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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Nicholas, 8 year old Newfoundland goes in for surgery tonight (Newf, Newfie)
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Member Since:
10 June 2023
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23 June 2023 - 4:07 pm
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Advice please! The vet and I didn't connect by phone yesterday and now calling their pharmacy I see he wants to take him off Gabapentin.  Nicky's been getting 400 + 400mg (2 caps) three times a day, so 2400 mgs a day. Just intuitively it seems like a poor idea to cut down on a high dosage so quickly and anyway it's only been a week since his amputation. Is this usually done? I'm supposed to check in tomorrow before 12 noon and let the vet know if he's in pain. It's very hard to tell if he's in pain.

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24 June 2023 - 1:38 pm
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Hi Suzanne and Nicholas.  I first want to say that I have been following Nicholas' story for inspiration.  You may have replied to me on my thread, but my Saint Bernard is about to have amputation next week.  I am so terrified.  Anyway, it is so good to hear successful stories like this one.

I would be wondering about your vet's decision to cut out the gaba as well.  If it were me, I would call and see if you can get a short term refill just so that you have a little time to connect with your vet to have a conversation.  I would be pushy about it and I might even fib/exaggerate a little and say that my dog is exhibiting signs of new pain.  I don't know what the standard is as far as length of time that they should be on gaba.  Mine is currently on only 400mg every 8 hours.  But she hasn't had the surgery yet.  Hopefully someone with more experience here will chime in.  Please update us.

Colorado
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24 June 2023 - 1:44 pm
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My experience with Ellie is they took her off carprofen (the anti-inflamatory) after a week, but they did refill her gabapentin. If you can ask for 100mg tablets so you can give a lower dose. Ellie was also on 400mg 3x a day for about 2 or 3 weeks, then I started reducing it. She was on gabapentin for 6 weeks.

Colorado
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24 June 2023 - 1:48 pm
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Even if you aren't seeing pain signals I think a week is way too short. They don't even get stitches out for 2 weeks. Gabapentin is very safe to give even as a long term pain relief. I know some vets question how well it works, but seems like any owner going through this thinks gaba helps substantially. I know i do.

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24 June 2023 - 3:45 pm
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Thanks so much, Whitney for the information. I edited this but it didn't seem to take, but I did what Michael suggested, called and said i needed a prescription. Nick's vet wasn't there but an associate prescribed the same amount and we're fine. He has missed three 800 doses because I waited to see how it affected him. I think he was feeling a little odd this morning because he went out in his yard and sat by himself and didn't come for breakfast, but he's himself now. I will try a lower dose in week 3. I think my vet just wanted feedback on his pain level before he prescribed, but the phone company can't seem to fix our voicemail problem so the vet and I keep missing each other. Why do children and animals always get sick on the weekend?

Today is a big day for Nicholas because we are letting him out in our large back yard (and the orchard and fields beyond but he's too tired to do that by himself and we're not encouraging it) He's so glad to be free of boring house arrest!. Our terrace is mortar laid flagstone, but the outside walk is sand laid with big cracks after I weed in the spring. He is very carefully putting his good foot in the middle of each stone. That walk was pretty tiring. Now he is lying so he can oversee the farm from the open back door. Snoozing a little too.

The Rainbow Bridge



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24 June 2023 - 6:30 pm
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Suzanne, I'm so glad your vet practice was willing to continue the gabapentin. Whitney is correct, it's very safe and it's always best to cut back slowly. As suggested, when the initial dose runs out it's good to get refills prescribed in 100 mg so that you can tailor to his needs.

Here's a post about it:

https://tripawd.....-and-cats/

I'm sorry he had that scary entanglement! Poor guy. I would have panicked myself, you kept a cool head. Good job!

And I love how you told him no more breakfast in bed. One of the biggest things that can delay recovery is when well-intentioned folks continue hand-feeding and doing everything for their dog. The dog gets used to it, and then recovery takes longer. So good for you with that little bit of tough love! 

Sounds like a lovely day in the yard for all of you. Can we come and hang out on the farm too? lol! 

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25 June 2023 - 9:09 am
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We'd love to have you come! smiley9

Day 9 yesterday Sat June 24. Well, after that lovely day, the sun was setting and Nicholas was relaxing on the terrace when we heard loud barking. Came out to see he had flipped up the gate panel to the stone stairs off the terrace and squeezed under it, breaking the side attachments. Out to the side field he raced to catch The Enemy, that bobcat again!! He flew down the field, maybe 200 yards and leaping over the mowed rows. By then my husband was out with him and I called him to come back. Came back very proud of himself. His good foot was so sore he didn’t want to climb the two steps to our bedroom, so I slept in the family room with him last night. Poor invalid… We’ll have to keep him inside in the evenings. He always seems to think ahead of us, no matter how careful we are. and he’s so courteous and gentle most of the time, his strength is surprising. As his vet says "Nicky’s a very sweet dog until he isn’t" I’m hoping that determination will see him through this!

The Rainbow Bridge



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25 June 2023 - 3:12 pm
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Haha be careful what you ask for, we have an RV!

OMD Nicholas!!! Woah! No more chasing the bobcat. There will be plenty of time for that later.

He's a cheeky one isn't he?

Virginia







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25 June 2023 - 7:03 pm
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As his vet says "Nicky’s a very sweet dog until he isn’t" I’m hoping that determination will see him through this!  

Hahaha......perfect description, especially after his "escaped adventure" where he tried to befriend a Bobcat!!😉😉

I can only imagine how proud he was of his 200 yard  dash.  I know for you it was scary, but.shhhh....shhh.... I bet you also were quite proud  of Nicky😎

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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26 June 2023 - 3:27 pm
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Day 10 Sunday, June 25.. For those who are following Nicholas's progress, his shaved area from the amputation has grown in, black Newfy undercoat, and he looks like a strange giant poodle in a 2XL tee shirt!  Rested all day from his bobcat adventures. We had a music jam in the afternoon in his room, and he was happy to greet old friends. He got to join the circle on his bed. Usually he is kept outside the circle because he knocks over music stands and hot coffee with his tail. So there are a few perks!

Day 11 Monday June 26 Nice restful day. He got to roam around in the yard by himself, take all his shortcuts through the hedges and ended up lying in a puddle next to the barn. Then he came back in, muddy tee shirt and all. We have a little half bath with tile floors off the family room and that's his cave.

I have had Healthy Paws insurance for him since puppyhood and never had to use it, for 8 years! I had increased it to 90% a couple of years ago. They have been just great, covered everything from OSU oncology CT scans to all vet amputation and medication costs, very quick and clear. It was a great relief to make decisions on what we thought best for him, not on finances. They also cover physical therapy so I'm thinking about swimming for him. I really can't see him warming up to a tank and treadmill, it would make no sense to him, but they also have a pool. He loves to swim with people and other dogs.

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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26 June 2023 - 5:03 pm
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Cant wait to see some pics and video of our Tripawd RockStar modeling  his tee and soon swimming with hos doggy pals.

So cute that he enjoys his music jam sessuons.  And glad to know all,musical instruments  are ssfe.....for now anyway😉

Good to kmpw you are so pleased with " Healthy Paws Pet Insurance".  We actually have a thread where members post their experiences with pet insurance.  You ,might want want to  check it out and make a post.

Thanks for the update on our muddy puddle loving pup!

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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26 June 2023 - 5:11 pm
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P.S.    https://tripawd.....surance-3/

FWIW Not sure of this is the gest place to post about "Healthy Paws", but might want to .

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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26 June 2023 - 7:39 pm
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Thanks. That seems to be the right place and I posted there. There have been times when i thought I was insane to spend that much on health insurance, but wow! what peace of mind!

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26 June 2023 - 8:07 pm
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Ophelia has done physical therapy for some very minor arthritis for 18 months. She does the hydrotherapy which is just great for them.  She thought it was a little weird at first but now she loves it.  She will NOT, under any circumstances, swim.  😂   She only likes to “swim” if her feet are touching the bottom.  

The Rainbow Bridge



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27 June 2023 - 9:30 am
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Nicholas joined the band? That's pawesome! We always knew he was a rock star smiley10smiley16

Can't believe that coat of his is already coming back. WOW!

I hope you see even more improvement his week.

That's awesome Healthy Paws is coming through for you. Yep, that is the best place to post about your experience so thank you. I agree. Pet insurance is one of those things you don't want to pay for but if you can swing the premiums, in a situation like this it more than pays off.

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