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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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5 days post op - excessive panting/uncomfortable/shaking-trembling
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Forum Posts: 13
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30 July 2016 - 8:52 pm
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hello all — Bledsoe our English bulldog is 5 days post op and we’re having a tough time with his pain management (or he’s having a bad side effect to a med)

hes on tramadol 1.5 3x/day and gabapentin 0.5 3x/day

he is panting a ton, shaking trembling pretty consistently, and it takes him forever to get comfortable

hss anyone else experienced this? When will it get better? … Has anyone seen this side effect with either of the above meds?

any alternative methods that may lessen his anxiety and pain that anyone has had success with (such as massage)

thank you!

steve allen

Michigan
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30 July 2016 - 10:09 pm
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Hi Steve ~

I’m not sure what the dosage on the meds should be, but you can always ask your vet if he can have them increased or not.  Medications are weight-based, and sometimes they start the dogs out on the lowest dose then increase them if needed.  I would also ask if maybe they could add Rimadyl (or another NSAID) to the mix.  Murphy came home on the combination of all 3 & I think his pain was managed OK.  Are you giving them around the clock?  Spacing them out so that he gets good coverage?  You don’t want to give them together – try to give them a little bit apart.  An ice to the incision for about 10 minutes or so is ok (make sure you put a cloth between the ice pack & his skin).  And massaging around the area will help to re-absorb the extra fluids that have built up. 

It WILL get better!

Donna

Donna, Glenn & Murphy 

Murphy had his right front leg amputated due to histiocytic sarcoma at 7 years old. He survived 4 years, 2 months & 1 week, only to be taken by hemangiosarcoma at 11 1/2 years 6/12/17  
Read about Murphy's Life on Three Legs

Donna.png

Virginia




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30 July 2016 - 10:18 pm
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For whatever it’s worth, I joined this community on day six of my Happy Hannah’s recovery. My post tile was something like..”.six days after amputation and I fear I’ve made a HORRIBLE decision!”

My Happy Hannah just seemed miserable. She just couldn’t get comfortable. She was so restless and so whiny. I don’t think she (or I)’slept more than three hours those first several days.

How much does Bledsoe weigh? What are the miligrams of the pills…25, 50, etc? I know it’s unnerving seeing Bledsoe like this. And it’s very, very hard to determine if the symptoms are from pain or from the meds. Some dogs don’t tolerate the Tramadol very well and it does cause panting, trembling and restlessness…just like pain though! Ugh!

Do you notice if the symptoms seem to settle down shortly after the meds, or get worse? Do the symptons get worse as it gets closer to time for the next dose. Try and keep a journal of any pattern. Then you can talk to your vet about maybe reducing the frequency or not. Some dogs can get by with just twice a day, some need the meds every six or eight hrs.

Reducing the frequency, or the amount, may be the only way to tell if he’s reacting to the pain meds or is having a lot of pain! I KNOW it’s frustrating!’ I think you’re just dealing with getting the right balance.

Hang in there!! Recovery doesn’t last forever! You’ll see some sparkle come back slowly but surely..
PROMISE!! Most dogs…not all…start doing a few of their “normal nappy things” around the two to three week mark. Then the routines start returning fairly quickly.

Stay connected! Getting to this point in the journey is exhausting and scary and tense and frightening! We’ve all been there! And we’ve all come out on the other side and feel great relief as our dogs and cats start living life to the fullest!

Oh, and yes, gentle massage up and down his spine, all around his neck muscles, his shoulder, etc. Very gentle massage around the incision can help with circulation. Keep your energy calming and confident.

Hugs to all!

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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31 July 2016 - 12:15 am
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I had the same thing happen with Clyde – about 3-5 days after the surgery he seemed worse. People here talked about a bit of a crash that can happen during that time frame – its when the meds from the surgery are out of their system, and they are feeling things more.  That’s exactly what we experienced.

Clyde came home on Tramadol, a Fentanyl  patch and Rimadyl for pain. We ended up back at the vet because I was worried about his remaining front paw (he was licking it a lot), and also about the panting, etc. In fact, Clyde acted a lot like you’ve described Bledsoe as acting. The vet recommended increasing the amount of Rimadyl that I was giving him, and also reminded me to be sure that the Tramadol was administered at 8 hour intervals. I was giving Clyde (who weighed about 62 lbs after surgery) 2 – 3 50 mg. Tramadol three times a day. The increase in Rimadyl really helped. His doggy sparkle began to come back. He improved even more once the stitches came out.

Oh! And I almost forgot – the vet told me the panting was probably caused by the Tramadol. Once he stopped taking it (I think I took him off it once the stitches were out) that got much better. The first couple of weeks are really hard – such a roller coaster of emotions. It gets better, so hang in there.

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31 July 2016 - 5:52 am
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Thanks for the info and encouragement … Unfortunately he’s super uncomfortable this morning and let out a series of yelps when he woke up …he slept fairly wel until about 330 when he started shaking 

Bledsoe is about 46 lbs and the tramadol is 50mg, not sure off the top of my head on the gabapentin (maybe 200). He doesn’t take rimadyl because he’s had bad reactions in the past (trouble eating, vomiting, really “out of it”)

it does seem like the meds help, then 5-6 hours in he starts having more issues… 

Tje massage seems to help relax him and I think we’ll try the ice today

Minneapolis, MN
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31 July 2016 - 10:17 am
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allensf99 said
hello all — Bledsoe our English bulldog is 5 days post op and we’re having a tough time with his pain management (or he’s having a bad side effect to a med)

hes on tramadol 1.5 3x/day and gabapentin 0.5 3x/day

he is panting a ton, shaking trembling pretty consistently, and it takes him forever to get comfortable

hss anyone else experienced this? When will it get better? … Has anyone seen this side effect with either of the above meds?

any alternative methods that may lessen his anxiety and pain that anyone has had success with (such as massage)

thank you!

steve allen  

Hi, Steve 

I agree with Sally meds (especially the Tramadol) can cause panting and shaking, but the fact he seems better but regresses 5 to 6 hours later seems more likely to be pain not being controlled than a reaction.  

However, you can ask vet for an anti-nausea med or possibly try Pepcid AC (over the counter) to see if that relieves some of the symptoms.  As to being out of it when he has taken Rimadyl in the past, yes, this or other meds could cause sedation, but you do want him resting, so that is probably okay at this point.

Personally, I would ask about another NSAID you might try for Bledsoe – Rimadyl is not the only one dogs can take.  Make sure to give after eating a good sized meal and possibly use Pepcid AC.  At his weight the low range of dosage for Pepcid should be 1 10mg tablet 2 x daily.  

I would also talk to vet about increasing the Gabapentin for nerve pain – especially if he is taking only 1/2 of a 200 mg tablet.  Pofi is around 70 pounds and took 300 mg 3x daily and I know my surgeon said we were not at max for his weight yet.  That we could go to 400 mg if needed (it wasn’t).  

Best thoughts for Bledsoe to improve quickly!

Lisa, Minneapolis

On October 27, 2016, nearly 6 months after amputation, and 18 months since his cancer likely started, we lost Pofi to a recurrence of Soft Tissue Sarcoma in his spine quite suddenly.  His canine sister also succumbed to cancer on March 1, 2019 - we lavished her with our love in the interim, but life was never quite the same without her only real canine friend. Cliff kitty had to leave us, too, suddenly, in August 2019. Lucia kitty grieved all these losses, but helped us welcome two new Lurchers into our home and our lives, Shae and Barley.

Blog: Pofi, Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor Amputation

The Rainbow Bridge



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31 July 2016 - 10:35 am
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I”m sorry he’s still having a rough go. Have you talked to your vet about changing his pain medication regimen? If so what were their suggestions? If you haven’t called, now’s the time. Fine tuning makes all the difference.

I’m in the Tripawds Chat room right now if you want to talk OK?

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Livermore, CA




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31 July 2016 - 2:42 pm
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Based on your description it sounds like pain.

I would ask the vet about changing the dosing schedule to 4 times a day since you are seeing breakthrough at 5 to 6  hours. Calculating the dose he is on and his weight I believe there is room to increase the daily tram dose (either by adding a 4th dose or increasing the amount given now at 3x a day).

Of course discuss with your vet before making any changes.

Karen

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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1 August 2016 - 1:16 am
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So we had to bring Bledsoe to the ER tonight. He was unbelievably restless and in a lot of pain and would not lie down at all — he basically stood for almost 5 straight hours and then started excessively panting. The ER dr says he has something going on with his neck likely caused by his adjustment to three legs (we’re praying he didn’t slip a disc or something like that). He’s in a real lot of pain and can’t get comfortable because of his neck. They’re giving him a shot of Methodone and kept him overnight 😨 So he can have a consult with the neurologist in the morning … As you can imagine we’re obviously very concerned and certainly questioning our amputation decision at this point, and are just hoping the Methodone knocks him out so he gets some rest tonight and that he’s ok … 

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1 August 2016 - 3:56 am
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We will be thinking about you and Bledsoe.  Hope the vet finds the solution!

Otis - 106 pound lab/Dane mix, lost his right front leg to osteosarcoma on Febuary 9, 2016.  Four rounds of carboplatin completed in April, 2016.  Lung mets August 25, 2016.  Said goodbye too soon on September 4, 2016.   Lost his adopted sister, Tess, suddenly on October 9, 2016. likely due to hemangiosarcoma.  

Wherever they are, they are together.

Minneapolis, MN
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1 August 2016 - 5:30 am
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Sending best thoughts for Bledsoe – try not to second guess yourself. Getting good rest will surely help and identifying the problem should, too.

Lisa, Minneapolis

On October 27, 2016, nearly 6 months after amputation, and 18 months since his cancer likely started, we lost Pofi to a recurrence of Soft Tissue Sarcoma in his spine quite suddenly.  His canine sister also succumbed to cancer on March 1, 2019 - we lavished her with our love in the interim, but life was never quite the same without her only real canine friend. Cliff kitty had to leave us, too, suddenly, in August 2019. Lucia kitty grieved all these losses, but helped us welcome two new Lurchers into our home and our lives, Shae and Barley.

Blog: Pofi, Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor Amputation

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1 August 2016 - 7:17 am
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Sending Hugs from UK Nellie and I…. 15 days post op do hope all is ok with your baby.

Green Bay, WI


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1 August 2016 - 9:29 am
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My Dobe, Nitro, also had severe neck pain early in his recovery. I found a holestic vet that does acupuncuture, chiropracitc adjustments, and Traditional Chinese Medicine. We started chiro adjustments – his neck and upper back were severely out of alignment with his new Tripawd gait. He’s continued with this every 4 weeks, and in the last year we’ve also started acupuncuture.

Hopefully your vet can figure out what’s going on with Bledsoe and get your handsome boy feeling better.

Paula and Nitro

Nitro 11 1/2  yr old Doberman; right front amp June 2014. Had 6 doses carboplatin, followed by metronomic therapy. Rocked it on 3 legs for over 3 years! My Warrior beat cancer, but couldn't beat old age. He crossed the Bridge peacefully on July 25, 2017, with dignity and on his terms.  Follow his blog entitled "Doberman's journey"

http://nitro.tripawds.com

"Be good, mama loves you".....run free my beautiful Warrior

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1 August 2016 - 4:11 pm
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Hi all — I just wanted to share an update on Bledsoe.  

The good news is that it was not severe neck pain, but rather severe muscle pain/spasms from some swelling near the front of his incision which is “normal” post op.  He was not prescribed rimadyl because he had really bad reactions to it, so has now been prescribed with another NSAID, meloxicam — has anyone’s pup been on this before?

He is now home and still somewhat restless, but not near what he was last night.  He’s at 2 tramadol 3x/day; 1/2 gabapentin 3x day; meloxicam once a day; an antibiotic twice a day; cerenia (anti-nausea) once a day … They also want to start him on Amantadine — has anyone heard of this before? … so many meds! … We’re hopeful they’ve pinpointed the missing link to Bledsoe’s pain management and he can start progressing in his recovery.

Thank you all for your well-wishes and I hope to have more positive news in the coming days and week … 

Green Bay, WI


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1 August 2016 - 4:20 pm
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Glad to hear it was nothing serious. Both my dogs have take meloxicam before and it did wonders for them. My Westie injured his back from running up and down the stairs like 20 times following my husband; when he finally got on the meloxicam, he was better within a day. Hopefully Bledsoe tolerates this better than the rimadyl. Good luck

Paula and Nitro

Nitro 11 1/2  yr old Doberman; right front amp June 2014. Had 6 doses carboplatin, followed by metronomic therapy. Rocked it on 3 legs for over 3 years! My Warrior beat cancer, but couldn't beat old age. He crossed the Bridge peacefully on July 25, 2017, with dignity and on his terms.  Follow his blog entitled "Doberman's journey"

http://nitro.tripawds.com

"Be good, mama loves you".....run free my beautiful Warrior

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