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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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Be More DogWhat does it mean to Be More Dog?

Find out in Be More Dog: Learning to Live in the Now by Tripawds founders Rene and Jim. Learn life lessons learned from their Chief Fun Officer Jerry G. Dawg! Get the book and find fun gifts in the Be More Dog Bookstore.

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Devo's Bad Day, 1 week post op
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Member Since:
15 July 2020
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15 July 2020 - 5:38 pm
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New user here, sorry if I'm missing some forum etiquette...

Our sweetheart Devo is one week post amputation for histiocytic sarcoma. I've been SO grateful for this community in the past three weeks of diagnosis, surgery prep, and post op life.

Today she is having a bad day 🙁  Just sleeping, not very interested in eating (but she will if enticed), panting, hard to get comfortable, just seems off. She still wags and barks. She was seen by the vet today and they felt "just an off day". She did have her first poop in 4 days so that's a win. But I suppose I'm just here to tell you, we're having a bad day. I'm hoping tomorrow is better, that this is recovery not disease progression.

Here she is in on a good day, of which there were many <3

Devo on San Bruno MountainImage Enlarger

 

On The Road


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15 July 2020 - 5:47 pm
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Welcome! You have perfect forum etiquette, and your future posts will not require moderation.

One week is still very early on the recovery roller coast ride. Any "off days" are usually attributed to overdoing it or pain medication – side effects, or not having enough. Panting and discomfort are common side effects, especially if Tramadol was prescribed. Let us know the extent of Devo's current activity and medication schedule for better feedback.

Finally, we need to know, is Devo a member of the Devolution Society? Or how did she get er name. It stirs up memories of Jerry's 2008 blog post: Are We Not Dog?

While you wait for comments from others, use the Advanced Search above to refine your forum search results with specific phrases, and you're sure to find lots of helpful feedback. You can also search all blogs here . Or, consider downloading the Tripawds e-books for fast answers to common concerns and feel free to call the toll-free Tripawds Helpline anytime!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

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15 July 2020 - 5:53 pm
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Thanks 🙂 She is indeed on tramadol 3x a day, and we're pretty sure she spit her morning dose out so she may be coping with extra pain today. (if she didn't spit it out this morning, it was yesterday, we def found a pill). She's also on gabapentin 2x day. She's not wanting to be very active yet, hopping around the house, outside 2 or 3 times a day to pee and (hopefully) poop. So we'll see what tomorrow brings. 

And the name, yes! She is indeed named after the band because as a pup she had a shy indoor kid who plays electronic music personality. She grew out of that but the name stuck. We actually once met a whippet named Devo at the dog park!

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15 July 2020 - 6:23 pm
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Awww she is such a beauty. Where was that photo taken? I love the scenery!

Welcome. I'm so glad you posted to share her story and I'm sorry you're both having a bad day. Yeah, there are plenty of ups and downs, this recovery thing is one big elevator ride! 

It sounds like her activity today is pretty subdued. Has it been since surgery? Is there another dog in the house that she plays with, and maybe got tired out? Even just a little too much activity for a new Tripawd can cause pain signals . If she's still like this tomorrow I would check with your vet about alternating the Gabapentin dosage times with the Tramadol times, to make sure the pain meds are on a constant flow in her body. She may even need a 3rd dose of Gaba, that wouldn't be so unusual so early on in recovery. 

Feel free to share more photos and keep us posted on how she's doing!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

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15 July 2020 - 7:24 pm
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Thanks for responding, and thank you for this amazing resource. What an incredible way to honor Jerry's life and spirit <3

That pic is from San Bruno Mountain, just south of San Francisco where we lived for 7 years. Devo battled coyotes, was rarely on leash, and just generally lived it up out there. 

To answer your question, Devo hasn't been quite this subdued since surgery, but she has certainly been pretty low energy for the past week. We assumed that was normal after such a major surgery. She's doing plenty of panting, licking, wanting to sleep in unusual places, etc, so now I'm wondering if the problem is too LITTLE pain meds and not too much... I'll see how she is tomorrow, the third dose of gaba is a good idea...

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15 July 2020 - 9:14 pm
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Hi.  I'm Stacy, Griffin's mama (Griffin's Journey).  He is definitely not the norm as he came off all meds one week after surgery, but we took Griffin off the tramadol pretty quickly (4 days) because it was making him dysphoric - panting, restless, unable to settle.  He had been on galliprant (anti-inflammatory) and gabapentin for 2 weeks before the surgery and stayed on both for a week afterwards.  I know gabapentin is considered a very safe drug, so you might want to ask your vet about taking Devo off the tramadol and increasing the gabapentin dosage.  The gabapentin does make Griffin sleepy, but it doesn't dull his personality the way tramadol does.  Hang in there - it seems like Devo is doing really well for just one week out from surgery.  Keep asking questions - someone on here always has an answer.  ~ Stacy

Griffin lived an amazing life for 11 years! Diagnosed with osteosarcoma on March 17, 2020, Griffin's right forelimb was amputated on April 2, 2020. Ten days later he was running and playing fetch! Lung metastasis discovered in July 2020 did not slow down Griffin and he lived joyfully for the next 7 months, passing peacefully at home on February 11, 2021. https://griffin.tripawds.com

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15 July 2020 - 9:31 pm
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Thanks Stacy. It's so tricky that some of the tramadol side effects are also pain effects... Originally I was thinking it was the meds causing the dysphoria (thanks for the word smiley2). Hopefully we can figure out which one is causing Devo's lethargy. Or maybe tomorrow will be a different picture entirely, who knows!

