TRIPAWDS: Home to 15179 Members and 1691 Blogs.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG

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.
JUMP TO FORUMS

Join The Tripawds Community

Learn how to help three legged dogs and cats in the forums below. Browse and search as a guest or register for free and get full member benefits:

  • Instant post approval.
  • Private messages to members.
  • Subscribe to favorite topics.
  • Live Chat and much more!

REGISTER   |   LOG IN

Be More DogNEW! Be More Dog – Learning to Live in The Now

Get the new book by the Tripawds founders for life lessons learned from their Chief Fun Officer Jerry G. Dawg! Download the e-book, and find fun Be More Dog apparel and gifts in the Be More Dog Bookstore.

Please consider registering
Guest
Search
Forum Scope




Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
Register Lost password?
sp_Feed sp_PrintTopic sp_TopicIcon-c
1 week in updates and some help please?
sp_NewTopic Add Topic
Forum Posts: 5
Member Since:
20 February 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
1
27 February 2020 - 5:34 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hello! I’ve posted once before, but this is going to serve as hopefully a more ongoing post where I can share updates and ask questions as others seem to do 🙂 Especially since I need some serious words of wisdom now, please and thanks! And because I’ve scoured all the forums and blogs and can’t find anything about what I ultimately need help with. So, to get going, here’s a full rundown on my situation…

My 8.5 year old golden had her right front arm amputated a week ago yesterday (Wednesday 2/19) and she’s been home since Friday 2/21. Just as an FYI, she had it removed as a result of a histiocytic sarcoma on her elbow. When we picked her up, the vet said she was doing fantastic and exceeding their expectations – she was getting up and walking just fine, eating and peeing and in good spirits. When we got her home that all pretty much continued – she was doing well at hopping around and eating/drinking regularly with no hesitation, and she pooped for the first time on Sunday. But on Monday she started to seem to slow down a lot. All day on Monday she didn’t really move or leave the house till the very end of the day, at which point she did go out and pee/poop – we made her a steak for dinner and she literally ran from the back yard to the kitchen to get to it 🙂 And then Tuesday she literally didn’t leave the house at all. She just laid around and barely even sat up. We try to help her up with a sling and encourage her to move and she just sits right back down. Yesterday morning we basically dragged her outside and she sat in the grass for a while and then got up and did her business (great) and then made her way back inside (great), and I had a dog masseuse come and give her a massage which she seemed to love, but then the rest of the day she, again, really barely moved – she’ll sit up for a while and look around, but barely moves and won’t go out. Last night she wouldn’t leave the living room to come to the bedroom to bed. Usually it takes her a while but she always makes her way in there, but by this morning she had still only made it half way and was on her bed in the kitchen. She’s still eating and drinking – mind you, she’s getting very spoiled by getting her meals in bed and eats/drink while reclining, but she finishes everything and never turns it down. This am after breakfast I, once again, tried to get her to get up and go out, and she stood in place for a couple minutes and I gave her support with the tote bag sling, but she wouldn’t take a step and then turned around and laid back down. She’s sitting up and looking out the window a lot, but is this all ok? Is it alright that she’s not moving? The past few days she just seems like she is all of a sudden way more unsteady and nervous to take steps – even when she does take them, she’s way more hesitant. She’s done with her post-opp Tramadol and is just on Vetprofen now for pain, but honestly she doesn’t seem like she’s in a ton of pain so I don’t think that’s it necessarily… although not sure how I could tell. SO, that brings me to the end of my crazy long update and plea for help – can anyone shed some light on all this? Should I be doing more to make her walk around more and get outside to go to the bathroom? Is there anything I can do to make her feel like she’s safe and it’s ok to walk? I keep telling myself this is normal post-opp recovery behavior and that she’ll get up and go when she’s ready, but I feel like her dang muscles are going atrophy or she’s gonna mess up her kidneys or something by not going to the bathroom more! Any advice would be very welcome! 

Forum Posts: 8
Member Since:
4 February 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
2
27 February 2020 - 7:23 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi Melinda,

I’m sorry you are going through all this.  I don’t have much advice or experience but I just wanted to reach out because I feel that I am exploring a very similar diagnosis.  My 10.5 year old golden retriever was also diagnosed with histiocytic sarcoma of the right elbow.  She had her amputation on 2/4 (diagnosed 1/24 with final pathology confirming HS on 2/3) and start chemo a week ago.  She has 1 lymph node involved and we know the uphill battle we are fighting.  I just wanted to reach out so we can perhaps share stories, vet/oncology advice, and discuss our journey with this horrible disease.

