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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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Miracle Rottie, Is an amputation too much?
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Virginia




Forum Posts: 21158
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2 October 2020 - 11:51 am
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Kip is doing really well for just a few days out of surgery....really well!  Loved hearing that he is sleeping solid when he does sleep.  And his mobility  is getting more and more stable, and will continue  to do so.

Tail wags will come.  Enjoying his favorite  bone and sing routines  will come.  Just like a hooman a few days from  MAJOR surgery, he just feels a littl blah right now and is conserving  all energy for healing.   Even tail wags take a .ot of effort right now.

There a difference  in a pain sound when whining than just whining  for a little attention and maybe needing reassurance and being  kind of  uncomfortable.  Is he showing  any noticeable  signs of pain?  

Try and sort of chronicle when the whining starts.  Is it before his pain meds start to wear off before the next dose?  Or is it just kind of random?

Anyway, keep your Vet in the loop if you think he needs pain med adjustments.....or maybe just more hugs and reassurance!   Good job of sending  pics to your Bet of bruising  and swell.  Sounds like pretty normal part of the recovery  though.

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



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2 October 2020 - 1:31 pm
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Hey I'm just know catching up on Kip's recovery situation. Thanks for being there last night Sally! You're awesome! 

It all sounds pretty normal, even the bruising. The whining is likely due to dysphoria, a reaction to pain medication that basically means that he's loopy and a little freaked out by the sensation of being medicated. You may want to ask your vet about a sedative like Trazadone if it continues, but do mention the other symptoms when you check in. I'm pretty sure his pain is being addressed pretty well based on what you are describing, his clinic care, and what we chatted about, but as I mentioned, all dogs are different so let your vet know.

Otherwise everything else you've described is spot on for a good recovery. Remember to get some rest. Sleep when he does, and oh, remember to Be More Dog ! The more pawsitive energy you put out there, the more he will reflect it right back to you. Recovery's a team effort and you're the team captain! smiley_clap

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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2 October 2020 - 8:54 pm
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Thanks everyone!  It’s been a busy day!! Kip is urinating every 5-7 hours and just took his first poop!  So proud of him!  I think he was a little restless bc of the constipation.  He just came in from #2 (I sodded my balcony so he doesn’t have to go too far as he recovers) and sighed deeply and laid back down in a way I haven’t seen since he came home (this is a dog that typically poops 3-4 times a day)!  

Today I’m seeing Kip get a little stronger (he stood and hopped the entire time when he found his pee spot and then poop spot at once) and has been making it to / from the living room to the bedroom (may 10 ft) 1-2 times a day.  Overnight he is doing well standing to reposition.  He’s tried a few times to lay on the surgery side but switches right away so it’s tender (obviously only 3 days post op)!!   Today wasn’t without its challenges though - he kind of rolled off his bed into a water fountain earlier (luckily not the surgery side)!  His appetite is completely normal and he seems so much more at ease post bathroom success (sorry for the overstate)! 

im going to change the sod tomorrow to keep it clean but - when do you think I should I try to take him on a walk?  From my condo to the exit of our building is ab elevator ride, long hallway (maybe 20-30 feet) and then 5 steps downstairs.   Well DEF sling him for assistance.  I know we’d have to take some rest stops but I’m wondering if it’s too much! 

Virginia




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2 October 2020 - 9:25 pm
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YAAAAY FOR 💩💩💩   We love to celebrate. 💩💩💩  around here!

Your Kip is recovering so well!  Kudos to you for taking such good care of him.  I love the sod idea.

As far as the distance he needs to walk to go potty, I'd hold off a bit longer.  Generally Vet's recommend short leashed potty breaks the first two weeks.  Stairs may take him a bit of time to navigate confidently.  I k ow Im5 not givi6 you a definitive  timeframe, but I think you jist need tomplaynot by ear and follow Kip's lead and pace.  My sense  is he could "walk the hall" to potty probably  before the two week mark.....especially with you by his side to help and to give him some rest stops.👍

Kip is  making improvements at a rapid fire pace.  He certainly has a lot of spunk and that's  a good thing in recovery!

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!

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3 October 2020 - 1:01 am
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Thanks!!!  Going to give him a week before we venture out (assuming I can find sod tmrw bc we need it after all the long tinkles - it’ll be a dirty job cleaning and replacing but worth it to create a “backyard” in Santa Monica for him.  

Another giant #2 this evening!!! Guess all his insides are back functioning!  Hes up to peeing ever 4-5 hours now - I’m worried he’s peeing too much.  He’s eaten SO much since yesterday afternoon I knew it was a matter of time.  Issue was after his PM drugs he’s so much Wobblier - I worry when he’s got to go he tries to turn around to quick and his good hint leg bends in ways that make me worried! 

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3 October 2020 - 12:10 pm
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Kip’s doing so well!!! I’m so happy that he’s going to the bathroom regularly. That’s so great! And taking pictures is a great idea. Easy to send to the vet if you are ever a bit worried. Something that helped us with Lady was chronicling everything. We made a post surgery calendar with times for pills, bathroom breaks, and different moods/ accomplishments each day. As a chronic worrier, it helped me keep track of everything in those first weeks. When the time comes for the stairs, we actually bought one of the harnesses on this website. It made it SO MUCH easier assisting her down the stairs and gave her the confidence to do it. But for now, know that Kip is doing a spectacular job only a few days after surgery!! Sending hugs and positive vibes your way 🤎

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3 October 2020 - 12:14 pm
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Thank you!!!! Today has been tough - he woke us up at 4am with a terrible loud cry. I think maybe the good injectable meds are wearing off and he rolled / sat on it funny.  I’m going to keep his pain meds up every 6-8 hours (prob closer to 7 hrs) and talk to the vet Monday.  He seems ok now but I’m just worried he’s more tired today.  I have a med schedule but I’m def adding. Mood and potty info to it - thanks for the idea!!!!

update - my fiancé just approached kip who was sitting to give him pats / kisses and i think kip leaned back and let out an awful cry and freaked. It might have stretched / been intense pains.  I held him steady until he calmed down and now he’s laying down just panting but ate treats. I think he needs more frequent pain meds - it seems like by hour 6-7 he’s uncomfortable.   I’m waiting for the vet to call me back 

The Rainbow Bridge



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3 October 2020 - 2:03 pm
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Oh darn I'm sorry for the scary crying. Yeah, this would be about the time the meds are wearing off. It does sound like he needs his medications boosted up in frequency, good move to call your vet. Usually it just takes a tweak or two to get the timing right so that you're able to stay ahead of the pain. Keep us posted!

Also, I'm in the Tripawds Chat for a while, stop by if you'd like.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Virginia




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3 October 2020 - 6:56 pm
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And also check out links on phantom limb pain.  The brain is still send oit signals to nerve endings  that no longer have a let to go to.  A dog will helps suddenly  and act as if he's trying  to  move away from the pain.  The pain itself usually lasts maybe thirty seconds, more or less.  But a dog will shake afterwards  and act fearful  not understanding  what just happened  and what caused the searing pain..  Gabapentin  usually  addresses it.  Fortunately  it is manageable  and does dissipate.  May not be this, but just thought I'd throw it out there.

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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3 October 2020 - 7:14 pm
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One thing that makes me happy is he’s getting around faster already than he was w/ the four legs ♥️

FANTASTIC!!!   

Now you need to try and fet some rest!  Exhaustion,.  You won't really realize how draining emotionally and physically getting to this part of the recovery can be until you are on the other side of it.    The stress of the diagnosis, the surgery, the recovery really does deplete  young uour energy

Oh, and check out seroma .  A seroma   is a pocket of excess squishy fluid that will eventually be reabsorbed by the body.  Send a photo to your Vet to confirm, but that's  most likely what you're  dealing with. 

Get some good 💤💤💤

Hugs

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

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5 October 2020 - 10:12 am
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WHAT A WEEKEND!    Kip’s anxiety seemed to pick up Saturday PM where he just wouldn’t settle down.   Sunday was a bit better but hell randomly cry out and realize his leg is gone and try to lick it (cry is like I stepped on his tail)!  We increased his tramadol a bit.  Saturday PM I slept with him on the floor to calm him down.  Last night he only woke me up at 2am and 6am (2am was for meds) - he was just up looking around but overall slept MUCH better than the first few nights.    He is eating like normal (with a little prompting - like I have to handfeed him a little cheese then he realizes he is hungry and eats).   When he was going through chemo - he realized I would keep trying stuff until he got what he liked so hed hold out for steak.  He is pottying like normal now.  

He is SO excited to go out for walks - like he charges the door.  His anxiety / overall mood seems MUCH better as of Sunday AM when we took him on a walk outside.   As soon as we get to our 4 mins of walking though (which is about half a block moving quick in one direction), he realized I’m trying to turn him back towards home and he becomes dead weight and refuses to get up. This AM we were out for 1.5 hours just kind of sitting around (Kip was laying).  Anyone experience that or have any ideas!?  I spoke with his Dr this AM and the Dr doesnt want to resort to anxiety meds yet (since he improved last night and Kip has never been anxious a day in his life).   Ideas for dealing with a very stubborn lab!?  Im SO looking forward to getting the staples out so I can get him to PT / maybe take him away for a week end of Oct/Nov to rent a house with a backyard (is that crazy)!?  

New York, NY
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5 October 2020 - 12:39 pm
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Hi!  I'm so glad to hear that overall, Kip is doing so well with his recovery!  One thing that stood out to me with his story is the restlessness and tramadol.  Griffin was on tramdol, galliprant, and gabapentin after surgery, but we stopped the tramadol after a few days because it was causing disphoria.  He did well on just the galliprant and gabapentin after that.  It might be a good idea to discuss tweaking his meds with his vet team.  As for the walks, have you considered a dog stroller or wagon?  Even beyond the initial recovery phase, Kip will not be able to walk as long or as far as he did previously, so having a set of wheels might be beneficial.  I have used a wagon with Griffin because he was accustomed to it from before surgery and have added a dog seat belt as a safety measure since the wagon is not enclosed.  Our morning walks are 2 miles, and Griffin rides for half of the distance, trading off walking for a bit and then riding for a bit.  If Kip is too heavy to be easily lifted, dog strollers are built lower to the ground and allow for dogs to step into them more easily.  Jake's mom, Connie, started a thread recently about strollers for big breed dogs here - https://tripawd.....roller/.  It sounds like you and Kip are doing a great job so far.  Good luck for a continued smooth recovery!  ~ Stacy

Griffin lived an amazing life for 11 years! Diagnosed with osteosarcoma on March 17, 2020, Griffin's right forelimb was amputated on April 2, 2020. Ten days later he was running and playing fetch! Lung metastasis discovered in July 2020 did not slow down Griffin and he lived joyfully for the next 7 months, passing peacefully at home on February 11, 2021. https://griffin.tripawds.com

The Rainbow Bridge



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5 October 2020 - 12:51 pm
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Well that's some progress! I agree that if he's showing improvement then hold off on the anxiety medication, good idea from your vet! I'm so hoppy everything else is improving too like his appetite and pooping. That's excellent progress, many dogs don't poop for days after amputation surgery!

When it comes to sitting down on walks, it can be easy to confuse stubbornness with pain signals . As Tripawd parents it's up to us to manage their activity to make sure they don't overdo activity levels. So as much as he didn't want to turn around, it was great that you made him. As time goes on you'll find a new normal with Kip to balance walking/exercise with keeping his mind as happy as his body. We recommend plenty of interactive brain games to tire out an active Tripawd after surgery and beyond. Have you tried any games with him?

As for pet strollers, yep, they're pawesome! But I know you have that fabulous Bunch Bike, which we are going to feature in the Tripawds Gear blog next week (thanks for the tip!). 

Renting a house with a back yard would be wonderful! That's not crazy at all in our world. You're such a great dog mom!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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5 October 2020 - 1:06 pm
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Thank you!! Keeping an eye on him with the tramadol - he seems better than Saturday so I’m hoping that he’s steadied - he’s resting comfortably now.  I do feel like he isn’t feeling great - he’s laying in the hallway which he never does so I’m worried he is just exhausted.  Going to take him out on a few more short walks to try to help his spirits.

Going to try some of the pup games!  He hasn’t been interested in his typical frozen bones / bones / toys yet but hoping he starts showing a little more interest soon!

Katie 

The Rainbow Bridge



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5 October 2020 - 2:25 pm
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Let us know which games he enjoys, it's always fun to learn what works best.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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