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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Polly's recovery - some questions
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Forum Posts: 42
Member Since:
20 January 2009
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16 February 2009 - 11:09 pm
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Hi everyone. Polly is doing pretty well but we have a couple of questions im hoping someone here can help with. First, she seems to be having these sudden sharp pains. She's on tramadol and she seems most comfortable when she IS taking it (we can tell when its time for another dose because she just doesnt look too happy and isnt herself – just doesnt want to get up and move). But what concerns us a little is these sudden screams of pain – very brief but we cant figure out where it hurts or what initiates it. We talked to the vet and she didnt seem surprised but also didnt seem able to give us a definitive answer regarding why its happening or when or if it will stop. im wonderingif others have experienced this and what happened?

Second question is in regards to dog collars. We already have the webmaster harness for her (though she hasnt had it on yet). I want to replace her collar with something as lightweight as possible, just for ID purposes. Im thinking of ordering a nylon collar with her name and one ph number embroidered on it but im wondering if anyone has any good ideas for this? (Shes a front leg amputee and im trying to reduce the strain on her neck as much as possible / reduce the weight on her front end as much as i can). Iknow its not a lot of weight but she does have some spondylosis in her neck and im concerned that this may be where the sharp pains are coming from – never had probs with it before and didnt knwo until chest rads for the cancer evaluation, but the way she has to toss her head now to walk makes me worry that she will develop or already is developing some pain in her neck. we will see vet acupuncturist this week.

sorry so longwinded but i appreciate any advice!

Northern Indiana
Forum Posts: 356
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15 January 2009
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17 February 2009 - 12:33 am
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I can only respond based on my experience, but Polly sounds like my Paris who did the same behavior. She would cry out even though she was getting plenty of pain meds. In our case she was getting too much. We had several night that she cried out all night long. This stopped almost immediately after getting her off the meds.  At 10 days post op after days of this we took her off everything. You should contact your vet , it seems that some dogs have odd reactions to the meds or combinations of meds that are given.

Take care and hang in there because it will get better.

Gineej & Paris

Grateful for every moment we had with Paris… regrets!

Honoring her life by opening our hearts & home to Addy!

Forum Posts: 729
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17 February 2009 - 9:42 am
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Hi there Polly – you know, Zeus didn't scream out in any pain, but another possibility could be the phantom limb pain that some dogs experience. Zeus had it for a short time and though I don't remember exactly the medicine they prescribed, I think it was something like garboplatin…ask your Vet.

I have the Orvis collars on my boys with their names and my cell number embroidered on it…I hear you about the extra weight on the front (Zeus is a front leg amputee too). I was walking them yesterday (I have 2 goldens) and Zeus just seemed a little sluggish…so I tried taking off the leash on Zeus and WOW – he did SO much better…running, prancing, jumping around. I would say the leash was weighing him down a bit. He listens pretty well, so as long as we're not in a crowded area, I'm going to just let him off the leash to walk and he LOVES it.

Hope this helps a bit.

Keep us posted…HANG IN THERE!


Heather and Zeus

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

Forum Posts: 42
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20 January 2009
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17 February 2009 - 11:00 am
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Thanks. I think we will have to ask re the drug for phantom pain . Im not sure whether or not thats what this is or if this is a normal post-op thing that happens and will resolve itself. I appreciate the infoeveryone!

Northern CA
Forum Posts: 314
Member Since:
23 December 2008
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17 February 2009 - 11:17 am
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HI there Polly,

Glad to hear you are doing good- Wrigley on about day 5 after surgery went into this episode where for a few hours she yelped in the most awful way, she was fidgeting trying to get comfortable, trying to crawl under the bed , under the desk, crawling in my lap just looking for comfort- I took her to the vet who couldn't really figure why she was acting the way she was other than it could be a few things : 1. The patch has just come off, so it could be the withdrawal from that  or 2.  maybe all of the anesthesia is out of her system and she is experiencing more feeling in the area. She was also on Tramadol 3x a day as well . Her screaming only lasted about a day though. After the 2 week period we had her on tramadol 2x a day for a day and then took her off everything- she really perked up after getting off all meds.

I will have to say  the best advice came from Jerry who reminded me that she may be trying to get away from the pink elephants circling her head- The pain meds can do really weird things for them.  A friend of mine was recently put on tramadol ( my same friend who wants Wrigley's vet to do her hip replacement- thinks she'd get better treatment from the vet than her doctor) and she said she had to go off it because it made her feel very strange.  So who knows, but I am sure the meds could have something to do with it or it could be the phantom pain . Wrigley never had the phantom pain so I can't tell you much about that.

Re: the leash/collar. We have a nylon collar on Wrigley with her name and phone # embroidered on it . We use the ruff wear harness to walk on a leash. I think it does work better to keep pressure off the front area ( wrigley is a front left amp). However, I find it very difficult for them to walk on a leash at the pace they like to “hop” to . So we prefer to go to places where we can let Wrigley go “off leash” and run at her own pace- she does so much better at her own speed.

Good luck to you- keep us posted.

Seanne and Angel Wrigley

Forum Posts: 42
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20 January 2009
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17 February 2009 - 11:43 am
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Thank you. We've been keeping Polly on tramadol 3x day. Maybe we should stretch it to two and see what happens. Im sure she will feel better when she is off of it but Im so concerned about her being in pain and not letting us know :(. Thats my worst case scenario at this point. She is a pretty stoic dog for the most part and I just hate the thought of her sitting there quietly in pain :(.

We plan to use the webmaster harness to walk her when sheis ready. Right now she'sjust walking to potty and we are just using a lightweight slip lead to guide her – no pressure really at all on the leash – more of a suggestion is all.

Thanks everyone – we will keep you posted!

The Rainbow Bridge

Forum Posts: 28755
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25 April 2007
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17 February 2009 - 12:09 pm
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I would try going longer and longer in between doses and see how that works, but you may want to phone and ask your vet first. Good luck.

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