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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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Mini Schnauzer about to lose right rear leg
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New Jersey
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25 May 2013
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3 June 2013 - 6:32 am
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Victoria,
Sounds like infection was caught quickly, and what great vets you have. Good she’s eating she will rebound quickly. Our thoughts are with you.

On The Road


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3 June 2013 - 7:04 am
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Victoria said
Thanks, Jerry! If I’m on a roller coaster I should at least try to enjoy the ride! All I need to do when I feel down is remind myself of how devastated and bereft we were a couple of weeks ago when it seemed we had to put her down. Then I look at her snoozing quietly on her bed and I feel so much better.

Each time I get a reply on this forum I am so glad I was recommended (by our vet) to look you up.

Thank you.

Victoria

Well, I know that’s often easier said than done but you’re doing a great job trying! Kudos!

I didn’t know your vet referred you to us, that’s so neat! If you have time someday, PM me their snail mail addy, I’d love to send them a note.

 

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

Member Since:
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3 June 2013 - 6:13 pm
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Hi all,

We went to the vet first thing to check on progress. The good news is that Dot’s temperature is back to normal, the antibiotics are beginning to work. She is still very sore and red, very swollen.

So, after a very thoughtful pause the vet suggested we get a cabbage poultice to work on the wound site. Dotty and I have spent the last hour in front of the History Channel, I cradled her in my arms and put the clean and dry cabbage leaves directly on her sore spots, followed by a warm washcloth with a heat pack on it. She rolled her eyes at me as if to say “NOW WHAT?”, but she settled down quickly and was snoring peacefully soon after. This is meant to be highly effective, I’ll let you all know!

At bedtime tonight we will rebandage the wound so it’s protected overnight. Megan has given us some hospital grade manuka honey to put on the wound, it gets to the bugs that antibiotics can’t touch. 

More news later on.

Victoria

Virginia




Member Since:
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3 June 2013 - 11:31 pm
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YAY for some good news on Miss Dotty! Temperature is normal and that’s only after a day or two on atibiodics. This could be the turn around of consistently…..that’s the important word….consistently feeling better.

Okay, I’ve heard of cabbage patch doll…..but a cabbage politics?? Really want to hear pair works. Could really be onto something. If it doesn’t work, steamed cabbage with butter and onions taste good!!

Dotty’s probably thinking’ “Put a slab of ham on that cabbage and I’ll eat it”.

Look forward to your updates. Make sure YOU are getting some rest too!

Salt and Happy Hannah

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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4 June 2013 - 7:27 am
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Victoria, we would love to hear more about the poultice. This is all new to us too!

I hope it worked, please keep us psoted and give her our love. You two must be exahusted.

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

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4 June 2013 - 10:40 am
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 “You two must be exahusted.”

Yes, Jerry. I think I might be, I’m getting a bit snappy on the home front. After a day of trying to convince Dotty that cabbage is her new constant companion I got very punchy when my husband rang from work and asked “What’s for dinner?”. I stomped around the corner to my brother’s house and had a glass of wine while one of the kids watched the dog and Dan made omelettes for dinner. I felt better.

Dot is tolerating the wierd cabbage arrangement and I think it made a difference. Basically, cabbage has a famous anti-inflammatory action. It used to be called the “poor man’s medicine chest” and is a traditional remedy for everything from acne to mastitis to gout. Our vet told me to wash and dry some of the big flat leaves of a cabbage, crush them with a rolling pin and the apply them directly to the wound. Then we wrap a hot washcloth over the cabbage and try to get it to stay on for at least half an hour at a time, using fresh leaves and hot cloth or heat pack each time. The cabbage is meant to aid lymphatic drainage and draws inflammation and pus out of wounds.

Dot had some great moments yesterday, she showed real interest in going for a normal walk but was only allowed (by me) to walk for short bursts in between being carried. Her appetite is going strong and she is looking more sentient all the time.

It’s 4.30am here and I was just woken up by Dot in her basket nearby. I turned on the light and there she was staring at me, I took her out to the toilet and it appeared she wasn’t comfortable walking much or being carried. Her back end feels quite hot again so I have given her a codeine and put a heat pack on the bandage that I put on for bedtime. We are back to the vet first thing in the morning so it will be interesting to see if they think she has improved much. I suspect it is the bandage itself that is really bothering her.

I’m torn between wanting it all to go away (thinking “I’m sure it’s getting better, she seems better, the antibiotics will be working…”) and wanting them to just sedate her, get her back into surgery and open it up for a clean.

We are halfway through the difficult 2 weeks that I had expected, but I’m wondering now if I should let that time frame go and accept we may have a long haul ahead.

i’m going to go back to bed and try to get some more sleep.

Night.

Virginia




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22 February 2013
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4 June 2013 - 10:56 am
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Oh yeah….you can go ahead and get rid of any time frame thinking about anything!! Not just this!

You ARE exhausted and tell your husband he k owe where the kitchen is!! Just kidding g……sorta’:-)

You saw some great sparkle yesterday…..she IS eating good now? YAY! Of, course, that doesn’t mean she’ll eat great to morrow because that’s the quirks of the recovery process!!
It sounds like Dotty’s doing a great job of wall,I g when she feels like it and pacing herself when she doesn’t. Good job Dotty!

That cabbage treatment sou D’s really I terestig. I’m soooooo open to any natural healing therapies. Glad she’s getting cabbage on her privates I stead of ice!

Let us know what the vet said.

Sounds like your brother’s is a good place to go for a little moment of rest…….maybe go a little.more frequently fly!!

Yeah, keep giving the antibiodics time to work. I know you’re tired of everyone e say I g this——but—-it is still early in the recovery..even without that stupid I fiction !”

YOU ARE DOING SUCH A GREAT JOB!

It’s to e for a other group hug……o,at…get in the center of the circle…..you see the circle, right?? Now, we’re all moving in to give you a great big hug!! I can tell it made you feel better…you’re Virgil g and all red in the face:-)

Much love, Salt and Happy Hannah

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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4 June 2013 - 12:35 pm
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Wow what a lot of ups and downs, twists and turns, I’m really sorry. Yes, should should let go of the two week timeframe. All dogs are different, two weeks is generally how long it takes to overcome amputation surgery side effects but it’s not unheard of for a dog to go through three or even four weeks (ask Happy Hannah!). Sorry, I know that’s not what you wanted to hear, but the good news is that she WILL overcome this. Meanwhile stocking up on wine is probably a good idea! big-grin

I think your vet is really on top of things, but have you asked what the next course of action is should these current treatments not work? Unfortunately a few dogs have had to have their incision cleaned out after surgery. I’m hoping that she won’t but it’s always good to know if that’s a possibility so be sure to ask.

The cabbage poultice is fascinating. If you even have a second, and for some reason remember, could you take a photo of it? I’d love to blog about this.

Thanks, and many many hugs. Hang in there, you are doing great.

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

Member Since:
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4 June 2013 - 5:39 pm
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We are back from the vet’s. I was really worried about Dot, I could tell that the area of swelling at the bottom end of the wound site was super tight and red and Dot couldn’t even handle me carrying her. She was panting like she’d run a mile by the time we got to the clinic. 

Our usual vet Megan was away today but the other vet Erin who has been involved in Dot’s care from the beginning had a good look at her. She knew she was very sore so we started with ear rubs and a little chat, progressed on to listening to her through the stethoscope, getting her temp taken (normal!!) and then we gently rolled her over to look at the trouble down below. I was holding Dot down at the front and talking cheerful nonsense at her while I had in a WWF-type hold. The vet tech held the back leg and Dot’s middle and Erin got busy with some local anaesthetic around the infection. Dot snarled and screeched and rolled her body around like a mad crocodile but eventually Erin managed to get the injection done and then we could have a sit-up and a breather. Out came a scalpel, Dot was stretched out again and Erin tried to find the main source of pressure. Both Erin and the vet tech soon exclaimed “Ohhhhhh. Wow, Dotty. That’s enormous”, I looked around after a while and saw a huge puddle of red liquid that was just pouring out of a little incision on her lower haunch. A kidney dish was catching some but it was a massive amount of discharge. Erin expressed more out of it until she was happy it was now just an empty pouch, she irrigated it and then syringed manuka honey into pouch. Dot was by this stage feeling some relief, in between bouts of shouting at Erin to “STOP TOUCHING ME!”. She was soon up on her feet, scoffing venison treats from Erin and looking ok.

The general consensus is that we have found the main source of Dotty’s misery and we now just monitor it closely to make sure it doesn’t flare up. We are home doing hot compresses and more cabbage compresses (photo to follow) and finding lots of treats to eat while we catch up on some movie watching.

Dot just came clattering down the hall, tags tinkling, claws clicking, to join me in the office at the front of the house. That’s another good sign that she is coming alive again.

I’m so glad I have somewhere to “download” all this stuff, I think friends and family are all at capacity for Dot news so I’m afraid you guys get it instead!

Victoria

 

New Jersey
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4 June 2013 - 5:40 pm
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Victoria,
What a roller caster ride. We’re one week today with Snoop, and we’ve had a bump or two. I do think its two plus weeks easy to start to move beyond amputation surgery. It’s major and like us they are all unique on how they progress. Sounds like you have a great vet., and Dotty has a fantastic family.

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4 June 2013 - 6:14 pm
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Hi there, please give fellow patient, Snoop, an ear scratch from us. I’m realising how individual each dog’s response is and I guess this is my lesson. I had read as much as I could so I knew what to expect, but nothing really prepared me for the Game Of Thrones level of gore that I saw today! Sorry to go into such graphic detail in the post above, but I figured it might help someone someday if their pup is in the same position as Dot.

I am happy with our vet, they have all shown such affection for our critter, even when she’s not at her most loveable (biting, shouting and swearing, oh and peeing).

 

 

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4 June 2013 - 6:26 pm
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http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b573/Victoria_Spence/photo-11_zpsa4df1734.jpgImage Enlarger

Jerry was curious about a cabbage poultice, we clean the cabbage leaves, dry them and then crush them well with a rolling pin so they are floppy and be moulded to the body. Once applied directly to the inflamed or infected area you cover the cabbage with something warm, I have used warm washcloths or a clean towel and a heat pack. 

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4 June 2013 - 6:26 pm
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http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b573/Victoria_Spence/photo-12_zps99df7657.jpgImage Enlarger

Here’s the aerial shot. The white towel that I’m lifting up has a gel heat pad wrapped in it and I have arranged this over the cabbage leaves that are on Dot’s wound site and butt to help relieve the pressure of infection. She is having a lovely rest on her back, a favourite sleeping position in happier days.

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4 June 2013 - 6:30 pm
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Greetings from the recovery position, white towel with heat pack resting on cabbage leaves. 

http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b573/Victoria_Spence/photo-10_zps91385faf.jpgImage Enlarger

New Jersey
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4 June 2013 - 6:57 pm
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What a cutie! Can’t wait to hear if those cabbage leaves are doing their thing!

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