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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 Little Warrior, Xena.
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Forum Posts: 2
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7 March 2020
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9 March 2020 - 8:23 pm
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Friday morning started out like every morning. I woke up, let our fur baby out the kennel and then out the front door to go potty. We have never had to worry about her out there. We live a bit off the road and shes never had any interest. If it had been a normal morning she would have come right back scratching at the door to be let in for her breakfast. But that’s not what happened. It’s our belief she was clipped by a car. We don’t know for sure but she seems to have gained a new fear of cars coming down the road.

I heard her whimper and ran out and I knew something was wrong. Our poor baby had broken her left hind leg twice. Both in the upper part of her femur. We were terrified. After a long visit to the vet, we determined the best thing to do was amputate, so here we are. She had her surgery this morning and thankfully it went well.

She has been up walking around and has even been out to potty. She is drinking water but right now it seems her appetite is gone. Which is an issue seeing how her pain meds and antibiotics need to be taken with food. We were able to get her pain meds in her tonight at least. Hoping that tomorrow her appetite comes back and we can start the antibiotics.

Other than that our only bump seems to be she’s not comfortable laying down by her self yet. She can get up fine but we have to help her lay down and even though that’s not an issue right now, I’m concerned with how she will do at night.

I also have a Dr’s appointment tomorrow I can’t miss so she will be by her self for a few hours in the morning and I’m worried she will get up and not be able to lay back down. Has anyone else had this issue? Is this something she will figure out on her own in time?

Either way, we are so very thankful that we still have her in our lives because we know it could be so very different. 

The Rainbow Bridge



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10 March 2020 - 10:48 am
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Hi Xena and family, welcome. Your future posts won’t need to wait for approval so post away.

I’m so sorry you had to join our club but super happy to see that the surgery went well and recovery sounds normal. Did she have any other injuries from the accident?

She will figure out how to lay down on her own. It could be that the stitches are just darn uncomfortable when she stretches to lay on the floor. You can coax her into a down with treats that she absolutely goes bonkers over. 

I know the appetite issue is a challenge. Pain meds do that, but of course she needs them so you can’t cut them out. What pain meds is she on?

You can get her to eat by bribing her with the stinkiest, yummiest treats you can think of. Our Tripawds Nutrition blog has tons of ideas for weak appetites.

In the meantime, do check out Jerry’s Required Reading List so you can know what to expect now that she’s living life on three legs. And also, don’t forget that the Tripawds Foundation may pay for your first rehab visit for Xena. It’s a good idea to have her evaluated so you can know how to keep her strong and safe from future injuries that are common to 3-legged dogs. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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10 March 2020 - 11:03 am
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Thankfully she seems to be doing alot better now that we were able to get her pain meds in her. Shes nibbling at her favorites here and there and we were able to get her antibiotics started as well. She suffered no other injuries which just feels like a miracle. Its seems like she has finally started to figure some things out so im just allowing her to take things at her own pace. She can get up and down off the couch with little effort and has figured out how to lay down comfortably so thats now her home. When i came back from my appointment today she hopped down and trotted right over to me wagging her tail and loving all over me. After the last few days I couldnt help but to hit my knees and cry while I loved all over her. They have her on 25 mg of Quellin every 12 hours which if I understand correctly helps with both the pain and the swelling. Either way its like a night and day difference with her having it. 

The Rainbow Bridge



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10 March 2020 - 1:09 pm
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Hey thanks for the pupdate. I’m so glad she’s got her sparkle back! She’s one smart girl, I knew she could figure out how to lay down. What a treat for you to see when you came home 🙂

I had to look up Quellin. It’s another form of Carprophen / Rimadyl, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory. Basically it will help more with swelling and inflammation than pain. That’s a common rx for after amputation, but usually most dogs are on additional pain medication, including a narcotic and a nerve calming drug like Gabapentin. They all work together for complete relief and generally, dogs are on them about 10 days or until stitches come out. Based on her behavior, it sounds like she may have also been given something like perhaps an injectable pain medication or a patch like Fentanyl? These last about 3-days.

I’m hoping her sparkle keeps up, but if you notice that she starts becoming less enthusiastic, shows anxiety or restlessness, that’s likley a sign that she needs additional pain management (click the link for our best articles about it). High quality pain control makes all the difference over the long term for recovery, we’re big on making sure all members have it smiley16

Keep us posted! Hope your own MD appt went well. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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