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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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9 year old Rottie is not adjusting well
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Member Since:
10 February 2014
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18 March 2014 - 8:05 am
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Silas is a 90lb 9 year old. He has mild hip displaysia and a rebuilt knee. His front leg was amputated about a month ago and he recently started showing signs of major anxiety. I spoke to my vet at the suggestion of the wonderful people here and we have weaned him off of tramadol in case that was what was causing the problem. It hasn't helped, and I am growing even more concerned because he has stopped trying to do things for himself. When he falls now, instead of trying to get back up he just lays there and cries for me to come get him. I have to guess at everything he needs because unless I get him up he won't go to his food or water bowl. I'm at my wits end; he cries constantly unless he is in my lap. We start chemo today and I am terrified that he won't be able to handle the side effects. I don't want him to get so unhappy that he stops wanting to fight.

Fort Wayne, IN
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25 January 2013
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18 March 2014 - 8:12 am
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Have you talked to your vet since he's been off the tramadol and you're still seeing issues?  Is he on any other medication?  Does he get a supplement for joints? I'm sorry I'm not a lot of help.  These are just some questions that come to mind, thinking his hip may be painful.

I'm sure others will chime in here and have some better ideas.  

Amy & Libby

Liberty (Libby) was diagnosed with OSA on 1-22-13.  Right front amputation on 1-31-13. No IV Chemo. Metronomic Therapy started 2-19-13 along with supplements and some home cooking. Lungs clear until 1-06-14.  She's still her happy, hoppy, bossy self.  Living the dog life to the fullest and a proud Winter Warrior. :) RIP my Libby 4-21-03 to 3-19-14

Member Since:
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18 March 2014 - 9:33 am
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He is on Vetprofin and Gabapentin. I don't have him on any supplements right now. He was on Dasaquin, but the expense got to be too much with the surgery and chemo care. Any suggestions for a good, less expensive supplement that might help with his hips and knee?

Los Angeles, CA
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18 March 2014 - 9:48 am
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Hmmm....sorry to hear about that. Shelby had some anxiety post-amp and we took her off the Tramadol and put her on Trazadone (like an anti-depressant). She never had the same issues as you are experiencing but if it is anxiety then perhaps ask your vet about an anti-anxiety med. 

 

Good luck!

 

Alison and Shelby 

Shelby Lynne; Jack Russell/Shiba Inu mix. Proud member of the April Angels of 2014.

October 15, 2000 to April 8, 2014

Our story: Broke rear leg in June 2013 - non-conclusive results for cancer so leg was plated and pinned. Enlarged spleen in September 2013 and had it removed and was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma and started chemotherapy. Became a Tripawd January 8th, 2014 and definitive Hemangiosarcoma diagnosis. Three major surgeries in 7 months and Shelby took them all like a champ only to lose her battle to cancer in her brain. We had 8 amazing extra months together and no regrets. #shelbystrong #loveofmylife

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18 March 2014 - 10:05 am
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I'm so sorry to hear of your troubles. It does sound like it could be a form of anxiety. Have you tried acupuncture for that at all. My dog responded well to it, after the first treatment which sort of freaked her out. now she goes in and flops down once the needles are in and sleeps very well after. Worth a shot? Good luck!

On The Road


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18 March 2014 - 10:48 am
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Poor Silas, I'm so sorry.

Well, gaba can definitely have sedation effects on some dogs. Have you talked to your vet about adjusting the dosage to see if that helps?

Another thought: is he overweight? If so, the extra weight puts tremendous stress on a dog who's just learning how to get around on 3 legs.

Or, this sounds like it could be a pain issue. Has he had any x-rays or is a CT scan a possibility for you?

As for treating arthritis affordably, we love the way Synflex works. Also, yucca might be another option.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Member Since:
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18 March 2014 - 11:08 am
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He is overweight, unfortunately. After his knee surgery he put on about 15 extra pounds. We are working on getting his weight down to try and preserve as much of his joints as possible. I got him the Help 'em Up harness from blue dog designs and it's been a life saver for when his back legs want to give out on him. One of the biggest frustrations with this is the cost of so much of what he needs, and my vet's office only accepts money up front.  The Synflex looks like a good option though. Much more affordable than dasaquin. I just wish I could figure out how much of his attitude change is from pain and how much is anxiety or depression. I keep telling him to use his words, but so far that hasn't produced anything helpful laughing.

Virginia
Member Since:
26 January 2014
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18 March 2014 - 5:18 pm
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If you figure that out with the words, please let me know!! Haha. I wonder if it is depression, like he's lacking confidence and thinks he's helpless since the amp? I've heard of it happening in humans, I wonder if dogs can go through that too. Poor Silas crying

Mom to Tripawd Angels Jake (2001-2014) and Rosco (2012-2015) and Tripawd Tanner. “Whatever happens tomorrow, we had today; and I'll always remember it”  

      

Member Since:
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18 March 2014 - 5:45 pm
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I'm so sorry that Silas is having such a hard time. I know it must be so hard on you, too.

The difficulty getting around, that sounds like a pain issue. Maybe there is another pain medication your vet can prescribe. Or, if his anxiety isn't any better off of Tramadol and his mobility is worse, maybe the Tramadol is necessary?

If you think it's just anxiety, maybe something homeopathic? I used a pheromone air diffuser for my dog...he was very anxious when I first adopted him and was having trouble settling in to being a house dog after living in a kennel for over 10 years...and it really worked for him and calmed him down. I know the situation is very different but it might be worth a try.

I hope he starts to feel better soon.

Hugs,
Carol

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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18 March 2014 - 7:00 pm
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Gosh, just saw this update on Silasz! Ugh! Sorry you're having these problems.

Of course it goes without saying, Silas is still recovering from major surgery.

Okay, taking him off the Gramadol didn't help...in fact he seemed to even do less fter he was off the pain meds, right?

As others have said, it sill could be a pain issue and it's just a matter of getting him on the right meds. It may be a matter of lowering the dose of Gaba...still keep him on it, jst lower it. What's his dose of Gaba?

So he's eating, drnking, pooping, peeing, engaged, right? Just wants to la down and wants to be a lap dog. I think his whining is a commication of discomfort.

Yeah, xrays of spi e, legs may be in order. Is it possible Silas pulled a muscle, ligament, etc? Also, give Silas a gentle massage all over before listing him to get the blood flowing...maybe tht will help too.

I wold not hesitate to askyour et if he would PLEASE work on a payment plan soyou can do the necessary tests to determine what's going on. Talk directly to the vet...no intermediary!
How has Silas been prior to this? Is this pretty much howmhis recoveryhas been or was there a period of time when he was feeling mich better?

Sassy, another wonderful brave Rottie was also "fluffy" and "well muscled".....so is my Happy Hannah, but they both moved around fairly well after surgery.I just "feel" like Silas need a good balance with the proper pain meds.

Have you had anyone he likes come over...rng the door bell and act realy excited to see him? Sometimes having someone new come over for a visit perks them up. Seriousy, this really does work......try it!

No temperature right? No signs of infection around the wound? Infectins can cause al sorts of listlessness snd uncomfortableness.

REMEMBER, you are NOT alone!! Please stay connected ....especialy durig this "hurdle", okay? We care and we certainly understand the frustrations of this up and down journey!!

Ne more suggestin.....take Silas to another vet for a second opinion! We are hige n second opinio!z,

When you can, how 'bout posting some pictures of your handsome Silas!! He just looks like a cuddle bear!!

Keeping al paws crossed for you and Silas! Keep us updated, okay?

Sending love and lots of hugs!

Sally and Happy Hannah

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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18 March 2014 - 9:10 pm
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So, good news and bad. We went to the oncologist today to start his chemo. After seeing Silas and listening to how he has been acting the dr. felt that it was best to try to understand what is happening with him now before adding chemo on top. We worked out a plan of x-rays and tests that would rule out the major concerns of serious injury, another bone tumor, or neurological problems but would not break the bank. All of his tests came back clean. His x-rays show no more damage than we knew he already had from arthritis and hip displaysia and his neurological reflexes are healthy. So, the good news is most of the worst case scenarios have been ruled out. The bad news is that we still don't have an answer and his chemo has been delayed for now; which is a risk. Best case scenario is he's just experiencing muscle strain and stiffness from having to haul himself around on three legs now, and the discomfort and inability to move freely is frustrating him into constant vocalizing. We are going to take a wait and see course for the next week, we'll try upping his pain pills again and give him good rub downs to help with any soreness. If he hasn't improved by this time next week, we may have to do some more extensive tests.

