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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Schlomo's story and recovery
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Virginia




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25 June 2017 - 8:29 pm
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Such a good looking boy! 🙂 🙂

Yeah, as you can tell, we’re BIG on pain meds around here!! The T-Relief appears to be a homeopathic for sore muscles, joints, etc. At least, that’s my limited understanding. Almost ALL dogs come home with at least Tramadol and an antibiotic (which you have, and Rimadyl (which you have). So yeah, I would really advocate for the Tramadol and, preferably, Gabapentin too.

None of the things the Vet has him on addresses the pain from the MAJOR surgery of having his limb surgically removed! Most humans would still be jn the hospital on a morphine drip! I cannot imagine if this happened to the Surgeon that he would be “happy”‘with basically an anti inflammatory not much stronger than a couple of Aspirin! I bet he would be begging for more pain meds!!

Let us know what the Vet says, okay?

Now, back to that sweeeet video of Schlomo!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 He seems to be moving as well as can be expected this early in. He’s doing a really good job of just walking enough to try and pee and nothing more. SMART BOY!! 🙂 And I bet once the bandage is off, he may even be moving a bit easier.

Hang in there! This is still the “rough” part of recovery.

Lots of 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!

Minnesota
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25 June 2017 - 8:59 pm
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I think I figured out how to put a picture in my post! Meet Miss Lucy, Schlomo’s long lost relative. Lucy was born on Oct. 27, 2001 and left for the bridge on July 25, 2016 after kicking hemangiosarcoma’s tail for 18 mos. I miss her every day and it really did my heart good to see your handsome guy tonight (and it was also weird to see what Lucy would have looked like as a tripawd! Super cute of course). Hugs to you and Schlomo.

heart Amy & Rusty

PS We did a DNA test on Lucy and she is Pitbull (which we knew as we saw her Mom) and Australian Kelpie (which is definitely where she gets her good looks and her kangaroo jump!) Do you know what Schlomo is?

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25 June 2017 - 9:19 pm
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Hi Amy!

Oh my goodness. They look like siblings! 

I have never done a DNA test on Schlomo but I always thought he was Australian Kelpie and a tiny lab. He also has a black spotted tongue. Lucy looks beautiful, makes my heart open wide. 

That make sense about the knuckling knee. I’m going to get to the bottom of this pain med situation first thing in the am. I also sent an email to them with links to his videos just now. 

How is your Rusty doing now? 

Here is another one of Lucy’s cousin. 

SchloImage Enlarger

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25 June 2017 - 9:27 pm
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Hey Sally, this is definitely making me more than curious. They are not usually ones to shy away from pain medicine. I tend to be less into what they prescribe. So I am confused and need to know more from them first thing in the am. I left a message and emailed them and will call as soon as I can in the morning. I will let you know as soon as I hear what their logic behind this is!

You can even see in the video that he is cautious on his right rear leg. 

I tore a calf muscle a while back and that was painful… It could even be something like that, could it? 

All massages and chicken from here 

Thank you Sally!

Much love and hugs,

Mascha & Schlomes

Minnesota
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26 June 2017 - 7:52 am
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Mascha & Schlomes-

Any word from your vet? I hope you can get him some pain meds (or an explanation). I could definitely tell the difference it made for Rusty as he would get a bit whiny and would do less weight bearing toward the end of the eight hours after a dose and would get much better about 20 min after a Tramadol. The pain meds did make him sleepy but I think that’s ok after a surgery. I have also learned to wean my kiddos off pain meds (either by spacing out the pill or cutting them in half, then quarters) and not stop cold turkey as they would shake and whine like they were having withdrawals. 

We were worried about Rusty when we went in for his two week post amp check as he would knuckle under and lose his balance and fall or splay out. The vet could see what we were talking about and said if it got worse we would need to see a neurologist. That same day we took him to an animal rehab where they did a full exam and gave us a daily physical therapy routine. They seemed to think he would get better with strengthening. We also started him on fish oil and Synovi 4 (joint supplement). Within a week he was so much better and by the time we went back to PT in three weeks he was no longer knuckling and had more strength. 

Rusty is doing great! If you had seen him jumping and twirling this morning you would not have known he was doing it on three legs!  He does still fall and splay out especially on the kitchen floor if he gets off the carpet runners but he can get himself up. 

I thought Schlomo looked like he was moving incredibly well in the video, especially so soon after surgery. The vet told us they had to learn to walk again and find balance and that can put undo pressure on remaining legs but you are smart to be observant and you know him best so if something seems off you should get someone to take a look. If nothing else I have learned to expect the unexpected with my dogs.

I loved that picture of Schlomo he looks perfectly comfortable and oh so cute with that one ear pulled down! I agree they could have been siblings! The resemblance is uncanny. Lucy had black spots on her toungue too. She was also crazy smart and had a natural herding instinct. One day I couldn’t get Rusty to come inside and just jokingly told Lucy to go get him. Well no joke she looked at me with those quick brown eyes, ran out into the yard and truly herded Rusty all the way up to the house and looked at me so proud – “there he is Mom” I couldn’t believe it! From then on, any time Rusty wouldn’t come in I would send my kelpie herding dog out after her “sheep”. Is Schlomo a herder?

Hope you had good luck today and please give that boy a kiss from me!

Love, Amy, Rusty, and Angel Lucy

Rusty’s blog http://misterru…..pawds.com/

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27 June 2017 - 10:50 am
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Hi Amy,

Thank you for your message. This was really helpful. 

Yesterday was a rough day (for me) and I couldn’t write any more last night. Today is better and I wanted to update!

I gave Schlomo a Tramadol in the morning and it completely knocked him out. He didn’t want to move at all. I called the Vet a few times and finally got the surgeon, she was in rounds and surgeries. I told her I wanted to make sure his right hind leg wasn’t a torn ACL or that his patellar was loose. I also found a huuuuge bruise on his abdomen, which at first I thought was iodine from the surgery. I felt so guilty. Like I butchered my dog. It was awful. 

We went to the clinic and an ER Vet was able to see us as our surgeon was in surgery. His knee feels solid, which is good. It looks like it needs to be strengthened like you said Amy and that he has an arthritis flare up. Which makes total sense. They do not give Tramadol once they leave the hospital and are off IV meds if it was a routine development, which Schlomo had. They do Rimadyl because of additional anti inflammatory and because they want pets to start moving as soon as possible. It’s tricky with his arthritis as moving is so important. The longer you don’t move, the stiffer it gets. I don’t think he is in pain. He is exhausted. He doesn’t whine, he doesn’t act nervous towards the 12 hour mark. He is on T-Relief as well and Homeopathy is extraordinary. I would also try to only that to be honest. My fully torn calf muscle was treated with that and acupuncture only. 

I found a rehabilitation therapist that does house calls and she has been great. She will come by as soon as Schlomo gets his stitches out next Wednesday. If she can come by before she will. She also recommended an in house Vet who performs acupuncture and cold laser therapy and I reached out to her. She can come by now already so we can start treating him. I also got the T-relief arthritis in pill form and salve, so he can get it orally and externally. He is on a bunch of stuff! Uff. He is on ultra oil, he also gets a sardine a day, he is on DGP (Dog Gone Pain), he has an anti inflammatory formula, he gets his own mix of 4 mushrooms and transfer factor and he gets CBD oil. I will slowly implement his other herbs and supplements as he gets stronger. 

I feel better today. I was a wreck yesterday which is not good. Michelle suggested in the chat that the shower was a good place to cry and that happened yesterday. Thank you for that Michelle! I snapped at the receptionist at the clinic too, it wasn’t my brightest moment. I apologized after the appointment. I was definitely on edge and that isn’t helping Schlomo at all. 

Better today. Slow and easy (Sally!) and one day at a time. 

Schlomo is not a herder per se but he is crazy smart too. He does really likes squirrels! They climb up the fire escape to the roof in the morning and he is psyched every time he hears them. 

You can’t tell Rusty’s age at all! He still looks like a young dog!

Love and Hugs

Mascha & Schlomes

Virginia




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27 June 2017 - 1:56 pm
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Mascha, thanks for taking to time ro update and to share such helpful information. While I can’t agree with the Vet not adding a true pain med into the mix this early out of surgery (and I’m no Vet), if you feel his pain is being .managed with the protocol you are using, then that’s all that matters! 🙂 It takes a lot of energy for a dog to fight pain so I’m glad he’s doing okay!

Glad Michelle was able ro settle you down in the chat room . She’s good at that! This part of the journey is so rough and so exhausting!

Yep, slow and easy and just potty breaks for now. I’m glad you have a Rehab who will come to the house. Love all the alternative” things you are throwing into the mix.

You’re doing a great job,

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!

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27 June 2017 - 2:54 pm
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Hey Sally! It has been confusing. I called two other clinics in the city and they pretty much were of the same logic re:pain meds. question

What I am looking at right now is closely monitoring him for any obvious pain and if that happens I will give him Tramadol myself immediately.  

Looks like the acupuncture Vet can come by tomorrow already, which is great. I didn’t know these things existed here and am so grateful. I don’t have a car and I don’t want to take him into any more clinics than absolutely needed. He goes into straight fear face immediately. 

I’ll keep you posted. 

xo,

Mascha & Schlomo

P.S. I started a blog for these pictures the other day and then today I thought “what the heck” this is great. So here is Schlomo’s baby blog beginning laughing

http://abrookly…..pawds.com/

Virginia




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27 June 2017 - 3:40 pm
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Just hopped kver to Schlomo’s blog…GRRRREAT JOB AND ADORABLE PICTURES!! Can’t wait to see more photos! The “comment” is awaiting a “moderator” (some sort kf techie thing that goes on with vlogs) so it may take a bit before it shows up.

A d Schlomo ks a tough Brooklyn street kid…..no wonder he kicks any potential pain to the curb! 🙂 🙂 A Brooklyn Warrior!! 🙂

You’re doing a SPECTACULAR job of monitoring Schlomo and caring for him as he recovers. So glad you are pursing all options in his successful recovery.

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!

Minnesota
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27 June 2017 - 6:49 pm
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Mascha & Schlomo,

Oh Mascha I have been there too! I have spent many mornings crying in the shower (in the kitchen, in the garden, in the grocery store, at Lowe’s….). I’m so sorry you had such a rough day. Don’t worry about Schlomo, he understands, that’s what makes dogs the greatest. You most assuredly did NOT butcher your dog you are just tired and scared and emotionally exhausted and all of that is normal. When I first started my cancer battle with Lucy I was a complete wreck. I didn’t have this incredible website then but I did have my Mom and some great vets and techs that lifted me up. I’m so glad we both found tripawds, it’s great to have a place where you can voice your fears and frustrations to people who really understand. You are doing so well and are a great advocate for Schlomo! You can do this. There will be bad days but there will be awesome days and squirrels to stalk!

I’m so glad that you were able to talk to the vet about meds. I think I t’s always better to have information and you can definitely give him a half or quarter pill if you notice he is in pain, you’re Mom and you get to decide. I found full body massage to be good for Rusty and just scratching his neck for a while would relax him. 

I was so happy to see your blog and this post today I was wondering how you two were doing. I hope the physical therapy will be as helpful for Schlomes as it was for Mister Rusty. Sounds like you have lots of great alternative meds (turkey tail mushrooms worked wonders for Lucy and we are fans of the Chinese herbs) and the acupuncture and laser sound great.

Sending hugs to you and to Schlomo. I swear I can feel his beautiful black hair and soft big ears.

