TRIPAWDS: Home to 21078 Members and 2061 Blogs.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG
All sites currently ad-free!

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

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?
sp_Feed sp_PrintTopic sp_TopicIcon-c
13 y/o German Shepard/ Lab Mix- Rear Leg Amputation
sp_NewTopic Add Topic
Member Since:
26 December 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
1
26 December 2022 - 9:15 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Our beloved Charlie is diagnosed with a large (catalope sized) soft tissue sarcoma on his right rear leg. He is schedule for amputation on Wednesday the 28th. Any tips or suggestions to aid in his recovery? I have glucosamine and fish oil on order to aid in that remaining leg's joint health. But I do worry how he will navigate stairs (after the doc give him the green light to do so). This is rather hard for our family to take, but I understand it's more traumatic for the humans than the dogs. Any advice would be welcome. 

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
2
26 December 2022 - 11:11 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi Bart, Charlie, and family, welcome. We are sorry for the diagnosis but so glad you found us! You are in good company and we are here to help.

It sounds like your vet believes Charlie is a good candidate for surgery, which is terrific! He must be in good shape? 

So the biggest thing right now is to get your house ready. Do you have slippery floors? If so, you want to add traction and non-slip rugs wherever he can slide around. Also, if you have more than say 3 or 4 stairs, you should block them off with a baby gate until he is stronger and recovered. As a rear-leg amputee it will be harder for him to go up stairs than down stairs. 

Raising his food and water bowls will help too.

Be sure to talk to your vet about what his pain management will look like. The better the pain control, the better the recovery. See our Best Pain Medications article so you can have a good conversation about it.

Some resources you might want to check out include:

The Tripawds Recovery Shopping List

The Tripawds e-books library

What to Expect articles

and Jerry's Required Reading List

Finally, remember that as you said, it's always harder on us than it is on them. Don't compare his recovery to others. As a senior dog, and a bigger one, his recovery may be slower than other dogs but that doesn't mean he won't get there. He may be wonky from pain control but that's OK. Give him time to rest, and heal. Charlie is on his own timeline and if your vet believes he's a good candidate for surgery, he has everything on his side for a complete recovery.

I hope this helps! Keep us posted and ask any questions you'd like.

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
3
26 December 2022 - 7:16 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Can only ditto every word Jerry wrote.  As you can see, this is the best place to be for support and information.  Review  all the links Jerry  gave you and let is know what questions you may have.

Will Vharlie be spending  the night at a staffed clinic?  If possible,  that's best for them to stay a night or two, but may not be a possibility  for you..

We know this is a stressful time, but we are all here to help you help Charlie, okay?

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!

Member Since:
26 December 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
4
29 December 2022 - 6:52 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Jerry & Benny-

Thanks for the info and support. I've spent the last few days cramming as much as I could.

Charlie returned home today from his surgery. He is doing okay but when we try to take him out side for a pee, he just collapses when I remove the sling. Is this due to being uncoordinated because of pain meds (Pregabalin/Lyrica-100mg)?

He's also whining ALOT, which is not normal for him. Is this again because of being loopy from pain meds?

Probably overly concerned but it's hard seeing our boy like this.

Best Regards,

Bart

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
5
29 December 2022 - 8:48 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Charlie just had MAJOR surgery,  still has residue of strong hospital meds and overall is, as you noted, still loopy, a bit confused, atillshaking off all the anesthesia,  all while trying to adjust to three. 

A hooman would still be in the hospital  on a  morphine drip!

How much does Charlie weigh?  How old is he?  While I'm not as familiar of Pregabalin, I know most dogs come home with Gabapentin,  an anti-inflammatory like Rimadyl, and probably  an antibiotic.   How often is the Pregabalin given?.  For example, as a starting point a  70 lb dog may be prescribed  300 mg Gabapentin  every eight hours,   

My Hapoy Hannah whined and "cried" and was so  restless for the first several nights.    Sleep was non existent and I was sure I had made a horrible  decision.  It took a little tweaking of the meds as far as dose and frequency  and things started to get better for her.....ever so slowly .

Easier  said than done, but try not to worry about mobility  for now, even if it means peeing in his bed.  You may want to put some puppy pads under him.  Also, wait until he really shows a strong urge to go outside rather than just periodically  trying to get him out.

Drinking is important  as is peeing.  Eating and pooping may be off a few days.

I know it is soooo hard seeing Charlie like this.  Stay strong and confident  and put out a pawsitive energy when around him.  We assure you recovery  doesn't  last furever, it just seems like it right now. He'll get his sea legs at his own pace as he gets further out from the immediate  surgery, etc.  

Stay connected  and let is know how things are going. 

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!

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
6
30 December 2022 - 2:16 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Yay Charlie! Welcome home!

Ditto to everything Sally mentioned, this is not unusual. He should get his sea legs back enough to go pee by tonight but he may also be very sensitive to the meds. If you are able to connect with your vet now before the long holiday weekend I would call to let them know if it's ok to adjust his meds.

Member Since:
20 October 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
7
31 December 2022 - 7:41 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

My 10 yr old, 100lb Lab Mix had a hind leg amputation (and 2 weeks prior, a TPLO (ACL repair) surgery on his other hind leg).  He is 4 weeks post op now and I have just stopped using the harness to hold him up while he pees.  The first week we had to hold him up (front AND back leg) and after that we just held the handles in case he would lose footing.  Today was the first day we let him roam the back yard without a harness attached to him.

It will take time but once he starts hitting the mile stones it seems to improve quickly.  You don't want to add injury so support him when you can and take your time.  We are learning stairs with the 4 stairs to the back yard and a harness. He is figuring it out and one day he will do stairs again himself.

I did find the first few days were bad due to medication wear off and I only sedated him night time to help him sleep, otherwise he was too sedated to do anything during the day. He's not an active/puppy type dog so I didn't need to otherwise. He took his pain meds on schedule though.

I look forward to hearing more about Charlie!

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
8
31 December 2022 - 9:13 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Thank you so much for sharing and offering your support!

Member Since:
26 December 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
9
7 January 2023 - 8:37 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Thanks all for the great advice. Charlie is doing great. He's up and moving around. He has trouble navigating corners and turns. And stairs are out of the question. But has the straight-aways down. He's finished his antibiotic and pain killer. He has 3 days left on his doggy-ibuprofen. He's happy just to be around us but you can tell he's frustrated being isolated to just one room of the house. However, when the sun is out we've taken his outside to relax and smell the squirrels and soak up some sun.

He has started to get muscle spasms on the amputated leg. We assume that it's part of the nerve healing process, but you can tell it's bothersome to Charlie. We've tried a heating pack, but it doesn't seem to help. Any advice on how to go through the muscle spasm aspect of this? We were thinking CBD treats for his anxiety over this???

Thanks again

Bart

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10
7 January 2023 - 9:11 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi Bart and Charlie, welcome back and hoppy New Year! 

He's come a long way in the last week. Glad to hear it! I think it's super smart of you to take things slow with his recovery and not let him do too much too soon.

If he needs help on stairs, we love the Ruffwear Flagline harness to assist dogs on tricky surfaces and flooring.

So tell us more about the muscle spasm situation. Does he yelp or get up and look surprised when it happens? And what does the muscle spasm look like? Is it like a giant twitch? This is a common thing and as long as it isn't accompanied by pain signals , it should decrease on its own over time. Otherwise it could be phantom leg pain and would be worth discussing with your vet to see if he should get additional pain management . As a senior dog, it's very likely he may need some form of it on an ongoing basis. Not a big deal, many dogs his age are on some type of NSAID at minimum.

Cannabis treats can be helpful to ease anxiety (we like Chill Out Hemp Chews), but it's important to discuss what you're seeing with the vet to rule out the root cause first.

Member Since:
26 December 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
11
8 January 2023 - 7:34 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hey Jerry-

We actually picked up the Ruffwear Flagline harness on Day 1. It's been great. Beats a towel under his belly any day. 

The spasms are fast twitching. Almost like constant shivering, but localized only around his amputated leg. He doesn't yelp, but he seems annoyed/stressed by them. We tried a heating pad and massaging the area, but he's not a fan of the heating pad.

The vet prescribed more Pregabalin yesterday and it seems to have calmed them down, but we'd like to avoid permanent medication if possible. He's only 10 days out from surgery and making great progress. Maybe he just needs that nerve blocker for a little longer.

I was reading an article about acupuncture as a possible treatment for twitching and phantom pain . We might look into that if this seems to be a long term issue. 

Regards

Bart

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
12
8 January 2023 - 1:38 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi Bart! So happy the Flagline is working out for you. We love it too 🙂 

The spasms sound pretty common. Many Tripawds will have them for the rest of their life but they usually don't even notice it's happening after a while, like our Wyatt. See:

The Pregablin (Gabapentin) should help the nerves calm down in time. Don't be too afraid of managing any of Charlie's mobility challenges with medication. For older 3-legged dogs, moving around on 3 presents a lot of extra work and the medication can be very helpful to ease the aches and pains associated with it. Meds are typically given in lower maintenance doses and as long as his labs look good, doesn't present an issue. At the very least an anti-inflammatory can help keep the body happy. Take each day as it comes and see how he does. 

Keep us posted!

Forum Timezone: America/Denver
Most Users Ever Online: 946
Currently Online: krun15, Tanja
Guest(s) 85
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1217
Members: 15978
Moderators: 2
Admins: 3
Forum Stats:
Groups: 4
Forums: 23
Topics: 17851
Posts: 247777
Administrators: admin, jerry, Tripawds
Moderators: betaman, krun15
Tripawds is brought to you by Tripawds.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG
All sites currently ad-free!