi totally came around and a couple months later he was jogging 5 miles with me again. It will get better! Hang in there!!!

Levi was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma 7-7-11
Ampuversary 10-14-11
Lung Mets Discovered 1-4-12. Chemo seemed to not be working so we switched to Artemisinin and other supplements. In May, Levi developed a sinus infection and started having seizures. The cancer had moved to his brain. We let him go 6-26-12.

Forum Posts: 3
Member Since:
18 September 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
12
20 September 2012 - 1:58 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Wow, I didn’t know that about the Ace.  I did stop giving that to him, though.  Fortunately, he is progressing in his recovery and went to the bathroom about 4 times by himself last night!  He does pretty well walking around once he gets up and if he gets tired he lays down on his way back to his bed.  At this point, it is still the “getting up” part that he is struggling with.  Last night when he was asleep he rolled onto the side of his amputation and then couldn’t get up, so he freaked out again and was whining because he was so scared.  I calmed him down with encouragement and helped him navigate to get up.  Also, at another point this morning, I was taking off a harness that I bought that hasn’t really been helpful and he freaked out when I was near his missing leg.  It definitely seemed like he realized his leg was missing and thought I was doing something with it, which scared him.  I think that is the toughest part right now – seeing him frightened when he gets into situations that he realizes he doesn’t have a front leg.  :(   Hoping he will adapt to that soon!

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
Forum Posts: 3754
Member Since:
28 November 2008
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
13
20 September 2012 - 5:06 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I, too  refuse to allow my dogs to have Ace after reading about what it really does.  I have know people who successfully used it by cutting the dose WAY down. I think it is wise for you not to use it since Cage is apprehensive.  A frightened dog can be aggressive even when they would not normally be. No need to do anything that could amplify that possibility.

If he is up and about by himself, he is making progress and it will continue.  They all take their own time figuring out how to adapt.  Some are immediate, and others take a while. Keep encouraging him, he knows you are there for him.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

Forum Timezone: America/Denver
Most Users Ever Online: 946
Currently Online:
Guest(s) 76
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1112
Members: 11705
Moderators: 2
Admins: 3
Forum Stats:
Groups: 4
Forums: 23
Topics: 16612
Posts: 233483
Administrators: admin, jerry, jim
Moderators: betaman, krun15
Tripawds is brought to you by Tripawds.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG