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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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3 weeks post op recovering beautifully... and then this!
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Member Since:
11 December 2022
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2 January 2023 - 10:43 am
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I made a post in early December chronicling my dog's rough end to the year. She has been doing super well with her recovery and we couldn't have been happier. She had her first round of chemo this past Tuesday (Dec. 27). A week prior the surgeon checked her out and confirmed everything was healing as it should and they had no concerns about her recovery--said she could return to activity as usual. They didn't suggest a rehab vet or a brace for her remaining front leg. We took her to a rehab vet anyway and he prescribed a number of Chinese herbs/supplements and hemp oil, and he also did some chiropractic adjustments and laser acupuncture. He told us to return in a month.

Yesterday (Jan 1) we took her for a walk. I bought stroller to help during walks when she wanted to rest. And thank god I did. About 2 mins into the walk after pulling us the entire way while literally sprinting, she slowly collapsed in the grass and wouldn't get up. She winced and whined when she tried to stand on it, but she made no sounds when the injury occurred. We found an ER to take her to and after examining her they concluded that she just overdid it and sprained something. Of course this is the front leg and her only remaining front one at that! They prescribed Rimadyl and rest. She is scheduled to go back to her oncologist tomorrow for bloodwork to make sure she's handling the chemo well. It's just a tech appointment but we're wondering if we need to turn it into a bigger exam due to this injury. She peed on her walk right before she went down and that was at 5p EST on New Year's Day. She hasn't peed or pooped since then. We try to take her outside in her harness and she whines and makes no effort to squat. We're going on almost 24 hours since any pee/poop. And she's knuckling the entire time. She won't get up on her own at all. What should we do???

We're so upset because she was doing SO well and now this setback. We hope that's all it is. Has anyone else experienced something like this before? Or does anyone even just have suggestions for how to get her to go potty? Ugh. Any comments would be appreciated!

The Rainbow Bridge



Member Since:
25 April 2007
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2 January 2023 - 11:12 am
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Oh drats I'm so sorry this happened. Good move to take her in to get checked out by the ER docs. I think that you should absolutely mention this to the onco vet but for sure let the rehab therapist know what's going on. They will likely be more able to help solve the issue, and have more time to spend with her. It really isn't all too uncommon for something like this to happen, try not to panic.

Meanwhile you may need to follow these tips to help her urinate:

https://tripawd.....mputation/

Basically if you can get her to a spot where another dog urinated, that could help. If not, it's likely time to express her bladder since dogs shouldn't go more than 12 hours without at least urinating (don't worry about the poop for now).

Here's a video on how to express a dog's bladder:

Just use a lot of care and very gentle pressure when you express, or it could cause a bladder rupture (ouch!).

Keep us posted oK? And remember, this isn't too unusual and usually R&R and some pain management solves the problem.

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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2 January 2023 - 4:32 pm
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We know this is sooooo scary and you feel quite disheartened  about everything. 

As Jerry said, as well as the ER doctor AND based in what we've seen arpund here, it's most likely a sprain, pulled muscle, etc.

The way a tripawd pulls with that front leg, pounds on it as he tries to go fast (in part because  a fast gait helps a tripawd  balance and keep a steady pace) makes them very susceptible to  these tpes of "injries".  And this early on is when we often see it occur.

While she may be a bit uncomfortable  from not pooping, it shouldn't  be too mich of a concern at this point.  As Jerry noted, not peeing would be more of a concern.

Rest, the Rimadyl and maybe some pain meds (Gabapentin) will help.  Of course you want  her to get up on her own and certainly hold herself up with assistance for peeing.  As Jerry said, maybe carrying her to a spot where another dog has urinated.  And one more tip that your husband will jave to facilitate.   And yes, it works!  Ask him to ....er.....take a pee outside.  She may try and pee on hat spot.  For now though, of need be, just put some puppy pee pads under her or around her.

And if need be, get her to a Vet to express the bladder   if you aren't  comfortable doing it. As Jerry said, of done incorrectly (or if there is some sudden hidden undetermined  reason) it can cause more harm than good.

Okay, update when you can.  We're  here for you.

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!

Member Since:
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8 January 2023 - 8:27 am
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Sorry for the delay but thanks for the responses and putting my mind at ease!

After 3 appointments, more X-rays to rule out cancer spread in her other leg, it was determined she most likely tweaked her neck. I think it’s because we put her collar back on and had the leash attached to that. So when she was running she messed up her neck. They gave her a pain patch, rimadyl, and we continued gabapentin every 8 hours. We’re a week out from that injury and it’s no better. She was SUPER vocal on all the pain meds so it’s hard to tell if she was actually in pain, or it was just a side effect. Same with being unsteady on her feet: injury-related or just loopy from meds? Trying to stay positive that she just needs to rest and recover from this but anyone with experience or words of encouragement feel free to chime in. She had been doing so well prior to this and now needing the harness to help her get around makes us sad (for her and for us). And I just want to make sure this is all normal basically and not a sign of her not doing well with all this.

Also she’s about two weeks out from her first chemo session and she doesn’t have a good appetite at all. From reading through other posts this seems common but it’s a little disheartening especially because she used to be so food motivated. And because I was trying to transition her to healthy food and now I’m just giving her literally anything she’ll eat.

The Rainbow Bridge



Member Since:
25 April 2007
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8 January 2023 - 1:47 pm
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I'm so sorry Molly isn't feeling better. Some questions:

Is she able to toilet on her own? 

What is the new dose of Gabapentin and what does she weigh?

Has she seen the rehab vet yet? Has she had any acupuncture done?

Lack of appetite is usually tied to pain. Once you address her pain issues that should get resolved. Until then yes give her whatever she wants to get her eating and keeping her meds down. 

Sorry I have more questions than answers. Take some comfort in knowing that she started this journey as a very strong, healthy dog so her body is in good shape to overcome this situation. Everything is on her side! 

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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8 January 2023 - 7:22 pm
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The only other thing I'll add is the Fentynal patch can definitely  make her vocal  and quite whacky and confused. I'm guessing it's off now?  So have any of those vocalizations. loopiness, etc diminished  yet with the patch off?

NTW, glad her check up was good overall👏

A "tweaked" or pulled neck muscle in a front legger can defi take awhile to heal.  If you've ever had a "kink" in your neck, any movement the wrong way can cause havoc and can mess with posture, gait, etc.

Continue  to give her lots of massages around her neck and shoulder area, as well as up and down her spine.

And yes, will look fornyour update on Kerry's questions.   Hoping she is urinating now without  having to express her bladder, etc.

And agree on the food....whatever she wants at this point.  You can incorporate  a more "nutritional" diet down the road.  If the food issues she's having are related to the chemo, be sure and let the Onco know as the injections can be adjusted if necessary.   

Hang in there  and keep us posted.

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!

Member Since:
11 December 2022
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8 January 2023 - 7:30 pm
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Is she able to toilet on her own? 

What is the new dose of Gabapentin and what does she weigh?

Has she seen the rehab vet yet? Has she had any acupuncture done?

Lack of appetite is usually tied to pain. Once you address her pain issues that should get resolved. Until then yes give her whatever she wants to get her eating and keeping her meds down. 

She is able to go potty on her own but when the injury first happened it took over 24 hours and the vet had to help. But she’s been going on her own since. She hasn’t been getting up on her own to go but we check in with her often.

Her dose of gabapentin is 300 mg and that’s the same dose she’s had. It’s every 8-12 hours but we’ve been doing it twice a day. 

She has been to the rehab vet. He did some chiropractic adjustments and laser acupuncture. She just saw him again Friday and he did the same. It was a super brief appointment and he said he’s happy with her progress but she’s still very unsteady and it’s making up nervous. Is this normal? 

We’ve been adding a lot of plain shredded chicken to her food and she was loving it but she seems bored with it. We also got some Chinese supplements from the rehab vet and we’re wondering if that’s causing a lack of appetite. Hemp oil, mushroom capsules, and some kind of phlegm supplement.

The loopiness has worn off thankfully which makes me feel a little better about it being that and not pain.

The Rainbow Bridge



Member Since:
25 April 2007
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9 January 2023 - 8:24 am
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Hi Saina! Thanks for sharing all the details. So here's what I'm thinking:

It's good progress that she is able to toilet on her own now! That's one step ahead. Have you had to help her since? Did the vet show you how to express her bladder if she can't get up?

Her dose of gabapentin is 300 mg and that’s the same dose she’s had. It’s every 8-12 hours but we’ve been doing it twice a day. 

Since your vet approved it for every 8 hours I would see if that timing is more effective. That's the more typical dose for dogs in acute pain (whereas 2x daily tends to be better for ongoing chronic pain). At least that's what we see here and what our experience was with our Wyatt Ray . A 300 mg dose sounds reasonable. 

She has been to the rehab vet. He did some chiropractic adjustments and laser acupuncture. She just saw him again Friday and he did the same. It was a super brief appointment and he said he’s happy with her progress but she’s still very unsteady and it’s making up nervous. Is this normal? 

Awesome! She has a great vet there. I had never heard of laserpuncture before but I looked it up and it's a proven modality for pain relief. Yes, being unsteady is common at this point. Pain relief can take some weeks and unfortunately isn't a one and done thing for some dogs. You are addressing it on every level which is perfect, it doesn't get any better than that for treating a situation like this. You are doing great and so is she! Patience is key. You can do this! 

We also got some Chinese supplements from the rehab vet and we’re wondering if that’s causing a lack of appetite. Hemp oil, mushroom capsules, and some kind of phlegm supplement.

This many supplements can totally cause nausea. Is she giving nausea signs like lip licking or drooling? Did you mention it to the vet? See what supplements are Ok to cut back on to see if her appetite perks up.

As for the boredom with chicken. Yeah, it's troubling but not uncommon. See our Tripawds appetite tips for some ideas to perk up  her taste buds.

The loopiness has worn off thankfully 

YAY! That's really great news!

I know this seems like a long road you are traveling. It's frustrating and sad and you question your decision. We totally understand! But she will get that sparkle back. Three weeks is not that long in the big picture and your sweet girl is on her own timeline. She's getting there her way! Stay strong. 

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