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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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Giant breed recovery
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Member Since:
5 November 2020
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5 November 2020 - 9:37 pm
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Hello all!

My 5 year old Leonberger Max is 3 days out of surgery and I am struggling with his recovery. He had a large tumor and osteosarcoma was the cause. Objectively I know that he will be ok in the long run, but his pain is breaking my heart. 

When does it get better? He's still struggling to stand up on his own and needs help walking. He's quiet and calm for the most part, but whines and is just generally uncomfortable. I'm struggling and could use some support!

On The Road


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5 November 2020 - 10:08 pm
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Hi Max and family, welcome. Yeah I know it’s sooo hard to see our vibrant doggie feel so crummy. But Yes it does get better, and if the pain is well managed that will help stay on track and recover sooner.

It’s normal for a dog to be a little uncomfortable but they should always have enough pain management to keep the pain levels tamped down as much as possible.

Oftentimes pain meds need fine tuning since all dogs respond a little differently to meds. What is Max taking for pain, and how often? 

Let your vet know ASAP about his pain signals so that you can adjust his meds accordingly.

Leos are such gorgeous doggies! I’m a fan!

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

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5 November 2020 - 10:33 pm
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Max is currently taking 400mg of Gabapentin every 8 hours and 100mg of Rimadyl every 12 hours for pain

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6 November 2020 - 11:09 am
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Hmm. The Gabapentin could be making him a little too wonky, if he is sensitive to the effects of pain meds. Or, it could be that he's not getting enough medication. It's so hard to tell, and is one of the most frustrating things about recovery. Even vets have challenges in that departmnt. Have you let your vet know what's going on? They may want to add a third medication like Amantadine to see if that helps. 

How is he doing today? Any sparkle in his eye yet? Try not to get too bummed out. Bigger dogs generally turn a corner a little later than smaller pups but the do get there! 

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

Virginia




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6 November 2020 - 11:14 am
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We all know how hard the early days of recovery can be.  Even though  logically  we tell ourselves  this is MAJOR SURGERY, all while a dog is tryimg to adjust to three legs so we mist ve patient, our hearts are breaking as we watch this hard part.

Of course we are. not Vers, but it sounds like you still have some wiggle room with the Gabapentin.   Additionally  you can ask your Vet about adding Tramadol  to the mix.  They tend to compliment  each other.  Also, the Tramadol could be given an hour or so after the Gabapentin  to ensure  there is always a consistent  level of pain meds in his system.

At the day three mark, hospital  meds are now out of his system and this is when we often have to tweak the at home meds.

For a big doggy, not being mobile yet, or with assistance, is "normal" at this point.  So no worries on that end, okay??

Remember,  a hooman would probably  be on a morphine  drip and still in the hospital!

Right now it's just about potty breaks and back in for more resr, rest, resr.   Drinking and peeing are important, but pooping , mght take several days (due to meds).and eating may not be regular at first either.  So give Max any yummy food he will eat for now.

Getting to this point is exhausting  physically  and emotionally  for the hoomans.  If you are like most of us you haven't  slept for days and probably  won't  get a good night's sleep for a few more days.

It took me about three weeks before I could say I did this FOR my Happy Hannah  and not TO her.  Some say it sooner... some a bit later.  But you WILL say it and you WILL see his sparkle come back!!!

STAY CONNECTED  and update as you can.  Oh, and make a note when he gives pain signs.  How soon before the next dose does it happen?  Does it just happen randomly?  Does it happen when he tries to get up? You get the point.  You can pass that Info onto the Vet so he can help with pain management .

Hugs 

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

PS.  Would love to see pics of your Leonberger.  They are such wonderful dogs!   Here's a link to help.  adding images

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




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6 November 2020 - 11:15 am
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PS....Just saw Jerry's other post....ditto.

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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6 November 2020 - 2:58 pm
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Max is doing a little better today, still pretty slow. When he does get up to walk with us it seems like all he wants to do is climb up on his favorite couch for a nap, which makes me hope he's starting to feel a little more normal! 