That said, I think hopping on 3 legs takes a lot more energy than walking on 4 until they build up the new muscles.  I attribute some of the resting to that. Penny Lane also didn’t like to walk on hardwood floors so we put mats everywhere (we actually used those cupboard liner sheets).  We also purchased Penny Lane at stroller which has been nice to get her outside for fresh air and sunshine without overexerting herself.  We also used pain meds sparingly because she didn’t seem to be in much pain after a few days and they seemed to make her pretty sleepy.  This seemed to help.

In my limited experience it gets better but can take time and every dog recovers at their own pace.sp_hearticon2

Virginia




Forum Posts: 18563
Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online
3
27 February 2020 - 8:33 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Peeing, pooping, drinking, eating….GREAT NEWS!!!!  

As Penny Lane said, dogs recover  at their own pace and in their own way.  

To put your mind at ease, what you are describing is NOT unusual at all this early on!  It is unusual, however, for him to be off pain meds this early on.  Most dogs are on pain meds (Tramadol , Gabapentin  and Carprofen) for about two weeks.  Dogs are  VERY stoic and the fact that he does want to move could definitely  be a pain indicator.  Keep in mind, this is MAJOR SURGERY, plus trying to adapt to three legs!  A hooman would be in the hospital a lot longer and probably on a morphine  drip!!

When dogs first leave the hospital  they still have heavy duty pain meds jn their system.   That wears off usual by the third day and that’s  when pain management   is crucial. Here’s a link on pain management .

Also, even though a dog may feel a bit spunky at  first, the least bit of running around can easily  overdo the muscles that are learning a new way to cope.  For the first two weeks, its  SHORT, LEASHED potty break, then back in for rest and more rest and more rest.

Talk to your Vet about adding Gabapentin, either with or without the Tramadol.  It’s my understanding that Tramadol  is  more  effective  when given in conjunction with Gabapentin, and less effective when given as the only pain med.

So yeah, maybe get him back on a consistent  pain treatment  plan, continue  with the rest, and you’ll see his sparkle come back slowly but surely soon.  It took me three weeks before I could say I did this FOR my Happy Hannah and not TO her.  Patience  is hard when are dogs are recovering.   Again, think how you would feel six days after MAJOR surgery, no pain  meds and trying  to walk!

Keep us posted, okay?  Goldens arr sich sweet pups😊

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



Forum Posts: 26570
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
4
27 February 2020 - 10:25 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I know it’s sooo hard not to worry, it’s difficult to see our dogs go from 60 to zero mph after recovery. I’m not a vet, but what you are describing sounds relatively normal in a few ways:

  • she’s eating and drinking, and motivated by food
  • she’s receptive to massages and cuddling
  • she eventually goes potty when prompted
  • and she is curious about the world outside

These are all normal and positive behaviors but please keep reading…. No, you shouldn’t be encouraging to do more as long as she is eating, drinking and eliminating. R&R is crucial. Leashed potty breaks are about it right now based on what vets tell us. We all want to see our dogs get better right after surgery but allow at least two weeks of her chillin’ and laying around. 

What I am concerned about is the lack of pain medication just one week out. I ditto everything that Sally mentioned. Vetprophen (generic Rimadyl) is fine to reduce swelling and inflammation, but this soon after surgery most dogs are on far more pain medication. If she only came home with Tramadol and Vetprophen, and didn’t get a post-op pain relief injection (usually lasts 3-days), then that is not enough pain management for amputation surgery. It’s the equivalent of giving a human Tylenol or Ibuprophen after amputation surgery. That would never, ever happen.

Call your vet. Let them know she is giving pain signals (reluctant to get around, staring into space, sitting down after some movement), and request additional pain control. Tramadol generally isn’t enough. As Sally mentioned, Gabapentin and oftentimes Amantadine work well together and are status quo for dogs in recovery, for anywhere from 2-3 weeks, sometimes 3, after surgery. She may become more sleepy, which is normal (start giving her Gabapentin at night to get her body used to it and it may not), but it could likely reduce her pain levels and get her sparkle back faster.

Let us know how things work out OK? Hope this helps.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Posts: 5
Member Since:
20 February 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
5
28 February 2020 - 8:21 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

Thanks so much for everyone’s support and input! I spoke to the surgeon, and he doesn’t think she needs to be on the heavy pain meds anymore (he thinks the Vetprofen is all she needs), but I think I am going to ignore him and get the prescriptions refilled anyways. She just seems to be regressing from when she initially came home and it sucks.

This morning when we were giving her her antibiotics and such, she cried out in pain, so clearly the vet doesn’t know what he is talking about. He also said we do really need to be making her get up a couple times a day to go outside, but it feels like we are torturing her doing this and like she is getting more and more bummed out by the whole thing. Whenever we try and move her around with the tote sling, she is super resistant and tries her hardest to sit back down.

Last night, when I was moving her from the living room to the bedroom, there was minor progress because she actually led me to the door to go outside and she went pee and all, but then she went and laid down in the bushes and basically hid from us. Getting her out was super fun.

I know she needs to go out to go to the bathroom, but it feels like when we are forcing her up/around like it’s making her feel like she is in trouble or we are mad at her since we are making her doing something she doesn’t want to do. Do I just let her be? Will she actually get up and go if she really needs to? Is this going to get better if she is back on the pain meds? Because her whole regression in movement started before her pain med prescription was up… Is there another way I can be helping her to move around that makes her realize she CAN actually do it? Because it really just seems like she is scared to move and unsure of herself on her feet.

I’ve decided to go super holistic and have a dog reiki person coming to see her on Tuesday, and I am going to get an acupuncturist/herbal medicine person to come and see her too… Anyone else done this sort of thing?! Did it help?! Either your dog or your own emotions?!icon_lol

Thanks again for everyone’s help. I’m not loving thisicon_cry

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 26570
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
6
28 February 2020 - 9:39 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

Dang I’m sorry for the frustrating recovery. I agree, there is nothing to love about recovery, especially when you feel like things aren’t going the way they should be. 

I know it sounds like we are going against everything your vet said, and I want to be clear that it’s not our intention OK? We love all vets and respect their work tremendously. But we love vets who are up on the latest pain management protocols even better. Unfortunately there just aren’t enough of them yet. We’re biased that way, after having seen pets have hard recoveries without adequate pain management .

Also, we take this approach to recovery based on our interviews with world-famous vet super stars who are experts in pain control. For instance, see what pain control guru Dr. Downing has to say about finding a vet who understands pain management

Here’s what I recommend:

Yes, keep up the pain medication they prescribed but please be sure to let your vet know. Take a stand to make sure they understand your feelings. I know it’s hard to stand up to the white coat but you can do it. You know your dog better than anyone else. If your vet responds poorly, it’s time to find a new vet. But first…

Next, take advantage of the Tripawds Foundation Rehabilitation Reimbursement Grant. Get your girl into a rehab consult ASAP so that her pain can be appropriately diagnosed and managed by these experts. We are so confident it will make a difference in her recovery that Tripawds Foundation may pay for your first rehab visit ! Click on the link for info and let me know if you’d like help finding a practitioner.

Finally, yes it’s important that she go potty a couple of times a day. You want her doing that, it’s how she will gradually build up stamina. But try doing it without the sling. Some dogs just hate it. Have you tried bribing her with super awesome treats that she never gets, like cheese or hot dogs or something really “bad” that will get her motivated? Do it and see what happens, then report back here OK?

Please let us know how she’s doing. Stay strong, you’ve got this! You are stronger than you think. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 26570
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
7
28 February 2020 - 9:42 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

P.S. Have her evaluated by a good rehab clinic before piecemealing so many practitioners together. A rehab clinic often does many types of holistic modalities like massage and acupuncture and can act as your command center to assemble a good team.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Virginia




Forum Posts: 18563
Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online
8
28 February 2020 - 9:44 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

YAY FOR LEADING UOJ TO THE DOOR!!  Celebrate that!  It IS an improvement!!

Good for you for advocating  for  more pain meds for pursuing  those even though the Vet dismissed them!  Once pain takes hold, it slows down the recovery rocess, physically  and physiologically.  Her confidence  is compromised,  her fear of anticipating  pain hinders her…and the list goes on and on.  Hiding is also a sign of pain.

So do you have Gabapentin?  Can’t remember  which meds you have  on hand.  We are not Vets and not giving  Vet advice.  However, I would certainly  get a second opinion from another Vet! 

UNLESS. there is some underlying  reason that the Vet has discovered,  being back on pain meds should help.  No temperature,  no infection, gums okay, no back issues, disc issues, etc.

My Happy Hannah had no use for a sling whatsoever and would just shut down.  I know uou said her regression started while still on the pain meds, but it could be that when she first got home and went running to get that steak she could have tweaked something  then.

As far as pottying, wait til she shows really anxious signs that she  needs to go, rather than just randomly  getting her up.  Also continue  with the massaging before getting her up and after bringing  her in.

Another thought, a staple could be poking her when ahe moves.  GENTLY massage AROUND the incision  and see if she shows any real reaction.

Also, have someone  she likes stop by with a cheeseburger.   Have them come in real excited  and full of positive  energy.  See if she makes an effort to go to the door to greet them.

You probably  already have non slip scatter rugs for traction   of you have hardwoods. 

Stay upbeat, positive, confident.  I know it’s hard, but recovery doesn’t  last furever!!   A lot of people do acupuncture, etc wo that’s a good path to try.  But for now, I would use the pain meds as herbs can’t really manage this type of surgery pain.

Keep us in the loop and stay the course!  You’re  doing a great job! 

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!

Forum Posts: 5
Member Since:
20 February 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
9
28 February 2020 - 9:51 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Thank you so much, Jerry! So helpful. As I was reading your response, she actually got up all on her own and took herself outside and is now laying in the sun. I will take it! 🙂 The uber-treat thing is a great idea and I think I will do that. And I am definitely standing up to the white coat and getting her back on pain meds… you are right, I know her way better than he does! I will report back on how it all goes. Also, would love help finding a rehab practitioner to get her started with. Thanks again!

Forum Posts: 5
Member Since:
20 February 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10
28 February 2020 - 9:58 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Thank you so much, Virginia! All your kind and supportive words are really, really helpful 🙂 I don’t know if you saw, but just posted a response reporting that Delilah had just gotten up all on her own and walked outside to sit in the sun. VERY exciting! As far as pain meds, she was originally given Tramadol and Vetprofen. She only took the Tramadol for a few days, and is still on the Vetprofen. The vet OK’d a refill of the Tramadol as well as one of Gabapentin – the vet tech that worked with her while she was in the hospital was actually surprised Delilah wasn’t prescribed the Gabapentin in the first place. I’m picking all of these meds up in a bit so hopefully we’ll get my girl back on track. She also gets her stitches out on Monday which is great – I’ve been massaging around the incision, and the professional masseuse did as well, and none of that seemed to irritate her so I don’t think there is one out of place or poking her or anything. I’m honestly feeling exponentially better now that she is out in the sun and got there on her own!smiley4

Virginia




Forum Posts: 18563
Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online
11
28 February 2020 - 11:13 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

YAAAAAAY FOR DELILAH!!!  😁

This update has me grinning ear to ear!!!  Made my day!!!  This is such a HUGE VICTORY!!   Truly!! It is!!!  Lying the in sun seems to be so therapeutic  for dogs and such an emotional boost for them…..and for you!!!😎

So glad you’re  gonna  get that Gabapentin as well.  And Yay for that Vet Tech!! 

The sparkle IS coming back, slooooowly but surely!!  

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!

Here and Now


Forum Posts: 12181
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
12
28 February 2020 - 12:42 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

melindaw said
Also, would love help finding a rehab practitioner…

Find various directories for finding a rehab therapist near you in the Resources page, under CCRT or CCRP .

Forum Timezone: America/Denver
Most Users Ever Online: 946
Currently Online: krun15, benny55, kazann, hdowningbarrier, jake3
Guest(s) 68
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1075
Members: 10550
Moderators: 2
Admins: 3
Forum Stats:
Groups: 4
Forums: 23
Topics: 16092
Posts: 225246
Administrators: admin, jerry, jim
Moderators: betaman, krun15
Tripawds is brought to you by Tripawds.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG