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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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Feeling anxious, amputation tomorrow
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Forum Posts: 4
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22 July 2019
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22 July 2019 - 5:43 pm
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Hi, Duke is a 6 year old GSD. He was diagnosed with osteosarcoma to his right hind leg on July 4th. Initially, I decided to go palliative as the cost is so much for treatment with no guarantee of extra time. Seeing how much pain my boy is in I’ve decided to go with amputation tomorrow. I am terrified that I am making the wrong decision and my pup will suffer more with the amputation. I find right now he is really inactive and sleeping alot. I think its due to the pain meds. I just want him to have some more time to do the things he enjoys. Can anyone advise me or tell their experience?

Livermore, CA




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22 July 2019 - 7:51 pm
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Hello and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

I’m sorry you are dealing with OSA in your boy Duke. 

For most of us who have had to make this decision we were happy with the outcome after amputation.  The recovery period can be bumpy but  most pups start getting their sparkle back in 2 or 3 weeks and then get back to their lives. 

My Pug Maggie lost a rear leg to mast cell cancer and once she was used to her new normal she was the same pup she was before surgery.

You might look through the Required Reading List for lots of information on what to expect with amputation and recovery.

Keep us posted on how surgery goes tomorrow!

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

Virginia




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22 July 2019 - 10:07 pm
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Deep breaths………this can be a stressful time, far moreso for you than Duke.  Duke has no worries, that’s  what we humans do!

We understand  all the second guessing and fear of the unknown.  I was so scared  that, after I finally I got up enough courage to schedule amputation  surgery for my Happy Hannah, I cancelled  it.  I had not found  rhis site yet.

You are making the best decision  to get rid of Duke’s pain so he can, indeed, get on with doing rhe rhings he enjoys!

As Karen said, recovery  can be bumpy for about two weeks,  more or less.  It’s  major surgery  and Duke will need lots of rest, rest, rest, short potty breaks and more resr.  No jumping, running or stairs. If you have hardwood floors, you’ll want nonslip scatter rugs for traction .   Raised food and water bowls are also helpi to prevent straining

Drinking, peeing  are important, but don’t  worry if he’s  off good for a few days and doesn’t  poop for a few days.   Some dogs take several days to get their sea legs, especially  with good pain meds jn their system, 

Most dogs come home with Gabapentin,  Tramadol,  Rimadyl and an antibiotic.   Some have a pain patch.  Some dogs come home and sleep a lot, some are restless and pan6 and can’t  seem to settle down.  Every dog is different.  Every recovery  is different.

Is Duke staying at a 24/7 staffed cljnic?  He’ll be seeing  pink elephants  so that’s  a perfect  time for you to get some rest.  You may not get good sleep for a few nights when he comes home.

The most important  thing you can do for Duke is put forth pawsitive  and confident  energy.  He’ll follow your lead.  Duke really will amaze  you at how quickly he adapts and figures thi gs oit as though he’s always had three!  Duke doesn’t  count days on a calendar and doesn’t  have a timeframe  stamped  kn jis vutt! He lives in the moment and flows from one happy spoiled moment to the next.  He has no worries about anything.  He lives fully in the now!

We are all here to help you navigate  through  recovery, so lean on us, okay?  We’re  here to remind you you are doing this FOR Duke and not to him!!

Update when you xan.  And we woild love to see pictures of your handsome boy! 

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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23 July 2019 - 2:55 pm
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Welcome! I’m in the Tripawds Chat right now if you want to talk. Back in a sec with some suggestions.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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The Rainbow Bridge



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23 July 2019 - 3:02 pm
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I’m totally in love with Duke and all I’ve seen is his avatar. What a face! And it’s too funny but right now we have two new GSD members, one named Duke and another named Luke! Yee haw!

You are right, there are no guarantees with cancer treatments. The only guarantee is the surgical part; getting rid of the bag leg gets rid of the pain. And for a dog, who lives in the here and now, that’s what really counts! Chemotherapy for osteosarcoma can statistically give more time but we see it go either way around here. Some dogs beat the odds (our Jerry survived and thrived for two extra years without chemo), and some do not. But the important thing is that the dogs all got a pain-free life with their people after amputation surgery. That is such a gift!

You should see his appetite pick up after he recovers and is off the pain meds. And his sparkle will return too, just wait smiley10 As long as his pain management is done well, he will return to his old personality before you know it. Our Tripawds e-books have many tips about having a good recovery and pain-free life on three legs, check ’em out!

We have sooo many stories about osteosarcoma survivors in our community. I encourage you to look around and know that you are not alone. Duke has everything on his side for a long, happy life on three.

