TRIPAWDS: Home to 18774 Members and 1941 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 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.

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
Katniss the Bulldog's amputation story
sp_NewTopic Add Topic
Forum Posts: 18
Member Since:
18 January 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
1
21 January 2021 - 8:05 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi there. I am so grateful to have found this site. First off - we are seven days out from amputation surgery and it's VERY hard.

Our English Bulldog Katniss is five years old. She is a rescue from the amazing organization, Georgia English Bulldog Rescue out of Atlanta, Georgia. We adopted her three years ago.

Our English before her was also adopted. She had so many health issues and surgeries that it was heartbreaking. But she was an amazing dog and we were happy to have been able to love and take care of her for seven years.

We had no health issues with Katniss for the first three years and thought - "Dang. This is a fluke." (English Bullies are notorious for health issues.)

Then in Nov. of 2020, Katniss started limping out of nowhere. She is VERY active for an English Bulldog. She plays fetch in the yard. Plays a lot inside. She is very active and only naps a little during the day.

So when she started limping, we thought she may have pulled something. Her vet did an x-ray and saw inflammation and thought it was arthritis. Three weeks later, it was a lot worse. We were advised to see the Ortho team at Auburn University's animal hospital. (Unfortunately, we're very familiar with them from treating our previous Bully for heart disease.)

So after a CT scan, they found a tumor. Then a biopsy determined it was cancer. Her front, right leg was very damaged and amputation was recommended. No spread was found in the stomach, spleen or kidneys. The amputated leg is out with the oncology lab. Results due in 3-5 days from today.

Katniss' surgery was a week ago today. She was able to come home to us the next day, with anti-imflamatory drugs, Acetaminophen/Codeine and Trazadone.

Day 1 (first full day at home): She did very well at first. She got up and went out to potty. She did rest a lot. But did want to sniff around a bit inside the house and we let her since that was her five minutes of walking they said she could have. She had a terrible pain fit at one point (horrible "yelling") and we were able to calm her down. Her eyes bulge out. She "yells" so loudly. It's heartbreaking. We weren't sure what that was from. She ate fine. We have a one-story house and she was confined between our laundry room and den, which is a very short walk and we made rug paths for her.

Day 2: Katniss did not want to go out to go potty. She has a bladder of steel anyway, but we coaxed her into going out and she had a yelping fit at one point. It's SO heartbreaking to hear. Otherwise, she hung out in our den and rested on her dog bed. She sniffed the floor a bit and acted pretty alert. She only had two big whining fits this day.

Day 3: Katniss at breakfast and went out to poop and pee way out in the front yard. So proud of her walking. Then, in the afternoon, I went out to run an errand and my husband and son were home alone with Katniss. She was in our den resting, but sat up. And she had another yelping fit - so loud and heartbreaking. She jumped around and fitted around and it scared my husband so he tried to console her. She was so out of her mind that she latched onto his mid-arm with her mouth and bit him so badly. It looked like a crime scene - blood all over the den when I got there to take him to the ER. Two stitches, but it's a VERY bad bite. I gave her a pain med to calm her down. (She was only an hour early on the dosage.) She fitted again overnight and whined some. I called her surgeon about the episode and the terrible cries and she recommended Gabapentin, thinking it might be nerves firing off. Because it was a Sat. after vet hours, we waited to get it until Mon. from our vet. We moved her into our laundry room, which is "her" room anyway. (She sleeps there at night all the time and stays in there when we leave the house.)

Day 4: Katniss started Gabapentin at lunchtime. Still had pain meds and everything else. She became VERY isolated. Didn't want to eat unless you held the bowl up to her. Same with water. Didn't want to go out to potty. I had to go get pee pads to line the floors with because I didn't want to force lift her - even with a towel/sling. We have after-bite scare symdrome. She seems depressed. Not sure if it's all the meds so heavy. It sucks.

Day 5: Katniss still doesn't want to go outside to potty. Tries to sleep all day. A far cry from Sat. and Sun. early in the day.

Day 6: Katniss still doesn't want to go outside to potty. We did get her up to eat (vs. food close to her bed - she actually stood up to eat out of her holder). She had to go potty so badly she hobbled to the door. Got to the garage door and then had a howling/crying fit. We have to let her have it out after the biting incident. It hurts to watch. She was so freaked out that she wanted back inside. I lined the floor of the laundry room with pee pads again.

Day 7: Today. She has slept most of the day. She hasn't had pain meds in 24 hours. She stood up and sat up a good bit in the morning and looked less glassy eyed. Then I gave her anti-inflammatory meds and the Trazadone in the morning. The Gabapentin comes at noon (and midnight). She has whined a little bit during the day, but trying to ween off the pain meds. (We got a refill just in case.) She just won't get up to eat or go potty. Although last night, she obviously did because she went on the pee pads. I am a VERY light sleeper and am sleeping in the bedroom close to her and only heard her barely whine last night (probably while going potty).

Anyway - I am sad about her progress and being patient. I'm worried about getting her to the vet next week for stitches removal. (We're all a little spooked after the bite). I'm just worried about her. Her surgeon has been responsive (again - not her regular vet, but a specialized surgeon). But I feel like we've kind of been on our own to Google all of this.

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 30822
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
2
21 January 2021 - 10:44 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi and welcome, and big hugs to you and Katniss. I’m sorry this has been so hard but you’ve come to the right place for info and support.

I’m on my phone now and wanted to get your post approved ASAP so others can see it. I will be back tomorrow with some additional feedback but meanwhile please have a conversation with your vet about better pain management for her. Now is not the time to take pain control away if she is giving pain signals like those. Please stay ahead of her pain by working with your vet to come up with a schedule that works.

Everything you are describing sounds like her pain isn’t under control yet and different dosages/timing of the meds along with possible acupuncture and PT can make a bog difference.

More in the morning, hang in there.

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: 18
Member Since:
18 January 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
3
22 January 2021 - 6:52 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

I put her back on her pain meds this morning for every 12 hours. I had to contact her surgeon Wed. to get a refill called into her vet. Human pharmacy had to fill, so I couldn't get it until 3pm yesterday.

Her med schedule is:

Carprofen, pain meds, Trazodone 8am

Gabapentin 12:30pm

Carprofen, pain meds 8 pm

Gabapentin 12:30am

Still finishing up the anti-inflamatory (which I think she has like 2 more days on, but her incision looks great and she even lays on it).

My biggest concern now is again - her holding it in and not wanting to go potty. (Could also be some decreased appetite, although I'm holding the water up to her and she's doing pretty well drinking it.)

She definitely has gone on the pee pads twice (both poo and pee) at some time during the night. I didn't hear "screaming" fits - just a little whining or short yelp. No problem for me to clean up and I don't mind having to re-potty train down the road if we have to for outside.

I will say that yesterday morning when I went in to check on her, she was alert, bright-eyed and sitting up. She even ate from a standing position without a pain fit.

After meds, she napped.

So sometimes she's feeling something uncomfortable and sometimes not when sitting, walking or standing. It's been impossible to pinpoint, even thought we're home all day.

I'm ordering a muzzle specifically for Bulldogs because I have concerns about transporting her with all this pain and after the bad bite from last weekend. She's due to have stitches removed next Thurs., around 1/28 (14 days).

Virginia




Forum Posts: 21280
Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online
4
22 January 2021 - 9:13 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Yoi are not alone and we jave seen this before  okay?

Deep breaths.......deeeeep. breaths....it gets better...PROMISE!!!

Of course, mot a vet, but most definitely  pain management needs to be addressed CONSISTENTLY!  Check out all the links Jerry gave you.

And keep in mind, Trazedone  is a sedative-a ti anxiety type drug and does NOTHING for pain.  And it can make some dogs quite loopy and confused too.  And while codeine is certainly used for pain, we usually see Gabapentin,  Tramadol, Carprofen (Rimadyl) and an antibiotic used effectively. 

Gabapentin  is most effective  for phantom  pain.  Phantom limb pain is when the brain is sending  signals to the nerves for a let thwt is no longer there.  Humans have described it as sudden searing pain like an electrical shock.  When your sweet Katniss experiences ot. She wa ts to get up and try and run away from the pain.  Of course, unlike humans, she jas no understanding  of what's happening or why.  I am soooo sorry your husband had to endure that frightening  bite.  Kate iss was jist out of her mind at the moment with pain and reacted the only way she knew how.

Again, not a Vet and not giving Vet advice.  Just relaying what we see here.

Gaba can be given every eight hours, obvi depending  on the dose.  The Tramadol compliments the Gabapentin  and can be staggered  inbetween the Gaba.  Again, the Trazedone  does not relieve pain and will not stop the phantom limb pain.

Consistency is crucial at this point too.  Once the pain gets a head start ot od ha4d to catch up and control it.  She has had  MAJOR surgery, all while adjusting to three and using  muscles in a different  wa

 Y guess is she's basically afraid to move and is j sure if any movement  will increase her pain.  This, along with not eating,  etc are all pain signals .

So definitely  talk to your Vet about doing the Gaba more frequently and maybe adding  Ttamadol inbetween....especially  if she is going twelve hours apart for her Gaba.

You can also try ge tle massage over a warm towel all up and down her spine, her neck and her shoulders.  Try this several times a day.  This will help those tense muscles and help her relaxed without a sedative. 

Most dogs are on pain meds for about two weeks-ish.   My Happy Hannah was on them for three with some tapering  off.