Love, Amy & Rusty

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29 June 2017 - 7:20 am
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Hey All,

Kind of a tough day again. When we were at the Vet yesterday she did talk about his hip and that seems to be where he is sensitive. Given the fact that he is 11.5 that makes sense. Then she said that even if he limped badly on the front leg he still put weight on it and by taking that and the redistribution of weight it was taking a toll on him. She mentioned he might have to be on pain medication for the rest of his life (but I will see about that with rehab, acupuncture and herbs). But that was what made me so flustered. The whole point of me even agreeing to this awful amputation is that I didn’t want him to be in pain for the rest of his life, that I wanted him to have a good quality of life. It really feels like I just made everything worse. She told me to “adjust my expectations”, whatever that means little-devil

I feel like before he was a young 11.5 year old with youthful energy, always happy and a bad limp and painful paw. Now he is lethargic, seems depressed and I feel like I accelerated his aging. 

I keep hoping I am going to wake up from a really bad nightmare. I’m not sure about you all but at this point if I were to get to make this decisions again I would take him and run. No way would I do this again. It’s possible that might change depending on how he progresses. 

Acupuncture is coming by today. I hope I get some answers form him. 

Mascha & Schlo

Schofield, WI
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29 June 2017 - 8:32 am
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You must remember Schlo is still quite early on for recovery of major surgery!  He needs to build core strength which rehab will help with tremendously!  He’s still at the point of rest and potty breaks right now.  It’s more baby steps each day at this point.  A human would still be in the hospital on a morphine drip at this point of the surgery.  Plus Schlo is feeding off your energy at this point.  Even if you aren’t feeling it you must show calm positive vibes at this point.  Schlo is looking to you to show him this is all normal and ok.  You have a great plan in place with the upcoming rehab plus acupuncture.  Some add chiro adjustments to that mix too if needed.  You’re doing great so try to be kind to yourself.  Every choice you have made you made with love for your boy.  It will get better!  Hugs to you and your beautiful boy!

The Rainbow Bridge



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29 June 2017 - 8:58 am
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Mascha, Linda is so right. This is very early, especially for a senior dog, and there’s no reason why he cannot go on to have a great quality of life. One senior Tripawd hero who just came to mind is Ajax. In fact he was from NYC, just over the bridge from you right? Ajax had his challenges as well in the early days but he went on to have a great quality of life right up to age 14! If you’d like I can connect you with his momma, just let me know OK?

Meanwhile, please don’t view ongoing pain management as a failure. It is most definitely not. We as pet parents are so conditioned to viewing pain drugs as a bad thing. That’s because until the late 1980s, vets told us that animals shouldn’t have pain medication because 1) they don’t feel pain the way that we do (!) and 2) that pain helped them heal. Well, that’s been proven as being a load of bunk. But old habits die hard and many people still view it that way.

When you work with good vets who understand pain management (as you are clearly doing), a pain management routine is really as simple as taking a daily vitamin and making sure you get the right exercise. The same exact things that older adult humans do if they want to stay happy and fit. It also applies to our animals.

By “adjusting your expectations” I’m guessing that your vet meant to remember that he is older and this is major surgery. His body is adjusting, he has an entirely new gait to learn how to manage and he’s just not going to bounce back as quickly as he did if he were younger. But by all accounts it sure does sound like he’s doing great for a guy his age. Your vet would tell you if he wasn’t.

Try to stay strong. This is an emotional time and he needs you to be pawsitive and encouraging without feeling the baggage of guilt. I know it’s SO hard, but you can do it!

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29 June 2017 - 9:54 am
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Mascha & Schlomes –

I am so sorry to hear that you had a discouraging day. I want to third the motion here that this is sooooo very soon after surgery. Truly, Rusty slept, went potty, ate, slept, did a few minutes of PT exercises, slept, took meds, slept…for honestly, well, until this last week when we started adding 5 minute hop & sniffs up the block. He still doesn’t do stairs at the PT vet’s recommendation. The short walks seem to energize him but he will be 13 on Oct. 11 so he’s older too and I just think recovery takes a while for older buddies. 

One of our vets told me, “unfortunately we do not have two Rusty’s, we can’t do one thing with one and try something else with the other and see which decision is best.” Sounds obvious but it really did help me to realize that I could only make one decision and that for better or worse (hopefully better) we would just have to roll with it because that leg isn’t coming back (not that we want that cancerous leg back). I really do think that Schlomo will bounce back but I also think it’s going to take strengthening and hopefully the acupuncture and yes, maybe some pain meds.

I had always been of the “no meds” mindset, until I had some older dogs in my life. I have never been one to take meds myself, maybe a couple aspirin a year and weaned myself off pain meds after surgery afraid I would get hooked or they would damage my liver. I hated the idea of giving my dogs vaccines or flea meds but one vet finally just told me, “no, the meds aren’t perfect and they can have side effects but it’s nothing compared to what happens to your dog if they get rabies or a tick-borne illness” and I acquiesced. I have now known several dogs who have been on pain meds long term and honestly they all did very well and did not die as a result of the medication.

We are all limited to making decisions based on the information we are given. I honestly believe that if I was in your shoes I would have chosen the amputation for Schlomo. I think he is going to surprise you, he just needs a minute Momma.

This is emotional stuff and you are barely a week in so give yourself a break, you are awesome and he is awesome and you are going to do great together. Oh and I have had to switch vets several times to find the one that worked for me. So maybe yours is great but maybe there is someone better for you. The vet that did the initial splenectomy and saved Lucy was a great surgeon but not the cheerleader we needed. I switched and it changed everything for my outlook when I found someone positive with a “let’s try this” attitude. Just a thought.

Sending big, big hugs,

heart Amy & Rusty

Virginia




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29 June 2017 - 11:08 am
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DITTO AMY, JERRY, LINDA!!

All the second guessing and “regret”‘is so normal during this lart of the recovery! I knpw that doesn’t help any, but most of us here have experienced thst. I know Ive said this before, it took me THREE WEEKS before I could finally say I did this FOR my Happy Hannah and not TO ner!

And we have seen this type of scenario before where arthritis, or something similar, shows up as a dog is trying to adjust to new mobility challenges on three legs. It “ge erally” takes a good two weeks to adjust to the pain of surgery and then it takes “generally” one month to adjust to mobility, new way of using muscles, moving past muscle soreness, etc.

DEEP. BREATHS….SLOW AND EASY…..Let’s get through the ajor surgery recovery first, Some good rehab will help her adjust to with her hip issue.

Regarding pain medicine, please knkw that everything I’m going to say is with THE best intentions and in no way am I trying to intrude on your belief systems regarding pain meds and holistic, etc. I am very much an advocate of holistic approaches and alternative therapies!! HUGE FAN!

As Jerry znd Amy said, others have said, and I have said, there IS a time when pain medicines are CRUIAL to QUALITY of life and can work hand in ha d with the other therapies. AND NOW IS THE TIME!!

You WILL see a difference once this pain gets under control a d the healing process has moved out of the “rough” stage!
What you are dealing with is scary, but from those of us who have been here a while, we can tell you it does happen and it is “fixable” with priper meds to help provr RELIEF from EVERYTHING THAT HURTS!!

And all the Vet is talking about is a maintenance level…just enough to take the edge off the pain so Schlomo can feel good again and enjoy his senior years!

Schlomo has NO PROBLEM taking some pain meds ro give him a pain free quality life!!! And that’s all that matters ro Schlomo!! He woukd be soooo grateful if he coukd get started on some pain relief right now!! 🙂 it may take a few days of consistency so the pain can no longer have a head start, but Schlomo will feel the difference pretty quickly. The Rehab will help tremendously too down the road.

PLEASE be ge tle with yourself! You are EXHAUSTED! Getti g to this point ks stressful and intense!! It is soooo important to put forth a strong and confident energy to Schlomo so he knkws everything is okay!! 🙂 🙂 This is all new to you…to him…so we COMPLETELY understand all the inner turmoil because we’ve alll been there!

ALSO been at a place when the sparkle starts to come back, slowly but surely!! We’ve seen the benefits of giving our dogs znd cats more quality time for SPOILING AND LOVING AND TUMMY RUBS AND TREATS!!! You’ll get there too!!

Grab your CHOCOLATE and go give Sclomo some treats too…And a good massage…it will do you both good! 🙂


Love and 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!

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