TRIPAWDS: Home to 17162 Members and 1850 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
Front leg amputation last night
sp_NewTopic Add Topic
Forum Posts: 10
Member Since:
25 March 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
1
25 March 2021 - 5:46 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

My 11 year old cocker spaniel had his front leg amputated last night.  There was no accident, no fall, he just started to limp and have pain.  Made several trips to the vet over the last few weeks.  This past Monday they found a fracture of the elbow.

I was finally able to find a surgeon, long horrible story. Final outcome was that it could not be repaired and only option was amputation. I am heartbroken.  I am so worried for him.  I had to leave him at hospital on Tuesday.  I could not go in because of Covid.  I finally got a call yesterday at 3pm to tell me that amputation was the best option.  I had 30 minutes to decide.  

I am going to get a play yard this morning to protect him from other dogs in the house and to keep him from jumping on the couch.  

I am worried about his other leg. Apparently this type of fracture is common for spaniels.  

This guy is my love.  I am sure we all feel that way.  He really did help me during a very difficult time in my life.  I never knew a dog to have such love and compassion.  He didn’t shy away from my pain and tears.  He actually would climb on me and hug me for hours.  I don’t know what I would have done without him.  

Just need to talk about him.  I can’t stop crying, worrying that he might be in pain.  I just hope that I can give him enough love to get through this. 

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 29489
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
2
25 March 2021 - 11:27 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Nancy, welcome to our club, we are so sorry you had to join! You’ve been through so much in a short amount of time, it’s enough to cause whiplash! We hope to make the situation as easy as can be.

What is your dog’s name? He sounds like a real sweetie and you sound very devoted to him. 

Be sure to check out Jerry’s Required Reading List and the Tripawds e-books library for answers to many of your burning questions, and also our What to Expect articles are also helpful. Meanwhile do you have any questions we can help answer?

I hope you get to be with your pup again real soon! Keep us posted. 

Your future posts won’t need approval so post away.

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Posts: 10
Member Since:
25 March 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
3
26 March 2021 - 7:35 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Good morning and thank you for this site.  I have been reading and reading.  I wish that I had time to read it before all this happened. It all happened so quickly and without time to research.

He is still in hospital.  I am waiting for the morning call.  Hopefully he will come home today but I will admit that I am so nervous about caring for him.  I bought a gated enclosure to protect him from the other dogs and to keep him from trying to jump on the couch.

I never told you his name.  It is Smokey. My father named him back in 2010 before he passed away.  He is a black cocker spaniel with white markings.  First dog that I ever raised from a pup.  I had always had rescues in the past. As a matter of fact we just took in a 14 year old yellow lab that had a rear leg amputation when he was a pup after being hit by a car. He does very well.  The biggest difference is that I didn’t experience the surgery, that was long in the past when I met him.

I am worried about the pain for Smokey.  He can get snappy when he is hurting so there is that concern also.  Finances are also a worry.  I had a knee replacement in February of last year and I am still in pain, may need a revision surgery.  Then in June I was laid off from my job of 14 years because of Covid. I don’t think I could even work right now because my mobility is severely limited and the pain level is too high.  I keep remembering the extreme pain when I woke up from surgery and worry that it is like that for Smokey.

To make matters a little more complicated, my SO just sold our house to downsize. He is almost ready to retire.  We have not found a new place yet and will probably have to move twice!  Just feeling overwhelmed.  

These last two years have been so hard.  I also lost my lifelong friend in September of 2019.  It was a long battle with brain cancer.  I was one of his primary caregivers. I am grateful that I could do that but I just miss him so very much.  We were friends for over 50 years.  

I did speak with surgeon last night.  She said Smokey is doing well.  He ate 3/4 of his dinner and was outside walking without a sling.  I just hope he is doing as well as she says.  

Wow, I am all over the place.  Sorry for that.  I am sitting here anxiously waiting for the call.  Yes, I called but they were still doing rounds.  

I just can’t wait to hug my boy.

Virginia




Forum Posts: 20539
Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
4
26 March 2021 - 9:34 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

By. being here, you’ve just gained extended  family who are jere ro help cheer you on and give you support.  While I am sorry  for the circumstances  that brought you here, you now know YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!

You have been through  soooo mich on sooo many levels.  Physically, emotionally, spiritually, physiologically….just WOW!!

But you know what, as much heartbreak, and stress and fear and pain, you are still hold it together!!!  It may not feel good, it may feel like you are coming  apart at the seams.  Yeah, all that’s  prob true….but you are still here plowing through  one hirdle at a time.

