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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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3.5 year old female Saint Bernard presumed MPNST not eating well after MRI but was previously
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Member Since:
5 August 2022
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9 August 2022 - 7:49 am
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Hi, Maisie has been diagnosed with a presumed MPNST, MRI conclusions:

1. Presumed peripheral nerve sheath tumor involving the right C8 nerve, brachial plexus and continuing into the radial nerve.
2. Triceps muscle atrophy and fat placement.
3. Non-compressive degenerative intervertebral disc disease of the cervical spine.
4. Bilateral glenohumeral synovitis (moderate).

Maisie had an adverse reaction to anesthesia, taking 12-13 hours to even be able to stand up after, slow recovery. Since then she has not been eating well and its been 12 days. She is on meds for nausea, an app stimulant and indigestion. Maisie will not eat food on her own, she has to be hand fed to get food in to her. She is drinking well. We have moved away for the most part from people food to get her back in to her food. She is eating about half her regular amount in a day between canned food and kibble. She makes different noises now at times when breathing that she never made before. I can see at times when food is being offered she starts licking her lips like she wants it but something kicks in to back her off and we have to hand feed. She has lost 10lbs in 12 days 160 —> 150. We would really like to get her eating well like she was prior to MRI before any kind of surgery. Is there any possibility her throat was damaged from intubation, with the different noises at times now when breathing and apprehension to eating I am wondering if her throat is the issue.

The Rainbow Bridge


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9 August 2022 - 10:33 am
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Hi and welcome. Your future posts won’t need approval so post any time. I’m sorry about Maisie’s bumpy recovery. Some thoughts for you that I hope will be helpful:

Many giant breed dogs do have slower recoveries. That part isn’t unusual at all, we see it often. With her slow recovery, it’s not surprising that she’s not eating as much since she’s not moving around as much either. Her body is also using all its energy for healing instead of activity. The fact that she is drinking water is a good sign! 

What was she like on people food? How was her appetite then? If it was better, try giving her 50/50 people & her normal food. Many dogs don’t want to go back to their previous food at this point. Since she’s lost so much weight right now I’d give her whatever she wanted, even if it’s scrambled eggs and bacon.

The lip licking sounds like her nausea problem still isn’t resolved. When the meds were prescribed, why were they given in the first place? 

 Is there any possibility her throat was damaged from intubation, with the different noises at times now when breathing and apprehension to eating I am wondering if her throat is the issue.

I wouldn’t think damaged, but possibly sore. It’s something to discuss with your vet since they have the details about her anesthesia challenge.

Oh, how is her mobility right now? 

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9 August 2022 - 11:12 am
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Hi thanks for responding. it took her a couple of days after the anesthesia and MRI to really eat anything of substance. We were pretty concerned so have tried numerous options. One day she ate 3 whole chicken breasts throughout the day, hand feeding her pieces but the next couple days didn’t want any of that. She was also given baby food, beef, carrots and rice formula which she ate decently for a day or 2 then didn’t want any more of. Our breeder mentioned chicken mcnuggets just to get something in her which again she ate 5 on one day then wanted no more of. Wouldn’t take rice boiled in bone broth. Tried scrambled eggs and again over a day or 2 she ate about 5 eggs worth then wanted no more. I’ve tried chicken gibblets boiled with limited success only eating a handful of pieces. She was given cerenia for nausea in case that was keeping her from eating and also mitrazipine for an appetite stimulant. She has been eating canned and kibble split somewhat decently over the last few days and has hit a wall again. It was recommended last week to discontinue rheumacam as it could be upsetting her stomach which we did for a few days but oncologist said to start giving again. I’m gonna do some boiled chicken breast again, maybe some crumbled bacon in her kibble and canned foods and see how that goes.

The Rainbow Bridge


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9 August 2022 - 4:42 pm
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You are so welcome. 

So you’re definitely trying different foods, which is great. I know it’s frustrating when you think you’ve nailed the combo and they turn away. I’m so sorry! By any chance are you hiding her medication in her food? If so, don’t do it or she’ll associate meds with eating meals.

Her pickiness sounds like she’s just feeling crappy in her belly and yeah the Rheumacam (known as Meloxicam here in the States) could be doing it. Ask about Galliprant. It’s a non-steroidal just like Rheumacam but known to be easier on the tummy.

Let us know how her new meals go OK? Check out these appetite tips for ideas on how to serve em up.

The Rainbow Bridge


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9 August 2022 - 4:52 pm
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I forgot to ask, so the vet didn’t have anything to say about the weird sounds coming from her throat? 

Also, you didn’t mention what nausea/appetite meds she is on, but ask your vet if Odansetron (Zofran) is appropriate. Cerenia can cause drowsiness. See:

https://tripawd…..o/#p250103


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9 August 2022 - 11:06 pm
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This sounds like it may be esophageal reflux; very common in giant breeds especially after sedation or anesthesia.  Even if they gave Cernia pre-op this can occur. Ask your vet about giving omeprazole 20 mg twice daily at least 30 minutes prior to feeding and other meds.

Pam

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10 August 2022 - 7:03 am
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jerry said
You are so welcome. 

