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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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Gabriel - Facing front Leg Amputation
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On The Road


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24 September 2009
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5 February 2022 - 8:17 am
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Hmmmmm.... sorry you are still having a tough go of things at night. So you are staying mostly on time with the meds which is good (even if given 1 hour ahead or behind that's still considered on time based on what a nurse told me once). 

It does sound like he's having breakthrough pain for some reason. Daytime seems to catch up with him at night and he's sore from movement. When he takes walks how long are they? And is he walking on any slippery floors??Not that you are doing anything wrong, just trying to help figure out the puzzle. 

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

Virginia




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5 February 2022 - 9:27 am
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You've probably already outlined it here, but what specifically is his usual dose of gabapentin and anything else he is taking?

During the day does he have any trouble taking naps? Has anything changed in his bedding or location as far as sleeping at night? Does he seem too late comfortably on his incision site yet? Do you sense he could be getting any leg cramps or tightness because he is may be laying in a different position than he normally sleeps? Some dogs are always used to sleeping curled up in a certain way, or laying more on one side than the other. Because of the three leg scenario, sometimes they have to readjust to a different sleeping position.

Just throwing stuff out there. But agree with Jerry, this most likely is a pain management tweaking and determining what is best for him on a consistent basis. I can't remember Jerry's comment about the Percocet, but I don't recall it being used here very frequently, which means nothing at all, but just thought I'd mention it

This will get figure it out oh, it just doesn't seem like it right now!

Hugs

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

PS.     And try lots of massaging all up and down his spine his shoulders his neck Etc before he goes to bed and anytime he wakes up try that again. It's Jerry mention it could be that his activity during the day is catching up with him at night as far as his muscles tension

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!

Calgary, Alberta
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6 February 2022 - 9:10 pm
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So yesterday we went on a long walk, around 2 hours. But we went to a local forest and would walk 5-10 minutes and then sit down for 15-20 and we would watch birds and people and other dogs as they strolled by.

After the walk he fell asleep at home and then we noticed a bit of panting before bed so we were able to give him I'd pain meds and he slept for nearly 7.5 hours until we woke up from a small whine, my partner brushed him and he fell back asleep for another hour or so! So I'm thinking the other restless night was because we intended to wean him off the pain meds (according to our discharge notes).

This AM he ate and was quite bright eyed and bushy tailed, and we went out for another slow jaunt in the woods. When he is outside he is very happy and loves being there. There is a bit of ice/snow on the walks and he has been handling it well, we get him to come off too the side with us to avoid that, and at home we have the house decked with yoga mats and carpets so at home he only seldomly goes on hardwood.

Tonight we plan to try the same pain regiment that worked last night, and we called out vet to discuss pain management because they only gave us enough meds to last till today (thankfully we had more from earlier this month)

Once we got home we could tell that now since he was done his walk we could see he was sore from the days activities, I have been doing skin pulls, massage, as well as using a small paint roller along the back muscles and then ending with some hip stretches.

I'm going to start making him wear his help-em up harness to give him a hand, even though he refuses to take any assistance.

I'm noticing things each day that are glimpses of his pre-pain self, so I can tell he is feeling better. But between the lack of appetite at times and the breakthrough pain it has been a challenge..

As for his Gabapentin he gets 3x300mg a day! 

On The Road


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7 February 2022 - 10:38 am
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Aww that sounds like a really nice weekend. The outdoors seems to have helped him become perkier too (and your voice sounds good as well). Yes, it's challenging to manage these ups and downs, for everyone involved. Take comfort in knowing that you are doing everything right, from no-slip floors to making sure he doesn't slip on ice to the gentle massage (I love the paint roller idea!), and the gentle hip stretches. Doesn't sound like he's overdoing anything right now. And I agree, insist on the harness for a while. A little tough love and being overly-cautious goes a long way.

I think this seems like just a matter of his body getting used to the new normal, and when you ramp up slowwwwwly like you guys are doing, each day is progress. His Gabapentin dose is relatively mild but see what your vet thinks. 

Cheers to another week of little victories that add up to big ones! Great job! Keep us posted.

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

Virginia




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7 February 2022 - 2:24 pm
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Ditto loving the idea of the small paint roller for massaging.   Gotta be so relaxing😎

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!

Calgary, Alberta
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7 February 2022 - 5:54 pm
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Our vet called us back, and said that Gabriel should not be painful anymore and that since he seems to be painful still that something else must be wrong.. but from reading on here people were having their dogs on pain meds for often 2 and up too 6 weeks after amputation? 

Gabe's at day 12/13 and he is still in a fair amount of pain. We reached out too the surgeon who did the amputation as we would like his opinion over the oncologist who hasn't seen Gabriel in awhile.

We are struggling as it is seemingly a split topic, some saying the pain meds are causing issues, and others saying he's in pain and needs to be weaned off.

Seeing him now, with only Galliprant being used for pain today, he hasn't really moved much and has been breathing heavily for a few hours here and just laying down not really resting. If I touch him near his backleg (back left knee) and groin/stomach he leaves. But he wasn't interested in doing much today. He also gave me a look when I put my hand on/near his stitches..

Hard to know for sure but I am slightly leaning to team he's in pain. Versus taking him off right now.

Virginia




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7 February 2022 - 6:44 pm
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It does seem you have a pretty good indictation that his behavior today seems to ge correlated  with pain reduction.  

Sorry your Vet's response was "he shouldn't  be painful anymore". As you've observed here, ma y dogs are on pain meds longer than two weeks and more.  My Happy Hannah was on them abput three weeks, and then still a reduced amount every now and then.  Every dog is different t and every dog reacts differently  to pain meds.

One thing that stood out to me was his hip stretches.  He's pulling his leg away or walking away  because  it hurts.   I just remember  Frankie's Rehab Vet was very, very particular  that his leg was properly  supported and in the exact eight place if I did any range of motion therapy with him.  Now this sounds different  from what you are doing with hip stretches, but just thought  I'd mention it. Also, since his knee area is sore, he may have a cruciate tweak.

The other thing that stands out  is, even though he is having lots of rest stops, it still may be too much too soon.  Especially  since he is showing you he is sore. 

Jerry can elaborate  with her expertise, but you may want to scale back to a couple of short walks several times a day (maybe ten minutes plus) u til you no longer see signs of soreness.  It takes a lot of energy and effort, a huge amount,  for new tripawds to adjust to three with their gait, using different  muscles, etc.

For now it may be that, as much as he  hates it, he may need to be more confined to see if that leg area gets better.

All this is FWIW column.  Gabriel will soon have all this behind  him....and you as well!  He is definitely  making  progress!

HUGS 

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

Oh, and one more suggestion you can ask the Surgeon about is adding Amantadine  as a pain med  to compliment  the Gaba.  They work well together. 

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!

On The Road


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7 February 2022 - 9:33 pm
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Every dog is different as you know. But if you ask a human amputee "are you in pain?" at day 13 they would say "what do you think?" For most dogs, even two weeks out can be painful. For the most part, we see dogs on medications that last 10 to 14 days and then they get weaned off. But every dog is different. So what did your vet say if it must be something else? Is there a plan to investigate?

He does sound sore, everything you described are pain signals . Scale way, way back right now for at least the next week.  In the meantime, I would ask for a referral to a physio therapist. They can often pinpoint pain before a general practice vet can, and get it under control. Also, Tripawds Foundation can pay for your first rehab visit so you've got nothing to lose. Let me know if you'd like help finding one if your vet doesn't have a referral.

I'm so sorry, I know this is a roller coaster. Hang on, it won't last forever! You'll get Gabe back!

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

Calgary, Alberta
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9 February 2022 - 5:32 am
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Yes! We had gone out a bit long those days, and he was quite tired the next day and even now. But today he had a shorter walk and when to a Chiropractor (first time trying that).The chiro mentioned his hips were out of alignment and attempted to remedy/help that.

Gabe also was weaned off his pain medication, and is doing better now! Our vet, who is a holistic vet as well, indicated she suspects he is having bouts of nausea from some of the supplements we had been giving him. So she gave us some Sulcrofate and Cerenea that has been helping him! And his appetite has picked up and a lot less panting.

As for Physio, Gabe loves his therapist and has a front wheelchair fitting tomorrow and then is in for Physio every Friday for the foreseeable future. He went last week and they had mentioned his hips and back legs were quite tight, so I think you two are right! Gabe needs more rest and we got a bit over zealous with his walks. 

They also have been trying to let us do laser therapy on him again, but sadly the science is split on how laser therapy can affect cancer cells, even though the lesion has been removed we still aren't comfortable doing laser. Since he was officially diagnosed with having osteosarcoma Monday we just don't want to risk aggravating any potential metastasis with laser therapy.

Yesterday we did a short walk in the woods on fairly even terrain. He is tired, but still just wants to stay outside (stroller time I think) 

He has been sleeping through the night mostly, he woke up today with a bit of panting for maybe 5-10 minutes and then we opened our window and he went back to bed.

I've also noticed small things like him rolling over to get scratches, he was rolling in the snow, laying on the incision site (seldom but still is doing it) and more perky with food around (kinda/sorta) 

Thank you all again for the help, is nice to chat it out a bit with those who have gone through this. 

I will keep everyone updated!! 

On The Road


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9 February 2022 - 10:43 am
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Ah! I thought we had talked about Gabe's physio before, I had a brain fart!

Well with all the great recovery help he's getting, and pain control, you sure aren't imagining these little steps to 100% Gabe! I'm so happy that he is doing better. He is so fortunate to have ongoing physio. And we can't wait to see him sporting his new wheels! You'll have to share that with us. 

And you know I had never even considered that the supplements could be causing some of his issues. I know they make me nauseated sometimes so why not dogs? I'll try to remember to ask new Tripawds members about supplement intake if their pet is having issues during recovery. 

Oh and regarding cold laser, Sully's people just asked about it here, you might want to chime in:

https://tripawd.....and-cancer

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

Calgary, Alberta
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18 January 2022
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9 February 2022 - 1:05 pm
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I do still feel like he is in a bit of pain, he will be standing and whine randomly then want to sit down. Hopefully we can find out if that could be his bulging Disc is aggravated at the physio on Friday.. we gave him a bit of Galliprant to see if that helps

Virginia




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22 February 2013
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9 February 2022 - 3:17 pm
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Had forgotten about the disc. 

I would  think   the disc could definately be aggravated as a new tripawd adjusts  muscles, joints, etc to his new gait.    

As suggested earlier , and as you already noted,  he really needed to scale back his activity for more than just a Monday or two.  

Did the Surgeon advise putting him back on Gabapentin or just sticking with the Galliprant?  Steroids  (I know...ugh) can be helpful  IF he is having disc issues.  

Have you checked into some of the "mind puzzles" made specifically  for dogs?  May help keep him entertained while dialing  his activity back for a ahort bit.

YAY for rolling over to get scratches!  And laying on the incision  some this early on is quite  impressive.

Gove that sweet boy some tummy rubs for is too!

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!

On The Road


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24 September 2009
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9 February 2022 - 4:55 pm
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Ah! The disc! Yes I had forgotten too, thanks for mentioning it. I hope the Galiprant helps him feel better. 

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

Calgary, Alberta
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18 January 2022
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14 February 2022 - 12:19 am
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He has been better!

So we did help him with some Galliprant, and he has been getting some Cerenea at times to help with Nausea.

He completed his first round of Chemo Wednesday and has been doing very well with that! (No noticeable side-effecs yet!) also he has been getting better and better with Walks and stability each day here, today we did a pretty long walk, though we took it really slow with him and let him dictate how was we went! 

As for Chemo, he nearly got a 50% dose reduction as they were waiting for testing to on a generic mutation called MDR1! We got lucky and we're able to show via our Embark DNA Test, that Gabe didn't have the genetic mutation (which is common in shepherds and Herding dogs)

He has been doing better these last 4 days since I posted last. With his appetite returning slowly, and his old "mooching" tendencies are returning.

Might be a weird question, but has anyone reported their dogs having more dreams or more physical movement when having dreams since their pups have been amputated?? 

On The Road


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14 February 2022 - 10:41 am
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WHEW! YAY that he's doing well! Gabe is so pawesome!

Oh man that MDR1 gene is a pesky bugger. I'm glad he doesn't have it. That's another reason why DNA testing is so helpful. Our Wyatt was a GSD so we had the test done on him too, and he didn't have it. For those who don't know the MDR1 gene can make dogs who have it in them more susceptible to severe side effects from certain drugs like Ivermectin and chemo treatments.

Might be a weird question, but has anyone reported their dogs having more dreams or more physical movement when having dreams since their pups have been amputated?? 

Oh that's a good one! For us, losing a leg didn't seem to make much of a difference for Jerry or Wyatt. They were always chasing rabbits in their dreams and did more as they got older. I think it might just be more obvious because we focus on that area that doesn't have a leg anymore and it's odd to see the stump twitching around (if that's what you're seeing on Gabe?).

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

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