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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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Forum Posts: 66
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6 October 2020 - 3:13 pm
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Thank you all so much!  Going to remember the 5 minute rule!!!   I will let him recover more at his pace - I just get worried because I’m worried when he’s in these weird places he’s going to step off the runners and hurt himself.   Maybe I need to Xanax instead of Kip 🙂   Vet is not concerned at all and thinks Kip is doing well. He is anxious to get him off tramadol and wants an update tomorrow AM.  Will keep you posted 

SO appreciate all the feedback and tips.  All the experience and support is so comforting.  

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6 October 2020 - 3:23 pm
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Thank you so much for all the advice / help / support!!  I am going to take him outside in the next 15 minutes and make him stay on our side of the street and tinkle \ go #2.      I’m going to grill Kip a steak to put a little of the steak / juice over his puppy food, pour a glass of wine and try to unwind a little bit. 

New York, NY
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6 October 2020 - 3:53 pm
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Hi.  As others have said, the initial recovery is stressful and each dog's recovery will be different.  You are doing everything right, including that glass of wine you have scheduled for this evening!!  Griffin and I live in an apartment in NYC, so during his initial recovery, it was challenging to get him outside for potty breaks without wearing him out and overdoing it.  I know Jerry posted that you have a cool bike for riding with Kip, but I'm going to reiterate my suggestion about using a wagon/stroller if possible.  We used a wagon and exited through the basement where there are no stairs to street level.  I pulled Griffin to a grassy area, let him sniff around for a bit, and then loaded him back into the wagon for the ride home.  I have since upgraded our wagon to one that pushes like a stroller, and we use it every day on our morning walks.  Here's to a restful night! ~ 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

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6 October 2020 - 4:13 pm
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Thanks!  I have the stroller in my amazon basket for him - I’m worried the hill out of the garage is too steep For the stroller / wagon for him to be comfortable so maybe we should just keep going slow out the building with the stairs and get the stroller for when staples are out.  I’ll ask the surgeon tomorrow!  Kip and I lived in NYC for 5 years - he actually got tickets at Central Park off leash for harassment of wild life (ie chasing the ducks and not calling when called).  

Appreciate the ideas!   Definitely getting the stroller for him 

Virginia




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6 October 2020 - 4:28 pm
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Too funny about Kip getting written up and a ticket!!😂   

Can't imagine any dog willing to stop and come when they are in the middle of chasing all that great New York City wildlife exclamation

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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6 October 2020 - 5:57 pm
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KipThomas10 said
 I’m going to grill Kip a steak to put a little of the steak / juice over his puppy food, pour a glass of wine and try to unwind a little bit.   

Now we're talkin'! Yes, this is exactly what you both need, some R&R and quiet together time!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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6 October 2020 - 6:15 pm
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Hope so!!! Just ordered the stroller for Mr Kip! It’s arriving tmrw!  Little nervous to push him up the big hill so we’ll just see 😊. We’ve been sitting outside - he’s panting but he seems happy.  Every time he walks a bit we take a 5 min plus rest ♥️

Virginia




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6 October 2020 - 6:25 pm
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👍👍👍

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!

New York, NY
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6 October 2020 - 6:44 pm
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I can't wait to see a photo of Kip riding in his new set of wheels!  I would imagine that if you might struggle pushing a stroller on the hill out of the garage it would be a difficult hill for most tripawds to navigate, so here's to hoping for a smooth ride for everyone!  I live all the way uptown and Griffin roams off-leash at Dyckman Fields.  There are tons of Canadian geese and other wildlife (I even saw a skunk once!), so I am grateful that Griffin has never been interested in chasing them since I know some neighbors who were issued tickets for the same reason.  smiley2

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

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7 October 2020 - 9:02 am
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Another long night... Kip rested peacefully all day and we went to sleep with no problem at 945pm.  I woke up at 12am to him panting loudly standing - I couldn’t get him to sit or lay down for longer than a few minutes.  Finally around 3am he fell asleep and I slept on the floor then couch next to him.  It seems like I have to be firm / almost yell at him to make him sit down.  He slept well until about 6am when I woke up to him trying to sprint to the front door.   He’s on his gabapentin and medacam and eating ok.  We’ve limited walks as well.  Does this get better!??

Virginia




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7 October 2020 - 9:34 am
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Running to the front door".....as in trying to run away from aomething.like pain???   I know we've mentioned  phantom pain a lot, but after each "nerve attack"  a dog often pants and shakes and is restless for a bit, not hours rhough.