 

Thank you everyone for your great answers. Most of the advice that you gave me here was either confirmed or directly repeated by the oncologist. You all know your stuff! I'll update as Silas progresses and I'll try to figure out how to post some pics on here so I can share my sweet, fluffy Rottie with you all.

Orrtanna Pa.
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25 January 2014
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18 March 2014 - 10:02 pm
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Do they think he is having Phantom Pain ? Gabapentin is good for that though and he is on it. Another thought, sick belly. My dog acts lame if his stomach hurts. Pain meds are notorious for messing up bellies. I was worried because my Godoy seemed tho be stiff in backend. There are meds to coat the stomach that might help if that is it. Canned pumpkin helps with constipation. Just a thought:big-grin Lori and Ty

TY GUY, Best Black Lab ever! Diagnosed  and had amp in January, 2014. Kicked MRSA's butt. Earned his angel wings on April 16, 2014. Run Free my boy and don't forget a shoe. Ty is a proud member of the " April Angels". Ty sent us Daryl, a Tripawd rescue in Sept. of 2016. Daryl is 5 +or -. We are also Pawrents to Chandler, a Border Collie mix who is 15 and 1/2, Lucy, a Corgi who is 7, 2 minis, 2 horses, and a feisty cat named Zoe. Zoe had a non skeletal Osteosarcoma removed in July 2015. No Chemo, she was at least 16. She is going strong although she is now completely blind. She is now close to 20 and her hobbies are eating and sleeping in front of her personal heater. 

On The Road


Member Since:
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18 March 2014 - 10:11 pm
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Oh I'm glad to hear that you've narrowed it down and have a great plan of action. I agree that waiting is a good idea and remember, not everyone who beats the odds had chemo, so even if you don't pursue it, that doesn't mean his chances for long-term survival aren't good. You just never know with this disease. What is good though is that you have a vet team who understands your situation and is working with you on it. That is priceless.

Give Silas a big ol hug from us! Hope he feels better!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Twin Cities, Minnesota
Member Since:
6 March 2013
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19 March 2014 - 4:42 am
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Have you looked into physical therapy and/or acupuncture? Sam had arthritis and dysplasia, and I am convinced the reason our final six months were good ones was in large part bc of those therapies. Even when we didn't go to pt and hydrotherapy anymore, and just did the acupuncture and laser, it kept him going.
Above and beyond the pain relief, it increased mobility, confidence, and was also a good mental diversion (for both of us).

"Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable, let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all."
-Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

"May I recommend serenity to you? A life that is burdened with expectations is a heavy life. Its fruit is sorrow and disappointment. Learn to be one with the joy of the moment."
-Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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19 March 2014 - 9:36 am
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Well over-all, this IS good news! Major "bad" things have been eliminated.

Yeah, it sounds like your Onco. REALLY has Silas's best interest at heart and isn't just willing to forge ahead with chemo while he's not feeling up to snuff!

As Jerry said...well, I'm "re-phrasing" a bit.....as far as chemo, it's pretty much a crap shoot anyway! Some dogs "apparently" get extended time with it...some dogs do not! Some dogs "apparently" get extended ti e without it, some dogs do not!
It's not unusual to have to delay chemo, as some dogs heave a variety of "recovery issues" pop up that need to be taken care of first.
Another option to ask your Onco about is metronomics ...it's chemo in a pill form and is relatively easy on a dog's system.

Keep taking it easy Silas and enjoy all those massages snd wonderful spoiling you are getting! Being a tripawd does have it's advantages!!

Hugs to the Magnificent Fluffy Silas and his very strong Mom!

Sally and Happy Hannah

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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