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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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Large dog facing amputation
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Member Since:
17 September 2020
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17 September 2020 - 12:44 am
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Hi all

Tyson, our 8 year old Great Dane x Rottweiler, weighs 70kg (154lbs) & went to the vet on Monday for an ACL repair on his rear left leg.  His rear right leg has some arthritis. 

When commencing the surgery some anomalies were found & the surgery was stopped & biopsies taken.  We found out last night that he has osteosarcoma & the specialist vet has suggested amputation is the best option for his recovery.  The osteosarcoma is only in his left rear knee & has not spread, but I am concerned as he is struggling with recovery from the meds & aborted operation already.   

Please reassure me that large, heavy dogs can recover & adapt well to amputation.

On The Road


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24 September 2009
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17 September 2020 - 12:13 pm
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Hi Tyson and family, welcome. Your future posts won't need to wait for approval so post away.

I'm sorry you got the bad news. We see many people join us after being in the same exact situation, so you are not alone. 

As far as big dogs go, yes, they can make great Tripawds! The best vets know that size need not be an issue as long as all other factors about the dog's health are good. 

How is he struggling with recovery now?  As long as pain is well-managed, the amputation recovery isn't as difficult as you might imagine. Most people say that it's even easier than a cruciate tear repair surgery recovery!

Giant breed dogs can do well. They may take a bit longer to recuperate, but overall they are just as happy as before, and you'll find many stories about them here, especially about Danes and Rotties. Here are just a few search results about giant breed amputee dogs to check out.

Also check out our e-books library for many tips about life on three legs. Ask as many questions as you'd like, we are here to help! And in the mean time know that it's super important to decide quickly, as the pain of osteosarcoma is extremely brutal. If he's not on any pain medication now, ask your vet for something to help dull it OK?

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

Member Since:
17 September 2020
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17 September 2020 - 7:35 pm
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Thanks Jerry - the stories about other large dogs successfully recovering from amputation are wonderful.

The aborted ACL repair was on Monday & it is now Friday & he is getting around slowly but not eating his usual amount or drinking as much as usual.  Wants to stay inside & sleep most of the time, which is what I would probably be doing in his situation, but with a lot less grace.

We are looking at the amputation scheduled for next Wednesday, which I am not looking forward to.  Tyson has been struggling with getting in & out of the car for a couple of weeks, & he is a big boy to carry.  Our specialist says that all of his other health indicators are good & he is on pain relief from our usual vet which we are continuing in the interim.

Tracy, Tyson's mum

Virginia




Member Since:
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17 September 2020 - 7:42 pm
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I see you're  on here now.  So what pain meds is he on, the dose amount and frequency?  A biopsy itself is orten quite painful. 

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 September 2020 - 12:55 am
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Hi Benny

All Tyson is on at the moment is Mobic (meloxicam) 7.5mg once daily.  The biopsy included several bone cores and a chunk of his lower leg bone.

I have booked the surgery & our specialist advises that he will come home with antibiotics, anti-inflammatories & pain relief but will only be staying overnight unless there are complications.

Tracy

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26 September 2020 - 1:59 am
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Ok. Tyson had the surgery on Wed & we picked him up this morning (Sat). He is on antibiotics & anti inflam/pain killers.  The amputation was the full leg from the pelvis with a drain in place. He is trying to stand but is struggling. We are trying to support him when he stands but how much help is too much? Should we let him try to stand by himself?

Tracy

Virginia




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26 September 2020 - 3:23 am
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Welcome home Tyson!

How is he doing as far as eating drinking peeing or pooping? Pooping may take a few days because of all of the pain meds. Speaking of pain meds, what is he on besides the anti-inflammatory. Most dogs come home with gabapentin and tramadol as well as the anti-inflammatory and antibiotic.

It's Not Unusual at all for larger dogs to need more time to stand and walk. So for now, assist him in getting up and in walking. He just had major surgery, has a drain, and is on pain meds. All of that can interfere with his Mobility at first. He needs to just get out for a short potty break and then back in for more rest. Make sure if you have hardwood floors that you have non-slip scatter rugs for traction . Also, his bed needs to be a firm bed and not a squishy soft bed as that makes it harder for him to stand and get a grip.

Hang in there, recovery is no picnic for a couple of weeks. Mobility will come, he just needs to get a little bit further out in his recovery update when you get a chance. And try and get some rest. This has been an exhausting time for you to get to this point and I'm sure Tyson is exhausted too.

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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26 September 2020 - 2:16 pm
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We are trying to support him when he stands but how much help is too much? Should we let him try to stand by himself?

It's always a fine line between too much babying and not enough. Just the fact that you're asking this question means that you're doing a great job walking the line between the two. I think that you can try to let him stand and see what happens. I wouldn't push him into any other type of activity. Right now his only job is to rest and go outside, on leash, to potty and poo a couple of times a day, or whatever he wants to do. Is she showing any effort to eliminate? And I x2 Sally's other questions.

Stay strong, be patient and know that this only temporary. Yes, big dogs do need a bit longer to get their mojo back but it'll happen!

YAY for Tyson being home! smiley_clap

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

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27 September 2020 - 3:05 pm
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Hi all.  Tyson is on Mobic (meloxicam) 7.5mg once daily + antibiotics. His usual routine is to have his breakfast outside then go potty but we decided it would be easier for him to go out the front door as there are no steps. Yesterday (Sunday) he pushed past me through the back door before I could leash him & tried to go up the steps to go potty. Steps have been blocked but he went through the garden to get past the blockage. Went down & could not get up again. We got him down off the steps & he walked about 20 steps to poop. Is not interested in food or drink & is fighting taking his meds. Have tried to hide meds in favourite foods but no interest. Am having to force them down his throat which is distressing for all of us.  

Virginia




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22 February 2013
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27 September 2020 - 3:41 pm
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TYSON!!× No stairs yet young man!!! Glad your hoomans were right there to lift your butt up!!  

YAY for 💩💩!!  And YAY for walking on three!  But no more pushing the limits for now!!

So, he is on NO pain meds, right??    Meloxicam is basically  an anti-inflammatory  and does almost no good as far as curtailing  the type of pain from the MAJOR surgery Tyson just had.  Lots of links on pain management   on the site.  Check them out and then advocate  for better pain meds.  Human swould probably still be in the hospital on a morphine drip!!

Once the pain is managed, he may feel more like eating.

For now though, try and get him to eat ANY yummy food you can get in him.  Cheeseburgers,  bacon and eggs with melted cheese, cheese pizza, stinky  liverwurst... whatever ot takes.  Feed it on uour own plates rather than his bowl.  Tjat way he thinks he's really get some special.And don't  hide the meds  in the yummy food at first.  Try  making cream cheese balls or warmed cheese  balls and toss him a couple  pill free....then toss the one with the pill.

We have a good video on here from Karen (PugMaggie)of how to pill a dog.  Just need to find it for you.

For drinking, try adding chicken broth, tuna water.  For whatever  reason, my Hapoy Hannah didn't  want to drink much at first during  recovery either.  I would get a small scoop of ice cream, have her take a lick or two, then swirl it in the water as she followed the scoop into the water.  She liked ice cream flavored water!😎

Let is know how Tyson is doing and of you can get some better pain meds for him.  And the antibiotic can make him not feel like eating too.  Does he show any signs of nausea from them?

Give that sweet boy a big smooch for us!!

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




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22 February 2013
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27 September 2020 - 3:45 pm
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PS...Here's a link Jerry jist posted on an interview  on pain meds  https://tripawd.....m-dr-alex/

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!

Emily T
12
8 October 2020 - 9:12 am
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Poor Tyson - how is he doing now? We will bring our newly minted tripawd home tomorrow and are definitely looking for any recovery advice -- our biggest question is how is handling pooping with one rear leg???

Bella is an 8.5 year old, 100 lb, great dane. She has been on gabapentin and an antibiotic for a week already because of the increasing pain and infection in that leg. One of those meds is really messing with her appetite and seems to have made her constipated, which then doesn't help the appetite!

Has anyone used a rear (plus front) harness? Any tips on getting a dog use to it if they need it for steps and getting in the car?

On The Road


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24 September 2009
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8 October 2020 - 11:41 am
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Emily, welcome. Sorry for the quick hello but I have a meeting and wanted to get your post approved ASAP. Meanwhile please register as a member and start an all new topic of your own in this Forum so that we can better assist you and Bella ok? 

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

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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8 October 2020 - 12:57 pm
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Sorry you have to be here, but this is the best place to be for support and information.  We just had another Great Dane join is named Lucy.   Breat Danes prove over and over that big dogs can handle three just fine.

You can research harnesses in our Gear Shop.  For now though, maybe just try a towel sling under her belly until you can guage what amount of support she will need.

I imagine the a antibiotic  is really messing with her tummy.   You can try a teaspoon  of natural pumpkin (no spices, no sugar, etc) and see if that helps with the constipation, or maybe some steamed squash  with a touch of love oil.

Drinking g and peeing are import, but she may ge off food for a few days and, as you already noted, not wanting  to poop for a few days.  

Rest, rest, rest, SHORT potty break and back for more rest.  She may, or may not tolerate  you trying to help her with a sling towel.  Sometimes  dogs may poop or pee in their bed the first 24 hrs home, just because  of the meds, etc.

Is there anyway to avoid steps right now??   The Vet Techs can help get her jn the car. 

If you have hardwood  floors you'll need  non slip scatter rugs for traction .  

As Jerry said,  when you have a chance to catch your breath, start your own thread on Bella and we can better help you, okay?

We look forward to hearing all about Bella and her homecoming.

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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24 September 2009
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8 October 2020 - 7:21 pm
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Emily T said
Poor Tyson - how is he doing now? We will bring our newly minted tripawd home tomorrow and are definitely looking for any recovery advice -- our biggest question is how is handling pooping with one rear leg???

Bella is an 8.5 year old, 100 lb, great dane. She has been on gabapentin and an antibiotic for a week already because of the increasing pain and infection in that leg. One of those meds is really messing with her appetite and seems to have made her constipated, which then doesn't help the appetite!

Has anyone used a rear (plus front) harness? Any tips on getting a dog use to it if they need it for steps and getting in the car?

  

I'm finally back, and just wanted to let you know that we are watching for your new post OK? I'm concerned about Bella's situation because you mentioned an infection and increasing pain. Please let us know how she's doing, we will be waiting.

Oh here's some harness introduction tips in the Tripawds Gear blog .

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

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