Can you get a second opinion from another Vet?  

When are stitches due out?  I know we mentioned this before too, but a staple/stitch can be pulling and poking with certain  movements.  So he was hesitant to lay down specifically?  Once he got through the actual "movement" of laying  down he was able to get comfortable?  When you massage him all,over his spine, etc, no signs of tenseness?

When this "restlessness" starts, try massag6 over a warm towel from the dryer.

I k ow my Happy Hannah was quite restless and whiny, especially  at night.  She didnt have phantom pajn though.  It took me about three weeks before I could say I did this FOR my Hapoy Hannah and not TO her.

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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7 October 2020 - 10:14 am
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Yes, things DO get better, really. I'm sorry you are both sleep deprived right now. I agree with Sally's suggestions: what happens when you massage him? Does he react to any points of touch? If not, it does sound like the pain meds only work for a short period of time. Has your vet mentioned the possibility of adding Amantadine into the mix? It works well with Gabapentin, especially if phantom pain is suspected.

Also, have you tried sleeping in your own bed? I can't recall if you have a split level home or not. This may sound crazy, but maybe it's something as simple as the unusual sleeping arrangement that is making him nervous. I know many people sleep on the floor with their new Tripawd, but dogs really like stability and routine, and sleeping on the floor is just so not what most dogs are used to. Maybe that's making Kip anxious?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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7 October 2020 - 11:20 am
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Thank you so much - I can’t stop thinking “what did I do to Kip?”.   What I’ve noticed is he’s stopped the screeches when he feels the pain so that’s good.   After his “attack”, he gets up and tries to go to the door and seems scared (heart racing).  I then lead him back to a safe space on the rug and hug him / hold him semi tightly rubbing his back / shoulders massaging gently and he seems to lean into me.  He doesn’t flinch or seem to have pain anywhere else.  I did notice when I touched his front paw this AM he flinched slightly.  Sometimes he’ll settle down, sometimes that won’t work so I’ll have to keep trying to calm him.  Last night for example it took me about 90 mins to calm him down.  Once he calms down and can lay down, he’ll sleep for 2-4 hours soundly.   

I’m getting worried because his appetite isn’t as good as it was this weekend. I’m having to entice him (start with a high value treat to peak his interest).  I had a doctors apt this AM so I didn’t have time to grill him steak - so he only ate a few pieces of cheese and eggs.  

Last night I tried to get into my bed and he walked up on his bed and panted / stood staring at me.  My fiancé had a huge presentation this AM so that’s when I brought Kip into the living room to try to relax him.  

I am also wondering if his schedule is mixed up? He seems exhausted this AM but slept soundly all yesterday.  His staples come out Tuesday.   If I can navigate the stroller, I’m going to try to take him to different places so J can work and he feels like he’s getting an outing next week.  Not sure if he feels too cooped up?!? Typically he’s a very social dog but don’t want to overdo it either.

I’m waiting for the vet to call me back.  This vet has gone above and beyond for Kip so I’m hesitant to get a second opinion.  Will describe all this and ask about the Amantadine.

Does all this sound normal??  His staples all look good (just a little dry blood and look a little dry but no drainage or discolored crust)... I’m just worried now he has some type of infection or something else that I’m missing (no basis for this but my mind is rubbing wild

wow - Update:  as soon as I left and my fiancé started cooking steak for him he ate his whole breakfast.....that’s a win!  

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7 October 2020 - 2:15 pm
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Hi!  I just spoke to the vet and the surgeon is going to prescribe trazadone.   Is that like amatadine?   I’m hoping it helps him - he’s resting comfortably now - just going to let him set the schedule and hope he feels better soon.   

The Rainbow Bridge



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7 October 2020 - 5:09 pm
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Really glad you talked to the vet. Trazadone is used as a sedative in veterinary medicine, so it should help him sleep and relax more. Amantadine is used for pain in conjunction with Gabapentin. 

Never feel like you're being disloyal to your vet if you want another opinion. A good vet understands that they don't always have the answers. I know the referral clinic you went to, and the practitioners, are top-notch, but if the issues continue unresolved there's nothing wrong with talking to another vet, like maybe Kip's general practice vet he normally sees?

Meanwhile, what stood out to me is that Kip ate well when your fiance fed him (yay for eating!). So try to ask yourself, what is your fiance doing differently, behaviorwise, that you can try to emulate, in order to help Kip feel relaxed enough to eat? 

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