Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat
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Subject -> 5 year old spayed female Golden Retriever
Diagnosis -> RIGHT CARPUS MASS, SOFT TISSUE SPINDLE CELL SARCOMA, GRADE 1
Treatment -> Left front leg amputation May 8th 2023
Medication -> 400mg Gabapentin x 8hrs, 100mg Carprofen x 12hrs, 150mg Amantadine x 12 hrs, 100mg Trazodone x nightly
First, thank you to this community. We spent a lot of time watching the Tripawds YouTube channel to prepare ourselves. It really helped with the anxiety leading up to the operation.
A little background on her operation. We dropped her off Monday May 8th, and the surgery center said they'd keep her overnight for monitoring. We got a call early Tuesday morning. She was having labored breathing and whimpering, and they needed our approval for additional chest imaging to make sure she hadn't aspirated. They didn't see any signs that had happened after x-rays, and increased her fentanyl and ketamine dosage, which seemed to square her away.
For about the last week it seems like we've lost control of post operative pain in our dog Chloe. It's very difficult to get her settled and resting - she will frequently get back up and start pacing and panting. When she does lay down, she is not calm and pants for long periods. She moans and cries, sometimes yelping out of a deep sleep.
Last Friday, on May 19th, we were given a prescription for Amantadine for analgesic pain. On Monday, after our incision recheck, the surgical team added Trazodone to help her rest and be calm at night. It didn't seem to work - last night may have been one of the worst nights so far. She is currently laying down outside on our cold concrete patio, and she seems more relaxed there than I've seen here in a while.
She is pooping and peeing and has been since we brought her home. She's getting around just fine. She presented well for the veterinary surgical team yesterday - they were all optimistic about her progress.
I guess the point of my question is - am I bothering my vet by continuing to reach out about her pain and discomfort, or do I need to work through the healing process as best we can? Is what we're going through normal?
Thank you again for all of the information you provide.
25 April 2007
Welcome! I'm sorry you had to join us but glad you did.
OH my gosh no you are NOT bothering the vet team at ALL with your feelings. Pain control is crucial for a good recovery. I like that they added Amantadine, that's good. The Traz can be helpful for rest but it's not a pain reliever. Definitely let them know it's not doing anything and see if you can pull that one, but bump up the Gabapentin (it's helpful to get it prescribed in 100 mg capsules so you can fine-tune the dosage).
What is her activity level like right now? Could it be that she is walking or doing too much at this point? Is she playing with other dogs during the day? Just thought I'd throw that out there. Oftentimes the pain escalates at night when dogs are doing too much too soon after surgery. Not saying this is the case but it's important to mention.
So sorry to hear about your poor puppy. My dog Riley had his front leg amputated due to bone cancer back in the last week of March.
It sounds like your girl is having phantom pain . Riley is still struggling with it. He would be lying down and then suddenly would yelp and jump up. He still will jump up now if we don't keep him scheduled on his gabapentin.
He also likes lying on the grass and on cold concrete. After reading the forums this seems very common.
As Jerry said the trazodone is just for rest and you may need more depending on how your girl handles it. Riley is a lightweight with trazodone and 1 pill will knock him out for the day while others need more.
Jerry's suggestion with the 100mg gabapentin is a good suggestion. We've done that with Riley's pain. It helps to give him a couple to help overlap.
I will say, from experience, 400mg of gabapentin last about 6 hours, not 8. I don't care what anyone tells me. It's 6 hours.
Those 2 hours where there is no pain med can be agonizing for them.
I think if you could give her 2 trazodone at night and give her some gaba in the morning, afternoon & evening she will start to feel much better.
Again, so sorry. I know what you are going through. Please post with updates and questions.
-Bill (Riley's Dad)
Thank you both!
Bill, that is exactly my experience with her dose of Gabapentin! If I go longer than 6 hours it really seems like I lose the battle. I feel so relieved!
Jerry, we are keeping her activity level low. We have a small back yard, and she's not doing much other than walking the parameter to greet neighbors. Her preferred mode of play is to roll a ball back and forth on the grass while laying down. Prior to her wrist pain she was a very active dog, with a least an hour at the dog park after work every day.
One thing I'll mention, the vet said her seroma will grow as activity increases. Right now they were happy with the size of her seroma and the healing of the wound.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I gave her another 400mg dose at 6 hours after her first this morning, and she's very relaxed on our floor in our house at the moment.
No, problem. If you need anything please post and I will comment if I can. Riley's seroma got pretty big and the vet had to squeeze some of the old blood out, but he said if it's dark red then it's old blood cells and it will go away. His was leaking and we were freaking out - lol
It's awesome she's playing a little. Riley hasn't played much at all. It is amazing how well they do on 3 legs, but will tire out quickly.
Take care and post if you need help.
22 February 2013
As Kerry and Bill have asid, tweaking g the pain meds specific to Chloe is exactly the right approach. Every dog's recovery is different and every dog's reaction to pain meds is different.
And yeah, the Traz is just a sedative and does nothing for pain. In fact, it, at even cause some of her restlessness and may make her confused or she's trying to fight on the sedation.
Pooping, peeing, drinking, eating, mobile.....all great news!!!
Sounds like you are fetting a handle on her pain woth the different dose and frequency of the Gaba. Continue with that, gove or a chance to build in her system and see if it makes a difference
Keep is posted. NTW....love her avatar picture.
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!
22 January 2013
Sorry to hear she's struggling. The others have all already given you great feedback.
I am a veterinary assistant and I can reassure you, you aren't bothering the vet team by bringing up your concerns about her pain. Be as specific as you can, like how it seems the gaba wears off. Your job is to take care of your furbaby and advocate for her.