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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Advice on bed and exercise
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Member Since:
15 March 2023
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19 March 2023 - 3:08 pm
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Hi all, 

My name's Emily and my sweet 12 year old boy Elmer ( a shepherd/hound/lab mix -- about 65 pound) just had a forelimb amputation due to soft tissue sarcoma. He's just a few days post surgery, and being a total champ, but so far he is struggling to get off his old bed, which is memory foam. Any tips on beds for forelimb amputees? He seems to prefer being closer to the floor but also to want some padding, so I'd love some advice from any of you with this experience as to good beds for these circumstances). And, while we're not quite ready for it yet, any and all rehab/exercise tips would be most welcome. Elmer was a terrifically active guy most of his life and slowed down with this but I suspect may benefit from some focused activity once the initial healing process has progressed a bit more.

Thank you in advance for any tips ūüôā

Emily

The Rainbow Bridge



Member Since:
25 April 2007
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19 March 2023 - 11:13 pm
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Hi Emily and Elmer, welcome! Sorry you had to join our club.

First tell us what kind of pain management does Elmer have right now? Could that be making him woozy and unable to get out of bed? If so that is not uncommon. How firm is his mattress?

Also, as far as rehab exercise go, I'm so glad you asked. Seeing a therapist is so beneficial and the Tripawds foundation can even pay for your first rehab visit ! We always recommend seeing a therapist first before beginning any home exercises. 

For now have him just take it easy and relax, rest is necessary for his body to heal. 

Member Since:
15 March 2023
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23 March 2023 - 3:35 pm
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Thank you, Jerry. We are glad this club exists, even if sorry to be part of it.  So thank you for hosting it. He's on pretty good pain management . Carprofen, gaba, amantadine, and some tramadol.  He's improving with the mattress, but I think something thinner and firmer would be better (his is like a 4 inch high ortho memory foam, so not too soft).  And, thanks so much for the rec re: funding a rehab. that's amazing. Yes, I want him to see a therapist for sure. While we're at it, he's developed a weeping seroma . The vet said it's ok but wow it's scary. Any advice? We are going back for a bandage change and check again first thing tomorrow, so don't worry, he is cared for and they said it's not infected.

Thank you, Emily

jerry said
Hi Emily and Elmer, welcome! Sorry you had to join our club.

First tell us what kind of pain management does Elmer have right now? Could that be making him woozy and unable to get out of bed? If so that is not uncommon. How firm is his mattress?

Also, as far as rehab exercise go, I'm so glad you asked. Seeing a therapist is so beneficial and the Tripawds foundation can even pay for your first rehab visit ! We always recommend seeing a therapist first before beginning any home exercises. 

For now have him just take it easy and relax, rest is necessary for his body to heal. 

  

The Rainbow Bridge



Member Since:
25 April 2007
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23 March 2023 - 6:14 pm
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Aww you are so welcome.

Yes, we find that firm and low profile is better for Tripawds.

Seromas are really common, it happens to a lot of dogs. As long as it's more watery and not bloody, smelly, or cloudy tinged, he's probably fine. I'm glad you're seeing the vet team tomorrow. Let us know how it goes.

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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23 March 2023 - 7:54 pm
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Just catching  up on your sweet Emily.  Jerry has forgiven great input  and support 

Mh Hqppy Hannah (a rear legger) had ma seroma ...twice.¬† it started clearing up and came back.¬† Looked like a sagging boob ūüėĪ¬† If I recall, it never leaked.¬† As Jwrry said though, that does happen.¬† I'm sure the Vet will double check¬† the seepage¬† to make sure there was no¬† jnfection, etc.

I dif get the Large Big Barker Bed for my Happy Hannah (125 lbs)  Chevk it out in our Gear Sction.  It is an investment, but IMO, well worth it .I've had the first one for over ten years and can truly say it has not sagged one bit.  Often through the years it's provided rest space for two dogs at once total  almost  200 lbs of dog.  Anyway, I think Big Barker makes a bed for crates that won't be as thick as some other, but still vrry supportive!

You are an excellent¬† caregiver for your sweet Emily.¬† She's clearly adored‚ô•ÔłŹ

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!

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26 March 2023 - 6:57 am
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Hi all, 

Thanks so much for the kind words, advice and reassurances. Grateful to say there is no infection, and Elmer gets a little better every day. I do find that he is more clingy and nights are hardest for him, but overall, slowly things are improving.

Thanks again, 

Emily

Member Since:
22 January 2023
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29 March 2023 - 11:25 am
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Lacey had her front left leg amputated. My wife bought a bed for downstairs and both Lacey and I slept there for 2-3 weeks. She is a go getter and loves chasing the ball but we never did any therapy afterwards in terms of physical therapy. Your situation is different it seems and I am curious what they prescribe for therapy and how it goes. Good luck.

When we go for chemo appointments I see the same few dogs there for water therapy. I am sure I botched that therapy up but I just know they are in a small pool...LOL

This is a nice place but not quite the club I thought I'd be a member..... Life throws us a curve ball now again and I guess we need to learn to hit them along with the fastball..... Ugh.... 

Livermore, CA




Member Since:
18 October 2009
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29 March 2023 - 12:13 pm
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Hi Emily,

Just wanted to say welcome to you and Elmer.

I can't help with the bed- I've had two small rear amp Tripawds and they both went against the 'best beds for Tripawds ' theory smiley4.  They were/are nesters and prefer fluffy beds.

I'm glad you are seeing improvement!  How is he doing now?  Seems like he should be around 2 weeks out from surgery?

 

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls and Boy

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

Member Since:
15 March 2023
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29 March 2023 - 4:14 pm
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I want to thank you all for the kind and insightful words. Elmer is just 2 weeks out, and happily hopped to the end of the block we live on tonight, sniffing and wagging. He's getting around better and better, and I found a bed that works for him for now. The tough turn of events is that it is (you an see in another post of mine) a parosteal osteosarcoma, not a soft tissue sarcoma as thought, so our next stop is the oncologist whom he knows too well as he already survived adenocarcinoma and a low grade soft tissue sarcoma before. They think chemo is the right next step, but I want to weigh it as he went through chemo once (adenoncarcinoma) and did great with it, but he's older now.... There's not a lot of info on this type of osteosarcoma as it is apparently rare, so I will listen to the oncologist and then make the call. Thanks to this wonderful community for support and any and all insights. Hope all of you are well!

Emily 

The Rainbow Bridge



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29 March 2023 - 4:40 pm
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Aww Emily you are so welcome. I'm glad that his mobility is improving!

I saw your other post and shared some links for you. Keep us posted OK?

What bed did you end up getting?

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