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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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Amputation day tomorrow! Hellpppp
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Forum Posts: 9
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2 September 2018 - 10:58 pm
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Our fur baby’s name is Titan, he is an 11year old pit bull. Before osteosarcoma he was as healthy as an ox. He has the spirit and tenacity of a young pup. 

Tomorrow is amputation day and I’m worried. The tumor on his tibia has grown a lot in the past few weeks since diagnoses. He is in constant pain even with the Tramadol and metacam. All I want is to take his pain away.

Based on what I have been reading on the forums, the amputation is quite painful and he will be suffering. What is the pain like In comparison to the bone cancer? Will I be making things worse for him by doing the amputation? 

He is such a happy boy that I can’t bear to think that I would be making his life worse. 

I need some words of wisdom from those who have been through it, thanks. 

Livermore, CA




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2 September 2018 - 11:19 pm
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Hello and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

I’m sorry you and Titan are facing cancer and amputation, but this is the best place to be- we have been there and can help.

While the amputation surgery is major, and with any major surgery there is pain, there is no reason for Titan to suffer after surgery!  There are several types of pain meds available for your vet to prescribe.  Be sure you have a discussion before you bring him home so you know what meds he will come home with and the dosing schedule.

The pain from bone cancer is unbearable and only gets worse, you are seeing that now.  The pain from surgery should be managed to keep it to a minimum, and is TEMPORARY!  Most pups here need pain meds for two to three weeks post amp and then are fine.  Some need them a bit longer, some lucky few are actually off them before two weeks.

You said tibia so it’s a back leg? He sounds like a great candidate for amputation, in good health and lot of life left to live! 

The first couple of weeks can be bumpy (not always though) as the pup learns new balance, is on strong meds, and is getting used to their new normal. 

The Required Reading List has lots of links to information on what to expect with amputation and recovery.

Let us know what other questions or concerns you have and best of luck with the surgery tomorrow, keep us posted.

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

Latham, NY
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3 September 2018 - 5:45 am
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I can’t say it better than Karen did!  The pain of the amputation surgery is temporary, and controllable by meds–bone pain from the cancer is horrific. 

We learned tons from the links she provided also, being prepared helped a lot. 

We’ll be thinking of you both tomorrow–we’ll check back for updates.  Surgery day is pretty anxiety provoking, sending you and Titan positive energy heart

Fallon  8/28/06--9/6/18.  My Heart.

Fallon's left front leg was amputated due to osteosarcoma on 10/11/17.

Nothing But Love in Her Heart - dawn3g.tripawds.com

Virginia




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3 September 2018 - 8:41 am
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As you can see, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!   

Ditto Karen and Dawn!

We understand  the fear, the panic, the uncertainty, when first hearing  the word “amputation”.  And we are all here right by your side to help you navigate through the recovery.

The short term “pain” from surgery, is a trade-off that Titan would be glad to have so her can have a pain free life with that bum leg gone.  I know your Titan is a tough guy, and if he’s  showing  pain now and with meds, HE HURTS!  Some have even said they could tell their dog felt better dealing  with the surgery pain removing the leg, than they did  before the surgery with the leg!

 Most dogs come home with Tramadil, Gabapentin,  Rimadyl and an antibiotic.  Some come home with a Fentynl pain patch.  Recovery is no picnic for a couple  of weeks.  Every dog is different  and is every recovery.   My Happy Hannah was quite restless  and whiny for several days and long sleep,less nights.  So e sogs are fairly zonked out and lethargic  for the first several days.  Some dogs are mobile right away.  Some need several days before they get their “sea legs”.  Some dogs eat just fine.  Some don’t  have much of an appetite  at first.

When you do go to  pick Titan  up from the clinic, don’t  even bother to look at his incision.  Titan just wants you to look into his druggy eyes and tell him he’s a good boy and he’s  going home!  And when you do sneak a peak, just know rhe Surgeon can get quite clipped happy and shave a lot of fur!

Have non slip scatter rugs for traction   put down if you have hardwood floors.  Keep lots of yummy treats around and cream cheeses is always good to use to try and hide the pills.

STAY CONNECTED!  WE ARE RIGHT BY YOUR SIDE THE WHOLE WAY!!!  TITAN  WILL BE SOOOO GLAD THAT BUM LEG IS GONE!!

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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3 September 2018 - 9:31 pm
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Thank you so much Sally, Karen an Dawn for sharing your kind words and support. Titan is currently in surgery. I was a nervous wreck today but now that the procedure is happening I feel relieved. No more tremendous amounts of pain! 

I love the idea of cream cheese because we’re running out of creative ways to give him pills. Titan has been walking on 3 legs for 3 weeks so I’m feeling pretty confident that the adjustment will be a smooth one cause he will no longer have to carry the weight of his bum leg. 

I could get into a ton of questions about aftercare but I will read the link you shared Karen and ask questions as they come up over the next while.

Thank you again for the encouragement in doing the right thing for Titan.

❤️ Christine 

Here and Now


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4 September 2018 - 12:25 pm
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Trust the surgery went well, and Titan is, or soon will be home. 

You’ve already received great info here, but in terms of relative pain, we watched Casey experiencing more and more pain leading up to his surgery.  In the last week, he started shedding incredibly, even for a Golden, and the vet attributed it to stress from his cancer and pain.  That shedding stopped within 48 hours of his surgery.

Taking pills . . . we made Casey “cupcakes” of about 1/8 slice of bread slathered in peanut butter with sprinkles (his pills).

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4 September 2018 - 1:18 pm
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Everybody else has covered it pretty well. I’ll add that, for Rocky, the recovery from the amputation went much smoother than the recovery from his bone biopsy. 

And the good news is, when Titan recovers from the amputation, he won’t have to worry about that nasty tumor hurting him anymore. 

Hoping everything went well and Titan is on his way to a full recovery. 

David and Rocky (and Baxter now too!)

Rocky had his right front leg amputated on Valentine's Day 2017 after being diagnosed with osteosarcoma.

He joined the September Saints on September 3, 2017.

He is the toughest, bravest, sweetest and best friend I'll ever know. 

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4 September 2018 - 11:37 pm
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Thank you for all the tips and support. It is so appreciated!

Titan is home currently sleep by my feet on the bed. I’ve read through the reading link and I’ve noticed that many pets are prescribed gabapentin. We were not given anything except for antibiotics because we have Tramadol and metacam at home. We’re your pets on gabapentin?

Titan has not eaten today but I’ve also read that is pretty normal.

We seem to have a pretty pain free pup again 🙂 Obviously the recovery will take time but the pain seems much more tolerable compared to the tumor.

Night night!

Christine

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5 September 2018 - 8:51 am
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I’m unfamiliar with Metacam, but think of it as an NSAID.  Does Titan have a fentanyl patch?

In Casey’s case, he was on Tramadol and an NSAID before his surgery and the osteo pain was breaking through.  We found Gabapentin to be a miracle drug, and attribute its nerve blocking properties to Casey never experiencing phantom limb pain.

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5 September 2018 - 2:50 pm
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It seems like most people here were given Gabapentin, but Rocky never was. He was on Tramadol, Deramaxx and Clavamox (an antiobiotic) after his surgery. 

Glad Titan is home and resting. Make sure he gets a lot of rest. He’s probably still feeling pretty good since the hospital meds are in his system. He may not feel as well in a few days as they get out of his system, but that’s normal. 

David and Rocky (and Baxter now too!)

Rocky had his right front leg amputated on Valentine's Day 2017 after being diagnosed with osteosarcoma.

He joined the September Saints on September 3, 2017.

He is the toughest, bravest, sweetest and best friend I'll ever know. 



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5 September 2018 - 3:54 pm
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Hi Christine and Titan 🌸🐾

So glad surgery went well and your boy is back home and into your loving arms 💓

We were prescribed Gabapentin for phantom pain , I think most of us gave it to our dogs during recovery.

As for eating, yes, it is normal Titan is not very interested in food right now so get your apron ready and produce some mouth watering food for your boy so he keeps eating. 

Keep up the good work, sugar, you’re doing great and we’re all here for you both.

Hugs and cuddles 😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

The Rainbow Bridge



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5 September 2018 - 5:46 pm
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Christine I’m just catching up on Titan’s story, how wonderful he’s home and on the mend!

Just wondering but could he have been given an injectable pain medication like Nocita? It would be on your statement if so.

Yes, most dogs are now prescribed Gabapentin as per current pain management guidelines but some are not. It depends on the dog’s health history, what other drugs were given and how current a vet is on pain medication protocols . Here is an article that explains everything you need to know about it to have a conversation with your vet if you feel Titan is not comfortable enough. Like people, our pets pain needs just as much management.

All About Gabapentin for Tripawd Dogs and Cats

And yes, loss of appetite is normal for a few days. Just make sure he’s staying hydrated.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Virginia




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5 September 2018 - 7:28 pm
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WELCOME HOME TITAN!!!!   GOOD JOB HANDSOME!!!😁

You’ve  already gotten good feedback on pain meds, not eating, possible but of a “crash” after hospital  pain meds wear off, etc.  .  I know that will be helpful  as you navigate  through the recovery.  

Try and get some rest when you can, okay?

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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5 September 2018 - 9:27 pm
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I definitely think you are making his life better not worse! I am glad you have him home. My german shepherd Kaiserin had her rear leg amputated on August 1 (so 36 days ago). She is doing amazing now and impressies me every day how losing a leg doesn’t phase her! My recovery advice from going through this recently is to take it easy for the first few weeks. I tried too early to do things like try stairs. Just eat yummy foods, keep on the medication schedule, go out on a leash to do bathroom business and then rest. Watch movies together. Kaiserin wasn’t really herself for at least the first week but her personality soon went right back to normal as the pain meds decreased. If he seems in pain, call he vet and adjust the medications. We had tramadol, metacam and antibiotics. I asked for gavapentin but it wasn’t part of the original plan. And use a cone if there is any sign he is licking his incision. After kaiserins lump removal surgery last year I felt bad for her because she hated the cone so much. I left it off a lot and the incision got infected. So this time, I used the cone when I couldn’t watch her and the incision healed just beautifully in 12 days. Good luck! Every day it will get a bit better and a bit easier.

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