Virginia




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16 July 2020 - 11:16 am
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Such a pretty avatar picture of Devo.  And love the one of her running ton the trail with auch a lovel backdrop.

It is still early in recovery  from MAJOR surgery for Devo, all while adjusting to three.

Often dogs appear to feel a little  "spunkier" for  a few days after surgery.  They still have some good hospital pain meds in their system.   Then they can appear to be a bit of a crash after that.  That when keeping the pain meds consistent with proper doses may require a bit of tweaking.

As Jerry said, you can dose with Gaba, then do the Tram an hour or so later.  Or alterna8 the two.  Or add an additional  dose of Gaba.  Or do Gaba three times a day.

Now, we mention all those options as every dog is different and pain med dosing is often adjusted depending  on the way the individual  dog handles them!  It does sound like she may be exhibiting  pain signals .  I say that based on the fact she seemed to be doing a little better first few days after surgery  and assuming  she was on Tram and Gaba at that time too.

And, of course, discuss any pain med dosing with your  Vet.  We are not Vets and not giving Vet advice.

Update when you can.  Recovery  doesn't  last furever and the sparkle  does come bac!!!

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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16 July 2020 - 11:52 am
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Yay for SF Bay Area Tripawds! Are you still there? We have quite a few members in the area. Admin and I used to live in SF too, across from Golden Gate Park, waaaaa back when.

What you described does sound like pain signals (the sleeping in unusual places especially rang out). How's Devo today?

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

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16 July 2020 - 12:08 pm
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Thanks everyone. Today Devo's similar, a little more interest in food, socializing, etc but still pretty much wants to be laying down. Vets advice was to try to go to 2x a day tramadol from 3x and see if that makes a difference, either in more obvious pain signals or improvement. She's sitting outside with me now so that is nice and we'll take it. 

And @ Jerry - We're in Maine now! But Devo's heart is forever at Fort Funston and San Bruno Mountain near SF <3 It's a great place to be a dog.

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16 July 2020 - 12:14 pm
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Yay for more interest in food! I'm glad you talked to the vet. So they're thinking the Tram is making her sleepy? It could be if she's sensitive to meds. Yeah pay close attention and see what happens.

Gosh what a change to go from CA to Maine! It's lovely there too, we had a blast visiting with Jerry many years ago.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

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16 July 2020 - 4:33 pm
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Yes, a different vet at the same practice actually just told me to cut all meds cold turkey which seems totally irresponsible, esp as their partner told me yesterday a fully different opinionsmiley3 So I'm going to try a slow tapering and see if her energy comes back or if pain comes back. I know tramadol is sedating, but I just was around the forums and the web and sometimes gabapentin can be as well. So just trying to listen to her cues and find her new normal. Scarfed her dinner so that's good, but now is hiding in the closet.

And yes, big move from CA to Maine 🙂 She's so glad to have cool summers here, she is not a fan of the heat so that is a blessing.

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16 July 2020 - 6:08 pm
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Oh gosh that is so frustrating to get different answers. Yes, Gaba can be sedating too but she definitely needs something to help her pain relief. It's a good sign she's eating but I worry about the closet behavior. Does she come out at all? What brings her out if she does? Poor pupperz!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Virginia




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16 July 2020 - 9:17 pm
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Grrrr......wonder how the Vet would feel if he just had an amputation  of his leg and was taken off all pain meds cold Turkey a week out.  .  Unbelievable!!

Eating is good!  As much as we want to see our pups back to normal  asap, not wanting to do much  is perfectly  normal.  ADogs naturally  feel vulnerable when "wounded" or hurting and want to hide.  It seems like "hiding" in the closet is ma making pain and be vulnerable.

It took me three weeks before I felt like I coud say I did ths FOR my Happy Hannah, and not TO her.  Devo will get her sparkle back at her own pace.  

Try a lot of gentle massage up and down her spine, her neck and shoulder area.  Gentle massage around the incision  (not directly on it).  Any sign of tenseness when massaging her?

Glad she's enjoying  being outside.  Believe  it or not, we call that an improvement!  And eating a full meal...another improvement!  Yay for Devo!

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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16 July 2020 - 9:36 pm
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Thanks everyone, it's really so meaningful to have this space to process with folks who have been through it. We're going to do half doses of both her pain meds tomorrow and see what happens. Even with the first lower dose tonight she seems a little more herself, less sleepy.

The hiding behavior worries me too. She was doing similar stuff before her amputation, so I wonder if it is what you're saying Sally, a response to feeling hurt and vulnerable. Jerry, she comes out to bark at cars in the driveway! She came out today, barked at the rest of her pack who was coming home, then peed and pooped poopiconsmiley_clapWe'll take it and see what tomorrow brings <3

Devo Takes Off

  

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