TRIPAWDS: Home to 16178 Members and 1776 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
My dog is in surgery at the moment. Scared
sp_NewTopic Add Topic
Forum Posts: 16
Member Since:
28 December 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
1
28 December 2016 - 4:25 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

stella was diagnosed with bone cancer 23 dec. It has always been a given that I will try to keep her as pain fee as possible, hence amputation was never out of the question.

we dropped her off this morning and I was told a while ago that she is in surgery at the moment.

i am so scared. Did I make the right decision? I am not prepared, mentally or emotionally. Both oncologist and vet advocated for surgery asap.

Rationally I know she won’t have any feelings of inadequacy, why am I crying? Why is it so hard for me to come to terms with this? I’ve opted to remove her pain. I should feel less horrible.

i don’t know what to expect when I get her home. I guess I fear the unknown. What’s to come. Wondering if she will recover quickly or  have a hard time. I know only time will tell. But I feel very much alone right now 

thank you for listening. 

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 28041
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
2
28 December 2016 - 4:30 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Sonny and Stella I’m in the Tripawds Chat room right now if you want to talk. Back with a reply in a sec…

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 28041
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
3
28 December 2016 - 4:35 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Oh how I remember that day when Jerry had his amputation surgery. It’s like it was yesterday. We felt exactly like you do, and I know for a fact that anyone who’s been through it feels the same way. It’s so hard making a decision like this for a sweet creature who cannot do it for themselves. It’s so scary! But fear not, that’s where we come in. This community is full of great people who can walk you through the fear and give you a place to vent if you need to. We get it.

So tell us more about Stella. What kind of dog is she? Age? Any photos are always enjoyed by all (here’s a post about adding images to the forums). The more we know the more we can help.

I’ll look forward to an update when you’re able. In the meantime do check out Jerry’s Required Reading List if you haven’t already. 

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Virginia




Forum Posts: 19692
Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
4
28 December 2016 - 4:51 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Okay, for right now just hold into us, okay????

Let’s get her out of surgery and high as a kite on good drugs and then we can answer all your questions!! And boy oh boy, do we have answers! And ALL of them will put your mind at ease!! We can ALL say…been there, done that!!

Update as soon as Stella gets out of surgery, okay?? Is she spending the night?

We’ll all be here waiting!! Grab some CHOCOLATE and eat it by the handfull and STAY CONNECTED!!

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!

Livermore, CA




Forum Posts: 3969
Member Since:
18 October 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
5
28 December 2016 - 5:08 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I’m in the chat room with you now!

First, here are some resources:

The Reading List  has lots of links to info on amputation, recovery and treatment.

The Tripawds Library has several ebooks you can download.

I would also recommend that you look at some post op pictures so you have an idea what Stella will look like. Here is our Gallery, scroll down to the Surgery and Treatment Pics.

You will want to have good traction for her, so cover any slippery floors with rugs or yoga mats. If she stays at the vet for 2 to 3 days as we discussed in chat she should be fairly mobile when she gets home.

The first couple weeks can be full of ups and downs so don’t get discouraged. Stay close here and post any questions you have.

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

Forum Posts: 2010
Member Since:
14 February 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
6
28 December 2016 - 6:22 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

We are all thinking of you and Stella!

Otis - 106 pound lab/Dane mix, lost his right front leg to osteosarcoma on Febuary 9, 2016.  Four rounds of carboplatin completed in April, 2016.  Lung mets August 25, 2016.  Said goodbye too soon on September 4, 2016.   Lost his adopted sister, Tess, suddenly on October 9, 2016. likely due to hemangiosarcoma.  

Wherever they are, they are together.

Forum Posts: 16
Member Since:
28 December 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
7
28 December 2016 - 10:34 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

So Stella made it out of surgery, doing as well as expected. When surgeon called me she was sleeping, still having an epidural. He did take the leg in its entirety. Empty hip socket left only. He didn’t want to chance any cancer spreading from the affected bone. 

Surgeon said earliest she would be allowed home would be Friday. I asked if she could stay a couple days longer if needed since I’m concerned about adequate rest with my other dog around, albeit I do have a crest for her. Surgeon said it’s an option, especially since I can visit her during extended stay.

i suppose I am afraid I might screw her recocery up or something could happen to the incision site if she comes home too soon?

am I overly cautious? In my heart I won’t to cuddle her and hold her close but my brain says, keep her in hospital under doctor supervision as long as possible…

Minneapolis, MN
Forum Posts: 698
Member Since:
23 April 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
8
28 December 2016 - 10:49 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

So glad Stella is out of surgery and doing well.  I think most animals in our community have come home after one or two nights in the hospital, but some have stayed longer.  So Friday doesn’t seem too soon to me, but every dog is different and if you aren’t comfortable or if you don’t feel you are ready and it is an option…

Perhaps see how she is doing for them – is she eating well, etc.  My boy definitely ate better the moment he came home.

Lisa, Minneapolis

On October 27, 2016, nearly 6 months after amputation, and 18 months since his cancer likely started, we lost Pofi to a recurrence of Soft Tissue Sarcoma in his spine quite suddenly.  His canine sister also succumbed to cancer on March 1, 2019 - we lavished her with our love in the interim, but life was never quite the same without her only real canine friend. Cliff kitty had to leave us, too, suddenly, in August 2019. Lucia kitty grieved all these losses, but helped us welcome two new Lurchers into our home and our lives, Shae and Barley.

Blog: Pofi, Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor Amputation

Livermore, CA




Forum Posts: 3969
Member Since:
18 October 2009
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
9
28 December 2016 - 10:50 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Good news!  Glad surgery is over and she made it through.

Most pups I’ve seen here, including my Maggie, came home the day after surgery.  A few stay longer, a few come home the day of surgery.  While complications can happen I would say it is rare.  If you can put up a gate or close a door to keep the dogs apart Stella should be fine at home.  Ask the vet if there will be a drain when she comes home- not always done but sometimes.

As I said before you need to be sure Stella has good traction .  For the first two weeks she should only be going on short, leashed potty walks. I would bet by Friday she will be able to get around on her own or mostly on her own with a little help with a sling.  Maggie was a small pug but she was hopping on her own the day after surgery, she also lost a back leg.

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




Forum Posts: 19692
Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10
28 December 2016 - 11:04 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

YAAAAAAAAAY!!! Stella is out of surgery and that bum leg is gone!!! 🙂 🙂

Yeah, staying one or two nights is well within the “normal” range!! If there’s anything “normal” about this crazy journey! My Happy Hannah just spent one night. I think it is good to get them home as soon as you can.

When you do go to pick her up, don’t even bother to look at her incision! She sure isn’t!! Just look in her sweet druggy eyes and tell her what a good girl she is and how much you love her!! Whenever you do take a glance at the incision when she’s sleeping, be prepared ro see a lot of shaved fur!! They go crazy with those clippers!!

You may not get much sleep the first several nights. Some dogs are restless and just can’t get comfy and they whine some. Some dogs are more zonked out. It is MAJOR SURGERY and recovery is no oicnic for a week or two, or more!!

Drinking and peeing are important. Some dogs are off food for a few days and some don’t poop for several days.

The Vet will probably send you home with Tramadol,Rimadyl,Gabapentin and an antibiotic. Managing the pain can be a bit tricky and involve some trial and error.

You’ll do fine! We are all right here by your side!!

Lots of 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: 28041
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
11
28 December 2016 - 11:17 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I’m so hoppy she’s out of surgery, that’s great news!

Your worrying is normal and the best thing you can do for her when she comes home is to project confidence. As you mentioned, your other dog is picking up on your emotions right now, and Stella will too so you definitely want to set a positive tone. If leaving her at the vet for another couple of days will help you do that, then yes, definitely allow your vet to care for her as long as the clinic has 24-hour care. Sounds like your vet is cautious, which is terrific.

The more you read about what to expect, the better you’ll feel about the whole situation. That will give you the confidence she needs to have a good recovery. And remember, if you’ve been through TPLO surgery recovery, this will be much easier, really! Use tomorrow to read up and if you need anything don’t forget we have the Tripawds Helpline you can call, and I”ll try to be in the chat room in the late afternoon (pacific time). Keep us posted!

P.S. GREAT avatar, what a doll.

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: 2010
Member Since:
14 February 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
12
29 December 2016 - 2:29 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

So glad she is out of surgery and starting her recovery!  My Otis had surgery on a Tuesday morning, and came home Wednesday evening.  The surgeon generally wants to make sure they pee and eat/drink something.  

I saw Jerry’s comment about TPLO.  My Tess had cruciate repair the summer before Otis’ amputation.  The amp is a way easiler, and faster, recovery.  If you have handled cruciate recovery, you can handle this!  And, lots of the stuff you do to prepare your home is the same – block off stairs and favorite furniture, put down traction (we used industrial floor mats from Home Depot).  In both cases, I slept on a mattress downstairs with the dogs, and we all tried to stay together in one room.  Short leashed potty breaks only (and until about day 6), even those were minimal for Otis.  It helps to keep a log book for meds, food and drink (absolutely ok to bring water and food to your dog at first), pee and poop (also helpful to know when you really have to get her outdoors, and when you can offer, but let her sleep).  It will be really hard and intense, but most dogs really perk up once the staples come put, about day 10.  Try to look at some incision photos before you bring her home – they shave a lot and it is a bit shocking at first.  If she is a rear legger, many folks use boxer shorts to protect the incision and get rid of the cone of shame if possible.  You might also consider getting a harness – we loved the Ruffwear Webmaster Plus (see it in the Gear blog ).

And stay close to this community.  You and Stella are part of our family now, and we will help you get through this!  In no time, Stella will be herself again, doing most of the things she did before!

Otis - 106 pound lab/Dane mix, lost his right front leg to osteosarcoma on Febuary 9, 2016.  Four rounds of carboplatin completed in April, 2016.  Lung mets August 25, 2016.  Said goodbye too soon on September 4, 2016.   Lost his adopted sister, Tess, suddenly on October 9, 2016. likely due to hemangiosarcoma.  

Wherever they are, they are together.

Forum Posts: 340
Member Since:
2 December 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
13
29 December 2016 - 5:09 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

STELLLLLLLAAAAAAAAAAA!  What a beauty!!! Glad you found this wonderful family. 

Three quick things:

1) Our VET SCHOOL does not release dogs for three days at a minimum. When we were considering amputation, I had no one at home and asked if he could stay four days longer ( they would move him out of ICU and to regular hospital after those first 3 days). No problem! Having 24 care during an emotional time is pretty stellar. So although many, many dogs do come home in a very short period of time, IF you can and IF Stella is doing well there ( with lots of visits by you), you will definitely get more sleep and will have less of those normal worries in the first few days if she can stay with the vets. The first week or two is like critical care nursing or bringing a very fussy newborn home. Now, every dog is different, and some come home because everyone feels they will do better recovering at home: the good thing is you can make that decision on a daily ( or even half daily) basis!

2) Look at as many videos and photos of what the site will look like. It helps to be prepared because , really, almost nothing can prepare you for the first look. The best part though is that Stella is through the surgery and recovering and will be so happy not to have the pain of that leg around anymore! Stella is still Stella is still Stella! (But she will be pretty high on meds the first 3-5 days and then there is the infamous dip and the climb toward better days ahead.) 

3) A very wise person gave me some excellent advice. Her loved one was diagnosed with Stage IX cancer and I asked how did they handle all of the emotions all of the time. She said they could never both have a down day at the same time. So when he had a down day , she was up, and vice versa. Dogs really are attuned to our feelings – so try to be blue when Stella is high on drugs, or cry on the way to work and back (I still  do that!) but know that as many, many others can attest, Stella will be fine. She really will. She has you and you have her and things will be fine. 

Sending hugs and PyrPaws and best wishes to Stella and you!!! SHE IS GORGEOUS!!! STTTEEELLLLLLLLLLLAAAAAAAAAA! 

Idaho
Forum Posts: 1601
Member Since:
12 March 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
14
29 December 2016 - 9:11 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

It sounds as though you (and your vet) have a pretty good handle on this now. One thing we found handy for keeping Murphy confined but still with the rest of the family was a small exercise pen set up in the living room. Our other dog, Gus, pretty much ignored Murphy when we brought him home, so no problems there.

Kathi and the Turbotail April Angel…and the Labradork

Murphy is a five year old Lab/Chessie cross. He was hit by a car on 10/29/12 and became a Tripawd on 11/24/12. On 2/5/13, he had a total hip replacement on his remaining back leg. He has absolutely no idea that he has only three legs!

UPDATE: Murphy lived his life to the fullest, right up until an aggressive bone lesion took him across the Rainbow Bridge on April 9, 2015 and he gained his membership in the April Angels. Run free, my love. You deserve it!

Forum Posts: 16
Member Since:
28 December 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
15
29 December 2016 - 10:14 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Thank you for the encouraging words.

I spoke to the nurse earlier and Stella did fine over night. They took the IV out for fluids and are planning on taking her out every hour to get her used to moving around. She’s been a trooper and sweetheart. We could take her home Friday. I’m still hesistant about it and would prefer her to stay in a couple days longer. Nurse made a note in chart for doctor, albeit I spoke to him about it last night. Nurse  invited us to visit Stella this evening so we can see how she is doing and for her to see us.

I used to have a big playpen but sold it when we moved. Regrettint it now. Did order a ruff wear harness , thou.

We have health insurance on our dogs and it’s been a blessing, but the 10% and consultation fees that are not covered are still a major financial worry at the moment.. (and of all things, husband car went to car heaven yesterday). Bleeding money like it’s going out of style 🙁

On one hand I am glad I am not working at the moment (due to moving to a state where I’m not licensed.. I am a massage therapist),  so I can devote my time taking care of Stella, on the other hand, a second income could come in handy right now. 

Gawd. I I don’t worry about one thing, I worry about another. 

Nervous and excited to see my baby tonight.

Forum Timezone: America/Denver
Most Users Ever Online: 946
Currently Online:
Guest(s) 105
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1103
Members: 11497
Moderators: 2
Admins: 3
Forum Stats:
Groups: 4
Forums: 23
Topics: 16519
Posts: 232280
Administrators: admin, jerry, jim
Moderators: betaman, krun15
Tripawds is brought to you by Tripawds.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG