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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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Bert is home…..really worried post op?
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Forum Posts: 10
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23 November 2021 - 1:42 pm
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Bert is a 7 year old Labradoodle who was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma and had his right leg amputated on Friday. 
Although he was diagnosed with arthritis in one of his hips, he surprised the vets and managed to walk for a few mins the day after and we were able to pick him up yesterday 3 days post op, he was in great spirits. 
Unfortunately today (day 4 post op) he is extremely lethargic and won’t move. He is drinking normally but eating very little. He did go to the toilet for the first time, but it was bloody (red fresh blood). 
His meds are 400mg of Gabapentin x 2 daily, 375mg paracetamol x2 daily, Amantadine 100mg 1x daily plus Meloxin oral suspension 1x daily. 
is this normal, should be unduly concerned?

Thanks

The Rainbow Bridge



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23 November 2021 - 2:18 pm
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Hey guys,

So sorry to hear he's having some challenges. Let your vet know asap about the blood. Not sure if you meant it was in the urine or his stool, but either way they need to know about it OK? 

His pain management sounds really good! That sounds like it's being well-managed. His lethargy could be due to sensitivity to the Gabapentin (it makes many dogs sleepy), and also that recovery is just plain hard work. There could be something going on that isn't obvious so give your vet a call and let us know what they say OK? 

Sending Tripawd Power your way!

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




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23 November 2021 - 5:39 pm
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WELCOME HOME BERT! 

Often dogs seem a bit "perkier" the first few days bec they still have strong  hospital  meds in their system.  By now, they should all be out of Bert's sys and he may have a little bit of a crash.  It often happens.

Do co firm with the Vet about the blood (in the urine?). Sometimes urine may be a bit darker as it rids itself of the meds,   As Jerry said, whether it's blood kn thenpoop or the urine, best to get him checked  out.  Also ask the Vet about the paracetamol......maybe that's  causing an issue.

Guessing the Gabapentin  is every twelve hours since it's 2X a day.  Can maybe see if it shoild ve every eight hours if you feel like he's having  pain.  How much does Bert weigh??

Drinkng is good!  As far as eating,  give him anything  yummy he will eat.  Warm rotisserie  chicken, scrambled eggs with a little bacon and cheese, drive thru cheeseburger....whatever it takes for now.

Also give Bert lots of massage up and do0wn his spine, his neck his shoulder.  His muscles  are tight as he is learning  to adapt.  Massage over a warm towel out of the dryer.  He'll love it.

We know it's hard to stay upbeat, but your pawsitive energy  is also  important to Bert's healing.  It is still very early on and he just had MAJOR surgery.  He doesn't  feel like running  around quite yet, that's  for sure.

We'll look forward to an update.

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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28 November 2021 - 12:07 pm
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Thanks very much for your message. It is so very helpful. We are now a week post op and Bert’s toilets are back to normal. He can get himself up and is drinking okay. His wound looks as if it healing very well.

The negatives are: he is VERY subdued and unhappy. He literally has very little energy but does lift his head more than he did. He doesn’t even bark anymore 😔. He also sometimes whimpers. 

Is this normal? We are concerned that the sarcoma may have metastasized?

The first tests of his bone biopsy are inconclusive of what type of sarcoma it is. 

Thanks

 

The Rainbow Bridge



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28 November 2021 - 1:04 pm
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Hmm. Did you ever talk to your vet about the blood in his stool? The pain signals you are describing are concerning to me and it sounds like he's in need of a vet visit if he hasn't had one since this all started. I don't want you to panic, but please call them if you haven't OK?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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28 November 2021 - 1:24 pm
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Hi

His stools are now all okay and as were pre-op. We have also spoken to the vet and they do not believe there’s anything to overly worry about atm. They are removing his stitches on Friday and the oncologist will also take a look at the same time. 
Believe it or not he has just got himself up and took a small walk around the front room and sat beside me!

Its more the subdued personality that is concerning. 

Thanks

The Rainbow Bridge



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28 November 2021 - 5:30 pm
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Oh OK I'm so glad you talked to the vet and that he's moving around. It's a lot of work to recover from this surgery so that could have a lot to do with his lack of spunk. That wouldn't be too unusual. Keep an eye on it though and if anything changes dramatically, give the vet a call again just to be safe.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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28 November 2021 - 11:55 pm
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I'm glad that Bert's poops are back to normal, and that you've been in touch with your vet! I agree with Jerry- recovering from surgery is tough work. Right now, Bert's only job is to rest and recover.

Regarding the subdued personality, we experienced the same thing. For about three weeks post-surgery my dog Atticus was extremely subdued, and unlike himself. He just wanted to lie down, and would only get up with extreme encouragement (or forcing him up). He wouldn't even get up to eat; I had to hand feed him and coax him. He seemed profoundly depressed. It was tough to see this, considering the stories I read about dogs that seem to bounce right back from surgery. 

A few things that did not help us- Atticus was still fully weight-bearing in the bad leg, so he had to learn to get around on three. He is also really sensitive and smart, so the transition to three-legs was difficult. Once we had our two-week follow-up appointment our surgeon cleared him as healed from surgery, and we forced him to get up and do the things he used to do (modified of course). We went to the dog park, went on short walks, visited pet stores. The more we did, the more he came back to us. I really feel like we had to help him realize that life would go back to normal and he could still do the things he loves. We're two months past surgery and back to normal.

Sending encourage and good thoughts your way. It's so hard to see your pup struggle, and you're in the thick of it right now.

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29 November 2021 - 3:35 pm
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Hi 

Once again thanks for the advice and messages.

It is so encouraging to hear about Atticus and how well he is doing.

Today Bert has had his best day in many ways - he is definitely more alert and moved about more and had a very slight interest in his ball again (he was previously ball mad). However today is the first day he hasn’t eaten his food (apart from his treats and squirty cream)! He is drinking and going to the toilet properly though.

Local vet tomorrow and referral centre in Cambridge on Friday.

Thanks as always 

Virginia




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29 November 2021 - 3:46 pm
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Playing with his ball a little....HUGE PROGRESS!!!   Got up on his own and walk a little vit....HUGE PROGRESS!!!   Definitely  a sign that he is starting  to become more engaged and less lethargic, slowly but surely  and at his on pace!!!  Bert is doing things Bert's way.  Good doggy Bert!!

Continue with any yummy food he'll eat.  If necessary,  ask the Vet about an appetite  stimulant.  May not be necessary though.

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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7 December 2021 - 12:30 pm
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Well…well….I couldn’t be any prouder, even of my human children!

As I mentioned previously we have been concerned and nervous about going ahead with treatment and scared and worried about his recovery, Bert has had good days and not so good ones but I genuinely am as proud as punch for him atm.

He is barking at the postman, barking at birds in the garden, watching TV and chasing his ball around the kitchen (having the odd stumble, but he doesn’t seem to care). 

We took him back to the vets and they’re really pleased with him, he’s had his stitches removed and has been weaned off his meds. 

We are still awaiting full results from his biopsy and we are keeping fingers crossed the sarcoma isn’t an aggressive type. The oncologist says it’s not fully obvious as yet, so they’re awaiting results before any chemotherapy would start.

Anyway - as things stand after 3 weeks we couldn’t be happier….and I am so pleased we took the decision to amputate. 

We will of course keep you all updated. 

Virginia




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7 December 2021 - 2:42 pm
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Absolutely  thrilled to read how well Bert is doing!  Love that he's barking at all his normal "targets"!  Seeing him return to his normal habits is definitely  a reason to be proud.  

Yep, this kind of update is why we do what we do!  Keep on keeping on handsome Bert!👏

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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7 December 2021 - 6:21 pm
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Best three week update ever! Three IS the magic number after all 🙂

I'm so happy things have worked out so well. When others read through your posts they will see that there IS hope for better days ahead!

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