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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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Becoming a tripawd tomorrow
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New York, NY
Forum Posts: 415
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16 May 2020 - 12:33 pm
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Hi Tawny!  I’m so glad your vet was able to reassure you about the bruising.  And yes, Beesly is doing exactly what she should be doing for the next 2 weeks – sleeping and resting most of the time, with short potty breaks and meals.  Griffin’s seromas likely developed from him doing too much activity too soon, so keeping Beesly quiet will hopefully avoid that issue.  Does it seem that Beesly is resting comfortably with the Timadyl and Rimadyl?  Did the vet say how long she would stay on those meds?  And kudos to you for taking care of Beesly from the day of her surgery!  Most pups stay overnight at the vet’s, so you have definitely had a heavier lift with recovery that you are handling like a champ! ~ Stacy

The Rainbow Bridge



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16 May 2020 - 12:45 pm
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Tawny, here are instructions for adding images . Let me know if this helps:

If you’d like help figuring out the process let me know. It’s pretty easy: 

  1. Upload pics to a photo sharing site like imgur.com or your own Tripawds blog
  2. Right click and copy the Image URL OR just the image
  3. Return to your Tripawds Forum post and paste the image URL (or the image itself if possible) in your post. It should automatically appear.

I’m glad she’s doing better!

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




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16 May 2020 - 7:45 pm
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Yes, rest is exactly what she needs!!!  Smart girl.  Potty breaks and then back to bed for rest.  It’s very important to healing.

Lots of massages  up and down her spine, her neck, her shoulder help loosen up the muscles that are working so hard right now.

Hugs 

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

PS…Stacy, good comparison  photos.  Thanks.

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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16 May 2020 - 8:37 pm
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Stacy said
Hi Tawny!  I’m so glad your vet was able to reassure you about the bruising.  And yes, Beesly is doing exactly what she should be doing for the next 2 weeks – sleeping and resting most of the time, with short potty breaks and meals.  Griffin’s seromas likely developed from him doing too much activity too soon, so keeping Beesly quiet will hopefully avoid that issue.  Does it seem that Beesly is resting comfortably with the Timadyl and Rimadyl?  Did the vet say how long she would stay on those meds?  And kudos to you for taking care of Beesly from the day of her surgery!  Most pups stay overnight at the vet’s, so you have definitely had a heavier lift with recovery that you are handling like a champ! ~ Stacy

  

Thank you for the photos! Those were super helpful and made me feel better immediately. She does seem comfortable. She is resting easily with the meds and is not panting, whining, or trying to change positions too often.He did not say how long she would be on them. After reading a lot of forums, I am anticipating him saying she won’t need them for too much linger, but I will fight to get her some if she needs it.

She just looks so sad…it is so hard to see her like this. When do they get their “pep” back? I know it probably won’t be within the next week, but it would be nice to know when I should expect it…

Virginia




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16 May 2020 - 8:59 pm
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Usually, not always, the sparkle comes back slowly at first.  It may be the first tail wag, the first bark, the first time she follows uou into the ,kitchen, the first time she greets you at the door, the first time she shows interest in a toy.

She just doesn’t feel  like throwing  a pawty yet.  So no, not “sad” but recovering  from MAJOR surgery with a boatload of stitches, and figuring  out the three legged mobility adjustment.  The surgery “generally” takes a out two weeks to work through and the sparkle  starts showing  up.  The adjustment to the tripawd gait is about thirty days.

Duration of pain meds varies,  so try not to compare.  Just follow Beesly’s lead.  Some dogs need pain meds approximately  two weeks,  maybe a little less, maybe a bit longer.  

So I would make sure you have at least a two week supply.  Still can’t  believe your Vet just sent her home with Rimadyl  at first!

Recovery  doesn’t  last furever, just feels like it!!!

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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17 May 2020 - 9:31 am
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Jerry- thank you for those directions! I will upload some pictures soon. 

Benny- thanks. I have seen little sparks of her personality come back, but then she does back to the “out of it” state. It is hard to see. 

It has only been three days since her surgery, and she has been doing so well and sleeping fine at night, but last night was the HARDEST!  I gave her second tramadol pill, then she started breathing rapidly. I could tell something was off with her, but she was maxed out on her pain meds. I couldn’t sleep because I knew she was in pain or uncomfortable in some way. Oh, and she was lying on her amputation. Is that okay? We weren’t sure if we should move her because we thought maybe her other leg was sore from laying on it too much.  Her rapid breathing lasted all night until about 1:00am.

Then at about 1:00am she got up and started yelping so loudly! She fell as soon as she stood up, tried again, yelped and then tried to get up for the third time, but my husband just gently held her down. She was lying right by the couch and her breath finally stared to regulate about an hour after the yelping and she fell asleep. She has not moved from that spot since then. She almost looks terrified to move again. 

Do you think she was in pain from laying on her amputation? Is the rapid breathing a side effect of the Tramadol or was she in pain? Is this just part of the process or do we need to do something more for her? I just wish I could take some of her pain away…

My in laws came over yesterday in our backyard and she was so happy to see them. Maybe she was walking too much and is sore from that?

New York, NY
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17 May 2020 - 10:28 am
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Hi Tawny.  I’m sorry that Beesly had such a difficult night.  Many pups choose to lie on their incision after surgery and they probably wouldn’t do it if it hurt.  The compression might actually feel good.  It does sound as though Beesly is in pain with the yelping and panting.  Griffin wound up coming off Tramadol a few days after surgery because it was making him restless and pant excessively at night.  He remained on Gabapentin for a few days after that.  Griffin is not normal in that he was off meds in a week, but he did come home with multiple pain meds, which is usual.  I know Beesly was taking Tramadol prior to surgery, but it is possible that the Tramadol by itself is not enough to manage her pain.  I know you spoke with your vet about her meds previously.  Was there a particular reason why she/he did not prescribe Gabapentin?  It would complement the Tramadol.  If you can reach your vet, or an emergency vet, you might want to try specifically asking for a Gabapentin prescription and then searching this website for suggestions about how to stagger the meds (instead of giving all at once) to get ahead of Beesly’s discomfort.  You can also try cold packs on/around the incision site and lots of massage on Beesly’s neck, back, and legs.  She may have overdone it yesterday, but it sounds like she is more than just sore.  Good luck and please keep us posted!  ~ Stacy

Virginia




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17 May 2020 - 10:43 am
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Couple of thoughts.  How much did she do yesterday with her visitors?  How much walking?  No jumping or running, right?

She definitely  is giving pain signals .  All the hospital meds are out of her sys now so  this is when tweaking the meds gets tricky.  A little trial and error.  We often see “crashes” around this time in recovery.

Generally, laying on the amp side means the incision  itself isn’t too painful.   Clearly though, she is having pain from the surgery overall.  The stitches/staples could be pulling or poking too.

How much does she weigh and what is the dose amount, the frequency?

Also, check out phantom limb pain.  I think you’ll find her behavior similar.   It comes on quickly and the dog will yelp and try to move away from the pain.  It usually lasts at most a couple of minutes.  But it does shake them up for a bit.  It’s a horrible shooting nerve pain.

GABAPENTIN  works wonders with phantom  pain.

GABAPENTIN , in conjunction  WITH Tramadol work well together.  You can stagger the doses a bit so there is a consistent  pain control going on.

Recent studies have shown Tramadol by itself  is not as effective  by itself for pain management .

AND, in some dogs, not all, Tramadol  can make them anxious and restless.

So I would definitely  tell your Vet you want to try Gabapentin in conjunction with the Tramadol!

Not Vets and not giving  Vet advice.  Consult  with your Vet about adding Gabapentin. 

We know it is soooo hard seeing our pups in pain.  We feel so helpless.  But once you get the pain meds tweaked, it will make all the difference.   And even if the meds make her a little lethargic right now, that’s okay.  It’s better than being  in pain.

((((((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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18 May 2020 - 12:00 pm
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Thank you for your advice! I tried giving her her meds closer together to get ahead of the pain and that worked great! The vet said we could give her an extra Rimadyl in teh day as well. Those seem to work great with her.

She had a good night last night- she slept, so we slept! And she even got up on her own this morning to go out to pee and without us forcing her to! I was so proud of her. She seems perkier as well- she just looks more alert which makes us very happy. 

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New York, NY
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18 May 2020 - 1:15 pm
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Hi Tawny!  That’s great news!  So glad that making changes to her meds made her comfortable enough to sleep through the night.  And what a cutie she is!  She looks quite alert in that photo, so fingers crossed that you have her meds set to the right schedule now to make the next few weeks smooth sailing.  Keep the photos (and maybe videos???) of Beesly coming!  ~ Stacy

The Rainbow Bridge



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18 May 2020 - 1:45 pm
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Wooohoo! Nothing like a good night’s sleep for everyone to feel recharged. Hop on Beesly! Lookin’ good!

P.S. Your vet probably told you this, but just watch out for stool changes. With a higher dose of NSAID you want to make sure it’s not giving her GI problems.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Virginia




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18 May 2020 - 2:49 pm
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She is such a pretty girl.  Thanks for the photo and update.  So glad her pain is starting  to be managed on a consistent basis.  And YAY for a good night’s sleep!!

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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21 May 2020 - 11:41 am
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It has been exactly one week since Beesly’s amputation and she is doing well! I figured out her pain meds and she is getting more comfortable getting up and around with three legs. The first couple of days she wouldn’t get up on her own, my husband has to pick her up to go outside to go potty (she weighs 65 pounds!). Bu the last few days, she has just gotten up and went to the backdoor on her own. 

She is starting to lick her stitches more, I think as it heals it becomes a little more itchy. Unfortunately, that means more time with the dreaded cone. We purchased this soft pillow, kind of resembles a airplane pillow, that goes around her neck. I will let you know how that works.

I got some video on her walking around the backyard. Today she seems more eager to go out and explore. Should we let her roam around as she wants or make her rest some more?

 The results of her biopsy should be in today, but we are so nervous to call and get them. We want to stay in our happy bubble of her showing improvement with three legs. Getting sad news will just put a dark cloud over us, but I know we have to know…

The Rainbow Bridge



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21 May 2020 - 12:42 pm
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Hey thanks for the update! Hoppy Ampuversary! I’m so glad she is making great progress. She is getting around so well.

Should we let her roam around as she wants or make her rest some more?

She should still be on-leash, at least until stitches are out and your vet gives the all-clear. Dogs will go until they exhaust themselves, so it’s up to us to moderate their activity. Take it very, very slow to get her back into old routines and you can avoid painful injuries later on down the road.

Paws crossed for a good biopsy report! No matter what it says you can stay in that happy bubble by following Beesly’s lead! She’s not worried 🙂

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Livermore, CA




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21 May 2020 - 1:46 pm
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She looks good moving around for a week out from surgery!

Our surgeon said that Maggie was only allowed short, leashed potty breaks for the first two weeks post surgery. No matter how good a pup feels the body still takes time to heal.

You might consider some food puzzles or games if they are OK with your vet.

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

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