Oh and it just occurred to me that surgery is today. How are things going? Paws crossed for good news!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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24 July 2019 - 3:36 pm
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Thank you all for your kind words. Yesterday was a rough one for me, and Duke, too. Dukes surgery went well. They called me this morning to tell me he’s alert and his pain is well controlled. I am leaving shortly to pick him up. I am a bit nervous to see the wound but will be strong for him. I’ve adapted my house as best as I can and will make adjustments as needed. My son built him a ramp to go outside. Not sure what is best to use so he doesn’t go for his sutures. I have a plastic cone. The vet recommended boxers for when he’s being supervised. I’ll keep you updated and I’m sure I’ll have tons of questions when he gets home.

Virginia




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24 July 2019 - 6:47 pm
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Alrighty, home sweet home!  Surgery went well and that’s  great news!!

Update when you can and let us know how things are going, okay?  We know this part isn’t  easy. And we also know recovery  doesn’t  last furever!  

BTW…love his avatar  pocture! Such a handsome  boy!

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!

Here and Now


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24 July 2019 - 7:42 pm
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Best wishes for a speedy recovery! Using the cone, confinement, moderation, and close supervision are best, and you will find many cone of shame alternatives in the Tripawds Gear blog . Please keep us posted.

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29 July 2019 - 10:50 am
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Wow, what a week! Two days post op, Duke seemed to be in pain. He was whimpering and didn’t seem able to get comfortable. I called the vet and they told me which meds I could safely increase and phoned a prescription for trazodone to my human pharmacy. He settled shortly after and I didn’t need to increase anything or give him the trazodone. It was reassuring that I had what I needed if he should be in pain. He left post op  with a seroma . When I called about the pain, they asked me to email a photo, I did and they said it looked normal. We had built a ramp pre op for him but he couldn’t use it. We were transporting him in his pen (that I had to dig out from the garage) like an elevator. He would get in on the grass and we would carry him up to the deck. No way was he letting us pick him up! He weighs 104 lbs not counting the pen. I was telling him it was ok to do his business on the deck but he wants to be a good boy and do things right, but on Friday he peed on the deck! I was thrilled and gave him lots of treats. Saturday it seems he turned the corner. He went down the ramp alone and lets us support him to come back up. He is standing taller on his back leg and more interested in what is going on. He has had zero interest in his incision, didn’t use a cone as it stressed him as per the vet. Never needed anything so far. I have boxers ready if he does. My only concern is his peeing. He pees infrequently (3-4 times a day), not new, but just a small stream and frequent times when out on a pee break. I was thinking it could be because of the inflammation from the surgery. Anyone experience this? Thanks for all the support. I think I’ve read the entire web site…twice…lol, and  I will continue to do so! I’ll up date you as things progress. Thanks again xo

Virginia




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29 July 2019 - 3:24 pm
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The visual,of Duke’s elevator…love it!!    Your care of Duke is exquisite! You’ve  found very creative ways to compliment  his personality and work with him.

I was very lucky too when it came to not needing  a cone.  My Happy Hannah never bothered her stitches st all.

Glad you didn’t need to resort to the Trazedone (which is a sedative as opposed to pain blocker) and were able to figure out how to tweak his pain meds instead.  

Certainly  double check with your Vet, but there could, indeed be some swelling  from the surgery in the groin area with rear leg amputation causing  thinner and more frequent streams.  Plus, just figuring  out how to do his boy dog pee stance could be a factor too.  Maybe “mid-stream” he may feel like he’s  getting ready to lose his balance and that interrupts him.   So he needs to hop some more and then “resume the position” and finish what he started!

Just throwing that out there.  Double check with your Vet if you have concerns. 

He really is doing so very well…..and it gets better and better!

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 2019 - 6:58 pm
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Image Enlarger

Im going to post some photos on facebook!

The Rainbow Bridge



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30 July 2019 - 11:49 am
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Smart boy, Duke! I love that you had your own valet to get you in and out of the house. I’m so impressed you use a ramp!

 My only concern is his peeing. He pees infrequently (3-4 times a day), not new, but just a small stream and frequent times when out on a pee break. I was thinking it could be because of the inflammation from the surgery. Anyone experience this?

Hmm. I like Sally’s theory but I’m not a vet either, so you may want to ask your vet. There could be swelling affecting his ability to relieve himself.

Where did you upload the photo before pasting it here? It doesn’t appear to be hosted anywhere. Remember, you have to upload to either your own Tripawds blog, or another photo sharing site. Once done, copy the image, or image URL by right clicking, then come over here and paste it into your post. Let me know if you’d like help! Can’t wait to see them.

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

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