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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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Tonka - my beautiful Gentleman - 88 pounds 11 yrs old - Australian Bull Arab Cross
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15 September 2021 - 9:10 am
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You are not “moaning”!  You are exhausted, scared, uncertain  and yes, impatient.  Why? Because  this recovery stuff is unchartered  territory  for you.  We call it a roller m a roller coaster  ride that none of is want to be on.!    Trying to be “patient” and  letting it play out for the next week or so is not easy for is hoomans!!   So we get it!  

All the hospital meds are out of is system now, as should be the patch.  So seeing him more ” engaged” the past few days was, in part, due to those strong meds. 

And this is where tweaking the meds comes in.   Refresh my memory.   How much does Tonka weigh??  The dose and frequency  he is in now is not out of the norm for large dogs.  That said, every dog reacts differently  to pain meds and, in so e dogs,  Gaba can sometimes  make dogs sleepy.  Of course, rest is exactly  what they need right now but you don’t  want them so “sedated” they must stay zonked!

So, talk with your Vet about reducing  the Gaba to 200 mg X 3….or going with the Gaba every twelve hours, or even every ten.  The important  thing though is to keep him out of pain and to keep him rested.

One thing that stood out is that he was having some “short bursts” yesterday.  As hard as it is, right now he needs jist ro hop oit tompotty and come right back in.  It is sooooo easy to tweak  a muscle  or sprain a back right now.  So continue  to give him massages. 

So stay connected, o,at?  And yes, patience  and a strong confident  energy right now are so important.   We KNOW it’s not easy.  I k ow we keep going back to this, but this is MAJOR surgery  all while adjusting  to three.  Major surgery takes more than four or five days to heal.  Just because a dog is movile (which is great), doesn’t  mean that recovering  from the surgery itself is a cake walk.

And speaking  of cake, just give Tonka any yummy foods he’ll eat right now.  And it’s okay to spoil him and bring it to him for now too.

Hang in there!  Ronka’s recovering  at his own pace and knows he needs rest right now.  And you try and fet some too, okay?  This IS hard on us hoomans!


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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15 September 2021 - 10:58 am
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Sally said it best! You are not moaning, and we totally understand how hard this is to cope with. We are not a patient species!

The “blah” you are seeing is not going to last, really! It’s a temporary situation that is probably caused by the Gabapentin making him sleepy, since all other signs are normal. That’s not uncommon at all, but don’t change a thing until you talk to your vet. 

Also remember that the body takes a huge blow when it goes through a surgery like this. Time and rest are necessary for healing, and oftentimes a dog will have a little crash after a few days of being bouncy and energetic. It’s like the brain and body come to the conclusion at the same time that they need to chill out for a little while. Keep telling yourself “rest is medicinal” and you can get through this!

Let us know what your vet says.

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7 September 2021
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16 September 2021 - 4:52 am
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I just wanna say … thank you (think I say that every time!) you guys are absolute pro’s at putting my mind at ease each morning as I face the day and whatever it will bring. Yesterday was such a crash from the Fentanyl super powers that Tonks showed I was super disheartened.

So today was a teeeeeensy bit better than yesterday.  A poop and a couple of wee’s – good signs – even a tail wag when dad got home… it’s the little things… he can still make his way outside when encouraged to do so – but even came out  afternoon just to see what we were up to.

Spoke to the vet – who said that the meds aren’t meant to be pushing him all the way to zombie and to try and space out dose a bit further – watch him for discomfort and dose him with gaba then.  As a lover of a schedule, this is hard, but I think I knew in my heart Tonka was over zonked.  So I’ve accepted his slowness, I’m appreciating that his resting is medicinal and not a sign to panic – and for now smaller meals and smaller drinks are ok and not another sign to panic – he’s making his gentle giant way through it.  I have to trust in him and myself that I will know when he needs extra looking after.

Also spoke to vet about impending chemo… in for a penny I guess.  Stitches are due out on day 10, and chemo will start a few days after that.  I just have to remind myself that we have committed to do all we can and this is part of it – if I could have my way Tonks would never have to step inside a vet surgery ever again, he gets so nervous and scared. 

Here’s to another red wine and another night on the lounge with my big man.  Day 7 done ..Image Enlarger

Loving the lounge lifeImage Enlarger
Loving the sun life


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16 September 2021 - 9:32 am
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Awwww…sweet boy….smooching handsome  mug right thru the screen😘

And a standing  ovation to YOU👏👏   This early  part of recovery  is not easy and you are doing an excellent  job of caring for your boy!! 

A ” teeeeensy bit better” is called PROGRESS!!!  A ,tail wag is always a beautiful  thing to see.  You’re  doing everything  right and are very tuned into Tonka’s needs.  Sounds like your Vet is on top of spacing the meds out now. 

Have to say, Vets love to shave fur!  And Tonka is proof!😁😎


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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