TRIPAWDS: Home to 18803 Members and 1944 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 DogWhat does it mean to Be More Dog?

Find out in Be More Dog: Learning to Live in the Now by Tripawds founders Rene and Jim. Learn life lessons learned from their Chief Fun Officer Jerry G. Dawg! Get the book and find fun 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?
The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 30853
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
16
28 January 2021 - 10:52 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hey it's good to hear from you, I was wondering how she was doing. First, YAY for staple removal! That's a huge milestone.

I'm just sorry she's having these recovery issues, I can only imagine how frustrated you feel. But like your husband said, two weeks isn't a long time and humans are in much worse shape after amputation at this point in the journey. Time is needed for her to get strong and find her new normal. For now...

Did the vet do a culture of the infection/bulge area for MRSA ?  Leg swelling after amputation isn't unusual, many dogs suffer from a temporary edema. Remember, when a limb is removed that bodily fluid that used to run through it has to go somewhere. Most often a seroma (fluid build-up) happens around the incision area but it can also go elsewhere). Usually time and gentle massage takes care of it. At this point, along with a fever and possible infection is concerning. I don't want to freak you out and the good thing is that it sounds like her vet is on top of it.

All other signs look good for her though! Don't lose hope, this recovery roller coaster can be tough but you guys can get through this and back to your usual routine. Let us know how the next appointment goes.

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: 28
Member Since:
15 January 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
17
30 January 2021 - 9:07 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Thanks Rene,

I sure never want to make that many trips to the vet in one week again! (And neither does Runcus!) Her blood chemistry is back to normal, which is a huge relief. Her little elbow still looks awful, but it doesn't seem to be slowing her down. She is raring to go now that she feels like herself again.  She tires easily, but for the first time in her life, seems to be "self-monitoring." She only does what she can, then wants to stop and rest. Stop and rest has never been in her wheelhouse before. It's good to see her taking it as easy as she needs to. She is back to caprofen only for pain and it seems to be doing the trick for now. We're keeping an eye on her for indications she may be in pain. We have lots of options from here if the caprofen doesn't continue to keep her comfortable. 

I can just about tell you when she started out of whatever cycle that was. Night before last we ALL slept from "head on the pillow" until the a.m. alarm! It was a beautiful thing, let me tell ya, for all of us! 

The vet did not culture the fluid from her elbow, but since we've just wrapped up 14 days of Clavamox, whatever is growing in there isn't bothered by that. We have a week of Baytril ahead of us, and some epsome salt poultice applications. Not to mention some probiotics, and maybe some prebiotics as well. 

She was supposed to begin chemo this last week. Obviously that didn't happen, and won't until she's 100% healthy. It's concerning to me, as I know from experience how much difference a few weeks can make when you're dealing with cancer treatment. I'm just clinging to the fact that there was no indication her osteosarcoma has metastasized at the time of her surgery. I know the odds are quite high that it had, and was simply not detectable yet, but if it has it's not very developed, and that gives me hope. 

If you or anyone on the forum have ideas for reducing the swelling in her elbow and foreleg I would love to read them. 

Thanks as always for reading my rantings

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 30853
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
18
30 January 2021 - 10:53 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I’m just clinging to the fact that there was no indication her osteosarcoma has metastasized at the time of her surgery. I know the odds are quite high that it had, and was simply not detectable yet, but if it has it’s not very developed, and that gives me hope. 

YES! That is HUGE and so hopeful! Your attitude is medicine in itself, keep it up.

She's taking some pretty strong antibiotics, I hope the Baytril knocks out the infection. We are paranoid about MRSA here because we've had a few members whose dogs have contracted it after surgery. But if she's pretty much back to normal now that is a good sign that she doesn't have it. 

If you or anyone on the forum have ideas for reducing the swelling in her elbow and foreleg I would love to read them.

As for reducing swelling, are her joints warm to the touch? 

Here's what our Fairy Vet Mother says about a swollen leg. In another post she also recommends applying a cold compress. Have you tried that? 

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: 21297
Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
19
30 January 2021 - 1:11 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

YAAAAY FOR SOME SLEEPFOR EVERYONE!!!   Best therapy mentally and physically!😎

Ditto the MRSA precaution.  Not only would the culture eliminate MRSA , but IF it is  MRSA , it identifies the best antibiotic approach.  If the antibiotic is not targeted specifically for whatever results the culture indicates,  the infection continues  and can really start havoc.  As Jerry said, we are all quite paranoid  about that, so please consider that when we express our concern (which may be completely  unfounded in this case)!

No worries about a  "delay" in starting the chemo.  Often times there may be a recovery  issue where that needs to be resolved before chemo is started.  And sometimes  even when chemo is started, there is an extended  time necessary  between doses for a variety of reasons.

And yeah, slow and easy still a good guideline.  It is exhausting  adjusting to three while recovering...and then to add her swollen leg on top of that....tires me out jist thinking  about it.

So glad you are starting to seem some sparkle come back and the return to a good night's sleep👏👏👏

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!

Forum Posts: 28
Member Since:
15 January 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
20
30 January 2021 - 1:15 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I did try a cold compress. She was not impressed. Got up and walked off as soon as I slid the cold gel pack under her elbow. Same when I laid it on top of her foreleg. Just not having it, thank you.

My vet thinks the epsome salt poultice should help,  we'll be trying that soon. She tolerated the heating pad for a few minutes yesterday. So I think I can get her to put up with a poultice for a bit. Once she gets the idea it brings some comfort she'll probably enjoy it, at least that's my hope! 

The pouch of fluid on her elbow is a bit warm, but it has been shaved, so I think that's part of why. It seems like the edema down her leg is a bit better, and she sure seems more comfortable.  She went out for an adventure with my husband this morning, and if you had stood in front of her as she headed for the door she'd have knocked you over! 

She is resting out atm, so think we'll attempt a poultice and see how that goes. 

More later as things develop.

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 30853
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
21
30 January 2021 - 6:41 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Ohhh that's right, I remember you said that but forgot. Our Wyatt also hated cold on his body unless it was snow, he would do the same thing.

Yes the epsom salts can help! If you try it let us know how it goes. How will you apply it? That makes total sense.

I hope her spunk today is a sign that she is feeling good and there's no infection.

Keep us posted!

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: 28
Member Since:
15 January 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
22
30 January 2021 - 9:25 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Thanks for the responses! The swelling is definitely down in Runcus' foreleg this evening, woop, woop! The fluid bulge on her elbow is still pretty big, but I got 2 poultices applied today. I just soaked a clean cloth is a strong solution of epsome salts, wrapped it around the biggest part of her elbow where that split is in her skin. I wrapped some plastic over that, then wrapped the heating pad around the whole setup. Then we sat there together getting some high-quality petting, massaging, snuggles and smooches in.  She took it ok the 1st time. The 2nd time she was wagging her tail nearly the whole time. My husband said she sounded like a metronome. I guess it didn't suck too bad!

I do think there's infection there, MRSA or not. The vet said there were degraded eosinophils in the fluid she drew off, and the ooze on the cloth after I remove the poultice is not insignificant.  But the fact the swelling's going down tells me something is working. Her cheery disposition is back to front and center where we are so accustomed to seeing it, and that tells a story all it's own. I am monitoring her very closely for any regression to previous symptoms. For certain I will ask for a culture should I see any back-sliding.

I spoke to the vet today and we have a tentative plan to begin chemo the 2nd week in February.  If she continues on this path she may actually be healthy enough to deal with it by then. I only worry about the delay in chemo because of how quickly cancer can spread. It just makes sense that the quicker you can hit those cancer cells the better chance you have of getting them knocked into submission, so to speak. 

Thanks as always for reading and responding

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 30853
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
23
31 January 2021 - 1:47 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Oh thats great she tolerated the poultice! Now I see how you did it, makes total sense. So is it. more of a hygroma than a general swelling? You mentioned split skin in her elbow so that's why I ask.

Yeah it definitely sounds like the antibiotics are working! YAY!

Try not to panic about the time between surgery and chemo, really. Many dogs have some kind of delay like this and they still do well and knock those cancer cells into outer space! Just focus on her healing, she's getting there.

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: 21297
Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
24
31 January 2021 - 4:21 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

And,  of I recall,  one of our members used a cabbage poultice for a hygroma for her dog Dottie. 

Jerry, does that ring a bell? 

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: 30853
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
25
31 January 2021 - 5:24 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

benny55 said
And,  of I recall,  one of our members used a cabbage poultice for a hygroma for her dog Dottie. 

Jerry, does that ring a bell? 

  

Absolutely! I was going to share that link but then I realized it was more about a poultice for wounds, not swelling. But who knows, maybe it will help with fluid build up? Here's that story:

Simple Cabbage Poultice Heals Wounds

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: 28
Member Since:
15 January 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
26
31 January 2021 - 8:39 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

If I understand a hygroma correctly  I don't think that's what this is. It came on rather suddenly. Seems like we went from a normal looking elbow (big dog callus to be sure but not  a  huge one) to a golfball sized sack of fluid more or less overnight.  The edema traveled in both directions and it does indeed seem to cause discomfort. I have to say I'm not sure whether the split in her skin caused the swelling or vice-vera. Now that she's had 3 days of Baytril and the poultices the edema both below and above the elbow  is greatly reduced. There is still a large, (golfball or a tad bigger) fluid filled "bag" sort of hanging off her elbow. 

The vet thinks bursitis is a possibility, mainly due to the additional weight the left elbow is supporting and the physical stresses involved there. Which is why we went back to caprofen, to help with inflammation as well as pain. 

Little trooper is doing well though, still giving me "happy tail" during the poultice application, still loving life. 

Thanks for your encouragement. I'm  not really panicked about her delay of treatment, but I am a biologist. I took a ton of cellular physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology courses, and I know too darn much about the difference between normal cellular regeneration and F'ing cancer cells, sneaky little bastards! I'm just hoping and praying we can stay ahead of them! I know too, a bit about how chemo targets the rapidly dividing cells, and how effective it can be. 

I guess what it comes down to is that I'm impatient.  I want this mess behind us. 

New York, NY
Forum Posts: 628
Member Since:
24 March 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
27
1 February 2021 - 9:56 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi. I've been following Runcus's story and I'm so glad that she is on the mend with the leg swelling.  Your comment about being impatient to move forward with her chemo treatment really resonated with me.  While Griffin started chemo 2 weeks after his surgery and the lymph nodes that were removed/biopsied came back clear, Griffin had been limping for a while before being diagnosed with osteosarcoma, so I was very anxious about moving forward quickly with chemo.  Three months after his surgery and after 3 rounds of carboplatin, chest x-rays revealed the presence of lung mets.  That was early July 2020.  Griffin is currently on his 5th chemo drug (after carboplatin we did doxorubicin via IV and then palladia, cyclophosphamide, and now chlorambucil via pills at home) and his lung mets have progressed throughout this time.  Seven months later and in spite of the metastatic growth, Griffin continues to live a great life and aside from the x-rays, shows no signs of the disease.  He eats well, walks for 1+ miles each day, shows no signs of breathing issues, and is a happy pup who just celebrated his 11th birthday.  While all of us here hope that chemo works well for Runcus and prevents lung mets, I'm sharing Griffin's story in the hope that it shows that a diagnosis of metastatic disease does not mean the end of options or the end of a life well lived.  Good luck to you and Runcus! ~ Stacy [Griffin's Journey]

Griffin lived an amazing life for 11 years! Diagnosed with osteosarcoma on March 17, 2020, Griffin's right forelimb was amputated on April 2, 2020. Ten days later he was running and playing fetch! Lung metastasis discovered in July 2020 did not slow down Griffin and he lived joyfully for the next 7 months, passing peacefully at home on February 11, 2021. https://griffin.tripawds.com

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 30853
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
28
1 February 2021 - 11:58 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Ah OK, so it could be a hygroma or bursitis, hard to say but at least your vet is on top of it and things are better.

I can imagine that with your background that it's really hard to be patient! I would be the same way. Just focus on the here and now as best you can, Be More Dog ! Don't let cancer steal any precious time from you and Runcus, because that's the only way it really "wins."

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: 28
Member Since:
15 January 2021
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
29
1 February 2021 - 12:55 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Thanks for your insight Stacy, this is the first time we've been through this, and I do pray it's the last! With Runcus' mom the osteo was so far along when we discovered it, amputation wasn't a great option. Not only that, but we knew very little about it at that time. We treated her pain the best we knew how, but she was gone withing a few weeks.

Knowing what you told me about Griffin's experience really does help me keep things in perspective for Runcus.  I just can't help thinking, hoping, praying we are the tiny minority where we beat it, and end up with a cancer-free pooch!

And thanks to Rene too! Your kind words and encouragement have been a real source of comfort these last couple weeks.

The elbow "bag" is smaller yet today and continues to weep from the split in her skin. I have taken photos, and sent them to the clinic. We were there 3 times last week and the both of us are worn plumb thin from it. I'm wondering if a loose bandage with some gauze and maybe Neosporin would be in order. I just don't want to take her back. She refuses to get out and it takes 2 or 3 of us to force her out of the car. I can't go in with her now due to Covid precautions. There is only so much the team there can do inside my car, and Runcus is just over it!

She is laying in a snowbank in the sun  getting her new clean t-shirt all wet, so I'd better go intervene. She is such an encouragement herself, just still so full of joy! She isn't quite as good at self-monitoring as she continues to feel better,  and may have over done it a bit yesterday. She was having so much fun out with my husband getting a load of firewood, and sniffing all the sniffs! it's hard to make her rest when she just wants to go, go go like she did when she was Runcus on 4!

New York, NY
Forum Posts: 628
Member Since:
24 March 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
30
1 February 2021 - 4:08 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I'm not sure if this is helpful, but I remember someone on here used layers of toddler socks with the toes cut off to make a bandage/cushion for her pup's elbow. smiley4

Griffin lived an amazing life for 11 years! Diagnosed with osteosarcoma on March 17, 2020, Griffin's right forelimb was amputated on April 2, 2020. Ten days later he was running and playing fetch! Lung metastasis discovered in July 2020 did not slow down Griffin and he lived joyfully for the next 7 months, passing peacefully at home on February 11, 2021. https://griffin.tripawds.com

Forum Timezone: America/Denver
Most Users Ever Online: 946
Currently Online:
Guest(s) 62
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1161
Members: 13847
Moderators: 2
Admins: 3
Forum Stats:
Groups: 4
Forums: 23
Topics: 17258
Posts: 241291
Administrators: admin, jerry, jim
Moderators: betaman, krun15
Tripawds is brought to you by Tripawds.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG