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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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A step backwards?
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Forum Posts: 2
Member Since:
20 November 2020
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22 November 2020 - 4:15 pm
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Bella is on day 5 post op. Her front left leg was amputated on Tuesday. Yesterday she was walking around slowly and making obvious progress. Today she barely wants to get up and move at all. Is this normal?

Livermore, CA

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22 November 2020 - 7:10 pm
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Hello and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

First- tell us more about Bella…why the amp?  How big is she and how old?  What meds is she taking post op?

More information will help us provide some better input.

In general it is not at all unusual for a pup to seem to go backwards in recovery around the 3 to 5 day mark.  Hospital meds are finally out of their system. Their new gait is also exhausting, so even just moving around a little is very draining. They are now dealing with their home pain med regimen which sometimes needs tweaking. 

Is she eating and drinking?  Eliminating?  It is also common for poop to take a few days- pain meds can be constipating.

Our surgeon said that Maggie was only allowed short, leashed potty breaks for the first two weeks post op.  Rest is really important for a smooth recovery so Bella being quiet is a good thing at this point.

You might want to look through the Required Reading List, lots of links from this site on what to expect with amputation and recovery.

Keep your vet informed about Bella’s progress, and don’t be afraid to call them if you are worried about anything.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

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

Forum Posts: 2
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22 November 2020 - 9:33 pm
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Bella is a 5 year old Golden Doodle diagnosed with osteosarcoma. She weighted 65 pounds (pre-op). She’s taking gabapentin, carprofen, and clavamox.  She was doing so well yesterday. Today she barely wants to move. If that’s normal then great. But this fur mama is scared. She Is eating and drinking normally. She’s just breathing quick and shallow. Thanks.

The Rainbow Bridge

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23 November 2020 - 11:13 am
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Hi Bella and family, welcome. Sorry you had to join our club but we hope we can help you feel better about her recovery and life on three. If she hasn’t perked up today let your vet know, just in case. Don’t panic.

Many dogs have a little setback after looking really good after surgery. Typically it’s because they are getting in too much activity too soon. Do tell us more about what her daily life looks like right now. Are there other dogs in the house that she may be playing with too roughly right now? Is she doing any walking other than going outside to potty, on leash? Also, I notice in her adorable avatar that you have hardwood floors. Have you put down throw rugs or carpet runners for traction ? Slippery floors are a Tripawd’s worst enemy and walking on them can be exhausting. If she doesn’t have a place to get a grip under her paws, she is basically ice skating all day long, which is really hard for any Tripawd but especially a new one. Be sure to pick up our Tripawds e-books for lots of tips about life on three. Our Tripawds Gear Blog and Jerry’s Required Reading List also have tons of mobility tips.

My guess is that she may have just pulled a muscle and needs some really serious R&R and maybe a bit more pain control. Ask your vet about that part, don’t change anything without asking them. What’s her Gabapentin dosage and frequency right now?  

The possibility of infection is also there, but don’t jump to that just yet. Is her incision warm to the touch? Any drainage? If so, what does it look like? How’s her appetite? Is she eating, drinking and eliminating? All of this info is good to have before you talk to the vet, but don’t wait and do it today. Then let us know what happens. 

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23 November 2020 - 10:52 pm
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Can only ditto everything  Karen and Jerry have said.  

When you get a chance, take a moment t to share the answers to their questions s so we can better support you.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE, okay?   You are in the roughest  part of recovery.  It’s all about taking g thi gs sloooow and easy right now and pr some tweaking of the meds.

I joined this site on day six of my Happh Hannah’s amputation.  I was soooo scared and felt so alone.  I thought I had made a horrible decision!!  This wonderful  community supported me and educated  me on  the ups and downs  of recovery.   They promised me it would get better and it did!!

Stay conn and we’ll look forward to your update.  And try and get some rest.  Gett to thismpointnis exhausting  emotionally  and physically. 


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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