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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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Forum Posts: 10
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26 February 2020 - 9:55 am
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It will be 2 weeks on Friday since the rear amputation for 16 pound Romeo due to osteosarcoma. Things had been going well enough that I was looking forward to the 2 week mark to take him out on a real walk. He has been eating, pooping peeing and I was waiting for that first post op smile so I could breathe again.

Since surgery he seemed content with his pain management and I had even discussed with the vet about going from 300 mg a day to 200 mg a day of the gabapentin this coming up week. For pain he had the nerve shot at surgery, came home on codein (3  days only), gabapentin, carprofen and amantadine. I was to stop the amantadine on Friday.

We had a dosing routine that worked really well until 2 nights ago. He got restless during the night. He moved around trying to get comfortable and even though he has slept on that surgery side during the previous week, he could not rest on that side.  I had not altered his medicine in any way and he wasn’t due for meds for hours. But at about 4 AM I  gave him the gabapentin and the carprofen which was about 3 hours early. He soon slept and we went back to our regular dosing yesterday. Then after dinner, he was not sleeping but just sitting staring off into space which was unusual. After staring off for a couple of hours he then began to move around again with the same restlessness. This time he started panting which I knew was a sign of pain but it was also much too early to give him another round. I gave it to him and he rested well again.

It seems that he is having more pain instead of less pain as we move further from the date of surgery. Also, now I notice he has a lump on his backside. It is on the side of the surgery but far enough from the stitches that it doesn’t seem to be related. His dissolvable stitches look really good. No leakage and all of the bruising is gone. 

I know there are no rules with this disease but if this sounds familiar to anyone, please let me know what you think. Thank you for any thoughts.

The Rainbow Bridge



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26 February 2020 - 10:40 am
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Hey I’m so glad to hear that Romeo is doing pretty well, considering. That’s awesome.

Two things stick out in my mind: how long are his walks and how often? At two weeks out, he still really should not be doing more than a few minutes at a time.

I’m not a vet, but what you are describing definitely sounds like pain. As for the lump, don’t panic, that could be anything and most likely benign, possibly a fatty tumor. Only your vet can tell you for sure so get that checked out ASAP.

My best non-vet thoughts are: cut those walks way, way back and get him into some R&R relaxation time. Then get him into rehabilitation therapy. He may seem like he doesn’t need it but trust me when I say that rehab is for all new Tripawds. Not just for them, but for us, so that we can learn what our Tripawd’s limits are, and how we can help them get strong and build stamina again.

We believe rehab makes such a huge difference in how they recover, that the Tripawds Foundation may even pay for your first rehab visit . So please take advantage of the program. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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26 February 2020 - 11:19 am
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He hasn’t been on any walks, he has been resting comfortably for the last 12 days. I was just saying at the 2 weeks mark I was told that he could go out on walks and short ones at that. For now, he has been just going outside to do his business.    

The Rainbow Bridge



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26 February 2020 - 2:22 pm
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Ohhhh OK, got it. Sounds like a good path you’re on!

If he’s still showing pain signals I would definitely let your vet know and again, the rehab team can figure out a way to help him get stronger so that he doesn’t overdo things.

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




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26 February 2020 - 3:09 pm
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It took my Happy Hannah several weeks before she would lay comfortably  on her surgery side.  Althpugh Romeo had slept on that side, it doesn’t  surprise  me that he is not doing it consistently  at this point.  Plus, it could be that a stitch/staple is pulling ot poking him a bit.

And even though he hasn’t  been overdoing it, he still could have very easily tweaked a muscle.  Massage up and down his spine, around his neck and shoulder,  see if he shows any tension. 

Every dog recovers  at their own pace and in their own way.  It took me three weeks before I felt like I could say I did this FOR my Happy Hannah and not TO her. I know the “two week mark” is often held out as the time when dogs will all the sudden get all their sparkle back, be off pain meds, and want to run a marathon.  NOT true!!!  Well, maybe true for some, but certainly not true for all.  

Even though the dosing plan seemed to work well before, it may need tweaking  now.  It’s so hard to keep the right balance of meds for wherre they are in recovery, especially  at a whopping 16 lbs.!!

How is the 300 mg of Gaba given?  How many hours apart? My Frankie weighs 70 lbs and took 300 mg Gaba every eight to twelve hrs when he had knee surgery.   The looking off into space makes me think he “may” have too much pain med.

It may be that he needs a lesser dose, but more frequently…..or maybe not!  Crazy, right?  Anyway, keep notes of how long the dose he is on now seems to last before the next dose is due.  

Update when you can.

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 February 2020 - 5:06 pm
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Thank you for that information and you are certainly right. I have been waiting for the two-week mark as if I could say “we made it!” At least made it to where things would be all downhill from there. Now I know that may not be true we may still have uphill battles but I am in it for the long haul or when he has had enough. I am taking him into the vet tomorrow to see what he thinks about the lumps. I see 3 possibles lumps.  

Dose wise he has been on 100 mg of gabapentin and 25mg carprofen every 8 hours and 50 mg of amantadine every 12 hours. We will see what happens tonight. And I had that thought also that maybe he had too much medicine when he was staring into space. It is hard to figure all this out but I am doing everything within my power to keep him comfy. 

I actually tried to upload a picture of his lumps but I am not that savvy so it didn’t work but I will update after vet. 

Thanks again!

Virginia




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26 February 2020 - 5:44 pm
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I just realized you made a post baxk kn January and I am sooooo glad to read your update and to know how you and Romeo are moving forward!!

Refresh my memory, was it osteosarcoma?

Maybe some with smaller dogs can address the pain dose and number of hours inbetween.  It aounds like a good plan that maybe….maybe…can be tweaked one way or another..

Oddly enough, sometimes  when lumps pop up quickly,  they can be an allergy or even some type of little bite.  Even though this isn’t  along rhe incision  line, someti es sogs hace ab allergie reaction to stitches. 

Here’s a link for adding images .  But the techie brains can come along and give you better directions than I ever could!

I’m glad you feel better about that often over hyped  two week mark (in my opinion anyway).  This is major surgery for a dog, all while adjusting  to three legs and deal with pain meds.  Again, every dog recovers in their own way and at their own pace.

Let us know how it goes at rhe Vet AND, post some pictures of this cutie pie when you can! Love his avatar  picture…..and name!!!

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


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26 February 2020 - 7:54 pm
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delighted4romeo said
I actually tried to upload a picture… 

Here are detailed instructions for adding photos to forum posts . If you don’t already share photos online somewhere, you can start a free Tripawds blog any time and upload them there. Need further help? Post in the Tech Support forum and we’ll be happy to help!

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27 February 2020 - 3:22 pm
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Thanks for all the info and suggestions. Our appt went great and the lumps turned out to be nothing. The biggest one is just normal muscle healing after being cut. He says once his hair grows back in it won’t even be noticeable. The other lumps (for lack of a better word) were nothing. In fact, one that I thought I saw yesterday I could not even find which is weird but I guess panic can make you see all kinds of things. He thought Romeo looked great and we are going to just stay the course with the meds for the next week. He did clear us for that short walk and removal of the cone but of course just still take it easy. Romeo may want to do things that he is not ready for so I need still need to be careful.  We couldn’t have had better news. Thanks again!

PS Picture will be forthcoming. 

Here and Now


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Virginia




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27 February 2020 - 7:50 pm
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Yay for plain ole’ lumps! This journey makes us forget that, most of the time, a lump is just a lump and nothing more.  So glad his appointment  we t well and you got the reassurance  you needed.

Can’t  wait to see pictures of his cute self.

Higs

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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27 February 2020 - 10:41 pm
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I’m sooo hoppy to hear that. YES this disease makes us hypervigilant, but it’s a fine line between that and being a good advocate. You’re doing great so far! Can’t wait to see the pics.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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6 March 2020 - 12:25 pm
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I have not been able to figure out how to post pictures in a post yet, just kept getting an empty square (I know it’s my fault). However,  I successfully loaded pictures and videos on Flicker and then created a blog here, I don’t think it is approved yet.  But in the meantime, all is well so far. I did get that smile finally a couple of days ago and although he has not smiled since then, I got that one!! So we are moving in the right direction. I put that picture on the blog!

He is still on gabapentin, I don’t know how long that will go on but for now, he shows signs of needing it to go up and down the steps and to generally move with ease. I am going to look into rehab but he didn’t like swimming before this so I don’t know if water therapy will relax him or not but we shall see.

Thanks again for the support.

Romeo’s Mom

Here and Now


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6 March 2020 - 3:02 pm
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delighted4romeo said
I have not been able to figure out how to post pictures in a post yet…

The easiest way is to copy the image URL of any photos in your blog Media Library, or copy the image from any blog post, and paste that in your forum post on a line by itself. Here are detailed instructions for adding photos to forum posts

FYI: Your furst blog post has been approved, and future posts or pages will publish immediately.



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6 March 2020 - 5:39 pm
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I just looked at Romeo’s videos and photo in his blog. Adorable sp_hearticon2sp_hearticon2 He sure is looking happy now.

You’re a star Romeo. smiley10

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

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