We salute you and give you a standing  ovation!!!👏👏👏

And thank uoj for adopting  a three-legged doggy!  And now you jave two!♥️♥️♥️  Sure makes four legged dogs look weird,  huh😉

Now, as far as Smokey’s pain, one thing you can be guaranteed  is that the hospital  meds he has been given  ake him see pink elephants  and happy about it!!   And it takes about two to three days for those strong meds to be out of his system,   but you will be switching  over to pill meds when he gets home.  

You will probably  come home with Gab, Tramadol, an antiinflmmatory and an antibiotic.  Some dogs come home with a Fentynal  patch.  Yes, pain management   is important.   It can take a little tweaking  with dose amount and frequency  to find the right balance.  No worries on that front.

Some dogs come home pretty wiped out, some  more restless and whiny, some, on ocassion, act like they can’t  get comfortable but otherwise don’t  seem too whacked.

Some don’t  eat right away and may take a few days to poop.  Drinking  and peeing are important.  Some may take a few days to get their sea legs and may not be very  mobile.  You may, or may not, need a towel sling to help get him up and get him out to potty. 

It’s  jo picnic for a week or two, but you DEF did the right thing getting that bummed leg removed!!  We’ve seen too many times when a broken leg was attempted  to be saved with long recovery  and usually  more surgery….and it ends up being amputated anyway.

Follow this link to the Tripaawds Foundation  and you may be avle to get some financial  assistance  for the amputation. 

Now. while Smokey is at the Vet, TRY AND GET SOME REST!!!  Physical  and em exhaustion  hit hoomans hard these first few days. And EAT CHOCOLATE!!  It helps!!

YAY that Smokey is eating AND being mobile!!!   Great news!!

STAY CONNECTED!! We are here for you and with you!!

(((((((((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



Forum Posts: 29489
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
5
26 March 2021 - 12:49 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I’m totally with Sally, you are in good company here so lean on us. You and Smokey have been through so much together, it makes total sense that you are feeling overwhelmed. I would too! The world is upside down and with your home situation too, well, give yourself a break and know that your feelings are normal. All you can do is take things one step at a time and know that things DO get better! After all, you already have one Tripawd who is proof! What’s the old fella’s name? 

Yes, amputation recovery is an up and down thing but it sure sounds like Smokey is on the way to a typical recovery. The report is a good one and hopefully he can come home soon. Ask whatever questions you want here, we are ready to put your mind at ease and prepare for his new life on 3.

Keep us posted!

{be sure to study up on pain management ; the best recoveries start with excellent pain control)

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Posts: 10
Member Since:
25 March 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
6
27 March 2021 - 3:43 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Good morning,

Smokey is home!  He is doing so much better than I expected.  He was very hyper and whiney for the first 4 hours and then he passed out.  I was getting worried. He just couldn’t settle down.  He does not like the play yard but he is going to have to adjust to it.  I tried sitting inside with him but he still cried. I tried shutting the two of us in the room but he was too active.  Kept trying to jump on the couch. I would put him up and try to sit with him and then he would try to jump down. Finally had to be firm about the play yard.

He did eat some chicken mixed with kibble but only if I fed him from my hand. Drinking lots of water.  No trouble going out on the lease to do his business.  

He had his meds, trazadone, gababentin, famotidine and rimadyl as soon as we got home and he also has a fentanyl patch. He is still sleeping now. I hope he is a little calmer today.  I think seeing me and his dad was very emotional for him, he was so excited and the car ride was a bit rough. I sat in back with him and tried to hold him but boy was he agitated! Every turn made him jump up and he was not steady enough to stand while moving. I kept a firm grip.

Thanks for the support here.  This is so hard!  It feels surreal.  I just never expected to have to do this. 

Have a good day!  

Virginia




Forum Posts: 20539
Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
7
27 March 2021 - 10:42 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

WELCOME H9ME SMOKEY!  AND YAY FOR EATING AND YAY FOR  EATING (yes, hand fed counts), DRINKING, POTTYING!!  And he’s got some  mobility already too! 

Smokey is on a lot of drugs right now.  The patch is the heavy duty one that can ca all sorts of whacky behav.  Restlessness,  whining,  confusion….yeah, a heavy duty drug.  On top of that, he has been giving  an a ti anxiety  med….and he’s on the patch that causes the “anxiety” sometimes  in some dogs.

The Gabapentin  is great for surgery pain and the Rimady helps with inflammation  too.  The patch is good for pain too…it can jist make them whacky. Once the patch is off, you should see different  behavior.  

Yes, you are in the crazy part of recovery,  but it will get sorted out.  Plus, you will relax more as you see how well Smokey  does as he goes into his second week and into his third week.  It gets better and better!

Did the Vet mention  why he thought the fracture happened  in the first place?

TRY and get some rest!!!

Extra hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

IF….IF…IF…he restlessness and whining continue, you can ask the Bet about removing  the patch a day or so early.  HOWEVER, The most  important  thing is that the pain is managed, even if it makes a dog whacky!

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



Forum Posts: 29489
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
8
27 March 2021 - 3:06 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hey Nancy, glad to hear Smokey is back! Those are all good signs you mentioned, like him wanting to eat and drink. Yep, as Sally mentioned the other meds are great and so is Fentanyl but it can cause a lot of restlessness and anxiety as you’ve seen. If he still doesn’t settle down today let your vet know so you can work on a different pain medication routine. 

So why do you think the new play yard isn’t rocking his world?

I hope today goes smoothly!

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Posts: 10
Member Since:
25 March 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
9
2 April 2021 - 4:41 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi again!  Been a rough few days and I managed to forget my password and got locked out.  Sleep deprivation is not my friend.

Smokey seems a little better today, keeping my fingers crossed.  Vet upped the med dosage. I do think he was in pain.  He was panting so hard and moving from spot to spot, just not able to get comfortable even cuddled up with me. 

The other night he yelped quite loudly in the middle of the night and there was a bit of blood on his shirt. Not sure what he did but that started a couple of days of what seemed like pain for him.

I made a sort of sling for him from a t-shirt.  Just cut the top off, then cut in half.  Put a hole for his remaining front leg and tied it on top.  Easy to get on and off without having to disturb him too much and hopefully protects his wound a bit.

This is so hard, just so very hard to see him go through this, have pain.  I do hope that I made the right choice for him and he has a decent quality of life soon.  

The vet told me that the bread was most likely from a common congenital weakness in spaniels.  Now I worry about the added stress on the other front leg.  She also told me to just take it one day at a time right now and get through this.

He seems to have adjusted to the play yard.  Not thrilled but better.  He has never been crated.  He came to me a a pup and was just so good, followed me around.  Guess I should have been firmer, it would have made this easier on him. 

Thanks for the support.  It does help to not feel alone.

Virginia




Forum Posts: 20539
Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10
2 April 2021 - 9:51 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!     We understand  the stress of recovery and the need to hurry up and get through it!

You are in the “What have I done TO my dog” phase.  We’ve all been there the early part of recovery.  You will soon move to the realization you did this FOR your Smokey!  

This is MAJOR surgery, all while adjusting  to three.  A hooman would be in the hospital on a morphine drip for days!

The Gabapentin should help, especially if he was having phantom limb pain.  

Has the bleeding stopped?  Did you let the Vet know about it?  And it sounds like his panting  episodes, etc have stopped.  Guess the patch is off now?

If you jave non slip scatter rugs for traction   if you jave jardwoods, you can maybe let Smokey out of his cage.  I’m sure that’s  been hard on him emotionally. 

Hang in there, and hang onto us, okay?  All things considered,  he’s actually  doing quite well this early.

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



Forum Posts: 29489
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
11
2 April 2021 - 10:41 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Nancy you are so not alone, promise. I wish I could make this easier for you and Smokey. Some dogs just need more time to recover, some need more pain control, and that’s understandable.

It’s a balancing act, this recovery thing, but by working with your vet the way you are doing, you are hopefully through the worst part. Stay ahead of the pain and stick to the meds schedule, that will help tremendously. And whatever you do, don’t beat yourself up for anything in the past. Smokey sure isn’t! 

Yes, I’m curious too, did the discharge stop? Are you sure it wasn’t a seroma (more watery than bloody but still pink and enough to freak anyone out!)?

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Posts: 1182
Member Since:
4 April 2019
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
12
3 April 2021 - 7:36 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi Nancy, happy to know Smokey is home. We understand how you feel. I made the mistake to go see Brownie four hours after surgery.  It was the first time I had ever heard him wine. I thought i made the biggest mistake. But after he recovered and he was back to his old self I knew I made the right decision.   So sorry you are going though this. My Brownie was 11 at time of amputation.  It was a few weeks before his 12 birthday. He was on pain meds for three weeks.

I noticed your user name is Nancylee.

My name is also Nancy Lee.

Sending positive thoughts for a speedy recovery and Brownie loved belly rubs during recovery….

My Beautiful Beloved Brownie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on February 26, 2019.  With all odds against him he lived an additional one year and eight days with amputation, love, and prayer.  I was honored to be his mom, and I have never been so proud!  He will live forever in my Heart!

Brownie Bubba Bell

04/01/2007 - 03/05/2020

"March Saint"

Forum Posts: 10
Member Since:
25 March 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
13
10 April 2021 - 3:03 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Good morning all.  Things have not been going well.  Apparently Smokey got an infection.  I just don’t understand.  I was so careful.  The cone was on at all times.  I washed his bedding, several sets.  every day at least.  Made the t-shirt to protect his wound and changed them every day.  I kept the other dogs away so there was no chance for a lick on the wound.  He actually appeared to be perking up, his eyes looked happier, he was making playful gestures towards his ball, lots of tail wagging, eating well, drinking lots of water.  He was only on antibiotics during his hospital stay.  I should have insisted on meds to take home.  

The suture line didn’t look bad to me.  There was some scabbing, a tiny bit of drainage after he would lie on that side but it was miniscule.

So,  my poor boy had to have a debridement under anesthesia.  He is doing well and should come home today.  I am aching for him.  I did request a round of antibiotics this time.  

The vet also did an x-ray of the other front leg.  He has the same congenital problem in the other leg.  I am just so upset.  Not sure what to do now.  She said we could do a surgery that would help prevent a break.  I hate to even think of putting him through another surgery and honestly I am broke at this point.  Initial surgery was $5600 and this one is $1200.  I have to bring him back next week to have the dressing changed under anesthesia. I’m afraid to hear what that will cost.  I have borrowed from everyone.  I mentioned before that I have been unemployed since last year because of covid.  Also, had a knee replacement that is not doing well.  I am not sure that I will ever be well again.  Going for a bone scan this week to hopefully find the problem.  Best case is that it is loose and can be fixed, I guess that is best.  This pain is just awful, the arthritis was easier to live with.

Just trying to take it one day at a time.  

Virginia




Forum Posts: 20539
Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
14
10 April 2021 - 9:30 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Oh our dear, dear Nancy♥️  You are going through so much eight now.  I k ow everything  mist look dark and hopeless right now.  Yoj are exhausted, you physical capabilities have been diminished  because of your knee, you are in pain AND you are going thru a rough patch with sweet Smokey.

For now, hold o to is, okay?  We are throwing you a life line of love and strength  and we are pulling you back to shore.  We’be gotcha’, okay?  And you and Smokey WILL get thru this!!

Its6 hard to look at thingss through a filter of hope instead of dispair right now.  We get it!

First of all, let go of the   misplaced “guilt” as far as the infection. It happened during surgery  and the Vet ABSOLUTELY  ahoild have given you at least a bare minimum 7 day supply of antibiotics!  Some Vets give 10 days!!!  Because  of your good care. It could have been so much worse!!!  And there would have been no reason, no reason at all, for you to suspect any horrible wound infection. Smokey was not showing  any of the classic signs

As far as the other leg goes, keep things chunked down for now.  Just focus on the wound healing  and getting through  recovery of that and the amputation.  That leg may not ever become an issue.  When things settle down you can do some further research and get at a bare minimum a second opinion.. 

Do keep is updated  on your knee situation.  Is it possible to go to a other Surgeon for a second  opinion??  I think my knees are so bad they literally could not be a candidate for replacements.  “Others will say, “Oh, you need knee replacements.  Go see a doctor”  But I hear too many stories like yours where  the “miracle” surgery isnt always that!  

Please know we are here for you in anyway possible, okay??   Ad times, good times….all have a timeframe and then repeat.  Right now you are clearly  in a “bad” time, but it will NOT last furever!  Better days will be coming….and hopefully it starts with some solutions  for that knee, and then maybe some job opportunities  and. of course, complete healing  for your Smokey💖

((((((((((((((Hugs)))))))))))))

PS.PM Rene about seeing of the Tripawds Foundation can help.  There is a fund where yoj can get reimbursed  for $500 (I think that’s the amount) for the amputation surgery..

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



Forum Posts: 29489
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
15
10 April 2021 - 1:08 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Oh my gosh poor guy. I’m so sorry, what a tough ride! Did they culture the discharge and check for MRSA ? Ask them if they did not. Whatever you do don’t beat yourself up, this probably started at the hospital and not with you. I’m surprised he didn’t come home with antibiotics too. Glad they at least gave you some now. Did they charge you for the debridement surgery? Just wondering.

Yes take things one step at a time. Get through this, and then if you are able to investigate his other problem, go to another clinic for another opinion.

The fund Sally referred to is the Tripawds Foundation ASAP fund. It reimburses up to $500 for amputation surgery costs, so check out the link to see if you qualify. 

Keep us posted and know that we send lots of Tripawd Power your way for a smooth recovery!

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Timezone: America/Denver
Most Users Ever Online: 946
Currently Online: blackwylf
Guest(s) 84
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1136
Members: 12424
Moderators: 2
Admins: 3
Forum Stats:
Groups: 4
Forums: 23
Topics: 16897
Posts: 237347
Administrators: admin, jerry, jim
Moderators: betaman, krun15
Tripawds is brought to you by Tripawds.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG