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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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Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
29 June 2012
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25 August 2012 - 8:49 pm
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My dog had her front left for limb amputated on monday.  She was prescribed Rimadyl and Tramadol post surgery.  Both drugs make her breathe very heavy and pant.  She was taken off of the Rimadyl today and is now only on Tramadol.  But the panting and heavy breathing starts up again every six hours after we give her the Tramadol.  When she is at the end of the six hours on Tramadol she is fine and is back to her normal self. 


We want to take her off of the tramadol but we read that she could develop phantom pain if we stop all meds.  Is this true?  It seems to me that she does much better off of the drugs.  We can’t see keeping her on ramadol for the recommended 10 days. On tramadol she will not eat and pants quite a lot.  Off of the tramadol she does much better and even eats, runs and doe not seem to be in pain.  Any advice?

Here and Now

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25 August 2012 - 9:50 pm
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Welcome, your future posts will not require moderation and we moved your topic to this Share your Story forum where more members are likely to see it.

We are not vets, but we have heard dogs can develop phantom pain regardless of their medication regimen. Though Gabapentin has proven most helpful for reducing or eliminating the effects of phantom pain . You may also find these blog posts helpful

tips for managing phantom limb pain in dogs

post amputation side effects in dogs

San Diego, CA
Forum Posts: 2503
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26 August 2012 - 7:06 pm
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From what I’ve seen folks say here, it’s pretty common to have the panting with the Tramadol. For us, we decided to err on the side of caution and we figured it was better to have Abby be out of it/panting than in pain, so we gave her pretty much the dosage the vet prescribed for as many days as he said to give it. We definitely had to tempt her to eat with lots of special treats – chicken, ooey-gooey canned food, etc.

I’ve not heard that taking them off the meds would make phantom pains develop. It seems some folks here have had them and some haven’t at different points in the recovery.

I would probably call the vet and tell him your pup seems fine off the tramadol and see what he/she thinks. If phantom pain does occur, most folks here have had good results with Gabapentin.

Sorry you had to find us here,

Jackie, Angel Abby’s mom

Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

The Rainbow Bridge

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26 August 2012 - 7:39 pm
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I would call your vet to discuss this. Some dogs do have a reaction to Tramadol that makes them even crazier than the pain. Don’t discontinue any medication until you talk to the vet, then let us know what s/he tells you . Good luck! We hope you both get a restful night.

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Orange County, CA

Forum Posts: 157
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14 August 2012
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27 August 2012 - 11:21 am
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I agree to ask your vet about it. Maybe there is a different pain medication they could try other than the Tramadol.

Best of luck and hope to hear good news from you soon!

Right hind limb amputated 7/3/12 for OSA, started on alternating cycles of Carboplatin and Doxorubicin and oral Palladia. Single lung met 9/1. Met in the neck muscle removed 9/30. Large mass in sublumbar lymph node 10/2. Rescue chemo with ifosfamide 10/6. Mets to the rib and axillary lymph node 10/21. Started Leukeran and Pred 10/25. Wookie left this Earth for a far better place on 12/4/12. I miss you, Boo, you were my heart.

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