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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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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.

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Update on Arktik
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30 August 2020 - 11:12 pm
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Arktik and Patricia - great vacation. Love the photos and the doggie park video. Arktik looks like he's enjoying life. I hope his abscess clears up and it's not a dental problem. Thankfully the vets are opening up again so it can be taken care of.

Jerry - it looks like Cartrophen is distributed from Ontario, Canada. Website is cartrophen.ca  They have a toll-free number for the US and Canada: 1 877 638 8607  I was hoping it was feline-friendly but it looks like it would be off-label for cats.

Kerren

The Rainbow Bridge



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31 August 2020 - 12:11 pm
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kazann said
Jerry - it looks like Cartrophen is distributed from Ontario, Canada. Website is cartrophen.ca  They have a toll-free number for the US and Canada: 1 877 638 8607  I was hoping it was feline-friendly but it looks like it would be off-label for cats.

Kerren  

Thank you for letting us know! I missed that info. It seems like if Adequan doesn't do anything for a pup, this might be a good option to try. I'm sorry it's not available for cats yet. They really do deserve more choices for arthritis medication!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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1 September 2020 - 1:29 pm
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Hi Jerry and Kerren

I have used Cartrophen for Kinook (my other husky before Arktik's time) and now with Arktik. I have had really great results with it, for Kinook I started it when he was 11-12 when he started to get more stiff. He made such a great difference. With Arktik I started it earlier in prevention as he was starting to age (when he turned 10). It is super easy to give (subcutaneous injection once a month). Great product.

Not sure in comparison to Adequan. We use that for horses here, but I don't know if it is used for dogs as well?

Kerren, yes it can be used for cats too. My vet just mentioned it to me a month ago when I brought one of my cats who is 10. She said he was probably starting to have a bit of arthritis in his lower back and that I could use cartrophen  too (adjusted for his weight of course). As you said maybe it is off-label because proper clinical trials haven't been done on cats yet, but maybe it's worth a discussion with the vet? I have not tried it yet on mine.

Arktik seems to be improving, I can tell it is still uncomfortable but the lump went down maybe by half. I also got a rehab appointment on Sept. 22nd ! we'll see what the physio says. 

The Rainbow Bridge



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1 September 2020 - 3:18 pm
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Wow this is all super informative, thank you for the specifics on the Cartrophen! It does sound a lot like Adequan (and yes, the horse product is identical to the one used for dogs). Not sure if that one is OK for use with cats.

I'm so glad Arktik is getting better! If the lump is going down that's a sure sign that it was only an abscess. Which is great, because a few studies show that any time a cancer dog's immune system gets whalloped by something like an infection, they have a higher chance of fighting off cancer. So YAY!

And HOORAY on his first rehab therapy appointment! I'm sure he's going to knock their socks off with his strength and charm 🙂

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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1 September 2020 - 7:18 pm
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I appreciate the info on Cartrophen. I currently have Mona on Metacam for Cats (different formula than the one for dogs, very low dose, every second day) and she seems to be moving easier. At least it's tasty so it's easy to administer (yes, I lick my cats medication first to determine if it tastes bad). Mona was diagnosed with kidney disease last year and her kidney values have improved since. Her kidney values were re-checked after she was on the Metacam for 6 weeks and they even improved!

I'll talk to the vet about Cartrophen the next time Mona sees her to determine if it's a safe and effective alternative.

Thanks!

Kerren

ps. Please let me know if it's effective on your cat.

Virginia




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1 September 2020 - 7:28 pm
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Glad to hear Mona's kidney values are good!  And love that you do a little"taste test" on her meds.  Sweet!!😊

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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4 September 2020 - 6:48 am
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I will Kerren, it might take but it might take a bit of time to see a difference.

So the lump in Arktik's mouth is still there but smaller and softer so  I guess it is a good sign. However, he is not a big fan of eating right now..few days ago I thought we were doing ok but he is back at not wanting anything. This is so difficult. After the amputation he has developed a food aversion to all wet dog food (I tried many to make sure he would eat), he got tired of his kibbles and a few different brand. Now, even with human food it is becoming difficult to feed him. I believe the antibiotics plus the abscess are not helping, he still looks nauseated at times (Cerenia does not seem to help)..if anyone have magic ideas now I am open to try anything to feed him! On a side note, the rest of his physical exam seemed good. 

Thanks 🙂 

Patricia & Arktik

Virginia




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4 September 2020 - 10:37 am
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Well Mr. Artik, ypu meed to stop being picky with your food!  It upsets us hoomans!

I'm sure the sore and the antibiotic are probably  causing most of the problem.

Ask th Vet about Pepcid to help settle his tummy.  Also Ginger may help too.  Yoj would have to check with the Vet about dose (they do sell capsules  as well as powder).   As a stimulant, maybe Mirtazapine .

You've  prob6 already tried, but meat based baby food often brings good resu, especially  with a sore mouth.  Alao warm  rotisserie chicken....must br warm and mist be rotisserie.

As you said though, overall things are going well and that's  good!!!

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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4 September 2020 - 12:43 pm
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Hi Sally

Thanks for the advices!!! haha I am at the stage that I will take anything I can.

Rotisserie chicken already done 😉 ..he liked it for a day but not the next...(very picky this guy..it smelled delicious)

I have never tried the meat based baby food! I will definitely give it a try, it's such a good idea. 

I have tried Mirtazapine with so-so results in the past to stimulate his appetite (after ampu). Maybe I could give a shot to Pepcid. 

Thanks for all the suggestions! I really appreciate it. The tough part with Arktik is that he does not really have any fat reserve..so I always stress about him losing weight. 

On a bright side, I got back at lunch time with some fresh cottage cheese and I bought some fresh thin cut steaks. I fed this to him raw he really liked it, I just hope it won't create any digestive issues. On one hand I just want him to eat (anything pretty much at this point) but if it causes him discomfort it won't be a win. Anyway for now I am happy we got something in. 

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4 September 2020 - 12:59 pm
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Oh gosh I hope the mass is shrinking away, that would be such a gift. I'm betting the antibiotics are causing the lack of appetite. I know I feel bad when I take them.

But that is GREAT he ate the steak you brought home, lucky dawg. If you've never given him cottage cheese before I would definitely be careful since many dogs are lactose intolerant. Try replacing the dairy with something like goat milk or even full-fat coconut milk for some good fat.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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5 September 2020 - 5:28 pm
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I am slowly starting to wrap my head around the fact that we may need to go through surgery to remove Arktik canine tooth...icon_cry..I don't have the impression the mass has changed much in the past 3 days (I saw some improvement in the first few days of surgery). I do find the mass softer than it was, so I think we will make a decision on Tuesday. I can tell he is not comfortable. Still does not really want to go for walks ( I bet it hurts in his mouth when he bounces), still not super interested with food. Although I am quite proud of myself today as I managed to make him eat some sweet potatoes with raw steak this morning and chicken and sweet potatoes tonight (managing to make him eat twice in one day has become a challenge lately!)

As you said Jerry, I believe the antibiotics don't help his appetite and probably with the fact that it hurts in his mouth. When Wyatt had his tooth removed, how long was the recovery? Did he need many meds? I am just stressed about having to put him through another surgery plus meds (with the issues it creates in term of eating for him). 

Livermore, CA




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5 September 2020 - 7:39 pm
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I'm sorry the abscess isn't clearing with the antibiotics.

You may remember that I adopted Elly at 10 months old after she lost her rear leg to a car accident, she's been on 3 for 5 years now.

Elly has had 3 dental surgeries since I adopted her!  The first was to seal a canine tooth she chipped while carrying around rocks.  I don't know why she did that but thankfully she doesn't do that anymore.  During that surgery it was determined that her upper incisors needed to be ground down and resealed since they were digging into her lower gums making some of the upper and lower incisors loose. She had to have that done twice!  After both of those surgeries she was only on pain meds for a couple days and a NSAID. 

Then a year ago January while I was brushing her teeth I discovered a crack in her upper fourth pre-molar, the biggest tooth in the mouth.  I was hoping to save the tooth but when they did xrays it was determined that it was cracked up through the roots so it had to be removed. In addition to that it was determined that the incisors were still loose and needed to come out so she lost 5 of them! 

She had been on pain meds a few weeks before the surgery although she never seemed to be bothered.  After surgery she came home with 7 sutures!  She remained on the pain meds and a NSAID was added for a few days.  I think I kept her on full pain meds for a week or so since she lost so many teeth, then tapered off.  After surgery she never really acted like it bothered her- but it had to feel better for it to be out.  The hardest part was that she had to be on restricted activity level and no stuffies or bully sticks for 2 weeks.  She was also only allowed soft food but our normal meals are soft so that wasn't an issue for us.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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6 September 2020 - 10:31 am
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Hi Karen! 

Thanks for sharing this info with me. It makes me hopeful that Arktik would recover from it quickly. It is still stressful to think about putting him through surgery again, and having him on meds for some time again with his sensitive stomach...but on the other hand right now he really doesn't look comfortable.

I still don't write know how this happened as Arktik as really nice teeth..I don't know if we missed something like a little chip somewhere that would have let the bacteria in. 

On a side note, one of my cat could compare dentition with Elly. He broke 9 teeth when he was 1.5 years old (another costly adventure). Needed surgery twice but he has been doing fine since then. 

Livermore, CA




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6 September 2020 - 11:42 am
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It is still stressful to think about putting him through surgery again, and having him on meds for some time again with his sensitive stomach

I certainly understand feeling this way!  Last winter I had to have my 13.5 year Pug Boy Obie go under for a dental.  I really didn't want to do it at his age but he was clearly uncomfortable.  Obie is really sensitive to anesthetics and any kind of sedating meds and he has a sensitive stomach. 

The vet was really careful with meds but it still took forever for the anesthetics to wear off.  He did lose some teeth but he tolerated the pain meds OK and was clearly happier when everything was done.  He's not that active and doesn't play with toys or chew on things as much as Elly so his recovery was easier.

And remember how dogs hide pain- if Arktik is showing you he is uncomfortable now then you know it is really bothering him.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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7 September 2020 - 5:55 pm
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krun15 said

And remember how dogs hide pain- if Arktik is showing you he is uncomfortable now then you know it is really bothering him.

  

 I know..this is exactly what I was thinking. It breaks my heart to see him suffering. I give him 300 mg of Gabapentin at night so that he is more comfortable, but he is usually still a bit groggy in the am. I feel that when he is too sleepy he is less likely to eat. 

On a positive side, I managed to make him eat a decent amount of food yesterday and today. Partly thanks to you with the suggestion of the meat based baby food! It works 🙂  We also feed him for example meat we cooked for dinner and things like that. 

Tomorrow, we are seeing the vet again. Initially we had to give the chance to the antibiotics to work but clearly they did not. I would have liked to re-evaluate with the vet sooner but that would have been on Sunday or Today but it's labour day. So we had to wait for tomorrow. 

Fingers crossed that we don't have more bad news. I am a little bit stressed out, probably because I see how uncomfortable Arktik is. 

I will post an update when I can tomorrow. 

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