So you’re definitely trying different foods, which is great. I know it’s frustrating when you think you’ve nailed the combo and they turn away. I’m so sorry! By any chance are you hiding her medication in her food? If so, don’t do it or she’ll associate meds with eating meals.

Her pickiness sounds like she’s just feeling crappy in her belly and yeah the Rheumacam (known as Meloxicam here in the States) could be doing it. Ask about Galliprant. It’s a non-steroidal just like Rheumacam but known to be easier on the tummy.

Let us know how her new meals go OK? Check out these appetite tips for ideas on how to serve em up.

  

Yes we had been giving gabapentin in hotdogs, it was the only way we could get it in to her. She is no longer on gabapentin although there probably is some aprehension as you mentioned. I’ll look in to galliprant and the feeding tips, thank you.

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10 August 2022 - 7:04 am
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jerry said
I forgot to ask, so the vet didn’t have anything to say about the weird sounds coming from her throat? 

Also, you didn’t mention what nausea/appetite meds she is on, but ask your vet if Odansetron (Zofran) is appropriate. Cerenia can cause drowsiness. See:

https://tripawd…..o/#p250103

  

She is on cerenia for nausea and mitrazipine for app stim, will look in to those others you mentioned, thanks.

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10 August 2022 - 7:05 am
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tazziedog said
This sounds like it may be esophageal reflux; very common in giant breeds especially after sedation or anesthesia.  Even if they gave Cernia pre-op this can occur. Ask your vet about giving omeprazole 20 mg twice daily at least 30 minutes prior to feeding and other meds.

Pam

  

She is taking famotidine for reflux but only for a couple days so far. I’ll ask about the other you mentioned, thank you.

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10 August 2022 - 7:35 am
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I am concerned maybe we have created a distrustful situation…we essentially forced her to take gabapentin at one point and it definitely was bitter for her. We could not get the capsules down her so tried the powder mixed in water and squirted in her mouth and then eventually in hot dog pieces…maybe we caused this entirely grrrrr….she is no longer taking gabapentin for a while now and any pills i show her and let her sniff before hand but maybe the damage is done.

The Rainbow Bridge


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10 August 2022 - 10:41 am
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tazziedog said
This sounds like it may be esophageal reflux; very common in giant breeds especially after sedation or anesthesia.  Even if they gave Cernia pre-op this can occur. Ask your vet about giving omeprazole 20 mg twice daily at least 30 minutes prior to feeding and other meds.

Pam

  

Dr. Pam you ROCK! I forgot about that issue, we’ve seen it here. Also didn’t realize it was so common in giant breeds. Thanks for bringing it up!

The Rainbow Bridge


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10 August 2022 - 10:44 am
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diamondog said
I am concerned maybe we have created a distrustful situation…we essentially forced her to take gabapentin at one point and it definitely was bitter for her. We could not get the capsules down her so tried the powder mixed in water and squirted in her mouth and then eventually in hot dog pieces…maybe we caused this entirely grrrrr….she is no longer taking gabapentin for a while now and any pills i show her and let her sniff before hand but maybe the damage is done.

  

Oh my gosh you didn’t do anything wrong, this is an up and down guessing game at times and by giving her the pills in hot dogs and not her main dish, you did exactly the right thing. There are all sorts of ways to give pills. Play with some of these ideas:

How to Hide Pet Medication (and Get Your Tripawd Eating)

How is she doing today?

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10 August 2022 - 11:18 am
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jerry said

diamondog said

I am concerned maybe we have created a distrustful situation…we essentially forced her to take gabapentin at one point and it definitely was bitter for her. We could not get the capsules down her so tried the powder mixed in water and squirted in her mouth and then eventually in hot dog pieces…maybe we caused this entirely grrrrr….she is no longer taking gabapentin for a while now and any pills i show her and let her sniff before hand but maybe the damage is done.

  

Oh my gosh you didn’t do anything wrong, this is an up and down guessing game at times and by giving her the pills in hot dogs and not her main dish, you did exactly the right thing. There are all sorts of ways to give pills. Play with some of these ideas:

How to Hide Pet Medication (and Get Your Tripawd Eating)

How is she doing today?

  

She’s only eaten half a chicken breast so far…meds in 45 min, hopefully she picks up this aft/eve

The Rainbow Bridge


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10 August 2022 - 12:21 pm
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Oh pupperz! Please eat!

Do you have any cheese at home? Try Karen’s cheezy pill trick!

Did you get a chance to talk to your vet today?

I’m sorry things are tough right now. It gets better! Once you find out why she is not eating you will see so much improvement.

While you wait for the vet check out Thurston’s blog. I know he will inspire you! He is an angel now but go back to the early days of his blog and you’ll see how he did on 3.

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10 August 2022 - 12:56 pm
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jerry said
Oh pupperz! Please eat!

Do you have any cheese at home? Try Karen’s cheezy pill trick!

Did you get a chance to talk to your vet today?

I’m sorry things are tough right now. It gets better! Once you find out why she is not eating you will see so much improvement.

While you wait for the vet check out Thurston’s blog. I know he will inspire you! He is an angel now but go back to the early days of his blog and you’ll see how he did on 3.

  

Vets haven’t been able to crack this unfortunately. I just tried a good sized piece of cheese and she did eat it, then I grated some and put mixed in heated canned food, no dice. Just have to keep at it…

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