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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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We're New....Pam & Shelby
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Wesley Chapel, FL
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28 June 2010 - 3:21 pm
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Hi Pam and Shelby,

Welcome to our Tripawds family! I'm so sorry to hear about Shelby's diagnosis... But once she has her surgery and heals from it without any complications... she should do well!

I also had a golden retriever... Jake. He was on tramadol (150mg twice a day) and previcox and antibiotics, for the first 2 weeks. Luckily, Jake never had any issues with loss of appetite... but he did get some diarrhea after a few days and so we added pepcid AC to the mix and that worked out great! After he got his stitches/staples out (around 14 days post op), we switched him to meloxicam (Metacam) and lowered the dose of tramadol to 'as needed'. Jake started swimming in our pool soon as the stitches came out... He was much slower after his surgery... but then again, he was a 10yr old boy. You can read about his experience (and all about his german shepherd brother Wolfie, and his little kitten Nala) on Jake's Journey.

Jake had his 4.5yr old german shepherd 'brother' with him before and after his surgery. Wolfie spent most of his time lying next to Jake and bringing him all his toys... but after the first couple of days, Wolfie got excited and would run by Jake (while he was trying to hop around) and try to body slam him... Of course hubby and me would always intercept. Other than that, we had no issues with having another big dog around when we brought Jake home to recover. But all dogs are different, and I guess you'll find out how yours do once Shelby comes home.

The first two weeks are spent healing from the trauma of the big surgery, dealing with them being doped up, and learning to balance on 3 legs (while doped up)... but they really do recover quite quickly from it! It helps to get a sling to help them get up and balance (like while they're trying to pee and poop)... and then once the staples are out, a ruffware harness is an incredible help!! Having a couple of doggie beds and/or comforters plopped around your home will also help. Our dogs always like to hang out with us wherever we are in the house, so we just made sure to have that in all the rooms we usually frequent.

It's very important to keep Shelby well hydrated during her recovery... if she's not drinking enough water, then you can add water or chicken broth to her food... I switched Jake's diet from a prescription calorie control, to Blue Buffalo Holistic dry food, and I cooked a chicken or turkey stew with veggies and brown rice once a week and supplemented his dry food with that. I also gave Jake mega doses of glucosamine and chondroitin supplements... and fish oil too.

Also watch Shelby's incision, especially the first week to make sure there is no infection... There will be clear or pinkish fluid oozing out and that's normal... I hope you don't have white carpets!! Jake had a pressure bandage for the first week post op... and it was changed after 3 days, so we didn't really have to worry about the oozing too much.

Well, it's alot to absorb and I'm sure you'd going to have alot of other questions and concerns once you bring Shelby home. We are all here for you!!!

Angel Jake and Wolfie's Mom

 

 

Jake, 10yr old golden retriever (fractured his front right leg on 9/1, bone biopsy revealed osteosarcoma on 9/10, amputation on 9/17) and his family Marguerite, Jacques and Wolfie, 5yr old german shepherd and the newest addition to the family, Nala, a 7mth old Bengal mix kittie. Jake lost his battle on 11/9/2009, almost 8 weeks after his surgery. We will never forget our sweet golden angel… http://jakesjou.....ipawds.com ….. CANCER SUCKS!

shelbysmom
17
28 June 2010 - 3:34 pm
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Thanks so much, Jake's mom. What a beautiful boy he was.....I can imagine that all my golden girls at the Rainbow Bridge are swooning over him. Unfortunately, this is not my first journey down Cancer Road. With the exception of my heart golden, Maggie, I've lost all my goldens and my labbie to one form of cancer or another....everything from MCT to OSA, bile duct cancer...you name it. This is just the FIRST time that it looks like we might actually conquer the beast!

No white carpets.....no carpeting at all. Just ugly hardwood and old lanolium floors. Old house, old floors. One of my fellow rescue friends has purchased a memory foam bed for Shelby and I have a couple of other orthopedic ones. The challenge will be to keep waterproof pads on them. I also have some ugly rubber mats that I will throw down for Shelby.

Do amputees generally have a drain at their incision site? You also mentioned a pressure bandage that would need to be changed. Hmmmm.....I'm in Orlando and Tampa is 2 hours away. Perhaps someplace locally could help with that.

I do have a dog ramp but I suspect Shelby won't use it because it's traction isn't the greatest. We have ordered the Ruff Wear harness for her but until her stitches are out and she's feeling better, I'll follow the suggestions of soft towels for slings, etc.

She's not my first special needs foster......I actually ask for special needs furkids....but she will be my first TriPawd and I just want to keep things as normal as I can for her 🙂

Here and Now


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28 June 2010 - 4:35 pm
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shelbysmom said:

…no carpeting at all. Just ugly hardwood and old lanolium floors.

Do amputees generally have a drain at their incision site?

Be sure to review Jerry's suggestions for helping provide traction on slippery surfaces ...

No-Slip Floor Ideas for Your Tripawd

Pawz to Consider These Dog Booties

Post-op drains depend on the vet. Jerry was sent home with no drain, and no bandage, and he healed quite nicely. He did develop a seroma which never really leaked, but did need to be drained once. We just took him to a local vet hew drew a few syringes of fluid.  rasberry

Wesley Chapel, FL
Forum Posts: 1104
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28 June 2010 - 4:53 pm
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Yes Admin is right... many vets don't put any pressure bandages post op, and the dogs do just fine... Must just be a personal preference... so if your vet doesn't put one... don't worry about it.

Do you have a local vet that you can contact for minor post op issues? That would be very helpfull as the drive from Orlando to Tampa is kindof long. I would ask your Tampa vet if he has any contacts in Orlando... I live just north of Tampa, in Wesley Chapel. I'm assuming that your going for Shelby's care to FVS? I had Jake's treatment and surgery done by a local orthopedic vet that has their clinic in Wesley Chapel... since I wasn't going the chemo route.

Angel Jake and Wolfie's Mom

Jake, 10yr old golden retriever (fractured his front right leg on 9/1, bone biopsy revealed osteosarcoma on 9/10, amputation on 9/17) and his family Marguerite, Jacques and Wolfie, 5yr old german shepherd and the newest addition to the family, Nala, a 7mth old Bengal mix kittie. Jake lost his battle on 11/9/2009, almost 8 weeks after his surgery. We will never forget our sweet golden angel… http://jakesjou.....ipawds.com ….. CANCER SUCKS!

shelbysmom
20
28 June 2010 - 5:29 pm
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Actually, not FVS this time.  (I did Trooper & Opie's chemo/radiation with them, though)  She's going to Tampa Bay Veterinary Specialists.....I guess our rescue has used them many times for surgeries and are very pleased with them.  Plus they give a substantial rescue discount, something the loocal specialty clinic doesn't even do.

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