The vet reccomended we back off on the Gabapentin to hopefully help get his appetite back and get his gi track moving a little better. He was able to poop last night though so that felt like a big success!

We're still feeling pretty down as humans but Max is still calm and loving when we all sit on the floor together. I knew this would be tough but it's been a rough few days for sure. Thank you both for the support and advice!

Virginia




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6 November 2020 - 8:53 pm
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And we have 💩💩💩!!!   We love to celebrate  💩 around here!

Now,  regarding "backing  off the Gabapentin".  I hope the Vet is not taking  yim off it altogether, but maybe just reducing  the amount???  Otherwise he is just taking the Rimadyl  and that's  an anti-inflammatory, but not a strong pain killer at all.

Is he on an antibiotic?  They can cause some tummymupset and not feeling like eating moreso than the Gabapentin.   Of course, every dog is different and every dog reacts differently to pain meds, so just throwing out what we "generally" see

Ues, Max wanting to get up on HIS couch is a good sign.  I always say a dog will not be denied  reclaiming his position! Maybe you could rig up some sort of step platform so he could step up on the couch without  jumping.  Or maybe even put the cushions on the floor and he may settle for laying on them until he can get back on the couch.

It's so important  to stay strong and confident  in front of Max.  He will feed off of your energy.  He needs to know everything  is okay, this he will react accordingly. 

Hang in there!  Just let Max recover at his own pace, slowly but surely!

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!

On The Road


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7 November 2020 - 1:38 pm
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How's Max doing today? How's his mobility?

Yeah I'm also assuming the vet meant to reduce the Gabapentin not withdraw completely? It's so early in his recovery I would worry if all he was getting was an NSAID.

When you start to feel down, remember that Max IS making progress! Celebrate all those things that used to be so ordinary and you'll see how they all add up to one big recovered Tripawd! Take note of how much better he's gotten over the last few days. No, it's not Max at 100% but definitely a brighter Max than the day you brought him home, right? 

Stay strong and know that you've got this handled. Go Team Max!

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

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7 November 2020 - 2:39 pm
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Max is doing MUCH better today! With just a little less of the Gabapentin, but still taking some, I think his tummy is feeling better and he's been eating very well today and last night. He is getting up on his own today and taking a few steps at a time!!!

Virginia




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22 February 2013
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7 November 2020 - 8:46 pm
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YAAAAY FOR ,AX!!  Sounds like you have the pain meds tweaked in a way that works for Max.  Good job!

Getting up on his own and eating better....huge victories!

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!

On The Road


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7 November 2020 - 11:57 pm
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Ok the all caps MUCH sounds like a huuuuuge improvement! This is terrific news. Yay Max! Cheers to more where that came from. You're doing it!

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

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5 November 2020
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10 November 2020 - 2:38 pm
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Thank you all for the responses and support. Max is definitely figuring life on 3 legs out and is starting to really act like the Max I know and love. This process has been hard and sad, but I'm finally starting to feel like this was the right choice. He is easily stepping on to the couch and only seems sad when he isn't able to join us on the bed at night. Im looking forward to continued improvement and for my big dog to get back to his new normal

Virginia




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22 February 2013
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10 November 2020 - 8:10 pm
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You articulated  this early part of the recovery  journey so well!  The process is hard at first and we feel sad for our pups and kitties. Then we realize as their sparkle comes back amd their desire for normal routines come back, it IS the right choice!

And it gets better and better!  Especially when Maz can reclaim his rightful place on the bed!😎

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:
27 October 2020
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11 November 2020 - 12:26 pm
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Hi there! Sounds like Max is getting all the love and care he needs! Our girl Sage (XL Great Dane) had her amputation on October 27 and I can tell you IT DOES GET BETTER! We need to give these big pups a bit more time and patience to take things at their own pace and figure out their new gait and balance, which sounds like you're doing all the right things so that's reason enough to celebrate! How is Max's weight? Sage needed to shed some pounds pre-surgery so we are still working on that, and I know that will help her along her journey too, esp since she is already quite large! 

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