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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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Our Carter boy
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Metro Kansas City
Forum Posts: 248
Member Since:
22 October 2008
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15 January 2009 - 12:47 am
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Yayyyy Carter!!!! Step one is complete!!!

Happy & healthy healing!

Janie & Calamity

Janie & Calamity

Manchester, UK
Forum Posts: 210
Member Since:
2 February 2008
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15 January 2009 - 2:47 am
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Good boy Carter!  Onwards and upwards now Laugh

Darcy – tripawd since 16th October 2007.

***Darcy would love to be your friend on Facebook - just search for Darcy Deerhound***

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
Forum Posts: 3754
Member Since:
28 November 2008
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15 January 2009 - 5:50 am
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So happy to hear Carter is on his way to a speedy recovery.  This is one giant step behind you, our next biggest step was whether or not to chemo.  I struggled with the decision quite a bit, my hubby on the other hand, was very matter of fact about getting on with it.

Stay with this huge group of encouragement, and you and Carter will be fine.  This is like 'chicken soup for the soul'.

[Image Can Not Be Found]

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

Forum Posts: 729
Member Since:
28 May 2008
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15 January 2009 - 10:23 am
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“Chicken Soup for the Tripawd Soul” – Gotta love that Shanna!!! GREAT analogyCool

Heather and Spirit Zeus - Our life changing journey…from the earth to the heavens…one day at a time…always together

Richmond, VA
Forum Posts: 21
Member Since:
12 January 2009
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18 January 2009 - 9:39 pm
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Time for an update now that it is post-surgery day four and the third day that carter has been home (glad that he is sleeping so that i can grab some time to post).  As stated earlier the surgery went extremely well and Carter continues to do exceptionally well.  Our biggest problem is the opposite of what we had expected…he is TOO active.  We had anticipated early days of pain and grogginess and we were going to have to keep him alert to eat…battle to get him up to go outside to do his business and worry about slow breathing, etc.  Well, folks, that aint what happened.  While he does spend most of his time on his bed in the dining room that we converted into his recovery suite he is alert, let's us readily know when he is ready to go out, and has a healthy appetite (although a bit of hand-feeding may contribute to that). 

Watching him up and about on his three legs is astonishing.  It is just what you all said – he doesnt know the difference.  He is moving at a rapid pace most all times that he moves as I think that is easier for him to navigate.  But when necessary he is walking and standing just fine.  On his outside walk today to do his business, when he finisher, he shook and wagged his tail like – 'well what did ya expect??? I've been doing this all my life.  I wasnt sure how he was going to crouch to do his solid business but it was not a problem at all. 

Again, just as you all have said – some of his early post-tumor pain energy and gleam is back.  We both have commented on how we have not seen his ears as alert as they are now in quite some time.  He had to have been in so much pain.  His entire countenance has changed.  yes, he is still in pain from the surgery and is still on some drugs but our concerns of lack of mobility or energy have been completely shattered.   We look forward to seeing what full recovery will be like and we have to continue to remind ourselves that he MUST have time to heal…dont rush things.

A few things we learned about post-amputation recovery-

  • no need to invest in the sling they offered at the pet hospital.  A towel has done so much better.
  • A 3 part/1 part water/rubbing alcohol mix makes a great cold compress when frozen
  • For a large hard-wood floor area the padded interlocking blocks (like they have in pre-schools and such) are a great option (especially when they are on clearance at Lowes!!!)
  • The bruising goes away in about three days
  • The hair starts growing back fast!!!
  • Some of the pain medication causes increased panting and nasal drip

Carter is well on the road to recovery and we are so grateful.  It's true that we are watching things develop just as when he was a puppy – he barked for the first time again yesterday; he wagged his tail for the first time again today; he groomed his brother…we are still waiting for the first stretch, the first play time and all the rest…those will come but for now we are just enjoying his company and are so thankful that he is still with us.

fyi – posted a pic of carter and his brother together under the recovery forum under “post-amputation and siblings.”  Not the best pic but  just used my blackberry when we got home .  Will look to take and post others with our digiital camera.

Richmond, VA
Forum Posts: 21
Member Since:
12 January 2009
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18 January 2009 - 10:00 pm
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One additional question to add to the update – Carter is off his patch today and the pain seems to be a bit more intense – will this subside over a 24-hour period?  He hasnt whimpered at all until today.  The doc also advised him off rimadyl (because of dark stool)and all that he is on is trimadol.  Is that enough?

Here and Now

Forum Posts: 12372
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25 April 2007
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19 January 2009 - 1:27 am
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cartersdads said:

Is that enough?

The only thing Jerry got after surgery was Tramadol, plus metacam for the first week. Sounds like Carter may just be having withdrawal symptoms. Hang in there and give it some time. Remember to remain strong for him and he'll follow your lead.

Keep us posted and call your vet with any serious concerns.

Metro Kansas City
Forum Posts: 248
Member Since:
22 October 2008
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19 January 2009 - 12:56 pm
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If you read Calamity's blog, you will see we had to take her in for another patch & a morphene injection. They also added Gabapentin when she got her phantom pains.

All dogs are different & you have to go with your gut. Some have weird reactions when on the meds, some don't. Some need less meds, some need more. Go with your gut.

Remember, the first 2 weeks are rough, take it day by day. He just had major surgery, don't expect more than he can give right now.

Hang in there!

Janei & Calamity

Janie & Calamity

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