You are doi g a great job!  You have been through a lot watching  your sweet girl endure this awful pain!  I think you'll see a world of difference  o e you get the Gaba in her consistently  and more frequently!  And again, so sorry about your hubby, but glad he's okay!

Update when you can!  And remeber,  recovery  doesn't  last fureverr... just seems like it!!

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: 30822
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
5
22 January 2021 - 11:43 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I'm glad you've seen some glimpses of her old self. Sally's suggestions are exactly what I would say too. You want to keep the meds consistent so that pain never has a chance to spiral. Right now she is moving her body in all new ways and that can be really, really tiring. Slow and easy is the way recovery goes for many dogs, that's not unusual.

Please consider making an appointment to have her evaluated by a canine rehabilitation therapist. The Tripawds Foundation can pay for your first rehab visit , and it's so valuable for the pet parent as much as the dog. You'll learn all about what her needs, capabilities and limitations are now and possibly in the future. Being a bully, she's got a unique body type that responds differently to the new gait than many other dogs, so these experts can teach you the best way to help her make the most of her new gait and movement. 

Let us know how the medication schedule goes. My gut instinct says that 12 hours apart is still not enough (usually it's every 8 hours with the meds staggered) but like Sally, I'm not a vet so if she still shows pain signals let your vet know. 

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: 18
Member Since:
18 January 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
6
22 January 2021 - 2:54 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Thank you for the advice for sure. I am going to email her surgeon again tomorrow if she's still not improving since she'll have been on the Gaba for three days at that point. I'll bring up the frequency thing for the pain meds and Gaba.

And when I take her for stitch removal, I'm going to ask about physical therapy. Our local vet does several things - laser, massage and some other physical therapy for strength. I need to find out what gets recommended and what they do.

And then I just ordered a muzzle. Makes me sad, but I asked the Bulldog rescue group from Kathiss' rescue for a recommendation and they had a good one for long snouts. And they said don't feel guilty because some of their bullies need them at the vet and in other situations. I want to have it for if we need to take her back for a visit before stitch removal at the end of next week.

Forum Posts: 18
Member Since:
18 January 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
7
24 January 2021 - 1:52 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

Day 10 (surgery was 1/14 4pm):

Gabapentin at 12:30am

Katniss peed in her bed overnight, which is OK. She somehow managed to squat and pee off her bedding (which is amazing aim) and most of it went onto pee pads and just a little on her bed. I didn't hear her cry when it happened.

At 7am, she had her pain meds and anti-anxiety meds and we fed her chicken and rice with some of her Blue Buffalo in there too and we put it in her new, raised bowl stand. She stood up, walked over to her clean bedding and ate everything! (Good thing she moved because I was trying to figure out how to get her soiled bedding to wash it.) And she didn't cry or yelp at all! It was such a relief to see and such a help for her. We praised her a ton and were hoping this was a new day for her pain.

12:30pm she had her Gabapentin again.

Then early in the afternoon, I got her soft, favorite bedding washed and dried. After some contemplation, she moved over to it and cried very badly for about 8-10 seconds. She had a couple of these fits. Ugh. So much for that.

But then, around 4pm, we busted her standing up on her bedding, scratching at the top blanket three-legged! So impressed! And she didn't cry or whine getting up, moving or lying back down. Shew!

Overall, this is probably the "best" pain day she's had since last Sat. The two crying fits were bad, but not horrible like some have been. She's done some intermittent whining. But sometimes I don't know if that's discomfort or sadness we're not with her in the room. (We try to rotate sitting in the laundry room with her a few times a day for a while.)

We are going to move her pain and Gaba out to her getting something every 6 hours. So instead of 7 or 7:30am and 12:30am and pm, we're going to pain and anti-anxiety at 7am, Gabapentin 1pm, pain 7pm, Gabapentin 1am.

I emailed her surgeon again Friday after she had a horrible pain fit after eating and walking to the door to try to go out. I asked her about dosage and intervals for the meds and told her what's going on and how we still can't pinpoint a situation since she sometimes cries when she's already lying down. Hopefully I'll hear back tomorrow.

Again, I'm having anxiety about getting her to the Dr. on Thurs. or Fri. for stitch removal with her being in such pain and since the bad pain fits result in bites if you touch her. Trying to get her to a car and all of that is going to be awful since nothing is really improving on a steady basis. The muzzle comes in tomorrow and we have two helpful harnesses in. Sigh.

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 30822
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
8
25 January 2021 - 10:44 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hey thanks for the pupdate. Overall it sounds like the new medication schedule is helping her feel better! Celebrate these little wins, they all add up to big ones even if it doesn't feel like it right now. I hope the vet gets back to you today.

Here's a thought: so I'm wondering if the crying out is possibly partially related to her being in the laundry room? Has she ever vocalized loneliness before this happened? Just wondering.

As for the trip to the vet. You are on the right track with the muzzle. Yep, don't feel badly about the muzzle. I once published a guest article about muzzles to help pet parents become more familiar and less terrified of dogs who are wearing them. See "Don't Fear the Muzzle."

Also remember she's going to sense your fear. Know that when you go to the vet, you are the leader. You have the tools to help her feel more secure, now use your pawsitive attitude to add to the toolkit and things should go fine. Paws crossed!

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: 18
Member Since:
18 January 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
9
25 January 2021 - 12:34 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I've thought about the crying being because she's alone in there. It's "her" room and she sleeps in there at night and when we leave the house during normal times. So I'm trying not to go running in there unless it's a big, painful cry. Not react so much to the whines.

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 30822
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10
25 January 2021 - 2:45 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Oh OK now I get the situation. Good job, sounds like you're on the right track!

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: 18
Member Since:
18 January 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
11
29 January 2021 - 11:37 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I got Katniss back to her Ortho team today. They took out her stitches and she only had one pain fit while there. They got her Help-Me-Up harness fitted on her.

As far as the pain, they're pawsitive it's phantom pain . There's no swelling or anything in the area where the nerves were severed. So without missing a dose, she will continue the Gabapentin 2 times a day for 10 days, then go down to 1 a day for 7 days.

She added Amantadire, 1 time a day for 14 days, then 1 every other day for 5 days.

She said it may take 3-5 days for the new meds to be added in to help the pain. Ugh. But we're sure hopeful our girl gets some relief. We're going to really work with her to get her outside and moving a bit more.

She did say in extreme cases, some dogs have to do a 3-day Ketamine drip to basically re-set their brain signals from the pain. REALLY hoping we don't have to do that.

Aside from that, I posted in the Oncology forum because I'll be meeting with them next Wed. It's really precautionary at this time because there's no true cancer presence that they know of. But the amputation "could" have set some cancer cells free. So I need to talk to them.

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 30822
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
12
29 January 2021 - 3:42 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I like your vets! The Amantadine should be really helpful and the timing sounds good too. I can't think of the last member who had to do a Ketamine drip so don't freak about that. Meanwhile if she is still exhibiting pain signals , consider asking if the Gabapentin dosage can be increased. Many vets under-dose with it, but it sounds like you have a pretty progressive team so I'm guessing that's not the case. What is the dosage she's taking?

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: 18
Member Since:
18 January 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
13
29 January 2021 - 3:59 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Gaba 300 mg every 12 hours and then after 10 days we go once a day.

The Amantadine is 100 mg once a day and then we taper after 7 days.

The Dr. seemed positive. I have it makes Katniss so drowsy. But glad to hear your feedback too!

Virginia




Forum Posts: 21280
Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online
14
29 January 2021 - 9:01 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Soooo.....if. I've read previous posts correctly, the Gaba is the same as has been....300 every twelve hours???  So no increase in amount or frequency (every eight hours)..And that has not been effective  controlling the episodes , right?  So the only difference in her pain management   is that Amantadine has been added?

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!

Forum Posts: 18
Member Since:
18 January 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
15
31 January 2021 - 7:48 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

Correct. Just added the Amantadine. But we had a HUGE breakthrough today, so I am SUPER hopeful it's working!

First, only one pain/crying episode yesterday. And it was pretty minor considering.

She's back to eating and anticipating her meals. (She knows when it's food time.) No crying overnight.

This morning, I went in and she was sitting up and bright-eyed and ready for food. I got her water. While she was drinking, I got her harness on her and gave her a treat for it. (Going to be our harness training strategy.) She ate all her food. Then went out of the garage to try to go potty. But saw the rain and wanted back in. (In her defense, she peed on pee pads in the laundry room overnight. Which we're now trying to break and get her back outside on her usual schedule from pre-surgery.)

Then, we moved her bed into our den so she can be with us. She gladly went and got on it. And then has gotten up and hopped over to us at the couch and chair for petting several times. (We have throw rugs down on a path for her.) It's such a relief to see her more like herself. She even chewed on one of her chew bones for a bit.

No pain cries so far and she's been up for 2 1/2 hours and moving around WAY more than usual.

So fingers crossed!

Forum Timezone: America/Denver
Most Users Ever Online: 946
Currently Online: benny55, bambi12, jenn0812, yclaray
Guest(s) 84
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1159
Members: 13820
Moderators: 2
Admins: 3
Forum Stats:
Groups: 4
Forums: 23
Topics: 17247
Posts: 241194
Administrators: admin, jerry, jim
Moderators: betaman, krun15
Tripawds is brought to you by Tripawds.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG