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.
JUMP TO FORUMS ↓
Join The Tripawds Community
Learn how to help three legged dogs and cats in the forums below. Browse and search as a guest or register for free and get full member benefits:
Get the new book by the Tripawds founders for life lessons learned from their Chief Fun Officer Jerry G. Dawg! Download the e-book, and find fun Be More Dog apparel and gifts in the Be More Dog Bookstore.
I really appreciate this community. Even some little reads in the forums are quite reassuring.
Very unluckily this is the second time cancer knocked on our door. 2 years ago a fibrosarcoma was diagnosed but we were extremely lucky it was positioned on the flank with no amputation necessary only major soft tissue removal.
Bärli’s right front leg had to be amputated due to bone cancer. He had a beautiful white sock on it. Surgery took place on the 27th of January, a monday, and he was allowed to go home wednesday evening. The biopsy before the surgery was not quite definite if we are dealing with an Osteosarcoma or a Chondrosarcoma so his leg was sent off to clear this up.
When we picked him up he seemed to do crazy fine and tried to jump up on us but of course he was fast asleep 10 Minutes later in the car. The first night was very uneventful and he even slept on his surgery side 😮
In the evening of the next day it all went a bit backwards. He was panting very often and licking his licks especially during the night. He always seemed to be very warm and felt warm too. He never properly lied down or slept in a relaxed position and often just yelped out. He must have been exhausted and everytime he yelped he properly leaned and pushed himself onto me.
The vet gave us gabapentin. He at least lies down and sleeps much better but still yelps out here and there which makes me feels so relieved. His breathing often seems to be heavy and weird but he actually wants to come sleep under the duvet again (5 minutes later he is then too hot…).
His wound is healing well and we hope to remove the staples on friday. There was only a little bit of transparent pinkish discharge twice, like a couple of drops.
I hope all your pooches are doing well and best wishes!
Raphaela and Bärli (German for little bear)
Hi Raphaela and Bärli, welcome. I’m so sorry you had to join our club but we are so glad you found us.
I know you didn’t specifically ask about pain medications but based on what you’re describing it sounds like Bärli might not have enough pain management . I’m not a vet, but if he still shows signs of anxiety and yelping, his behavior sounds common to dogs who aren’t getting enough relief. Is he on anything besides gabapentin? If not I would talk to your vet about his symptoms as soon as you can. Some physio therapy can also help. Also, how is his appetite and bathroom habits?
We’re glad your little bear is on the mend and hope he’s back to himself real soon. Got any photos of him? We would love to see them! Here’s a link about adding images to the Forums. Let me know if you’d like help. Thanks again for joining.
Not sure if this picture adding thing worked. I tried to copy one over from instagram on my phone.
Thank you for your quick and nice response!
Oh sure he gets pain meds. Meloxidyl and we continued with paracetamol (was only given for 3 days but it seemed much too early to stop). He also had antibiotics but the course is now finished. Everything is generally better during the day.
He has no bathroom problems at all. He pees in the garden whenever we take him and does his morning big business. He tries to lift his leg but falls over a bit when peeing on a little stroll. He eats alright and mostly takes what is offered. Only here and there he is like “meh, go away with your meds stuffed sweet potatoes, human!”. He doesnt drink though so I try give him a few small food bowls stretched with water so he gets at least a bit of liquid.
He walks ok around the house and has no troubles getting on our bed or the sofa. He is a bit wobbly when getting up from a nap and that is mostly when he yelps but this was much more frequent and intense before the gabapentin.
All the best,
Raphaela and Bärli
I think our dogs worry when they see us worry. Brownie has always been tuned in to my feelings. If he sees that something is wrong with the way I am feeling then yes he worries. Other then that he is a happy go lucky dog.
It sounds like Barli is recovering well. Brownie also had Front leg amputation and is doing fine as a tripawd and he is a grandpa compared to Barli.
Sending good thoughts for a speedy recovery. I have a feeling Barli is going to surprise you…
Love the name!
22 February 2013
Jist catching up on your handsome Barli! And he is soooo handsome! I love bone structure on his mug. Strong and so well defined.
How is his pain management going? Often it’s a matter of doing doses more frequently. How often is he on Gaba and what is the dose? How much does he weigh?
It sounds like Barli is doing really well this early on. And it is early on after majpr surgery, all while adjusting to three.
Try and get some rest. Recovery doesn’t last furever!
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!
Brownie is quite cute himself!
Bärli desperately wanted to go for a walk this morning. I am taking a big blankie with me on our walks recently and today I let him walk 10 minutes then we chilled on the blanket for half an hour and then hopped back home. He didn’t want to go home.
Tomorrow morning we are booked in to take the staples out. He may need to be a bit sedated.
He weighs 26kg now. I am looking to reduce that a little bit, just one kg or so after he is recovered. We have the gabapentin capsules twice a day. I think 300. Currently he is demanding belly rubs while lying stretched out over my lap and I need to pee but I am so happy he is relaxing I dont want to move hahaha. He gets the meloxidyl once a day and half a 500 paracetamol morning and evening. Last night he was a bit more settled for the first time with very little panting and only getting up to change his sleeping position.
He still has these whine/yelp attacks after he gets up from a longer nap. It seems as if the amputated site just cramps up weirdly. I will ask our vet tomorrow if they have a physio contact. Everything was quite pricey here in the Uk but this wont brake the bank.
Thanks for all your messages!
Raphaela and Bärli
Got results today: it is a chondroblastic (or so) Osteosarcoma. We are tending towards not doing chemo but would like to speak to the oncology department though. We have of course questions if we can do anything else and what really happens along the way and what signs or things to look out for.
Oh dang I’m sorry. But good for you for getting all the information before deciding on treatment. You will feel so much better once you do figure things out. Information is power. And whatever you decide, we will support you 100%.
Oh in the meantime you may want to check out this blog post, “Questions to Ask Your Veterinary Oncologist”
Thank you for your support! This is quite a hard thing to go through and I would be lieing if I said no thoughts of regret or doubts have crossed my mind.
The vet said to increase the gabapentin to 3 times daily and we re evaluate on tuesday at our next appointment to see if the staples can come out. His seroma was loosing almost all of the fluid from the pocket from what we could see.
Weird recovery side effect: Bärli’s farts stink like from another stink dimension :p
Best for you all,
Raphaela and Bärli
Oh good I’m glad you’ve got something to try until your next appointment. That makes total sense.
I know what you mean about the farts. I think it’s got something to do with being under anesthesia.