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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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8 Year Old Great Dane Mix, Front Leg Osteosarcoma Amputation
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Long Island, NY
Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
12 September 2018
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20 September 2018 - 8:36 am
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Hello.  I am new to this awesome web page and would appreciate any advise anyone can offer regarding my girl Kailey, who is an 8 year old Great Dane mix. She had her left front leg amputated 3 weeks ago for osteosarcoma. She has been doing pretty good since the amputation. This is all so sudden because as far as I knew she was fine until Aug 22.

On aug 30 her leg was amputated. I had her leg amputated her leg for pain relief, she has significant metastasis to lungs. She is a cancer survivor from multilobular osteochronsarcoma which was diagnosed in January 2017. The oncologist said the osteosarcoma in her leg is not related to the cancer she had last year. She does not have arthritis or any other problems that I am aware of. I have kept a T-shirt on her since the bandage was removed 8 days post op to keep her would clean and prevent her from licking. Some of the T-shirt’s I cut the sleeve for the existing arm and some I haven’t, depending on the fit. She has been licking her elbow and sometimes where her amputated leg would be. I thought it was phantom pain . Sometimes the shirt sleeve is wet from her licking the elbow.

She will also lick her surgical area if T-shirt is not on. There is still a scabbed area at bottom of wound. So I think that is why she is licking it but it could be pain. Last night I noticed significant swelling to her elbow and it was VERY sensitive to the touch. Took her to vet this am and she took and X-ray and said it was soft tissue swelling and not bone. She tried to drain it and got a tiny bit of pus out. Started her on an antibiotic and that is it. She did not wrap it or pad it or say to ice it or warm compresses. I told her I had made an appointment with a Home euthanasia vet who also does hospice and hopefully it would just be a hospice appointment so I could see what I could do to make her end of life more comfortable.

My vet gave me a weeks worth of antibiotics and said not to make any rash decisions, she has come this far. Tonight the hospice vet came and I guess it’s different than human hospice in that we can’t euthnize humans, at least in NY, though I really wish we could offer that to people really suffering. She felt that Kailey’s elbow is not going to heel. She said it is cellulitis from her licking at it and she is licking it because the bone is bruised from her laying down as a new Tripawd. She really felt like this is a painful condition and it won’t get better, only worse. She felt it was time to send her to rainbow bridge . I asked her about the homemade elbow cushion I saw on this website and she didn’t think it would work.

I don’t want her to suffer. I agree she is in a lot of pain right now. But I guess I was looking for a stronger pain medicine to give her while I at least attempt to make it better. I am a nurse and a very determined person when I set my mind to something. I am off from work the next 6 days and would like to at least try and keep her comfortable and see if I could get it to heal. If I see it getting worse, like the hospice vet predicts, than I won’t let her suffer. The hospice vet left tonight kinda hesitant to do anything to make her feel better, and I told her I didn’t want to euthanize her tonight because my daughter wasn’t here and I wanted to give her the option to either be here or at least say goodbye, so I told her i would schedule it for Friday or Saturday.

I asked if we could give her a stronger pain medication or increase the dose and she said no. She is on tramadol 250mg every 6 hours, Gabapentin 600mg every 8 hours, Rimadyl 125mg every 12 bours, and Pepcid every 12 hours. She reluctantly told me I could give prednisone 20mg tonight and in the morning. Said I might see the swelling go down from the prednisone but that doesn’t mean she is better. Any advice, tips or prayers would be appreciated.

Thanks Joni

Here and Now


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20 September 2018 - 8:42 am
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Welcome! So sorry to hear about the challenges you’re facing with Kailey. If ever in doubt, please consider getting another professional opinion.

While you wait for comments from others, use the Advanced Search above to refine your forum search results with specific phrases, and you’re sure to find lots of helpful feedback. You can also search all blogs here . Or, consider downloading the Tripawds e-books for fast answers to common concerns and feel free to call the toll-free Tripawds Helpline anytime!

Please keep us posted. Your future forum posts will not require moderation. Meanwhile, start here for help finding all the helpful Tripawds resources and assistance programs.

Virginia




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20 September 2018 - 1:13 pm
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Oh gosh!  Your gal is quite the Warrior!  What an amazing strong dog!!  And you are an incredible  advocate for your Kailey!!!   Your love for her comes shining through❤

I am not a Vet and not giving  Vet advice!  Your regular Vet for Kailey knows her better than the Hospice person and I think your regularVet has given you sone spot on advice.  Kai,ey needs time for the antibiotics to kick in….and it may take more than one round,  or even a different  kind.

Ask your regular  Vet about Prednisone .   It MAY be a good option.  HOWEVER, there seems to be two schools  of thought  about a washout period  when using that right after Rimadyl.  

How is Kaisley’s appetite?  Drinking,  peeing, getting any tail wags?    How much does she weigh??   Talk with your Vet, but there may be some leeway as far as pain meds

Remember  that she is recovering  from MAJOR SURGERY!!  And just under three weeks out is still EARLY in recovery!  Add that to all her other challenges, plus it adjusting  to three legs, she’s  just not ready to throw a pawty yet!!

As far as the scab, yes, that can cause some itching.  Was there any leakage  prior to this??   Is it possible  a stitch  could still be left in?

What has her activity  been like during recovery?  For at least the first two weeks, and even longer with larger dogs, it should just be rest, rest, rest, SHORT potty breaks and more rest!! No stairs, no jumping,  no walking  on hardwood floors unless covered  with nonslip scatter rugs for traction

As far as the “assessment” the hospice person gave, and I want to say this carefully, but your regular Vet is the one who really  checked her out, did xrays, etc and feels this is a soft tissue issue.  And that does indeed happen while tripawds recover and adjust.  The “conclusion ” of the hospice …well……ABSOLUTELY  GET A SECOND  OPINION!!!!!   PLEASE!!  

In the meantime,  I would certainly  keep your regular  Vet in the loop (until you get another opinion) and let her know what the hospice said.  IF, IF, IF, it is cellulitis, that would maybe just need a special  antibiotic/treatment.

ALSO, CHECK INTO A REHAB SPECIALIST.  They can work wonders with soft tissue injuries.   Also, if some form of protection mis needed for her elbow, that are the best ones to assess that.

PLEASE update us as you can.  You DEFINITELY  have options.  I know being patient  is hard when you see your pup hurting, but, as your Vet said, Kaisley has come this far!  So let’s  check I to this further and not make any rash decisions…especially  with so much unknown.

Sorry, didn’t  mean to be so lengthy!  We all care and we all know you want  to do EVERYTHING  possible  for your Warrior girl!!

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!

Virginia




Forum Posts: 17783
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20 September 2018 - 9:36 pm
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This is a response Joni, Kaisley’s Mom pm’d me.  She was having  trouble  figuring  out how to,post a reply so asked me to post it.  I’ll just add that, after reading  her post, I’m  really, really, really glad she’s  taking a few steps back and giving  her regular  Vet a chance to treat Kaisley as outlined.  Sounds like Kaisley is a real fighter and is ready to get this issue cleared up!

i and thank you for responding. I don’t know how to respond on the forum so I am sending you a message. Feel free to ad it to the forum for me if you know how. Kailey has just been going out to use the bathroom a few times a day (5-8) since her surgery. My house has all hard floors except for my living room. I learned on day one that I needed to get rug runners and make her a path to get outside. I have multiple dog beds in every room of the house and I follow her around carrying a dog bed to put down where ever she may want to lay, but sometimes she wants to be on the floor or the rug which is not exactly plush. She currently weighs 118 pounds. She weighed 125 pounds after the amputation. She has always been a picky eater, but since surgery all she wants is rotisserie chicken, peanut butter and milk bones. She eats 1/2 to 3/4 of a Costco chicken twice a day but now that I see she has lost some weight I am going to try feeding her 3 x a day. She wags her tail, gets up happily when she sees her leash, wants to go for car rides. I spoke to my vet today and she agrees with hospice as far as this is going to be challenging to heal but she did feel like we should at least try. She did not want to increase the pain meds but added the prednisone . Told me to stop the rimadyl and increase the Pepcid to 40mg twice a day. Told me to ice and elevate if possible. Culture was sent and should have results on Friday or sat to make sure the antibiotic she is on is appropriate. IV antibiotics would be better but that would require hospitalization which is not how I want her spending what could be her last days. The hospice vet just called to check up on us. I told her I am off from work on Tuesday and we are going to take it day by day which she seemed understanding about. I am going to call a rehab therapist right now and see if I can speak to her and maybe bring Kailey in.  Thanks for your support. 

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!

Here and Now


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21 September 2018 - 9:16 am
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benny55 said
…Joni, Kaisley’s Mom pm’d me.  She was having  trouble  figuring  out how to post a reply…

Please let Joni know; Or Joni, if you’re reading this…

The process for sending a private message is identical to posting in the forums.

Here is the link we sent again for the helpful Tripawds Forums Tutorial Video.

Feel free to send a private message if you’d like to schedule a time for meeting in the Tripawds Live Chat if you’d like some additional help.

Virginia




Forum Posts: 17783
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22 February 2013
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21 September 2018 - 10:54 am
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I did give her some “instructions ” on how to reply.  😎   Of course, that was with my …er…”terminology”  and based on the way my tavlet screen looks.     Doesn’t  look like it helped!!!   😄

I’ve  pm’d jer qgain woth uour link and, hopefully,  she’ll be in here shortly.

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!

Virginia




Forum Posts: 17783
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22 February 2013
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22 September 2018 - 11:44 am
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Another update from Joni in Kailey.  Things appear to be getting better sloooowlh but surely! 😁   She had a Rehab visit that went really well!  Obviously  we’ve  been corresponding  back and forth, so many of her comments  are in reference to our correspondence and may not make much sense without  the background.  Bottom line though! Kailey is a fighter and so is her Mom!!!

❤❤❤

I want to thank you for your recommendation for a rehab therapist. Yesterday I took her to a highly recommended therapist. I was so hesitant because I just wanted her to rest and stay off her leg. I didn’t think she would them them massage or ice. I did not want to leave her there from 12-4 and that is how they run their program. My friend encouraged me to take her and just stay in the waiting room. I took her a what a wonderful experience. Kailey let her ice, massage and manipulate. She also got a full body massage. We ordered an elbow pad, the same one I wanted to order, but hospice vet didn’t think it would help. The hospice vet is with lap of love by the way. I asked her about giving IV antibiotics at home and she told me no and it was illegal. I am a registered nurse with 13 years ER experience and 11 years Home infusion. My tenant who lives downstairs is a vet tech assistant and he helps me with my dogs. I teach family members and patients how to self administer IV antibiotics. So I don’t really get it. However she does seem to be getting better with the oral antibiotics. I thought they sent a culture with the Pus they aspirated but it was a cytology to make sure it was not cancer. Oh and the most special part about the therapy is that when I picked Kailey up, the therapist said that she happen to speak to Robert, the patient of mine who recommended the therapist and he is sponsoring Kailey’s therapy and paying for ten sessions. How amazing is that. Kailey has an angel. He was so impressed with my devotion to my dog. I am crying again as I write this. Please feel free to share again. I will try and figure out the forum site.

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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